The weeks' winners

Cox up 29.3%
Beazley up 3.8%
The week's losers

Culver down 18.5%
Wellington Underwriting down 10.8%

It was a rapid recovery, but oh-so-brief. Cox appears in this week's winners list simply as a result of its leap on the back of hopes for a buy-out led by Peter Wood.

But the share has been flat since the esure boss walked away from the deal, blaming Cox's unwillingness to provide information crucial to making a formal bid.

The deal, guided from within by retail chief executive Neil Utley, would have underlined the company's determination to put its troubled past as a commercial insurer behind it and move on to new pastures in the motor market.

But the company has been making moves to do just that with one of the last vestiges of its ill-fated venture into big commercial risks.

It is transferring the management of its nuclear Syndicate 1176 to fellow Lloyd's group, Chaucer.

On the face of it, nuclear insurance does not fit in with Cox's chosen role as a motor insurer.

But Syndicate 1176 has been among the most profitable syndicates at Lloyd's in recent years.

Not only can Chaucer expect to make fees of up to £750,000 a year, but nuclear insurance tends to be far less cyclical than other classes, making it a good profit source while other markets are down.

Syndicate 1176's active underwriter Michael Dawson, who used to head Cox, will stay on as an executive director but he will be released two days a week to Chaucer.

Chaucer will pay £70,000 up front, with 40% of any profit commission the syndicate makes in 2003, 30% for 2004, and 20% for 2005 and 2006.

There are no tangible assets involved and Cox will not receive more than £5m.