Insurance was first marketed out of the Lloyd’s coffeehouse 318 years ago, but someday soon, Starbucks–where laptops are as prevalent as caffe lattes–might be where the next generation of global brokers shop their risks.

That was my first reaction when I heard about Lloyd’s tapping the top dog from an electronic energy futures market as its new chief executive officer. A market that has for centuries been based on paper and face-to-face negotiations could go digital before too long with Richard Ward at the helm.

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