Atrium has shrugged off the potential threat of being downgraded by ratings agency Moody’s Investor Service.

Moody’s has placed Atrium’s Syndicate 609 under review in light of the company’s proposed merger with Bermuda reinsurer Ariel, and the news that its lead underwriter, Christine Dandridge, will be retiring.

The ratings agency said although the proposed acquisition was likely to be positive in terms of additional resource for

the Lloyd’s managing agent and its strategic development, in line with

all mergers and acquisitions there was an element of execution risk.

It added: “Furthermore, although Moody’s believes that there is strength in depth within Syndicate 609’s underwriting team, Moody’s considers that the change of underwriter has brought

an element of uncertainty into the development of the syndicate’s operations.”

Atrium dismissed the downgrade threat of Syndicate 609, which specialises in aviation, space, marine and energy insurance, by insisting that it was “nothing of concern”.

A spokesman said: “If [the possible downgrade] was something to do with the transaction, Moody’s would have also put Atrium’s Syndicate 570 under review.”

The spokesman added: “There is nothing strange about Moody’s putting a syndicate under review

when there is a change of underwriter.”

Ariel, which has $1bn of capital backing and is led by industry veteran Don Kramer, is set to complete the acquisition of Atrium in a deal worth £193m.