Asta launches new underwriting business

The business will be led by London-market veteran Paul Witzenfeld via the group’s flexible MGA platform

Asta, a leading third-party managing agent at Lloyd’s, is set to launch a new underwriting business led by London-market veteran Paul Witzenfeld via its flexible MGA platform.

From 1 April 2021, the new business will begin accepting worldwide property facultative reinsurance risks with a focus on primary and first-layer placements. Business will be written against binding authority contracts backed by highly rated company-market capacity through Asta’s AUML licensed entity.

Julian Tighe, CEO of Asta, said: “We’re thrilled that Paul has decided to join us. His choice is testament to the flexibility and growing popularity of our MGA services. 

“We’ve created a plug-and-play platform that rapidly accommodates the ambitions of entrepreneurial underwriters to embrace market opportunities as they emerge. It builds on the success of Arma Underwriting, launched in 2017 and writing MENA-region business, and the creation of David Ashby’s specialist equine insurer a year ago.”

Witzenfeld joins from Castel Specialty, and was previously Pen Underwriting’s head of North American property, and a senior underwriter at ACE Global Markets and Liberty Syndicates. He began his “life-long” market career as a broker.

He said: “I wanted to achieve maximum benefit from the hardening market by having a new business up and running in time for June 1 renewals. In extremely short order, Asta has provided all of the complex services and experience necessary to launch an MGA, from licensing and compliance to actuarial and HR. 

“As we discussed the challenges, they simply kept saying, ‘yes, we can do that’ and presenting practical solutions. Asta has made it happen.”

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