Heritage Managing Agency plans to double its size by setting up a new syndicate.

Les Rock, formerly commercial lines underwriting director of Faraday, will become active underwriter of property facultative Syndicate 1200.

Heritage currently manages Syndicate 1245, which underwrites US casualty and property business, and its UK lines sub-syndicate 2245. They have a qualifying quota share agreement with The Doctors' Company, bringing their aggregate capacity to £44m.

Its new syndicate will have a premium income limit of £40m for the remainder of 2002, rising to approximately £80m next year and £100m for 2004. It will be launched in July, subject to Lloyd's approval.

Heritage managing director Martin Gray said: "As far as we are concerned the property facultative market is seeing the best conditions for 30 years."

He added that there was a danger too much money is flowing into new reinsurance start-ups, but there
was little investment in direct insurance.

Gray expected 74% of Syndicate 1200's book would be for US property facultative business, while 10% would be dedicated to fine arts. A small chunk would be used for "complementary" lines, including mortgage impairment.

Rock, who spent nine years at Faraday, will work with specie and fine art underwriter Graham Young. Gray said the new venture would be backed by "Names and reinsurance companies where we have a close relationship".