Castel Underwriting Agencies Limited (Castel) today announced the sale of Newbridge Risk Partners (Newbridge) to Optio for an undisclosed sum. Newbridge launched on the Castel MGA formation platform in 2015 and operates as a specialist political-violence and terrorism MGA.
The Newbridge team of Chris Kirby and Henry Buchanan will immediately join Optio, and Optio and Castel will work together to ensure a seamless transition for the business.
Optio operates as an MGA comprising Ascent Underwriting, Cove Programs and broker Bay Risk Services and the acquisition of Newbridge complements its existing political risk proposition for foreign direct investors. This was launched in November 2019 under veteran underwriter Nick Hedley.
“It gives me great pleasure to announce the acquisition of Newbridge Risk Partners and to welcome its extremely talented founders Chris Kirby and Henry Buchanan,” said Kevin Hastings, CEO of Optio. “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.”
Since its launch on the Castel platform, Newbridge has grown quickly across a range of emerging markets and it has capacity from both Lloyd’s syndicates and company markets. Newbridge’s portfolio for both industrial and commercial risks spans the Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin and South America and Asia.
Newbridge team member, Chris Kirby said: “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.”
Speaking on this recent acquisition, Mark Birrell, chief executive of Castel, said: “The Castel business model is a proven structure enabling entrepreneurial underwriters to launch and build successful businesses. We are delighted to have supported Chris and Henry in building their business over the last four years using our proven platform and wish them continued success in the future.”