R&Q has flipped performance from a £952,000 loss to £3.7m profit this half

Run-off buyer and insurance services provider Randall & Quilter (R&Q) is expecting to launch a UK delegated authority underwriting operation “some time this quarter”, backed by an undisclosed European insurer, chief executive Ken Randall has confirmed.

The company is also expecting its previously announced Canadian managing general agent to start underwriting “imminently”. Both delegated authority units will write liability business. “This is a departure for us. It has been quite a long time in the planning and is now coming to fruition,” Randall said.

In addition, the firm is close to launching a Lloyd’s syndicate on behalf of another European insurer, which it is hoping will start underwriting in time for the 1 January 2011 renewals. The firm is hoping to get approval from the Lloyd’s Franchise Board in late September.

The insurer will be the first client of R&Q’s new so-called turnkey managing agency service, where it will assist companies in the establishment and management of Lloyd’s syndicates. R&Q received approval in principle from Lloyd’s to act as a turnkey provider in January.

News of the launches come as R&Q’s first-half 2010 profit after tax surged to £3.7m from a loss of £952,000 in the same period last year. Profit before tax increased fivefold to £5.8m from £1.2m.

R&Q’s insurance service division performed well, making a profit of £3.6m compared with £1.9m in the same period last year. The division benefited from “significant” profit commission in connection with managing Syndicate 3330.

Randall said: “One of the strengths of our business model is that if we underperform in one area, we can make up for it in another, but this is one of those half years where everything went well.”