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Lloyd’s of London is taking strong action on inappropriate behavior in the marketplace and setting new standards amid recent harassment allegations, Lloyd’s Chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown said during an interview with Business Insurance on Wednesday.
Mr. Carnegie-Brown’s comments came in response to a Reuters report Tuesday that U.K. financial regulators are looking to see “demonstrable progress” in the way Lloyd’s deals with harassment.
“We are driving, setting the standards in our marketplace. It’s unsurprising that regulators would take an interest in what’s happening and be supportive of us trying to improve standards of behavior in the marketplace,” said Mr. Carnegie-Brown during the interview with Business Insurance.
“Because we are a regulator of the market, we have quite a lot of powers to deal with these things. We have beefed up our policies around this,” said Mr. Carnegie-Brown.
Lloyd’s is trying to make sure people are on notice that it both has the powers and will exercise those powers, he said.
Lloyd’s has suspended several executives in the marketplace in the past four weeks, including one at brokerage Guy Carpenter & Co. LLC, while a second Guy Carpenter executive is under investigation.
Another executive was banned for being under the influence of alcohol while in a professional situation, Mr. Carnegie-Brown said during the interview with Business Insurance. That executive does not work for the Corporation of Lloyd’s, a Lloyd’s spokeswoman confirmed via email, declining to name the company involved.
The Guy Carpenter executives involved were accused of sending and forwarding an allegedly sexually explicit email to colleagues, according to a Bloomberg report.
“We take all incidents of harassment very seriously and will not tolerate any behaviour that breaches our code of conduct,” said a Guy Carpenter spokesman in a statement.
“Those involved in sending and externally disseminating this email have been suspended from the firm pending further investigation,” the spokesman said in the statement.
Lloyd’s recently announced a raft of initiatives aimed at preventing sexual harassment, including a marketwide culture survey and potential sanctions.
A “formal and independent” investigation is also underway at the Lloyd’s of London underwriting arm of Tokio Marine Kiln Group Ltd. following a report that two executives were forced to resign amid sexual harassment allegations.
Separately, Lloyd’s of London said Thursday that industry CEOs including Dan Glaser, president and CEO of Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc., Evan Greenberg, chairman and CEO of Chubb, and John Haley, CEO of Willis Towers Watson PLC, will sit on two advisory committees formed to help support its future modernization strategy.
“The advisory committees will play a critical role in providing guidance and advice as we develop and implement a blueprint for the future at Lloyd’s,” said Lloyd’s CEO John Neal in a statement.
In early May, Lloyd’s unveiled a wide-ranging plan that aims to halve the cost of doing business in the market and move much of its business online.
Lloyd’s of London announced an initiative to prevent sexual harassment five days after a Bloomberg Businessweek article outlined a culture of sexual harassment within the ranks of the exchange.