Voted by UK brokers Sponsored by Singer & Friedlander Insurance Finance.

We are very proud to have won the Insurance Times 2004 Lloyd's Syndicate of the Year award. This is a particularly special honour as it has been a good year for the market, which means the competition was especially fierce.

Our underwriters are valued for their in-depth knowledge of the areas of risk they cover. These remain focused and include marine, reinsurance, property, professional indemnity and contingency among others.

The skill of the team at Syndicate 33 and favourable market conditions have delivered excellent results. Operating profits for Syndicate 33 almost trebled to £61.5m in 2003 and a combined ratio of 85.8% was achieved, representing another improvement for the 4th consecutive year.

We continue to innovate in our chosen areas and strive to provide excellent service - and this is only possible with the support of excellent business partners. Without the knowledge our brokers bring to the market, it would be difficult to find solutions to the most complex risks Lloyd's is known for insuring.

At Hiscox we believe there is always a better way. We are never completely satisfied, so you will see changes and improvements to Syndicate 33 in the year ahead. It is an exciting time for Hiscox and Lloyd's, and a great pleasure to accept this prestigious award.

Highly commended

Equity Red Star

We are delighted to have been highly commended in the Lloyd's Syndicate of the Year award. Equity Red Star is an integral part of Cox Insurance and underwrites a range of motor and personal lines insurance for the broker market.

Equity Red Star's underwriter Ray White said: "We are particularly pleased to have received this recognition since it is voted for by our broker and intermediary partners. This success is recognition of the hard work and expertise shown by all of our staff."

While Equity Red Star is a motor and personal lines syndicate, part of its success comes from the diverse portfolio of risks it underwrites within these classes. These range from private car, motorcycle and classic car through to commercial motor business, including fleet, haulage and taxi.

Complementing this are a number of household and personal accident accounts and its own breakdown recovery services.

With gross written premium income for 2004 estimated to be in excess of £550m, Equity Red Star is not only the largest motor syndicate at Lloyd's, but one of the largest motor insurers in the UK.

Markel International

We are very pleased to have been highly commended for this award. Markel Syndicate 3000 at Lloyd's is part of Markel International, the UK subsidiary of Markel Corporation. The syndicate underwrites a diverse portfolio of property, casualty and marine insurance and reinsurance business. By focusing on niche markets, where we have superior knowledge of the nature and incidence of the risks involved, we can offer specialist products, which best meets the needs of our customers.

Markel International is committed to the Lloyd's market and our philosophy is to use our underwriting expertise to provide innovative ideas and solutions and a quality service to policyholders, agents and brokers alike.