Lloyd’s of London has notched up a £2.3 billion half-year profit haul as it ploughs on with a revamp of the under-fire culture across the insurance market.
The group’s earnings rose nearly four-fold in the six months to June 30 from £600 million a year earlier thanks to investment gains and cuts to loss-making businesses.
Its figures come just a week before it is due to unveil the results of its most thorough workplace survey on September 24, which chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown has already warned will be “sobering”.
The group will also announce the next plan of action to stamp out inappropriate behaviour, having pledged a raft of new measures in response to reports of a pervasive culture of sexual harassment at the insurance market.
But in a setback for the group, it separately announced on Wednesday the departure of another senior female executive.
Chief people officer Annette Andrews is set to leave after five years at Lloyd’s.
Her move comes after chief executive Inga Beale and chief operating officer Shirine Khoury-Haq both quit last year.
Chief executive John Neal said Lloyd’s has “not hesitated to put in place a robust set of actions to tackle unacceptable behaviour around the market and ensure that we set the tone for a culture that encourages the brightest minds to remain in and join our industry”.
He added: “The centrepiece of these actions is the Lloyd’s market-wide culture survey which has built the most comprehensive picture ever commissioned of the culture across the insurance industry.”
So far it has promised an independent and confidential access point for reporting inappropriate behaviour.
Individuals found to have acted inappropriately will be subject to sanctions from both their own companies and Lloyd’s, including a possible temporary or permanent ban from entering Lloyd’s.
In April the institution also set out a new code of conduct that included a ban on its staff drinking between 9am and 5pm.
The firm’s half-year figures showed profits were boosted by strong investment returns on bonds that back insurance policies.
It has also been ditching under-performing businesses.
More details on strategic changes at the group are due to be announced on September 30, the group said.