Lloyd’s CEO Nick Prettejohn announced that the market will have the capacity to underwrite £14.9 billion ($26.91 billion*) of business in 2004, equal to Lloyd’s year-end 2003 capacity figure.
He said the 2004 figure, which maintains the level of capacity in 2003, underlined Lloyd’s strong capital base and demonstrated discipline in the market. The capacity announcement is the first drawn up under Lloyd’s new business plan, which adopted a franchise system, and is moving to annual accounting.
“The capacity figure says much about the continued strength and underwriting discipline within Lloyd’s businesses,” said Prettejohn’s statement. “The market’s priority is to continue to improve the quality of its business, rather than chasing market share.”
He also noted: “The first year of the new Franchise arrangements has helped to ensure that the market’s plans for 2004 are grounded in the reality of external market conditions, to deliver underwriting profit and maximise returns for capital providers.
“The Lloyd’s market is healthy with a firm capital base. Indications for 2003 performance continue to be strong and the current outlook for 2004 is good. We have unrivalled underwriting expertise, stable security ratings, and a diverse base of capital providers who believe in this market’s ability to deliver strong performance.”
*Ed note: The dollar is currently trading at over $1.80 to the pound, it’s lowest level since the early ’70’s; therefore fluctuations in the exchange rates could significantly raise or lower Lloyd’s capacity vis-a-vis the dollar.
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