Lloyd’s To Leave London’s Inside-out Building

Lloyd’s To Leave London’s Inside-out Building

UNITED KINGDOM – Lloyd’s, the world’s oldest insurance market, is expected to vacate its headquarters in London by 2026 at the earliest, as staff work from home (WFH) and companies review their office space requirements amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, reported the Daily Mail on Wednesday morning (19 January, SGT).

Designed by famed British architect Richard Rogers, the Lloyd’s building is also known as the Inside-out Building as all of the building’s services (elevators, staircases, lobbies, toilets, water pipes) are on the outside, while the interior contains a huge airy central atrium.

The office building has served as Lloyd’s headquarters since the commercial property was finished in 1986. However, Lloyd’s is re-evaluating its office space requirements as its employees work remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the early weeks of the virus outbreak, the company closed the building’s grand Underwriting Room, one of London’s last face-to-face insurance markets, where insurance agreements were brokered in person.

Lloyd’s also shifted away from doing business on its underwriting floor, as the COVID-19 pandemic expedited the moves towards automation.

“As we adapt to new structures and flexible ways of working, we are continuing to carefully think about the future requirements for the spaces and services our marketplace needs,” said a company representative.

“Like many other organisations, we are considering a range of options around our workspace strategy and the future leasing arrangements for Lloyd’s. We are aiming to share our plans during 2022.”

Lloyd’s lease on the commercial property will expire in 2031, but the company may vacate it in 2026 due to a break clause in its rental contract. About £75 million was spent to construct the Grade A office building, and it was purchased by Chinese insurer Ping An in 2013 for £260 million.

Lloyd’s of London started in 1686 in Edward Lloyd’s small coffee shop. It is now the world’s top commercial insurance market, where complicated insurance agreements ranging from catastrophe to event cancellation are agreed and underwritten. The company also insures complex risks from oil rigs to the appendages of professional athletes.

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