Lloyd’s Issues Statement on Goshawk Withdrawal

November 3, 2003

Lloyd’s has issued a statement concerning the withdrawal of the U.K.’s Goshawk Insurance Holdings’ Syndicate 102 from the Lloyd’s market, indicating that the it will no longer be able to accept any new risks.

Goshawk’s decision to exit the Lloyd’s market, due to a series of losses dating back to 2001, was announced Friday. (See IJ Website Oct. 31). A Lloyd’s spokesperson indicated that “Lloyd’s has announced that with effect from 30th October 2003, Goshawk Syndicate Management Ltd. will no longer be able to accept any new risks on behalf of syndicate 102, other than those that they are legally obliged to.”

More specifically, the spokesperson stated: “Despite working with Goshawk’s management and imposing significant underwriting restrictions it has not been possible to resolve a number of problems. Lloyd’s has taken this action in the best interests of the Society and of the syndicate’s policyholders, whose financial security will not be affected by this decision.

“Lloyd’s will work closely with Goshawk to ensure an orderly run-off of the business. This action has been taken in close conjunction with the Financial Services Authority (FSA) as regulators of both the Society of Lloyd’s and Goshawk Syndicate Management Ltd. and in accordance with the Supervision and Enforcement Co-operation Arrangements.”

Quite a few comments and analysis followed the announcement, with many centering on the decreased level of Syndicate 102’s reserves, which had triggered the withdrawal. This was mostly seen as a sign of new rigor in both Lloyd’s and the FSA’s commitment to maintain the financial strength and adequate reserves of Lloyd’s syndicates.

A number of analysts also commented that Goshawk had apparently decided not to put any new capital into its Lloyd’s syndicate, but to concentrate its efforts on building up the business of Goshawk Re, its Bermuda subsidiary. There is also speculation that the company could be a takeover target.

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