Tough times ahead for Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT), but could there be a knight in shining armour waiting to rescue the beleaguered broker? The insurance and reinsurance broker admitted last week to what the market has been aware of for some time: "Rates in most lines of business in which we operate have continued to fall and the dollar has remained weak."
No surprise there - the market picked up the problems in November last year when JLT's share price plunged from nearly £5 to less than £3.50 after a poor second half performance which saw chief executive Steve McGill step down. Since then the price has wobbled around the same level, but suffered a further drop to the current price, 344p, last week.
So what could change? Eyes are turning to McGill, who is currently consultant on primary business development at reinsurance giant Benfield. What better link-up to drive Benfield's aim of getting into primary broking than a takeover of JLT? With a share price near a five-year low what better time?