Lord Mayor: UK economic growth relies on “thriving” City of London

Financial and professional services are the “real jewel in the crown” of the UK economy, Lord Mayor Nicholas Lyons told The Insurer TV, and given the role (re)insurance plays within that, he is keen for the City of London to better ingratiate itself with the market.

According to Lyons, the London (re)insurance market represents just over 25 percent of GDP of the City of London, making it “an incredibly important” part of the overall UK economy.

“My job as an ambassador is to make sure that we tell a positive story about London and financial services,” he explained.

“I think the truth of it is that we've left the P&C market to market itself as much as possible. We've got Lloyd's of London, which is a fantastic brand for the industry. But it's part of the story of London as an integrated global financial centre.”

Lyons, who is a current board member of London-Bermuda carrier Convex and chair of Phoenix Group, explained that on his travels to other financial centres, the London market is often praised for its unique mix of talent, breadth, depth and experience, and “renowned” for its creativity and problem solving.

“But just as we think about banking, asset management, green finance, and sustainable finance, insurance is a really critical part of the mix – and it's not just about the financial services part, it's about the professional services part.

“It's about all of those industries that support insurance, including risk managers, compliance officers, actuaries, accountants, auditors, and we want to tell that story about London as a whole market,” he added.

It is this mission that brought Lyons to Monte Carlo for the recent industry Rendez-Vous.

“I travel around the world a lot. I like to talk to heads of insurance companies and reinsurance companies, but they're not always around when I'm in the market, so we thought, actually, this is a great way to come and see lots of people in the industry and bang the drum for the importance of the London market within the context of London as a global financial centre,” said Lyons.

Lyons is also focused on talent, and why the good message about the market needs to reach further than just the industry itself.

“If young people are hearing negative things about financial services, that's obviously counterproductive,” he said.

“Financial and professional services are the real jewel in the crown of the UK economy. We can't have growth in our productive economy in the UK without a thriving City of London. And to have that, we need the most talented people working here.

“That's really why we need an ambassador for the whole financial and professional services sector,” he said.

Lyons, who was appointed as the 694th Lord Mayor of London in November last year for a one-year term, is due to be succeeded by Michael Mainelli next month.

Mainelli, who is known as chairman of think-tank Z/Yen and for having served as Sheriff of the City of London from 2019 to 2021, said:

“I am deeply honoured to have been elected as the 695th Lord Mayor of the City of London. As its global ambassador, I will champion the UK financial and professional services industry – not only as a powerhouse of the UK economy – but also a driver of prosperity to key markets abroad.”

Watch the nine-minute interview with Nicholas Lyons to hear more on:

  • The significance of the London (re)insurance market in the UK economy and its reputation among other global hubs
  • The importance of being active around attracting and retaining talent
  • Why it’s important for whoever holds the role of Lord Mayor to create closer ties with the (re)insurance market