LLOYD'S REFOCUSES IN WAKE OF HISTORIC VOTE ATTENTION TURNS TO MARKET SHARE, REBUILDING TRUST

LLOYD'S REFOCUSES IN WAKE OF HISTORIC VOTE ATTENTION TURNS TO MARKET SHARE, REBUILDING TRUST

Lloyd's of London is preparing to return to battle for market share after the historic agreement Wednesday to admit corporate members.

As the first prospectus for a Lloyd's investment trust was issued Thursday, Lloyd's Chairman David Rowland said now is the time to start rebuilding confidence in the Lloyd's market "and knock hell out of the opposition."The chairman described the decision to expand the membership base of the market as "a very important and fundamental step" toward restoring confidence in the Lloyd's of London insurance market.

He stressed, though, that there was still much more to be done before all the recommendations of the Lloyd's business plan published earlier this year can be successfully implemented. The plan calls for transferring all outstanding claims liabilities into a new reinsurance company, more computerization and better disaster planning.

Speaking at a news conference the day after the members' meeting to vote on corporate membership, Mr. Rowland warned that there was no room for complacency and that the business plan targets probably would not be reached until the end of 1995.

Both chairman Rowland and chief executive Peter Middleton admitted Thursday that many Lloyd's clients, especially in the United States, had grown increasingly concerned about the future of the market in recent months.

Lloyd's had been under "quite serious threat, especially in the United States," as the market toppled from crisis to crisis, Mr. Middleton said.

But after the landslide vote late Wednesday in support of corporate membership, Lloyd's will be much better placed to take advantage of an expanding world insurance market, Mr. Rowland said.

There will be no restriction on the amount of corporate capital allowed to invest in Lloyd's next year, since the global marketplace appears to be growing fast enough to absorb the extra underwriting capacity, Mr. Rowland explained. But the influx of capital into Lloyd's will be regulated from 1995 on to prevent a surplus of underwriting capability that could destabilize insurance premiums.

First indications suggest that about UK1 billion ($1.5 billion) of funds

from corporate backers will be invested in Lloyd's next year. Details of a UK250 million investment trust sponsored by Samuel Montagu & Co. and James Capel & Co. were unveiled Thursday morning. Another 15 companies have expressed firm interest in investing in the Lloyd's market that until now has been restricted to individual members, known as Names.