Names will turn away from what used to be one of the most popular and profitable Lloyd's syndicates, said a leading managing agency.

Appetite to invest in Wellington's Syndicate 2020 will be cut in the market's forthcoming capacity auctions after some of its best business was transferred to the company 's newer subsidiary, Wellington Re.

The prediction was made by John Frances, director of managing agency Hampden Private Capital, which cut its rating on the syndicate to B from A and is reviewing its rating for next year.

He said: "No matter what we advise, Names will say there's a bit of a hazard with the Wellington management and will want to reduce [their participation ]."

Names should also throw out bids to buy their capacity by Chaucer and St Paul, Frances said.

The agency is urging Names to refuse offers of 2p for every £1 of business written on Chaucer's Syndicate 587 and St Paul's Syndicate 340.

Chaucer made the offer in an attempt to take full control of the motor syndicate, which is forecast to make a profit of between 5%and 10%on capacity of £88.9m for 2002.

The syndicate has seen premiums increase by 6.6%this year. Chaucer's offer on Syndicate 587 is equal to that being made by St Paul on its Syndicate 340, which is also offering 2p for every £1.

ACE is offering 40p for every £1 participating on Syndicate 2488 and Hampden is recommending that Names accept.

Amlin now holds or has received valid acceptances in respect of about 95.8%of the total capacity on its Syndicate 2001 after launching its own bid to buy out Names.