Lloyd's managing agent Canopius is set to increase the capacity of Syndicate 4444 by around 9% for 2005, subject to Lloyd's approval.

Canopius chief executive Michael Watson confirmed this week that the company was looking to increase the syndicate's capacity by £20m to £250m next year.

The syndicate will use the extra capacity to expand its presence in the marine cargo and North American property facultative business.

Canopius has recruited a team of Gerling underwriters, headed by Michael Manning, to bolster its North American property account.

The managing agent has also recruited former Marlborough underwriter Joyce Webb to boost its presence in the marine cargo market.

Canopius is the brand name of the Lloyd's operations of Talisman Holdings.

Talisman completed the management buy-out of the Trenwick Group at the end of 2003. Talisman is majority-owned by Englefield Capital, a £700m private equity fund focusing on the middle market segment across Europe.