Views on the news ... a difficult week for Lloyd's

Last week Lloyd’s announced 2018 market losses of £1bn, a combined ratio of 104% and decreasing investment returns. Not that you’d really notice. Instead, Lloyd’s is at the centre of more damaging headlines about the conduct and attitude of the market’s male participants. 

6 years ago, I remember reading about the fictional broker ‘Ton up Tony’, a philander, chancer and a charmer. All euphemisms for the type of misogynist bully the market is now desperately try to rid itself of. And yet, when this article appeared in the Evening Standard, the fact that some of the behaviours of this fictional character were displayed around Leadenhall for real, didn’t seem to raise an eyebrow. Note the number of outraged comments – zero. Hard to believe.

Clearly attitudes have changed towards what is and isn’t acceptable in the work place since 2013 (should that been 1913?), as it has in wider society. And the question of how such behaviours became entrenched is hard to answer. It’s been over 45 years since Lloyd’s was a men only club, can this really still be the source of the problem?

Whatever the reasons, the spotlight is shining on the industry. Its leaders are making pledges, and its press are digging and will rightly continue to shine that light.

Speaking as someone who has worked in Lloyd’s and witnessed bullying by both male and female colleagues, it’s time to change.