|Lloyd's of London
1 Lime Street, EC3
Nearest Tube: Bank
Richard Rogers, the same architect that designed the Pompidou Centre in Paris, designed this glass and blue steel building, known as the Lloyd's Building.
Opened in 1986, it is one of the most well known modern buildings in London and many tourists go out of their way to see it. It is most spectacular at night-time when it is illuminated by concealed blue and yellow spotlights.
Today Lloyd's of London is the largest insurance market in the world, yet it originated in a coffee-house owned by Edward Lloyd in the 1680s. The company still remembers its origins today in the waiter's uniforms that the door porters wear.
Since then Lloyds of London has grown into a unique insurance organisation made up entirely of underwriters (known as Names) who personally accept the insurance risks for their personal profit.
For many years the success of Lloyd's was phenomenal with the Names all making huge profits. But the early 1990s saw record losses, with many Names being made bankrupt in the process and the company nearly collapsed. Although it had to sell the Lloyd's Building to a German company in order to survive, Lloyd's of London still leases it.
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