Wellington Re has joined the International Underwriting Association (IUA) and the association expects further high profile sign-ups.

The IUA board elected the recently launched London Market reinsurer as an ordinary member prior to the IUA's annual general meeting on Wednesday (26 June).

Wellington Re chief executive Chris O'Kane said he wanted to promote the London Market, while IUA chairman Stephen Cane welcomed the reinsurer's presence as good news for the market.

At the AGM, the IUA voted to open the association's ordinary membership category to international companies.

Cane would not reveal which companies had expressed a desire to join, but confirmed the move had been in response to requests from potential members.

"The companies that underwrite in the London Market are more global than anywhere else and we want to respond to that," he said.

The IUA also voted to adjust its membership structure, alter the scope of the association or enable the association to distributed dividends from its 25% interest in Ins-Sure Services Ltd to ordinary members.

It re-elected board members Adrian Ballardie of AXA Corporate Solutions, Clemens von Bechtolsheim of Munich Re and Stephen Fletcher of AGF Marine Aviation Transport, all of whom had been retired by rotation.

Carl Bach of Ace Europe, Paul Glen of QBE International and Nigel Wilson of Odyssey American Re were also elected to the board.

At the AGM, Cane said the London Market had responded "tremendously well" to a difficult year, which included the World Trade Centre, Petrobras and Toulouse plant disasters.

"The industry was strong enough and had enough capacity and that's good," he said.

"Although it's made us very busy, we're certainly not complaining."

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