Marlborough Underwriting Agency appears to be closing syndicate 62 and shifting the business to syndicate 1861.

Market sources said Syndicate 62's active underwriter Trevor Hart finished work last Wednesday, while a skeleton staff remains in the box this week. It is believed up to eight Hart underwriters will be looking for alternative employment.

US company Berkshire Hathaway bought Marlborough from CGNU late last year for less than £10m. Marlborough was the managing agency for marine syndicates 62, 1861 and non-marine 1047.

At the time, Berkshire Hathaway's European reinsurance managing director Tom Bolt said the company would hold “educated discussions” with Marlborough to ascertain how it would respond to the volatile marine market.

On Tuesday, now-Marlborough managing director Tom Bolt issued a statement that said: “Trevor Hart is no longer accepting new risks for Syndicate 62.

“Marlborough is proposing that the energy, hull and liability risks that remain to be written on the 2001 year of account for both Syndicate 1861 and Syndicate 62 will be written on a split stamp basis.

“This process has been undertaken in consultation with Names agents.”

A Lloyd's spokesman said Marlborough's request for approval was expected but had not yet been received.