Lloyd's managing agent Ascot Underwriting, which owns AIG-backed Syndicate 1414, has received Lloyd's consent to increase its underwriting capacity for 2002 by 66% to £78.5m.

Ascot managing director Martin Reith said the increase was part of Ascot's growth strategy. He said: "We planned from the outset to raise our capacity at least once during 2002."

"We have a well-regarded team of underwriters backed by an extremely strong and knowledgeable capital provider. As a result, Ascot enjoys considerable support in Lloyd's. Further growth this year cannot be ruled out so long as the flow of high quality business continues."

Ascot commenced business on 1 November 2001 with a £20m underwriting capacity for 2001 and £117.5m for 2002. The current consent allows capacity for 2002 to be raised to £196m.