Underwriters protest at 140,000 pounds pay-off

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The Independent Online
LLOYD'S of London underwriting members have protested to David Rowland, chairman of the insurance market, about a pounds 140,329 pay-off made to a former underwriter who has left them with losses of pounds 25.2m on syndicate 855, writes John Moore.

The payment has been made by the AR Mountain underwriting agency to Julian Harrison, the professional underwriter who acted for 1,307 investors on the syndicate.

The pay-off to Mr Harrison, who left the agency in 1991, is disclosed in the latest report and accounts.

Earlier this month underwriting members were asked to provide pounds 20.6m from their own resources.

Members were told that the money was needed to repay current borrowings and to satisfy its solvency requirements with the US authorities. 'It has not been possible to find any other alternative source of finance which would provide the syndicate with adequate funds and avoid having to make this call,' the Mountain agency has told members.

The salary of Christopher Martin, the professional underwriter who took over from Mr Harrison, has also been attacked. One member, Helena Drysdale, said: 'I am horrified by the size of the salary paid to Mr Martin - pounds 125,603 may be a standard salary at Lloyd's and may seem normal to you, but in the outside world this is an unjustly vast salary, particularly when paid to someone in a loss-making company.'