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July 15, 2008


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LONDON - Governor Charlie Crist today met with Lord Levene, the chairman of Lloyd's of London to discuss reinsurance issues in Florida, as well as Lloyd's climate change initiatives. The meeting occurred during the Team Florida Trade and Business Development Mission to the United Kingdom, France, Russia and Spain. Also in attendance were Florida House of Representatives Speaker Designate Ray Sansom and Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty.

"Events such as the terrible tornadoes and flooding that have ravaged America's Midwest, and the recent cyclone that devastated Myanmar, remind us of the threats we face from global climate change," Governor Crist said. "The natural beauty that surrounds us and the extreme weather patterns that spawn death and destruction urge us to take action to prevent further devastation from global climate change."

Lloyd's of London is a collection of insurance market members, instead of an insurance company itself. It is the oldest insurance marketplace in the world, incorporated in 1871. The goal of Lloyd's is to serve as a platform for insurance and reinsurance buyers and sellers to access and trade specialist, large property and causalty risks. Brokers come to Lloyd's to try to find the best price, terms and conditions for policies. Lloyd's does not underwrite insurance, its members do. The membership of Lloyd's is currently made up of companies and individuals. Supporting capital is provided by investment companies.

Lloyd's is a leader in promoting information exchange for new markets associated with climate change. Lloyd's 360 Risk Project report in 2006 assessed the impacts of climate change and the investment risks and opportunities for the insurance industry. On July 4, 2008, Lloyd's announced that it has teamed up with the world's largest reinsurance firm, Benfield, to create the Lighthill Risk Network. This service will speed the flow of information from academia to the financial services industry, in an effort to better assess risk.

Finally, Lloyd's has joined Climate Wise, an association of leading insurance companies committed to openly reporting on their environmental initiatives. In particular, Climate Wise seeks to lead the way in analyzing and reducing risks; supporting climate awareness among their customers; incorporating climate change into their investment strategies; informing and engaging in public policy debate; and reducing the environmental impact of their businesses. Other members of Climate Wise include: Swiss Re, Zurich, AIG, Munich Re, Allianz and RBS.

Florida and the UK enjoy strong economic ties, with two-way merchandise trade valued at $2.8 billion, making the UK Florida's thirteenth largest trading partner. Further, the UK is ranked second in terms of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Florida, totaling $4 billion in 2005. At present, one-third of all British firms in the United States operate in Florida, and about one in five Floridians working for a foreign-affiliated company are employed by a British firm. In total, British-affiliated companies employ more Floridians than companies from any other foreign country, with 335 subsidiaries employing more than 41,000.

In terms of tourism, the United Kingdom is Florida's top overseas tourism market, with 1.34 million United Kingdom arrivals for 2006. On average, travelers from the UK spend nearly two weeks in Florida and $3,196, with 72.5 percent traveling to Orlando, 15.3 percent to Miami and 12.5 percent to the Tampa/St. Petersburg area.

About the Team Florida Trade and Business Development Mission

Governor Crist continues to meet with high level government leaders in the United Kingdom. Later, he will meet with His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales; Minister of State for the Environment Phil Woolas; and participate Visit Florida marketing campaign kick-off. In France, he will meet with senior government officials, visit a nuclear facility to promote partnerships between Florida and France in the area of alternative energy, and visit the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.

Following France, Governor Crist will travel to Russia to meet with government and business leaders to promote Florida-Russia economic relations. Lastly, Governor Crist will visit Spain, meeting with government officials and private sector representatives to discuss Florida-Spain trade and investment, and visit the world's largest photovoltaic solar facility.

Coordinated by Enterprise Florida Inc., the Team Florida delegation includes business and governmental leaders, as well as representatives from economic development organizations and state research institutions. This will be the Governor's third business development mission since taking office in 2007. Most recently, last November the Governor led the largest single-state delegation to Brazil in United States history, which generated more than $300 million in actual and anticipated sales.