Project Blue Mountain, the data transfer platform sponsored by Lloyd's, named the
first six companies planning to use its services.

Brokers Marsh and Willis, who represent 40%of the UK broking market, will start
using it,along with insurers Ace European Group, Amlin, Beazley and Wellington rep-
resenting 20%of Lloyd's capacity.

They will be able to start sending information across the system in the summer.

Initially, they will deal with small amounts of information in commercial property,
errors and omissions and directors' and officers' insurance.

The platform aims to make cost savings for its customers by improving the effectiveness and efficiency of data transfer between trading partners.

When the system goes live, it will change its name to Kinnect, according to its chief executive Ashok Gupta.

He said: "We are keen to implement this as fast as we can and to start eliminating inefficiencies as quickly as possible. But we don 't want to run before we can walk.

"We expect to start to see benefits [for customers] within a year but [how much] will depend upon so many different factors."

Project Blue Mountain's costs have been independently estimated at about £5m a quarter and its funding has so far come entirely from Lloyd 's.

Asked if he was looking for alternative sources of funding, Gupta said: "At the moment we aren't releasing any further information on that.

"We now have the technology, we have the customers, and we have revenue. This is an exciting proposition."

He envisaged the system being used beyond the Lloyd's Market and the UK, with a lot of its business originating from the US.