Hiscox is to wind down Panther Re, the first ever Lloyd’s sidecar operation, at the end of this year.

The insurers said it had decided with its equity partners that the financial opportunity for 2008 did not merit renewal of the reinsurance vehicle.

The move comes less than a year after Panther Re was launched.

It is expected that some of Panther Re’s business will be passed back to Hiscox Syndicate 33 and some will be passed to other reinsurance partners, while some risks will not be renewed.

Charles Dupplin, director of M&A at Hiscox, said: “We will certainly use sidecars if necessary in the future. The concept has been proven and is completely sound.

“If it remains a benign year, it will be a good year for the sidecar, for us and for its investors. It was difficult to put together, but Lloyd’s was very helpful in that respect.

“We are choosing to wind down Panther Re because the overall size of the opportunity wasn’t quite big enough for next year.”

Panther Re is a Bermuda-domiciled sidecar, sponsored by Hiscox.

It entered into a collateral-ised quota share reinsurance treaty with its sole client, Syndicate 33, and had an initial capitalisation of $360m (£177m).