Lloyd's chief executive Richard Ward pledged to streamline the market in a bid to stave off competition from rivals such as Bermuda and pressure from the FSA.

Making his first keynote address at the CII conference, Ward said his immediate focus would be on "fixing the fundamentals" at Lloyd's in order to deliver "efficient business processes". He highlighted the areas of placement, claims and accounting and settlement.

In the longer-term, Ward said his aim was to "ensure that Lloyd's was the marketplace of choice". Although he admitted his thinking was "still evolving," he said he was "clear about the direction that we need to be taking".
"If businesses choose to use another platform it should be because of the advantages of that platform, not the disadvantages of Lloyd's," he said. "Although we deal in complex risks we don't need to operate a complex business model. We will streamline the complexity of the market and reduce the burden of operating in it."

Ward said Eliot Spitzer's investigation into market transparency in the US, the FSA's pressure to address contract certainty, competition from Bermuda and Ireland, and the closure of Kinnect were a "powerful impetus for change".

"With the industry reputation at an all time low, there has never been a greater need to improve the level of service to our customers and the clarity of business processes," he said.

He added that the collapse of Kinnect earlier this year "highlighted the need for us to think about how we use technology to support market processes".

Ward quashed speculation that he would move to close down Lloyd's trading floor, as he did in his previous role at the International Petroleum Exchange, saying: "Lloyd's will have a trading floor for the foreseeable future".