Dad (with summer stars)


Bernard Alan Baldwin

Obituary by Derek Farman, Lloyd’s of London Newsletter December 1991

When I joined the casualty division of JH Minet in 1965, Alan Baldwin was already the senior director of a very august crew of brokers. People like Michael Brooks, Derek Shaw, Simon Arnold, John Carter, Alan Nicholl, Alan Milson, George Doe, myself and a number of others all came under his considerable influence.

Alan always dominated the broking scene. He was always very quietly spoken, but the strength of his intellect was inescapable.

Alan was a master tactician in his broking. He would never go near any underwriter until he was fully prepared and absolutely sure of his facts. He always worked out his strategy to the smallest detail beforehand. Only when he had everything ready for presentation to the underwriter would he make his way to Lloyd’s.

His strategising did not stop at that point. Alan would always spend time observing key underwriters to make sure their body language was right before attempting delicate negotiations. He would never attempt a tricky negotiation if an underwriter was not in a receptive mood. Sometimes days would elapse before Alan was satisfied that a key underwriter was in the right frame of mind.

His tactics with lesser underwriters was different. If such a man refused to write his business, Alan would find skilled ways to turn the underwriter’s reasoning inside out and therefore to his advantage. He was so adept at this that some underwriters would leave their boxes rather than face him.

We all learnt an enormous amount from him, and with his guidance projected Minet into a very prominent position in the field of American liability business. It is worth mentioning that all who learnt their craft under him have held, and in most case continue to hold, prominent positions in the major London broking houses.

Naturally, his intellect was rewarded by his elevation to the top echelon of the Minet Group, the post of deputy chairman of Minet Holdings plc. It is my view, however, that his happiest times were spent in the cut and thrust of the broking job. He was a wonderful example of intellect over might, and is held in awe and affection by all of us


Image copyright David Baldwin Night Photography