November 2019

Market participants who refuse to amend inappropriate behaviour must be removed from their roles even if they bring in large profits, the Lloyd’s CEO has said.

John Neal said at the Insider Progress event yesterday: “I don’t think there are ‘rainmakers’. The organisation is bigger than the individual.

“If they are not behaving and they cannot change, they should go.”

Neal’s comments came after Financial Conduct Authority CEO Andrew Bailey said in September that he had seen instances within the financial sector where management had quashed complaints about “loose cannon” individuals because of the profit they brought into businesses.

It also comes after AJ Gallagher UK CEO Simon Matson was forced to issue a public apology after a court case revealed him and commercial director Vyvienne Wade had used racist and abusive language about departing staff. Both currently remain in post.

The Lloyd’s culture study revealed that just over a fifth of respondents had seen people in their businesses turn a blind eye to inappropriate behaviour, and sparked a programme of measures from the Corporation that aim to create an inclusive culture within the market.

Neal noted that despite the figures in the survey and Lloyd’s messaging on diversity and inclusion (D&I) since then, some individuals were not yet on board with the initiative.

“I am genuinely worried that people still don’t get it,” Neal said.

“They say, ‘it’s not as bad as you think’. I don’t care how bad it is, it’s not a Richter scale of behaviour.”

Neal pointed out that the average age of the industry had been rising over the past two years, rather than falling, as efforts faltered to recruit the next generation.

Younger people do not consider a career in insurance to be fulfilling and, according to the executive, improving the culture was a key part of attracting in millennial staff.

Neal said that when the Corporation launched next year’s culture survey in early summer, he wanted it to attract substantially more responses than the 6,000 it received this year.

The CEO detailed Lloyd’s actions on culture and inclusivity so far, explaining that the Corporation was in the midst of checking D&I policies within each Lloyd’s business, and ensuring each had the ambition to change.

Lloyd’s has also set up an advisory group chaired by Fiona Luck, non-executive director for talent and culture. This board will include independent experts who will hold the Corporation to account on D&I and report each year on the market’s progress in Lloyd’s annual report.

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