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A corporation of underwriters (Lloyd's underwriters) and insurance brokers ( Lloyd's brokers) that developed from a coffee shop in Tavern Street in the City of London in 1689. It takes its name from the proprietor of the coffee shop, Edward Lloyd. By 1774 it was established in the Royal Exchange and in 1871 was incorporated by act of parliament. It now occupies a building in Lime Street (built in 1986 by Richard Rogers). As a corporation, Lloyd's itself does not underwrite insurance business; all its business comes to it from Lloyd's brokers, who are in touch with the public, and is underwritten by syndicates of Lloyd's underwriters, who are approached by the brokers and who do not, themselves, contact the public.

The 20 000 or so Lloyd's underwriters must each deposit a substantial sum of money with the corporation and accept unlimited liability before they can become members. They are grouped into syndicates, run by a syndicate manager or agent, but most of the members of syndicates are names, underwriting members of Lloyd's who take no part in organizing the underwriting business, but who share in the profits or losses of the syndicate and provide the risk capital. Lloyd's has long specialized in marine insurance but now covers almost all insurance risks. In the period 1988 to 1994 Lloyd's lost some £8 billion. This brought severe hardship to many names and a number of changes to the way in which the organization is run, including allowing limited liability companies to become underwriters.

http://www.lloyds.com/ Lloyd's website

Subjects: Financial Institutions and Services.

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