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Lloyd's of London to announce new EU outpost in coming months

By Pamela Barbaglia

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Lloyd's of London [SOLYD.UL] will make an announcement on its new European subsidiary by the middle of April at the latest, its Chairman John Nelson said on Tuesday, as it prepares for Britain's exit from the European Union.

The world's largest specialty insurance market, which started life in Edward Lloyd's coffee house in 1688, has been one of the most vocal London financial institutions about the need to set up an EU subsidiary as Britain readies to leave the bloc.

"We will be ready to make an announcement in relation to our move to Europe in Q1, certainly by Easter," Nelson told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

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Lloyd's has said it is considering five locations for its new subsidiary, including Dublin. Nelson did not give any further detail on the insurance market's choice of location.

Industry observers say all insurers looking to set up EU subsidiaries have included Dublin among their options, attracted by its language, location and tax and regulatory systems.

Nelson said Lloyd's would move some senior staff members over to the new EU entity once it's established.

"We want to have a real presence in Europe with underwriters having the ability‎ to underwrite. It will be a mixture of people from various departments such as regulatory, compliance, risk management etc".

Around 15 percent of Lloyd's business comes from Britain, 11 percent from the rest of Europe and 40 percent from the United States.

"I'm confident London will remain a very powerful financial center whatever happens with Brexit," Nelson said.

"The danger is that a lot of business that might have stayed in Britain and within Europe may move to the U.S."

(Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia; Writing by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Mark Potter)

 
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