Mapledown will be managed completely separately from the broker business

Mapledown, the managing general agency (MGA) established by broker Lockton International, received approval from the FSA on 3 May.

The approval effecively signifies the launch of Lockton's MGA, which Insurance Times revealed last September. "As with all MGAs, it has taken a degree of time to work with carriers to put together the products that are going to be launched," Lockton International chief executive Julian James told Insurance Times at the 2011 Biba conference in Manchester.

The MGA will be backed with capacity from a "select panel" of around five UK insurers, James said. He declined to name the firms, but it is understood that the panel includes some of the country's biggest names.

Mapledown will be launched in two stages. In the first stage, the MGA will only write business sourced from Lockton International, and will effectively consolidate Lockton's various delegated authorities.

"Stage one is all about efficiency and streamlining some of the existing processes," James said.

In stage two, Mapledown will write business sourced from third parties. James said there is no specific time-frame to launch the second stage, and that this would be done once the MGA had been proven to work and had bedded in.

To avoid any pereceived conflicts of interest inherent in a broker operating an underwriting entity, James explained that there are clear divides between Mapledown and the UK broking business.

"We have completely separated Mapledown from the management of our UK retail business," he said. "The FSA has some very strong rules that there needs to be a separation."

He added: "The management of Mapledown gets judged on its success as an underwriting MGA, not on how well the UK retail broker business does."

As previously revealed, Kenny Thorpe is Mapledown's chief underwriting officer.