James Hunt 'faced 180,000 pounds losses at Lloyd's': Thousands of underwriting members to confront market's authorities at meeting in Royal Festival Hall

JAMES HUNT, the racing driver who died last week, was a member of one of the most troubled insurance syndicates at Lloyd's of London.

Hunt, who was a member of Lloyd's from 1983, is believed to have lost pounds 180,000 or more in the past two years from his investment at Lloyd's. At one stage he had investments in more than 40 insurance syndicates.

The Lloyd's analyst Oliver Carruthers, editor of the Digest of Lloyd's News, estimates that Hunt may have lost pounds 60,000 in the 1989 underwriting account and a further pounds 120,000 in the 1990 account, the results of which are to be announced this week.

Lloyd's so-called 'Blue Book', a directory of all members of Lloyd's, shows that Hunt was a member of insurance syndicate 745, under the management of the KPH Underwriting agency. Late last year syndicate 745 lurched into crisis and in October David King, the professional underwriter acting for the syndicate, was sacked by the agency managers.

Mr King left the group when it became clear that the losses of pounds 132.5m had arisen because of larger-than-expected payouts on insurance claims arising from European storm damage in 1990. In the previous account, syndicate 745 had reported losses of pounds 20m.

The syndicate comprises about 400 professionals working at Lloyd's and about 1,300 private investors, of whom Hunt was one.

Edward Benfield, a professional insurance broker, has formed an action group and is seeking financial help for the members, who have been asked to provide cash from their resources to meet insurance claims.

Mr Carruthers estimates that of Hunt's total losses of pounds 120,000 for the 1990 underwriting account, some pounds 60,000 may be accounted for by participation in syndicate 745.

'He was not one of the heaviest losers at Lloyd's, and made a few years of profit before the large losses flooded into the market. He may, of course have taken precautions to insure himself through 'stop-loss' policies against really large losses,' Mr Carruthers said.

Thousands of Lloyd's underwriting members will vent their anger at the insurance market's authorities at a meeting tomorrow during which they will be told that losses have climbed to about pounds 2.8bn, the largest in Lloyd's 305-year history.

The meeting will take place in London's Royal Festival Hall. As about 3,500 underwriting members are expected to attend, the adjacent Queen Elizabeth Hall will be used to relay the proceedings to members who cannot get into the main meeting.

David Rowland, Lloyd's chairman, and Peter Middleton, chief executive, are expected to come under renewed pressure from the members facing the largest losses to provide financial help to save them from financial ruin.

However, they are unlikely to receive any comfort. Mr Rowland and Mr Middleton told the members that there was little that could be done at a meeting last month, during which they outlined plans for the future.

Instead they will be told that business trends are improving and premium rates are rising. Members will also be told that a large investment programme for the Lloyd's market is planned by Marsh & McLennan, the world's largest insurance broker, and the investment banker JP Morgan. Marsh and Morgan are creating Trident, which will have capital of dollars 500m and dollars 1bn. Trident will be a blind trust that will invest in new operations in the Lloyd's market. Analysts expect that a considerable amount of capital could be raised for Lloyd's in 1994.

These moves and assurances are unlikely to assuage the anger of the members, many of whom believe they were deceived when they joined the market and misled while they were members. They are seeking full restitution for their losses and are planning several votes of no confidence if Lloyd's does not help.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement