3rd October, 2016 –Castel Underwriting Agencies Limited (Castel), the club-style MGA formation platform, has launched a new speciality division to support talented and entrepreneurial individual underwriters who have smaller books of niche business.
Castel Specialty sits within Castel’s MGA operation alongside established underwriting cells Altitude Risk Partners, Medical & Commercial International (MCI), Newbridge Risk Partners, One Facultative Acceptances and Verve Risk Partners.
It provides the infrastructure, capacity and business support required to enable experienced underwriters to join and begin writing their own books of business within weeks. They will also be rewarded and incentivised according to the profitability of their individual book of business.
As a result of the launch of Castel Specialty, Castel can now provide start-up facilities for the creation of any size of underwriting business from an individual expert to a large group of specialists.
First to join Castel Specialty is Gordon Steward, writing forestry physical damage business worldwide. Gordon is a recognised market leader with over a decade’s experience of developing and underwriting in this class.
Previously, he was head of the forestry department and lead forestry underwriter at International General Insurance UK and has held class underwriter and business development roles with Catlin and Forest Re. He was also the former UK business development director at QBE European Operations and head of development, marketing and communications with Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty during his overall 30-year insurance career.
He is developing a portfolio of commercial forestry coverages for predominantly southern hemisphere based risks while exploring market opportunities in North America. Capacity for the business is being provided by Fidelis Insurance and Lloyd’s syndicates.
Commenting on the launch, Mark Birrell, Castel’s CEO, said: “Castel Specialty enables us to enter new niche markets very swiftly and take full advantage of proven expertise and profitable underwriting growth opportunities.
“Gordon is a good example of the type of niche expert underwriter we are keen to support in Castel Specialty. We believe our approach will be very appealing to underwriters looking for a way of benefiting directly from their skills and profitable books of business without the need to raise start-up capital.”
Gordon Steward added: “The combination of Castel’s understanding of, and commitment to, my business plan, along with their robust operating infrastructure, provides a strong base for growth. Their support enables me to continue the development of the portfolio and respond to new opportunities.”