Managing agent promotes chief operating officer to chief executive.

ascot Underwriting, the Lloyd’s managing agent owned by AIG, has appointed Andrew Brooks as its new chief executive after Martin Reith stepped down.

Brooks was previously chief operating officer at Ascot. An Ascot statement said Reith, who founded the business, had decided to “assume a non-executive role”.

AIG acquired 100% of Ascot in July after previously taking a 40% stake. Ascot is the managing agency of AIG’s Syndicate 1414, approved by Lloyd’s in November 2001 to underwrite general insurance business.

Following AIG’s near-collapse in September, Reith met AIG executives in New York. Ascot has been tipped as one of several assets likely to be sold off by the beleaguered insurer, although Lex Baugh, chief executive of AIG UK, has said there are no plans for a sale.

Nicholas Walsh, president and chief executive of AIU, the division of AIG that controls Ascot, said it continued to be an important and core part of its business. “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,” he said.

In a statement, Ascot said it now employed more than 100 people and was lead underwriter on more than 40% of its business.

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.”

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