Insurer helps employees to meet losses at Lloyd's

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WILLIS CORROON, one of the largest insurance broking groups in the UK, has helped key employees who are underwriting members at Lloyd's to meet their personal insurance losses arising from their investment in the market.

Announcing first-quarter results for the three months ended 31 March, Willis disclosed that over a period of time, principally in 1991 and 1992, it provided assistance by way of loans to key employees who were directors of subsidiaries.

The aggregate amount of the loans was approximately pounds 1.2m, of which pounds 398,000 remains outstanding. Most of the loans were interest-free and short-term to help the employees either with Lloyd's demands for cash or with relocation at the group's request.

Five of the loans outstanding are for sums above pounds 25,000 - pounds 247,000 in aggregate - and are to be repaid at various dates up to 1997.

Willis Corroon reported an increase of 12 per cent in first-quarter pre-tax profits to pounds 47.1m. This includes a loss of pounds 2.7m for the discontinued UK underwriting operations.

The directors have declared a second interim dividend of 1.65p. Analysts expect Willis to report pre-tax profits of pounds 69m for the year compared with pounds 42.5m in 1992.

Roger Elliott, chairman, said the group continued to make good progress in its principal businesses. Staff numbers were about 500 below the level of a year ago while movements in exchange rates added pounds 2.2m to the results.