US-based underwriter Navigators Pro (NP) will strengthen its presence in the UK directors' and officers' (D&O) market by appointing a UK-based underwriter.

NP refused to reveal the identity of the new appointment, but confirmed an underwriter would join its Lloyd's operation at the beginning of 2004.

NP's operation in the US currently generates around $7m-$8m (£4m-£5m) in gross written premium from UK professional liability-related business, including D&O and errors and omissions (E&O).

The appointment of a London-based D&O underwriter will significantly enhance the insurer's presence in the UK market, though NP refused to disclose how much capacity would be available for UK business.

NP president Chris Duca said: "This is a natural step for us as we look to strengthen our commitment to the London market."