‘Plants – lots of plants.’
That was just one of the asks we received when gathering feedback on the future of the Underwriting Room.
When the consultation started in 2021, we had no preconceptions about what it would lead to: any new direction would be determined by what we heard.
And what we heard was fascinating.
While the way we collaborate as a market has changed forever, it was clear the Room still holds a very special place for those using it. It’s as much a part of our market as the policies we write every day.
Each working day we sit in a unique space unlike any other office in the world. There is still tremendous pride in that, and this landmark of the London insurance market continues to attract global curiosity. Despite the feeling of being in a cathedral-like space, the Room fosters a sense of community. That’s both how it creates value, and why we value it. It’s a meeting place not just to trade in, but to meet your peers and to keep up with market intelligence. On its busiest days, the Room is a hive – collaborative, focused, productive, building relationships.
When I first arrived in Lloyd’s Corporate Real Estate team, I was daunted by the strange and confusing trading floors. Over time I’ve grown to understand and treasure the space, with its unique furniture, configurations and ways of working not found in any other building. It’s probably why people treasured a desk that was uniquely uncomfortable to work at and hasn’t fundamentally changed for centuries!
So it was with some trepidation that we set about thinking how the next chapter of the Room would look and feel. With the constant demand for a more equitable allocation of space on the Ground Floor, we knew the current underwriters boxes on that level would have to change first – focusing on better ergonomics and classic design aesthetics to optimise the layout and support broker-underwriter relationships. We’ve grasped this opportunity to consider how design could help not only optimise performance, but improve our wellbeing.