COO steps in as Martin Reith takes up non-executive role.

Andrew Brooks, currently chief underwriting officer of Ascot Underwriting, has been named chief executive officer, effective immediately.

He succeeds founder and current CEO, Martin Reith, who has decided to assume a non-executive role. Both of these appointments are subject to approval from Lloyd's and the FSA.

Brooks joined Ascot in 2001 as one of its principal underwriters. Prior to that, he had over 12 years underwriting experience in a number of Lloyd's syndicates.

Nicholas Walsh, president & CEO of AIU, said: "I am delighted to welcome Andrew into his new role. Ascot has been and continues to be an important and core part of AIU and we expect it to continue to flourish under Andrew's leadership.

"Since he joined the company Andrew has been strongly identified with its success. There is enormous talent within the management and underwriting teams in Ascot, and the syndicate will remain a key part of AIG's operations in London. We very much look forward to working with Andrew."

"We are grateful to Martin Reith for all his hard work building Ascot and we are delighted he will continue in a non-executive capacity."

Andrew Brooks said: "With the continued and unwavering support of AIG, Ascot is ready for the next phase of its evolution. We have a great brand and a great business and I am very excited about the future. Once Lloyd's has approved our 2009 business plan, AIG will immediately lodge the necessary funds."

Martin Reith added: "I congratulate Andrew and look forward to supporting Ascot in my new role."