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Chairman Says Lloyd's is "Conservative and Boring - and Boring is Good"

Lloyd's of London is in very good shape because it has responded to the financial crisis by becoming more conservative and boring. That according to...
February 3, 2009

Lloyd's of London is in very good shape because it has responded to the financial crisis by becoming more conservative and boring. That according to Lloyd's Chairman Lord Peter Levene. Commenting in an interview with the Boston Globe, Levene says that his company is in good shape to survive and prosper but is less certain about how long the economic crisis will last or what individual investors should do in response. He notes that "Lloyd's of London has become extremely conservative. We have $90 billion in assets and only 5 percent is invested in equities. It's boring -- and boring is good." He said that the recession should not affect the property/casualty insurance industry too badly because insurance is mostly a nondiscretionary purchase.

Asked about executive bonuses in the United States, Levene said, "We've had situations where executives have been rewarded even after their companies are in bankruptcy, or after receiving bailout money from the U.S. government. First off, it's not just the U.S., it's everywhere. I believe if someone has presided over a complete disaster, they should leave immediately and say, 'I've done a terrible thing and I apologize.' To accept a bonus is just unacceptable. It's wrong for everyone -- the shareholders, the employees, and the customers."

Lloyd's Weathers the Storm (Boston Globe 1/25/09)

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