Lloyd's of London considers part-virtual underwriting room
LONDON (Reuters) - The Lloyd's of London insurance market said on Friday it is considering combining its physical underwriting floor in the City of London with some online elements. Lloyd's shut its 'underwriting room' in its London tower on March 19 in response to the coronavirus pandemic and has said it will not reopen before August, marking the first closure of physical trading in the commercial insurance market's 330-year history
LONDON (Reuters) - The Lloyd's of London insurance market said on Friday it is considering combining its physical underwriting floor in the City of London with some online elements.
Lloyd's shut its "underwriting room" in its London tower on March 19 in response to the coronavirus pandemic and has said it will not reopen before August, marking the first closure of physical trading in the commercial insurance market's 330-year history.
The closure of the underwriting floor, usually packed with brokers and underwriters, meant the market went fully online for the first time, potentially opening the way for its operations to go digital on a more permanent basis.
Underwriters and brokers say the market, which employs nearly 50,000 people, has run smoothly with greater use of existing electronic systems and they are in no hurry to return to the office.
Jennifer Rigby, Chief Operations Officer at Lloyd's, said in a video posted on YouTube on May 28 that the market was planning to experiment with combining the best features of the physical underwriting room "with a virtual room that is available to visit, no matter where in the world you are."
"This clearly has been fast-tracked."
The plan is in development as part of the market's Future at Lloyd's programme to shift to electronic exchanges, though Lloyd's has previously said there would always be a place for a physical underwriting floor.
Lloyd's already uses virtual reality headsets to show brokers overseas how the market operates, a Lloyd's spokesman said.
A more detailed update on Lloyd's' future will be issued in July, Lloyd's said in a progress report on Friday.
“The insurance industry has proved it’s perfectly capable of supporting clients remotely with a near to normal service," said Jon Turner, CEO of broker Gallagher's specialty division.
"A packed trading floor feels like a distant memory."
(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn. Editing by Jane Merriman)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.