Lloyd's underwriter commits suicide

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The Independent Online
A LEADING professional underwriter at Lloyd's of London has shot himself. The insurance syndicate Roy Bromley, 70, once managed had made large losses.

He died at his home in Dorset Square, Marylebone, on Wednesday and an inquest opens next week. Friends said yesterday that he had been upset for some time about mounting losses on syndicate 475. They are likely to mean the 1,400 underwriting members will face massive cash demands

In December, members were told by the syndicate's agents, Spratt & White, that losses had risen from pounds 14m to pounds 54m. Syndicate members include the theatrical impresario Eddie Kulukundis and his wife, the actress Susan Hampshire.

Spratt & White disputed claims by Mr Bromley that the syndicate would be profitable. 'Any such statement is incorrect,' said Trevor Bradley, agency chairman, in a letter on 17 December.

Mr Bromley was dismissed on 15 May 1991 by a unanimous vote of the board of the company he founded, R J Bromley. He clashed with the board about the insurance business he was accepting on behalf of the members and failure to follow board instructions.

Spratt & White had hoped to relaunch syndicate 475 but, because of the trading position, it will close. It is currently running off its insurance liabilities.

Larger than expected losses from Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and the early 1990 European storm damage are blamed for the deteriorating position. Lloyd's as an insurance market leaves its accounts open for three years, and the results for 1989 and 1990 are only now being reported.

Mr Bromley, who set up business at Lloyd's in the mid-1980s, is believed to have been separated from his wife.