It was a wintery night in Summerside many years ago and select individuals who were thought to have significant personal wealth were invited to a meeting hosted by representatives of Lloyds of London.
The good gentlemen from Lloyds were seeking additional investors for this fine old institution. Island investors were told that if they could present a personal financial statement of $100,000 and obtain an irrevocable letter of credit from a charted bank payable to Lloyds they could become names at Lloyds. For each person who joined the only cost was the bank fee charged for the ILC. At that time the fee was 1.5% or annual cost of $3,000.
Lloyds got to increase security against which they could underwrite insurance and the investors got a return on their $300,000 investment (which was really only $3,000 cash) which at the time was running well over 25%. So, for an investment of $3,000 there was likelyhood of an annual return of $75,000 or more.
Where do I sign? Oh wait, there is more. The healthy return was based on past underwriting performance plus the investor has to sign a personal unlimited guarantee that if results deteriorated they were obligated for additional calls for investment to the maximum of their total personal wealth.
A number of investors joined the list of names at Lloyds and a few thoughtful souls decide that they were unwilling to risk everything. As luck would have it a number of disasters around the world shook the very foundation of Lloyds and names received the dreaded call for additional money. There were a number of PEI investors who lost very large sums of money.
Lloyds has changed their rules and now corporate investors are allowed and there is some sort of stop loss built into the agreements. It is still an excellent place to make or loose great sums of money.