Capital raised will be invested in Lloyd's syndicates and Bermuda

Catlin Underwriting Agencies (CUAL) is attempting to raise more than £100m through venture capitalists.

Market sources have revealed the money will be spread across the group. It will be invested primarily in Lloyd's Syndicates 1003 and 2003, which are managed by the agency, and in CUAL's new Bermudian venture.

Last year CUAL set up Catlin Insurance Company, which has remained dormant.

To write Bermudian Class Four business it would need to have at least $100m of capital upfront.

One senior London Market insurer said the Bermudian firm would underwrite financial risk management, property catastrophe and excess liability business.

Another said "more than £100m" would not be raised through an initial public offering (IPO) but through private equity supporters. He added the money would not be used to "replenish capital from losses like the World Trade Centre" but would be used to expand the company.

CUAL chairman Stephen Catlin declined to comment on the fund raising initiative but said: "We are always exploring opportunities to grow the business."

CUAL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Catlin Westgen Group. It was founded in 1984 to manage Lloyd's syndicate 1003.

It formed syndicate 2003 for the 1996 underwriting account. Both syndicates have a combined capacity of £350m for 2002.

In February CUAL opened Ecosse, a new insurance company for the Scottish market to write commercial combined, business liability and excess of loss business.