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Arch confirms 2009 Lloyd's launch; RenRe next?

Bermuda-based (re)insurer Arch Capital Group has received approval in principle from the Lloyd's Franchise Board and UK regulator the Financial Services Authority (FSA) to establish a new managing agent and syndicate at Lloyd's.

Confirming the news first revealed by The Insurance Insider in December 2008, Arch said the syndicate is expected to begin underwriting during the first half of 2009, subject to gaining requisite approvals.

The syndicate - and the Arch managing agency it will operate under - will be led by the company's existing London-based senior team and supported by "a corporate member that is wholly owned by the company" according to Arch.

Arch joins a stream of Bermudian (re)insurers setting up syndicates on Lime Street to enter the world's oldest insurance market with recent arrivals include Montpelier Re, Aspen, Argo Group and Max Capital.

Fellow Bermudian RenaissanceRe is also understood to be in the advanced stages of application to launch its own Lloyd's syndicate for a mid-year 2009 start-up, as also first revealed in The Insurance Insider.

A Lloyd's syndicate launch by RenaissanceRe would bring the number of Bermudians arriving on Lime Street to ten since the start of 2007.

Arch also confirmed that it has recently established a European platform, Arch Reinsurance Europe Underwriting Ltd (Arch Re Europe), based in Dublin and with a branch in Zurich, Switzerland.

The firm said Arch Re Europe will operate in all EU member states under the EU reinsurance directive framework.

The Insurance Insider understands Arch Re Europe will be capitalised with around $400mn.

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