Lloyd's broker Dickson Manchester (DM) is set to open a book of employers' liability (EL) and public liability (PL) business.

It follows the announcement that DM's parent company, US-based specialty insurance group HCC Insurance Holdings, has acquired a stake in Illium, the new Lloyd's EL insurer.

Subject to regulatory approval, HCC has agreed to purchase a 20% share in Illium to provide working capital, as well as £25m of capacity for Illium Syndicate 4040.

HCC acquired DM at the end of 2002.

DM director Mike Dickson confirmed this week that, following HCC's investment in Illium, the broker wants to build a liability team.

Earlier this month, Illium managing agency and Syndicate 4040 received approval from the Lloyd's franchise board to commence underwriting from 1 January 2004. The new syndicate, which will have a total capacity of around £100m, will write third party liability, employers' liability and ancillary insurance.

It is anticipated that the new syndicate's core business will come from the UK (80%), the Republic of Ireland (10%) and overseas (10%).