Former Independent Insurance director Andy Hawkes is seeking backing for a new underwriting agency, sources have revealed.

It will be Hawkes' third venture since Independent collapsed in June 2001.

Following the collapse, he spent six months as deputy general manager at St Paul Insurance, followed by six months as managing director of Rarrigini & Rosso (R&R). He departed R&R abruptly in September.

Hawkes said he was still on gardening leave and refused to comment on rumours of an underwriting agency. However, a source said Hawkes planned to do small commercial business, traded electronically, and some personal lines. He is rumoured to be currently seeking backing in the City for the venture.