Insurer purchases remaining 60 per cent of company.

AIG has acquired 100 per cent of Ascot, the Lloyd’s managing agent in which it previously held a 40 per cent stake, ending speculation that the US insurer was looking to spin off the division.

Ascot is the managing agency of AIG's Lloyd's Syndicate 1414, approved by Lloyd's in November 2001 to underwrite general insurance business beginning with the 2001 year of account.

Its start-up capacity was £100m, which had grown to £625m by 2007, but was scaled back to £540 this year.

Commenting on the move, AIG executive vice president Nicholas C. Walsh said: "AIG's partnership with this underwriting syndicate at Lloyd's began in 2001 and has already exceeded expectations. It is an opportune time to accelerate our option to purchase the remaining shares of Ascot to expand AIG's presence in the important Lloyd's market."

Martin Reith, chief executive of Ascot Underwriting Limited, added: “We look forward to expanding our relationship with AIG, with whom we have been a partner since our founding. Ascot has achieved rapid growth to become one of the largest syndicates operating at Lloyd's of London, servicing customers throughout the world from our offices in London, Singapore, Spain and Houston, Texas.

"Our customers can look forward to comprehensive, high-quality service with the worldwide insurance resources that AIG brings to the table.”