Rowland ruffled by two-pronged assault

Only two questioners from the floor ruffled David Rowland of Lloyd's, in his polished and successful handling of one of the most crucial meetings he has ever chaired, writes Peter Rodgers.

One was when a rebel Lloyds's name, Philip Colfox, made allegations about Mr Rowland's period as a director of an underwriting firm in 1981.

To supportive applause from elsewhere on the floor, Mr Rowland said he was extremely tired of Mr Colfox's allegations for which there was not the slightest scrap of evidence.

And Sir Alan Hardcastle, Lloyd's top regulator, said he had looked into documents sent by Mr Colfox and so had Lloyd's lawyers, and there was "no basis whatsoever on which it would be right to take investigations any further at all".

In sharp contrast, the other incident that slightly ruffled the urbane Mr Rowland was when a Mr Salbstein praised him to the skies, saying "one man above all deserves our thanks - David Rowland ... you deserve national honour and recognition and trust".

This honour would soon be forthcoming, he added, though he did not forecast whether it would be a knighthood or a peerage. Mr Salbstein's litany was hard to stop until Mr Rowland joked that his own wife, who was in the audience, would give him hell after hearing it.

The meeting at the concert hall was tightly organised, with high security. But there was little of the emotional drama seen three years ago at a time when losses were still mounting and Lloyd's was offering only pounds 900m compensation.

When Adam Fergusson, demanded that David Rowland, the chairman, publish the list of managing agents and others responsible for losing the names' money, Mr Rowland said: "We can't put heads on pikes in quite the way I understand you would like."

David Durant, who said he spoke for 800 ruined names with so little left that they could not pay membership subscriptions to his group, pressed for more help. "The need is desperate - this must be pushed with all speed - we all have milk bills to pay."

He asked Mr Rowland to include widows of members in a new pension scheme for the hardest hit, and Mr Rowland said imediately: "The answer is yes."

The very first questioner from the floor raised, without naming them, the intractable issue of the Vine brothers, identical twins with identical exposures to Lloyd's. It has already emerged that the twin who has paid his debts will have to contribute twice as much to the rescue as his brother, who refused.

Acknowledging the problem thrown up by the way the rescue has been structured, Mr Rowland said: "We can't square the circle but what we have sought to do as we have gained more resources has been to make it as palatable as we possibly can."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Legendary blues and rock singer Joe Cocker has died of lung cancer, his management team as confirmed. He was 70
people70-year-old was most famous for 'You are So Beautiful'
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballLatest score and Twitter updates
Arts and Entertainment
David Hasselhof in Peter Pan
The US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
News
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
Life and Style
A still from a scene cut from The Interview showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's death.
tech
Environment
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
Voices
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operations Manager

£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - LONDON

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...

SThree: Graduate Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'