New insurance company The Underwriter (TU) is on the verge of announcing a £26m boost from its shareholders – less than one year after launching on the London company market.

Insurance Times understands the insurer has started internal discussions for the extra cash two months after writing a higher-than-expected level of business.

TU officially opened for business last November, with the bulk of its backing coming from merchant bank Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.

Shortly after its launch, TU chief executive Keith Rutter immediately pulled off a major coup by enticing professional indemnity underwriters away from his previous company, Independent Insurance.

The fledgling insurer is thought to have lodged an application for its increased funding with Financial Service Authority five weeks ago, and sources say approval for the expansion of its capital base is “imminent”.

TU writes a varied commercial lines book. This includes public liability, employers' liability, professional indemnity and financial institutions business.

Originally, the insurer set itself a five-year plan to build up to an annual premium of £100m. In the first year, TU told the FSA that it expected to write £35m in premium income, followed by £51m, £70m and eventually £100m in successive years.

That figure is now thought to have been revised upwards.

TU declined to comment.