Lloyd’s chief John Neal has said he remains “hopeful” the insurance marketplace will stay in its iconic City of London HQ, amid rumours the firm is planning to exit its purpose-built offices when its lease ends in 2031.
In an interview with The Times, the Lloyd’s of London chief executive said the insurer is “still talking” with its landlord, Ping An, as he said he is “hopeful” a deal will be done.
The comments come as Lloyd’s said in January it is “considering a range of options” around its “workplace strategy” as part of efforts to adapt to the increased digitalization of its business and the rise of flexible working, in the wake of Covid-19.
Lloyd’s comments sparked rumours the firm is planning to leave its Grade I listed offices after its lease, with building owner Ping An, expires in 2031. In July, the insurer ruled out plans to break its lease early with a view to leaving the building in 2026.
In June, Ping An – China’s largest insurer – which bought the “inside-out” building for £260m in 2013, brought in a team of architects to consider possible uses for the building if Lloyd’s decides to leave.
Neal’s comments come after the insurance chief was hit by a car while cycling down a hill near his hometown in Suffolk last March.