Officials with Lloyd’s of London announced the names of the first-ever independent brokers in the U.S. to be accredited for direct access to the London-based insurance market.
The historic selection of The Hanleigh Group of Montvale, N.J., and Sarasota, Fla., and International Space Brokers of Rosslyn, Va., comes one month after Lloyd’s announcement that the U.S. is now the largest single market in the world for the Lloyd’s.
Wendy Baker, the president of Lloyd’s America, said the two U.S. brokers were granted access as part of Lloyd’s drive “to broaden its worldwide network of brokers – a drive that began at the start of 2001.”
Lloyd’s of London’s Director of Worldwide Markets, Julian James, who is responsible for granting access to Lloyd’s, said Lloyd’s is delighted to welcome the first independent U.S. brokers into the Lloyd’s market, making a total of 11 non-U.K. since the accreditation process started this year. He added that it is Lloyd’s is continuing to receive enquiries from all over the world and expects that further brokers will be admitted in the coming months.
The Hanleigh Group specializes in the sports and entertainment business. Henry Tafaro, CEO and chairman of the brokerage stated that gaining direct access to Lloyd’s provides The Hanleigh Group with the opportunity to expand its business operations both in the U.S. and overseas.
John Vintner, president and CEO of International Space Brokers, expressed his company’s extreme delight to be joining the Lloyd’s market, especially in the arena of space insurance, for which International Space Brokers believes there is substantial capacity in the Lloyd’s market, making it critical for the company to have access to Lloyds.
Lloyd’s first announced plans to introduce its new system of accreditation in 2000. Accreditation is based upon brokers being able to meet a series of standards laid down by Lloyd’s including customer service levels, IT standards, and strong national systems of regulation. The first European brokers to be accredited under this scheme were announced earlier this year. There are now a total of 129 brokers allowed access to the market.
Baker noted that only an accredited Lloyd’s broker is permitted to bring business to underwriters at Lloyd’s. Traditionally, she added, this right was restricted to only London-based firms of brokers. However, she indicated that changes in technology and Communications over the past decade, Lloyd’s has recognized the need to expand its network of brokers onto a global basis.
Full details of the broker accreditation process are available on request.