A report from international broker Benfield’s Industry Analysis and Research team entitled “Venturing Forward,” notes that Lloyd’s focus “has turned firmly forward” following the announcement of the Equitas deal.
according to Benfield’s latest ‘Lloyd’s Update’ report,t following the transfer of Equitas’ liabilities (acquired by Berkshire Hathaway – See IJ web site Oct. 20), Lloyd’s hopes to recover its “A+” rating from Standard and Poor’s, “and continues to work hard for this target.” S&P raised its outlook on Lloyd’s ratings to “positive” following the Equitas deal. Benfield indicated that “rating drivers are a key consideration in the evolution of the Optimal Platform strategy and the 2007 Franchise Directorate planning process has formally incorporated measurement of their impact.”
The report also notes: “Capacity increased by over £1billion [$1.9615 billion] to £14.8 billion [$29 billion] in 2006. Since then a number of new syndicates have been formed including stand alone ventures and sub-syndicates.
“2007 market capacity has yet to be announced but indications from the Lloyd’s listed vehicles coupled with the new syndicates suggest a figure close to £16 billion [$31.4 billion]. New ventures such as Thunderbird Re and Syncro Limited should also enhance capacity and proposals for the annual venture provide further scope.”
“There has been much discussion about the merits of Bermuda relative to Lloyd’s but augmentation of capacity through new ventures and new vehicles suggests that the London market is in good health,” observed Angela Coad from Benfield’s Industry Analysis and Research Team. “Those who have re-domiciled are keen to stress that London is a key platform and Lloyd’s is intent on ensuring that this continues to be the case.”
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