David Hope, one of Markel Syndicate Management's lead underwriters has left following “differences of opinion”.

A spokesperson for Markel said Hope's sudden departure from syndicate 1009, where he was head of the worldwide marine sector, came following differing views on “underwriting philosophy and the long-term strategy of this syndicate”.

Hope was a board member of Markel Syndicate Management and sat on a wide variety of committees for the group, ranging from pensions to investments to computers.

He was also a member of the Lloyd's Insurance Services Board.

During his time at the company, Markel received a five-bell rating from Standard & Poor's and has gained a reputation as one of the best Lloyd's


Jeremy Cooke, chief operating officer of Markel International, said: “He left last week and we don't know where he is going to. There is no immediate replacement for him.”

The news comes just months after managing director and former non-marine lead underwriter Reg Brown resigned.

The former parent Terra Nova (Bermuda) Holdings was acquired by the Markel Corporation in March 2000. It now manages four syndicates, including 1009.

According to the syndicate's website, Hope was appointed active underwriter in 1994, having been with the syndicate since its creation. He has over 20 years' experience in the London insurance market and has been involved in nearly all aspects of marine insurance.

The website said: “He built the syndicate's energy and liability accounts from new and is recognised as one of the market leaders.”

In addition, it said Hope used to manage all aspects of the syndicate business, maintaining a direct involvement in all classes of business written by his underwriters.