As the Lloyd’s market builds a tangible global presence, it does so against a backdrop of conflicting dynamics: the irreversible march of globalisation with all the incumbent risks involved yet the growing spectre of protectionism, which potentially limits the ability of the re/insurance industry to do what it does best, as John Nelson, the market’s chairman, tells Intelligent Insurer.
Sitting in his suite in the Hermitage Hotel during the Monte Carlo Rendez-Vous this year, John Nelson, chairman of Lloyd’s, was speaking just days after receiving the news that the market had been awarded a licence to establish a branch office in Beijing, China.
The news was not necessarily remarkable—the office adds to a rapidly growing network of global hubs the market has developed in recent years. But it was important for Lloyd’s in the sense that any foothold in the Chinese market is achieved only on the back of many years of attrition and hard work, and this clearly presents Lloyd’s with an opportunity and potential head-start in that part of China that it will cherish.
The Beijing office follows its reinsurance company licence, which was granted in China in 2007, and that licence being extended for direct business in Shanghai in 2010. As a direct insurance company, Lloyd’s China is licensed to write general insurance in Shanghai; general insurance outside of Shanghai classified as large commercial risk & international marine, aviation & transit (MAT), or via master policy; and onshore and offshore reinsurance business of general insurance.
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John Nelson, Lloyd's, interview, re/insurance, Vision 2025