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18 June 2014
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Legacies - London

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London
Ariel view of financial offices.
Trading Places

Over the last few centuries part of this area has evolved into what is now known as the 'square mile'. It is home to many international institutions, including Lloyds of London, the Bank of England and the London Stock Exchange to name a few.

The East India Company was the global player of the 17th Century, and probably pioneered economic globalisation. Their international headquarters were based within the square mile in Ledden Hall, from which it conducted international trade.

In reality the 'square mile' is larger in size than the term suggests. In recent years organisations have been breaking out of the area, although many multinationals are still based there.

Workers at today's Lloyds building
Ledden Hall had previously been designated by the House of Commons as an open market, where all imports were to be taken for trade.

In 1928 insurance giants Lloyds of London acquired the building, a few decades after the disintegration of the East India Company.

Edward Lloyd was not an insurance broker himself, but ran a coffee house, where traders would meet to conduct their business in the 17th Century. In his house, Lloyd supplied accurate information for merchants and ship owners to help them assess the risks of shipping.

Lloyds name became synonymous with maritime insurance, and today the company is a world leader in its field. As the company expanded, it outgrew its premises, and in 1958 moved around the corner from its original offices in Ledden Hall.


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