Names choose limited liability.

Lloyd's Names are increasingly converting to limited liability, suggesting that they plan to continu...

Lloyd's Names are increasingly converting to limited liability,
suggesting that they plan to continue underwriting at Lloyd's despite poor
trading conditions.


Figures collected by the Association of Lloyd's Members (ALM) from Lloyd's
members' agents show that the capacity of limited liability Names has
risen by 55% between the 1999 and 2000 underwriting years, topping £1bn
($1.6bn) for the first time.


"Names who were planning on leaving would not go through the expensive and
inconvenient process of conversion," said ALM chairman Michael Deeny.


Names' capacity has stabilised at £3.2bn, or 31% of capacity, differing
little from the £3.4bn in 1999 but significantly down on 1997 when Names
accounted for £5.7bn - 56% of market capacity. "We and the members agents
believe that the market has turned and that there is a good prospect of
profits in 2001," Mr Deeny said.


He also pointed out that, despite the losses expected for the 1998 and
1999 years of account, individual Names are expected to be spared the
worst. ALM research suggests that between 1989 and 1995 Names had 53% of
the capacity on the 10 best performing syndicates and corporates had 88%
of the capacity on the 10 worst. It expects 90% of estimated losses for
1998 to fall on a number of corporate investors.
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