Letter: Losses at Lloyd's: the role of the chairman and what must be done

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Sir: Various parties at Lloyd's of London have recently been issuing 'facts' to the press in an attempt to promote their own particular aims. This, during 1992, has produced a large number of incorrect stories in various newspapers, as was particularly highlighted after the Council's meeting to discuss the possibility of a bail-out scheme. Your leader today suffers from a similar lack of correct information.

As an external member of the Council for the past 2 1/2 years, I have been involved at various stages in the election of the chairman of Lloyd's for 1990-1993. In every year there have been discussions among the continuing members of the Council and the final recommendation has so far always been agreed at the first meeting of the new year's Council, which normally takes place in December.

All the current members of the Council knew last year that David Coleridge only wished to remain chairman for two years. Over the past month, because of the recommendations of the Morse Committee and the proposed reduction in the numbers of the Council, each member has seen the chairman individually about whether they wished to remain on the Council for 1993 and about the options for next year's chairman. These meetings were then followed by the normal consultation between the various members of the Council.

I personally am delighted that David Rowland has agreed to offer himself as chairman for next year, and look forward to serving under him in 1993 to continue the reform process which has made such strides under David Coleridge's leadership.

The nomination papers for next year's Council go to the membership in August. Public companies need time to rearrange their own directors and their responsibilities. Names who wish to resign from Lloyd's have to do so by 31 August. It is right and proper that all names should know now who will be leading them in the future.

David Rowland has been responsible for producing the report which has changed the thinking at Lloyd's and given the society a blueprint with which to move forward. I do not know whether he or McKinsey & Co produced most of the recommendations, but having been on the 1990 Council and the Morse committee with David Rowland, I would be very surprised if his input had not been enormous. In addition, an important part of the role of the chairman is to produce results and strategic vision; that is what the Council wants. That is what I believe we will achieve.

Yours faithfully,

NICHOLAS PAWSON

London, WC2

28 July

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