NatWest Markets to launch Lloyd's trust

NATWEST MARKETS has become the latest City firm to unveil plans to launch an investment trust to back insurance underwriting at Lloyd's of London.

Angerstein Underwriting Trust aims to raise up to pounds 75m, allowing it to underwrite premiums of about pounds 140m. It is named after John Julius Angerstein, chairman of the insurance market in the late 18th century and regarded as the 'Father of Lloyd's'.

Stace Barr Underwriting Agencies will advise the trust on the choice of syndicates. Stace Barr was one of the most successful members' agencies in the past three disastrous underwriting years, during which Lloyd's lost pounds 5.5bn. Nonetheless, the Lloyd's members for whom Stace Barr acted still lost money in 1989 and 1990.

The size of Angerstein has been restricted by Stace Barr's expectations of 'availability of capacity on carefully selected Lloyd's syndicates'. It plans to back 40-60.

NatWest Investment Management will act as fund manager to Angerstein, and NatWest Wood Mackenzie will be the brokers.

The trust will be chaired by Andrew Smithers, who spent many years at SG Warburg, latterly running the investment management business that became Mercury Asset Management. Mr Smithers runs his own economic consultancy and is chairman of Whatman, the filtration equipment maker.

Full details of Angerstein will be held back until Lloyd's members have approved the admission of corporate capital with limited liability. The key meeting takes place next Wednesday.