Catlin has formed an alliance with China Reinsurance Corporation that will inject Chinese funds into the Lloyd's of London market and line the British insurer up to access opportunities in Asia.

Catlin, which operates one of the biggest underwriting syndicates at Lloyd's whose origins date back to a 1688 coffee house where merchants met to insure ships, said it would form a new entity called Syndicate 2088.

China Re will provide the capital for the venture, while Catlin will manage it. The establishment of Syndicate 2088 will also mark the first time that a Chinese-based company has directly invested in a Lloyd's of London syndicate, Catlin said.

This alliance will create a new Lloyd's special purpose syndicate, which will provide reinsurance support that will allow Catlin to take greater advantage of emerging improvements in many business classes without the need to increase capital, Catlin Chief Executive Stephen Catlin said in a statement.

More importantly, I believe that the group's partnership with China Re will lead to our increased understanding of the Chinese marketplace, which will produce significant advantages for Catlin in the years ahead, he added.

Earlier this week, Catlin said that a wave of natural disasters this year, including an earthquake and tsunami in Japan, had resulted in $670 million (424 million pounds) losses so far.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Paul Hoskins)