Castel division Newbridge Risk Partners acquired by Optio

3 January 2020

3 January 2020 – Castel Underwriting Agencies Limited (Castel), the club-style MGA formation platform, has today announced the sale of Newbridge Risk Partners (Newbridge) to Optio for an undisclosed sum.

Newbridge launched on the Castel MGA formation platform in 2015, writing a book of

political violence and terrorism risks in emerging markets regions. The Newbridge team of Chris Kirby and Henry Buchanan are joining the Optio business with immediate effect. Optio and Castel will work together to ensure a seamless transition for the business.

Mark Birrell, Chief Executive of Castel, said: “The Castel business model is a proven structure enabling entrepreneurial underwriters to launch and build successful businesses. We are delighted to have supported Chris and Henry in building their business over the last four years using our proven platform and wish them continued success in the future.”

Chris Kirby said: “Castel provided us with the support needed to launch our business to clients and brokers in our niche area quickly and successfully. We are now at the stage where we have the opportunity to continue our growth and development with the support of Optio Group.”


For further information, please contact:

Full Circle Communications
Alex Wise

Mobile +44 (0) 7710 665615
Tel:  +44 (0)20 7265 7887 

Notes to editors

Castel Underwriting Agencies Limited, part of Arch Capital Group Ltd., is an independent trading company and managing general agent (MGA) and club-style MGA formation platform focused on achieving success and driving innovation through collaboration. It provides experienced and entrepreneurial underwriters with stable capacity and a fast-track route to creating their own businesses. Castel is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Learn more about Castel at

Castel’s underwriting cells include:

  • Castel Specialty which supports talented and entrepreneurial individual underwriters who have smaller books of niche business including construction all risks and inherent defects insurance, bloodstock risks, political risk, marine and global property facultative reinsurance.
  • Medical & Commercial International (MCI) which underwrites general medical and pharmaceutical liability business on an international basis.
  • Nirvana Risk Partners which underwrites media, technology and cyber liability risks for small and large enterprises on a global basis.
  • Transact Risk Partners which underwrites warranty and indemnity insurance for Western European M&A transactions and tax risk insurance for liabilities in Europe.
  • Vecta Risk Partners which underwrites specialist group and individual accident & health, travel and lifestyle coverages distributed through brokers and affinity e-trading platforms.
  • Verve Risk Partners which underwrites U.S. professional and management liability risks, focusing on insurance companies and captives as well as insurance agents and brokers.
  • Yachtpod Risk Partners which underwrites specialist coverages including hull and machinery, increased value, war, medical expenses, mortgagee’s interest and loss of charter hire risks for superyacht owners, captains, and managers on a worldwide basis.
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