It extends the MGA group’s niche expertise 

MGA group Optio, which comprises of Ascent Underwriting, Cove Programs and broker Bay Risk Services, has bought acquired Newbridge Risk Partners for an undisclosed sum.

Newbridge Risk Partners is a specialist political-violence and terrorism MGA and since its 2015 launch on the Castel platform it has grown in its area of expertise.

This acquisition extends Optio’s niche expertise and complements its existing political risk proposition for foreign direct investors which was launched in November under insurance veteran and underwriter Nick Hedley, who has worked for JLT between 1995 and 2009 as a broker.

The capacity from both Lloyd’s syndicates and company markets means its portfolio for industrial and commercial risks spans the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin and South America and Asia.

Optio’s chief executive Kevin Hastings, announced the acquisition with “great pleasure” welcoming Newbridge Risk’s founders Chris Kirby and Henry Buchanan who will both be joining the business with immediate effect.

“Huge opportunity exists in distributing Newbridge’s products to our core markets, particularly the US via Optio’s well-established channels, and we look forward to working with them to realise its full potential as part of Optio,” Hastings said.

Castel Underwriting Agencies Limited (Castel) is a club style MGA formation platform and part of Arch Capital Group Ltd which is an independent trading company and MGA.

Birrell, chief executive of Castel, said: “The Castel business model is a proven structure enabling entrepreneurial underwriters to launch and build successful businesses.”

He said that Castel was delighted to have supported Kirby and Buchanan in building their business over the last four years using its platform.

Meanwhile Kirby added: “Castel provided us with the support needed to launch our business to clients and brokers in our niche area quickly and successfully. We are now at the stage where we have the opportunity to continue our growth and development with the support of Optio Group.”

Both Optio and Castel will work together to ensure a seamless transition for the business.