Corporate Lloyd's venture has 8m pounds backing

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The Independent Online
WEALTHY individuals from Europe and the Far East have committed pounds 8m to a private company that plans to back underwriting in the Lloyd's of London insurance market, writes Paul Durman.

Corporate Membership claims to be independent of any Lloyd's agent, merchant bank or stockbroker. Anthony Hamilton, the management consultant and former Grenadier Guard who is behind the venture, said the company planned to seek a stock market listing in due course, not necessarily in London.

Unusually, Corporate Membership will use three members' agents for advice on choice of underwriting syndicates. The advisers are SA Meacock, Harrison Brothers Underwriting Agencies and Ashley Palmer & Hathaway.

Syndicate selection will be overseen by Dan Anber, a director of Corporate Membership who is a former underwriter with Chubb Insurance of the US, where he still works.

Mr Hamilton said the company had firm agreements for pounds 12m of underwriting capacity, and another pounds 18m 'reserved for us', subject to raising sufficient money. Corporate Membership hopes to raise up to pounds 20m, which would allow it to underwrite nearly pounds 40m of premiums.

The firm's money will be invested through four funds, including an Abbey Life guaranteed bond and an offshore Guinness Flight fund. Peel Hunt, the stockbroker, is sponsoring Corporate Membership.

Mr Hamilton and Donald Geen, the firm's chairman, will continue as Lloyd's 'names' on the traditional basis of unlimited liability, and will partipate in many of the syndicates chosen for Corporate Membership.