NEW YORK -- J. P. Morgan & Co. has formed a joint venture with a unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc. to provide reinsurance to syndicates managed by the Merrett Group, a major underwriting agency of Lloyd's of London.

The Bermuda-based venture, Underwriters Capital (Merrett) Ltd., will exclusively provide whole account quota share reinsurance to the nine Merrett syndicates for a five-year term. It is the first such effort since Lloyd's amended its bylaws to permit the use of corporate capital to increase the capacity of Lloyd's syndicates through quota share reinsurance.

Morgan and Marsh & McLennan Risk Capital Holdings Ltd. are each providing 10% of the venture's $70 million in capital, which was raised by Morgan from 30 other investors.

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