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Lloyd's targets distribution in new plan

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[LONDON]—Lloyd's of London plans to open an office in India next year and have its Chinese reinsurance unit fully operational within the first half of 2007, according to the market's updated three-year plan published last Thursday.

The 300-year old insurance market has laid out its "vision and priorities" through to 2009. In the report, Lloyd's Chief Executive Richard Ward said: "The delivery of this plan remains fundamental to Lloyd's future. My priority as CEO is to work with the market to deliver this plan and increase the pace of change."

Lloyd's said that it could do more to make its distribution channels easier to access and use. "In particular, Lloyd's business processes need to be reformed to enable brokers and other producers to access the Lloyd's market directly and efficiently irrespective of their location. Work under both the Market Access and Operations and Processes benefits is designed to support this aim," the report stated.

Lloyd's also set out its progress in establishing a reinsurance presence in China. According to the plan the Chinese platform should be operational in the first half of next year, gaining critical mass of Lloyd's managing agents using the platform by 2009.

Lloyd's attempts to establish a presence in the Indian market has been delayed as Lloyd's conducts further research into insurance law reforms in the region. According to the plan, Lloyd's expects to open an office in India next year.

The market has also decided not to widen its admitted status in the United States, an idea first mooted in last year's three year plan. Instead Lloyd's has decided to focus on the excess and surplus lines market.

The three-year plan also suggests that Lloyd's is about to step up marketing in order to attract more insurers to the market. The report noted: "The number of new businesses entering Lloyd's in comparison with other insurance markets, particularly post the 2005 US hurricanes and 9/11, has been highlighted by brokers and rating agencies."