At least five staff have left Lloyd's managing agency XL Brockbank after it decided to cease trading on two syndicates for 2002.

Steve Willis, Ken Slack, Stuart Liddell, Craig Roberts and Lara Smallshore are reported to have departed suddenly. They are thought to have worked as underwriters and assistant underwriters with chief executive officer Nick Metcalf.

Their actions follow XL Brockbank's decision to stop writing business on its syndicates 588 and 861. Both are entirely backed by third-party capital providers for the 2001 year of account.

Syndicate 588's underwriting director, Nick Bonnar, was the first senior executive to leave XL Brockbank after 11 September. There are now plans to realign the managing agency's two remaining syndicates. The company will be renamed XL London Market.

XL will supply all of the capacity for syndicate 1209 (£360m) and for syndicate 990 (£80m).

Syndicates 588 and 861 will stop offering excess of loss treaty, accident and health, and US Fortune 500 property accounts.

Fitch analyst David Wharrier said the decision to drop syndicates 861 and 588 may be a result of high loss ratios for the 2000 year of account.

While the predicted loss for Lloyd's as a whole is 15% for 2000, syndicate 861 has an estimated loss of 47%-52%.

Next year, syndicate 1209 will focus on its core specialty marine lines, specie, bloodstock, war and political risks, international aviation, professional indemnity and property.

Syndicate 990 will continue its emphasis of maintaining a general non-marine account with an emphasis on long-tail business.