Beaufort Underwriting Agency has been launched at Lloyd's following the management buy-out (MBO) of Ensign Syndicate 318.

Under the terms of the deal, Syndicate 318 active underwriter Mike Pritchard and his team completed the acquisition of Ensign Managing Agency, which will be renamed Beaufort.

The management of Ensign Syndicate 980 will be transferred to Limit.

Beaufort will act as a managing agent solely in respect of Syndicate 318. The syndicate, which specialises in UK and international property and aviation, has a capacity of £159m for 2004.

Pritchard said: "Our message is very much one of business as usual. We look forward to developing the syndicate's strong presence in the Lloyd's market."

The syndicate is aiming to write around £133m of business in 2004.