Business World

Sunday 20 May 2018

Lloyd's is as much a part of London as the Tower and Big Ben

The Lloyds building is pictured in London,
The Lloyds building is pictured in London,
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Lloyd's of London is as much a part of The City as the Bank of England, jellied eels or ubiquitous Pret-a-Manger sandwich joints.

So it's hard to imagine Britain's financial capital without it.

The Lloyd's insurance market occupies an iconic, ultra-modern 1980s office block on Lime Street in the heart of the medieval City district of the capital. But Lloyd's itself is more than 300 years old. Like the nearby London Stock Exchange, it began life in a London coffee house where financiers clubbed together to underwrite shipping risks. It's dripping in history. Lloyd's List - which is now online only - is one of the world's oldest specialist newspapers.

A bell still tolls dolefully when an insured ship is lost at sea. Lloyd's of London is not actually a company. It provides a market where syndicates come together to underwrite risks for business ventures. Initially the syndicate 'Names' where wealthy individuals. Today they are more mundane corporations but it's still the centre of an entire world of high end professional services, legal precedent and experience.

Irish Independent

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