Lloyd’s Members Prepare for Crucial Vote

September 9, 2002

As the 16,000 plus members of Lloyd’s began preparing to cast their votes for or against the reform proposals at a special meeting on Thursday, Sept. 12 (See IJ Website Aug. 30, Sept.3) Chairman Sax Riley made what Lloyd’s called “a passionate appeal” for members to unite in support of the measures.

Addressing the Association of Lloyd’s Members (ALM) Autumn Conference 2002 in the Lloyd’s Building, Riley stated that, “We have undertaken a long and thorough consultation process. During the course of that consultation, we have listened to your views and we have made changes to the proposals to reflect your concerns. Lloyd’s has demonstrated that it is prepared to listen and respond.”

“Now is not the time for protest votes and disunity. Now is the time to seize the moment and vote to implement the solutions we have devised, and for which there is already broad support — both inside and outside Lloyd’s.” Riley concluded:

The vote itself is a complicated affair.”Each member is entitled to one vote for every half a million pounds [approximately $780,000] or portion of that amount, of capital invested at Lloyd’s,” explained spokesman Adrian Beeby. He noted that while this meant that a number of members, who no longer have funds at Lloyd’s would not be eligible to cast ballots, it did include any member who still had funds at risk from prior years. “This would include 2000, 2001, and years like 1974 that have been kept open due to exceptional circumstances,” said Beeby.

Beeby said Lloyd’s had “no comment on any timetable” for implementing the reforms, which include changing Lloyd’s reporting to an annual basis, and implementing a single franchise system, overseen by a Board of Directors, to replace current structures.

He indicated, however, that if the measures were adopted, Lloyd’s did not agree, as the ALM has stated, that they would require parliamentary approvals before they could be implemented.

These are different issues, said Beeby. “While we’ve recommended that there be a review the 1982 Lloyd’s Act [The basic law under which Lloyd’s Operates], would be up to the members to adopt any changes.” To do so would require the assent of 75 percent of Lloyd’s members on a one member one vote basis before it could be submitted for parliamentary approval.

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