R&Q Syndicate 1991 capacity doubles with Q-Re support

RQlogoLondon-listed Randall & Quilter (R&Q) said its nascent Syndicate 1991 will double its underwriting capacity next year to £150mn following approval from Lloyd’s and with the new financial support from expansive Qatari reinsurer Q-Re.”We are delighted to have had the syndicate’s substantial growth plans for 2014 approved by Lloyd’s and to have had excellent support from the existing capital providers,” R&Q chairman and chief executive Ken Randall said today (6 December).

“Introducing Q-Re as a new investor is further testament to the strength of the syndicate 1991 proposition.”

R&Q, initially known predominantly as a run-off acquirer and insurance services provider, is building a significant underwriting operation around the syndicate and also its MGA business.

The Ken Randall-founded business is contributing £30mn to the syndicate’s 2014 capital, making it the lead provider with a 20 percent share. Private investors are providing a further £60mn.

In September, R&Q reported a one-third drop in its half-year pretax profit, weighed in part by lower returns from its participation in four Lloyd’s syndicates. Its 23 percent share in Syndicate 1991 generated a loss of £1mn due to high start-up costs, it said at the time.

“Whilst earned premium development on an accounting basis lags initial expectations due to the timing in signing up the underlying MGAs, expected ultimate premium income, on a Lloyd’s year of account basis, remains close to plan, and hence the growth of the syndicate remains firmly on track,” Randall said today.

Shore Capital analyst Eamonn Flanagan commented this morning: “We view this news as very encouraging, especially the appetite from Names and 3rd party capital providers to support the syndicate”.

Q-Re demonstrated the scale of its international reinsurance operations when, last year, it raided Lloyd’s insurer’s Novae’s operations to take a team of executives led by Gunther Saacke.

R&Q shares closed at 179.5p on Thursday.

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