Merrett syndicate losses may increase to pounds 170m

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

LOSSES on a large insurance syndicate at Lloyd's may climb by a further pounds 40m to about pounds 170m, according to internal projections.

The estimates of future losses, made by managers of the Merrett underwriting agency on syndicate 418, have caused alarm among members of an action group who are seeking financial relief.

Merrett Syndicate 418 Names' Association has expressed 'grave concern' over the estimated 30 per cent deterioration in 1985 results.

Members of the group are resisting acceptance of their share of a pounds 900m settlement offer which closes next Monday.

The books of syndicate 418 have been kept open since 1985 because of financial uncertainties about future insurance liabilities which have climbed steadily.

Meanwhile, the Merrett agency, which is attempting to run off the liabilities of syndicate 418 and other syndicates, has reorganised its underwriting division into a run-off services operation.

Merrett said the run-offs would be handled by two units, with Stephen Merrett heading the team servicing the marine-oriented syndicates and Ernie Moore responsible for the non-marine syndicates.

Stephen Cane, managing director of Merrett Underwriting Agency Management, said the measures had been taken to protect the interests of the members in run-off.