Private capital backs two Lloyd's start-ups

Two new Lloyd's syndicates are in the pipeline, with sights set on the liability sector.

Both start-ups will be backed by private, rather than corporate, capital.

A coalition of members' agents is planning to support the new businesses.

Hampden Agencies chief executive Nigel Hanbury said his group would provide up to £50m to back each new syndicate.

Detailed plans were not available, but Hanbury said: "The liability side is of most interest to us right now, where clearly there's a worldwide shortage of capacity."

The hard market cycle for liability capacity was not about to disappear soon, he said.

"Right now there is a distinct shortage. I know real and permanent damage has been done to our competitors, so the cycle is not going to turn any time soon."

The investment plans showed the "war was over" between Names and proponents of corporate backing.

"People have been predicting the demise of private capital, but it is alive and well and aiming to increase," he said.

"The civil war between private capital and ILVs [integrated Lloyd's vehicles] is over and the constructive role that private capital has played is now recognised. We are going further than that now and are interviewing a large number of potential start-ups with a view to supporting two."

  • Brit's takeover of PRI is driving entrepreneurs into the arms of private capital providers rather than corporate backers, it was claimed.
  • Hanbury said the way PRI's founders saw their company sold to Brit made entrepreneurs wary.

    "They've gone through all the hassle of doing a launch, got the right business, at the right time and their shareholders decided to sell them to a competitor after less than a year.

    "We are genuine third party capital. We don't want to run their businesses."