Asta, the leading Lloyd’s third party managing agent and specialist MGA investor, is pleased to announce it has agreed a transaction to finance the development of Arma Underwriting Limited. Asta will take a minority equity stake in Arma and will also support the company’s infrastructure including finance and IT.
Arma received ‘in principle’ approval from the Dubai Financial Services Authority on 19 February, and remains subject to approval by Lloyd’s and the Dubai International Financial Centre.
Arma intends to bring together an impressive range of expertise, backed by Lloyd’s capacity, to underwrite a broad spectrum of business lines. In so doing Arma will support local insurance companies in the Middle East by providing multi-class reinsurance capacity. Dubai is establishing a fast growing and dynamic insurance hub, which Arma will seek to support directly by establishing a local operation that will build on the expertise and strong local connections of its leadership and underwriting team.
The MGA will be under the leadership of Michael Rafter as chief executive officer and will have an office in the Dubai International Finance Centre led by Hajar Fadel as senior executive officer. They will be joined on the board by respected former AIG president and former CEO of Oman Insurance Company, Patrick Choffel, with Asta’s CEO Julian Tighe and director of underwriting Simon Norton on the board to represent Asta’s investment interests in the business.
Tighe said: “I am proud of Asta’s investment in Arma, which is going to actively contribute to the continued development of reinsurance capability in the Middle East. Asta is committed to supporting innovative MGAs like Arma as they develop new lines of business not currently seen by the market. To facilitate this, Asta is deploying its considerable skill base and track record of incubating Lloyd’s syndicates and MGAs to provide high quality business and regulatory support, combined with investment, to start up MGAs. The success of our efforts so far is driving a very healthy pipeline of interest from successful underwriting teams, keen to set up their own insurance enterprise.”
Rafter added: “The Arma team will comprise individuals who have been at the forefront of reinsurance in the Middle East for many years. We are committed to the development of the reinsurance market in the region, and we will quickly be adding real value to our brokers and insurer clients. Asta’s investment in us and the high quality infrastructure they have put around our business, is allowing us to focus our energies on the development of our underwriting operations and the needs of our clients.”
For further information, please contact:
Tel: + 44 20 7562 4444
Tel: + 44 20 7562 4444
Notes for Editors
Michael Rafter, chief executive officer, Arma
Rafter is an innovative insurance executive with more than 26 years of experience covering various senior roles across the globe, with the past 11 years based in the UAE. Formerly the head of general insurance at Oman Insurance Company, Rafter has a long career in underwriting in the Middle East and other emerging markets, having previously held senior roles at AIG. His career has spanned all aspects of commercial and consumer lines through general management, underwriting, brokerage and reinsurance.
Hajar Fadel, senior executive officer, Arma
Fadel is an experienced insurance manager, having latterly been a senior executive vice-president at Oman Insurance Company. She has a proven track record of managing partnerships with multinational insurers across lines of business. Prior to that, Fadel was an affiliate with McKinsey & Company’s insurance practice across Europe and the Middle East.
Asta Capital Limited is the parent company of:
- Asta Insurance Markets Ltd
- Asta Managing Agency Ltd
- Asta Insurance Services Ltd
- Asta Management Services Ltd
- Asta Underwriting Management Ltd
Asta Managing Agency Ltd is the leading third party managing agent at Lloyd’s and is responsible for nine syndicates with capacity under management in 2016 of approximately UK£1bn:
Syndicate 1686 (Axis)
Syndicate 1729 (Dale Underwriting Partners)
Syndicate 1897 (Skuld), SPA 6126
Syndicate 2357 (Nephila)
Syndicate 2525 (DL Dale & Others)
Syndicate 2689 (Verto)
Syndicate 2786 (Everest)
Syndicate 4242 (ICAT), SPA 6123 (ICAT)
Syndicate 5886 (Blenheim)
Asta Underwriting Management Limited (AUML) launched in 2015, making the skills, experience and capabilities behind Asta’s success as the leading third party managing agency at Lloyd’s available, for the first time, to the MGA market.
MGAs under management:
– Pelican Underwriting Management
– OverArk Limited
– Arma Underwriting Limited