Lloyd’s has issued a notice of censure to Atrium, a managing agent in the Lloyd’s market. The firm admitted three charges of misconduct, and Lloyd’s Enforcement Board levied its largest ever fine of over £1m as a mark of how unacceptable the circumstances were and how seriously Lloyd’s takes the issue.
John Neal, CEO of Lloyd’s said that discrimination, harassment and bullying have no place at Lloyd’s. Lloyd’s Market Bulletin Y5252 makes it clear that the culture of firms is equally important as the behaviour of individuals and that firms should not support or tolerate a culture of unacceptable personal behaviour towards others.
At Atrium, an employee had not told Lloyd’s of the misconduct of an employee – the individual’s conduct was well known within the firm and included systematic bullying of a junior employee that went on for years. The firm did not adequately protect the junior employee once it became aware of the bullying and breached its own procedures by failing to investigate and take appropriate action in relation to the conduct of the bully. Further, the firm did not properly identify and investigate complaints made by another employee about the bully, and then failed to acknowledge or challenge the bully’s conduct or take disciplinary action. Ultimately it negotiated a settlement package with him. Lloyd’s noted that the firm’s actions were motivated in part by the desire of senior managers to protect the firm from bad publicity.
Further, the firm sanctioned and tolerated an inappropriate and unprofessional “boys’ night out” for many years, with some of the conduct being led, participated in and condoned by the two senior managers present, and included discriminatory and harassing behaviour to female members of staff.