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C.V. Starr & Co., Inc, the New York-based insurance company, is to open a new syndicate at Lloyd's of London as part of plans to expand its international aviation, marine and energy business.
The announcement followed the launch of a primary aviation syndicate by QBE Insurance Group Ltd. and an agreement by Hamilton, Bermuda-based Flagstone Reinsurance Holdings Ltd. that will see the company underwrite aviation reinsurance out of Zurich, Switzerland.
C.V. Starr Underwriting Agents Ltd., the London-based managing general agent for C.V. Starr, has received approval from Lloyd's to establish Syndicate 1919, although Lloyd's Franchise Performance Directorate is still finalizing the approval of Syndicate 1919's business plan.
The syndicate is new capacity to Lloyd's and will be capitalized and funded 25% by C.V. Starr & Co., with the balance provided by third-party capital managed by Starr International Investments Limited, C.V. Starr's investment company.
The syndicate will underwrite a proportion of the London-based MGA's international aviation, energy and marine business.
As a managing general agent, C.V. Starr Underwriting Agents already provides aviation on behalf of insurers such as Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Warren, New Jersey-based Chubb Corp. This year it has branched out into marine and energy, said Steve Blakely, managing director of C.V. Starr Underwriting Agents Ltd. "It will share in a retention of that business as we want to put some of our own capital behind our business and show that we have confidence in our own business."
The company will also use the syndicate to expand its international business, according to Mr. Blakely.
The company expects Syndicate 1919 to be underwriting by October 1 with capacity of £50m in 2007. Chris Hancock, who was previously at Faraday Holdings Ltd., the London market subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., will be the active underwriter for the syndicate, which will underwrite aviation, energy and marine.
Syndicate 1919 will be managed by Marlborough Underwriting Age-ncy Limited, the Lloyd's managing agent owned by Berkshire Hathaway.
In a separate move, Sirius International Insurance Corp. in Zurich has agreed to underwrite excess of loss aviation reinsurance on behalf of Flagstone. The business will be written by Sirius' aviation underwriter Mario Montelatici out of the company's Zurich branch. Mr. Montelatici has been writing aviation reinsurance for Sirius since joining from Zug, Switzerland-based Converium Holding Ltd. in February 2005.
Earlier this month Sydney, Australia-based QBE Insurance Group Ltd. opened its new aviation syndicate at Lloyd's. Syndicate 5555, underwritten by Emilio Di Silvio, opened its doors one month ahead of the previously announced schedule.
The syndicate, which provides general aviation, airlines, products and airport business, marks QBE's move into primary aviation. Previously QBE only underwrote aviation reinsurance business.