Shaw endorses choice of Rowland

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The Independent Online
NEIL SHAW, the newly appointed chairman of the Association of Lloyd's Members, yesterday gave his backing to David Rowland as the successor to David Coleridge, the outgoing chairman of the troubled insurance market, writes John Moore.

Amid calls that Lloyd's should appoint its chairman from outside the market, Mr Shaw said: 'Mr Rowland is the closest you can come to finding a professional manager from outside Lloyd's under the present regime.'

Mr Shaw, a 62-year-old Canadian, heads Tate & Lyle, the sugar group. Mr Rowland is chairman of Sedgwick Group, the insurance broker.

Under private legislation through which Lloyd's runs its affairs, the chairman can only be a working member of the market - a broker, an underwriting agent, or a professional underwriter.

Earlier this year Mr Shaw worked with Sir Jeremy Morse in drawing up proposals for reform in the government of the market. Heading the Association of Lloyd's Members, which represents the interests of more than 8,000 individuals who have invested in Lloyd's, he is now seeking other radical changes.

'We want to get to the position where we can hire anybody to be chairman, both from inside and outside Lloyd's,' he said. Already, the chief executive could be appointed from outside the market.

He is critical of the attitudes of previous chairmen of Lloyd's, including Mr Coleridge, who leaves the office at the end of the year. Traditionally, Lloyd's chairmen have seen themselves as representing the business interests of the market, and have avoided an interventionist policy in the running of businesses.

'Don't give us this rubbish that you can't control these people, you can,' Mr Shaw said. 'There are more than 200 businesses in Lloyd's. They operate under the same umbrella - Lloyd's. If something goes wrong with any of these businesses, it is the members who have to pay. Those that operate in the market need to be told, 'Here are the rules you operate under' . . . Someone has got to start running the place. That is all that is missing at Lloyd's'

He argues that many of the underwriting members of Lloyd's would be willing to help those facing the largest share of the pounds 2bn worth of losses that have flooded into the market. He suggests that professional broking companies, agencies and other practitioners at Lloyd's should contribute much more than the pounds 50m suggested by Lloyd's, perhaps pounds 100m or pounds 200m.

Lloyd's could then levy the membership to raise a further pounds 150m, which could be arranged as a loan agreement with the members. He suggests that Lloyd's should seek further loans from the banks of up to pounds 100m.

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