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LONDON -- Acknowledging it has failed to keep up with vast changes taking place within Lloyd's of London, Lloyd's Non-Marine Assn., the largest representative body of Lloyd's underwriters, says it intends to become a more businesslike operation.

David Clarke, the NMA's managing director, said that while the reconstruction and renewal program has revitalized the rest of Lloyd's, the NMA "has lost its way over the past few years."

Speaking after the group's annual general meeting late last month, Mr. Clarke said, "The idea is to be very professionally run -- to run it as a business."

The NMA's newly created policymaking council, whose members will take office Jan. 1, will focus on developing strategies for the association, representational issues and lobbying, he said. The council's establishment is one of a number of changes agreed upon at an extraordinary general meeting called last October to discuss modernizing the association.

Apart from creating the council, other changes include opening up the NMA's membership to make it more representative of those active in Lloyd's non-marine market and reducing the number of association committees to make them more focused and accountable.

"The NMA, like Lloyd's itself, is changing rapidly to meet the challenges of the modern world, " said Graham Williams, a director and underwriter of Methuen Underwriting Ltd. who was elected chairman of the council. Apart from Messrs. Williams and Clarke, the council will consist of nine other newly selected members, including Nick Marsh, an underwriter and a director of Atrium Cockell Underwriting Ltd., and Bill Rendall, an underwriter for R.J. Kiln & Co. Ltd. syndicates, who were elected deputy chairmen.

Messrs. Williams and Clarke acknowledged that one of the most significant changes agreed to at the October meeting is the opening up of the NMA's membership, previously limited to active underwriters, to include deputy underwriters and other senior syndicate personnel. This has enabled the NMA's membership to more than double to 240 from 90.

Mr. Clarke said this will give the association a wider electorate so that it can more truly represent Lloyd's non-marine underwriters.

Three standing committees of association members will meet monthly to cover matters in underwriting and technical issues, claims and development of information technology. They will be supported by a number of business panels representing various sectors of the market. The council also will issue an annual business plan.

Mr. Williams said the idea is to use these standing committees and panels as a replacement for the hundreds of committees that currently exist "so we can respond to issues as and when they arise."

He said one issue that will be examined next year is access to the Lloyd's market. In June, Lloyd's issued a discussion document on a review of the regulation of Lloyd's brokers and intermediaries.

The NMA already has said it does not thinks Lloyd's still can attempt to totally regulate approved brokers.