Lloyd’s Chairman Visits Japan, So. Korea; Urges Closer Ties

March 11, 2010

Lloyd’s Chairman, Lord Levene, visited Japan and South Korea last week where he opened the new Lloyd’s Japan office and hosted an event with Korean Re, titled – Lloyd’s – A Working Partnership.

Lloyd’s bulletin pointed out that “Japan is Lloyd’s eighth largest market and the more traditional classes of business, as well as a range of specialist covers, being the primary business written.” It is also “a stable and profitable insurance market that makes it attractive to managing agents wanting to diversify their portfolios geographically.”

Levene reminded his audience that Lloyd’s has long had a presence in Japan. “We have been issuing insurance policies in Japan since 1868,” he stated. “Through the years we have helped our customers and the market cope with a variety of earthquakes, windstorms and other challenging events.”

Speaking at the British Chamber of Commerce on the theme of ‘Fresh Challenges for the City of London’, he compared Japan and London as “veteran players” in the league of world finance who face similar challenges as mature economies.

Levene also discussed the fallout from the financial crisis and how London had managed to weather it. He warned Asia to learn from Europe’s mistakes, “as it has an opportunity to examine those closely and to learn, not just from Europe’s successes, but also from its failures, which are always the areas where the individual member states find it hard to reach agreement.”

In South Korea, Lord Levene met with “key insurance figures and local media, as well as speaking at two events, one of which was a Lloyd’s co-hosted a conference with Korean Re titled, ‘Lloyd’s – A Working Partnership’,” the bulletin continued. “The conference aimed to raise the awareness of Lloyd’s in Korea and build on its relationship with Korean Re.

“Korea is an important market for Lloyd’s. It has a long history of writing reinsurance business from Korean insurers and reinsurers, supporting them on large and complex risks mainly from London, but also writing Korean risks from Lloyd’s Asia and Hong Kong.”

Levene stressed that new talent is needed to ensure a strong future. He concluded his trip by speaking to students at Yonsei University about the global economy in 2010, with a focus on the Korean Presidency of the G20. He said that Korea’s Presidency could not have come at a more important time as it ‘has shown leadership in looking for the opportunity in this [financial] crisis’.

“I see the re-emergence of the Asian economies as an opportunity…I foresee the Lloyd’s insurance market working ever more closely and in partnership with more Asian companies in helping them manage their risks,” he concluded.

Source: Lloyd’s of London – www.lloyds.com

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