Moving Lloyd's out of its cosy traditions and into the real world is inevitable, says Yvette Essen

Change is a double-edged sword. It can bring rewards, but with them comes the discomfort of moving from a cosy known environment to unfamiliar territory.

A year-and-a-half ago, Lloyd's was swamped by heritage, mired in slow processing of premiums and claims and constantly under fire from investors.

But the implementation of the London Market Principles (LMP), which aim to speed up processing in Lloyd's together with proposals from the Chairman's Strategy Group to radically alter many of its 314-year-old traditions are attempts to cast aside many of the practices which bog it down.

It may be hard to leave behind a familiar and cosy tradition but change, for Lloyd's, is now inevitable.

The London Market is definitely moving on, but there is still one important lesson it needs to learn - evolution is better than revolution. Everyone requires challenges, but goals must be realistic or the fall will be great.

Although the strategy group proposals will go ahead in some form, they are too radical. And it is no real surprise that the controversial recommendations to bring an end to unlimited liability Names have already failed.

Targets set by the London Market brokers' committee for universal use of the new standard policy document are also too ambitious and unlikely to be met.

But it is now too late to turn back. Lloyd's has begun its journey down the road to survival and no matter how rocky the course, it must go on.

The London Market has no choice but to change.

  • Dermott White will be covering the Lloyd's and Company Market as Yvette is leaving Insurance Times to join the Daily Telegraph.

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