by Staff Reporter
London, UK - Lloyd’s of London, like many financial services companies in the UK have been struggling to adjust to the realities of Brexit as it applies to their business model.
When Lloyd’s failed to secure “passporting” rights for it’s London operation, which would have allowed it to continue doing business with EU countries, it had to do something quickly in order to maintain it’s 329-year-old tradition of serving these markets.
For Lloyd’s, the answer was a new financial center located in Brussels, Belgium. Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg, Lloyd’s CEO, Inga Beale said, “Brussels will always allow us to operate with the changes that will come with Brexit,” Beale said. “We can secure continuous investment from our European partners, seamlessly.”
The new offices will require some migration of jobs from the London Lloyd’s mega-center where 700 people now work for the iconic insurance operation. Lloyd’s reportedly plans to move about 100 people and 5% of it’s operations to the Brussels center, once it is up and running at full speed.
Lloyds had considered Paris and other locations before deciding on Brussels, but felt, according to Beale, that Brussels had a “robust reputation for regulation and multilingual talent,” and would be more likely than Paris to stick with the EU for the “long term.”
Although Britain’s withdrawal from the EU is still two years away, financial operations such as Lloyd’s feel there is little time to waste in planning for the change. Besides Lloyd’s, XL Catlin, Standard Life, Royal London, MS Amlin, Markel, Hiscox, Chesnara, FM Mutual, Beazley, AIG, and Admiral all doing insurance business in the EU via a UK connection have plans to establish a EU base as well, either by moving a portion of their current operation or by capitalizing new subsidiaries.
As an example, Hiscox, a specialist insurer will be establishing an EU subsidiary in Luxembourg. A company s p o k e s p e r s o n remarked that, “Our existing European business, which comprises over 350 people across seven of the EU 27 countries, will continue to operate without interruption. In Luxembourg a team covering core functions such as compliance, risk and internal audit will be recruited to complement our existing structure.”