Top Lloyd's firms will be seen by SFO

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The Independent Online
SOME of the most senior firms serving Lloyd's will be interviewed by the Serious Fraud Office as part of its investigation into possible financial irregularities at the Gooda Walker underwriting agency, writes John Moore.

The SFO team, led by Patricia Howse, an assistant director, is investigating how a series of business transactions of insurance syndicates under the management of Gooda Walker may have been massaged and boosted in a way that misled potential members of the syndicates.

One of the main companies whose role will be explored in relation to the commercial transactions it undertook for the Gooda Walker syndicates is the insurance broker CE Heath.

Heath, on behalf of Gooda Walker syndicates, passed money in the form of so-called 'time and distance' policies to a subsidiary that it owned at the time, the Pinnacle Reinsurance Company in Bermuda.

The SFO will be seeking to interview Andrew Goodier, who was employed by Heath and Pinnacle and had a key role in the placing of the business.

It will also want to speak to Kieran Poynter, a senior partner of the accountants Price Waterhouse, about why he did not think that these policies warranted a detailed inquiry when he investigated on behalf of Lloyd's in July 1991.