After the shock resignation of underwriter Andreas Loucaides last week, Markel International has announced a complete restructuring of its business.

With effect from the 2002 year of account, all of Markel's underwriting operations at Lloyd's will merge into one composite syndicate, called syndicate 3000.

The traditional role of active underwriter will no longer exist. It will be replaced by what Markel's managing director, Jeremy Cooke, has called “centres of excellence”.

These centres will have a separate managing director for each class of business: marine, aviation, non-marine property, auto, reinsurance, accident and professional indemnity.

All of the managing directors will report directly to Cooke, who will continue to oversee all of the group's underwriting activities.

A spokesman for the company said it was too early to say who the managing directors would be, though “the class underwriters will undertake all business until further notice”.

He stressed the departure of Loucaides, syndicate 702's active underwriter, was “purely his decision and totally unexpected”. According to sources at Lloyd's, Loucaides was unhappy with the restructuring programme and is now on gardening leave.

His resignation follows that of Markel 1009 marine underwriter and Markel Syndicate Management board member David Hope in March and of Markel Syndicate Management managing director Reg Brown late last year.

Loucaides's deputy, Richard Clapham, has now stepped into his role. The company said it had not yet been decided whether Clapham would stay in the position or if a replacement would be recruited.

Loucaides was unavailable for comment.