Lloyd’s announced that it is to set up its new Chinese onshore reinsurance operation in Shanghai. The City was chosen “because of its status as a growing commercial and financial center in China,” said the bulletin. Lloyd’s will continue to operate its representative office in Beijing “to maintain the strong relationships the market has developed there.” The announcement follows last week’s visit by HRH The Duke of York to Shanghai.
The announcement notes: “The Mayor of Shanghai – Han Zheng, met with Lloyd’s Chairman Lord Levene in March to promote the advantages of the city, and he committed to establish a taskforce to make Lloyd’s entry as smooth as possible. Lloyd’s was given the go-ahead to set up an onshore reinsurance license by Chinese President Hu Jintao last November.
“The new company – Lloyd’s Reinsurance Company (China) Ltd – will give Chinese insurers full access to the Lloyd’s market, enabling its underwriters to support the development of the local market and the Chinese economy.”
Commenting on the new initiative, Lord Levene stated: “We decided to base the operation in Shanghai because of its importance as a major financial center in the rapidly growing Chinese economy. Our operation there will complement the work of our existing office in Beijing, which has been building strong relationships in China for six years. We look forward to continuing our work with the Chinese authorities to get the new operation up and running in the autumn.”
Paul Swain, Chairman of Lloyd’s China Strategic Steering Group and Deputy Chairman of Catlin, noted: “This is a significant move for Lloyd’s. Shanghai is a city that echoes the financial and commercial growth of the country as a whole. It is important for Lloyd’s to be based at the heart of such a vibrant business center while also maintaining its important relationships in Beijing through its representative office.”