Client Case Study

Asta establishes SPA for Agora and migration to stand-alone syndicate within two years

“Having Asta by our side enabled us to take the best route to Lloyd’s and establish the most appropriate platform to support the initial growth of our business. The daunting process from original business plan to approval was managed calmly and confidently by the Asta team, and is testimony to their expertise in successfully bringing new businesses to Lloyd’s.

With Asta’s support, we have proved that we can run a profitable business and are in a position, via our stand-alone syndicate, to grow and create even more value for our staff, investors and Lloyd’s.”

Michael Pritchard, Chief Executive Officer, Agora


The key achievements

  • In 2015, Asta identified a Special Purpose Arrangement (SPA) as the most appropriate route to Lloyd’s and the first step towards a stand-alone syndicate for Agora.
  • The SPA was approved and writing business within six months.
  • The choice host syndicate allowed Agora to establish a presence at Lloyd’s while accessing the high-quality support provided by Asta.
  • After two years, Agora Syndicate 3268 was approved to underwrite for the 2018 year of account.


The brief

Lloyd’s market veteran Mike Pritchard, Active Underwriter of Beaufort Syndicate 318 until 2013, sought a return to the market in 2015. Having built a successful career specialising in the Property Direct and Facultative, Binder and Treaty markets, Mike saw an opportunity to create a new syndicate and build an equally profitable book of business. He assembled a highly experienced management team, all of whom had a stake in the business and were committed to the future of the syndicate.


The challenge

Even for someone with Mike’s track record, establishing a new business at Lloyd’s was a significant challenge. Lloyd’s not only demands a sound business plan from new entrants but also evidence that the proposed new syndicate will add diversity and value to the market.

With a strong focus on regulatory compliance and good corporate governance, it’s also important for entrants to demonstrate the ability to combine operational capabilities with cost efficiencies.


The approach

With this in mind, Agora turned to Asta for advice on how best to prepare their application to Lloyd’s.

Our intimate knowledge of Lloyd’s and their approach towards new entrants led us to conclude that a Special Purpose Arrangement (SPA) was the approach most likely to succeed. An SPA allows a new entrant to use a host syndicate to grow a book of business, the objective being to achieve success through partnership.

One of Asta’s existing syndicate clients was the ideal partner for Agora. The arrangement would allow the syndicate to deploy capacity across additional classes of business while at the same time allowing Agora to use the established syndicate’s underwriting capacity and infrastructure to create a presence at Lloyd’s.

None of this would have been possible without our experience and advocacy. Presenting a sound business case to Lloyd’s was key to assuring them that the proposed SPA was accretive to the franchise, and possessed the appropriate track record and expertise.


The delivery

In the early stages we assembled a specialist new entrant team to work closely with Agora, and together we prepared the SPA business plan and rationale.

We took joint responsibility for the business plan and its eventual submission to Lloyd’s, a process that required in-depth technical expertise and knowledge of the requirements. We also focused on building a positive relationship with our client, an approach that resulted in a thorough understanding of the business.

Once in principle approval had been received from Lloyd’s, our team expanded to include all relevant functions. A schedule of services was prepared, tailored to Agora and listing the tasks the various Asta business functions would perform.


The result

Depending on an entrant’s long-term strategy and business plan, an SPA may provide a route to Lloyd’s for an entrepreneurial underwriting team.

Our unrivalled experience and track record of bringing new businesses to Lloyd’s proved instrumental for Agora. But it wasn’t just about good business planning. Our ability to understand Agora’s vision, strategy and objectives and to recommend the best route was key.

In this instance, the SPA solution was ideal for all parties and Agora has since moved on to establish a full syndicate. As they develop further, we’ll be working alongside them, offering our expertise and guidance every step of the way.

Contact us to find out more about how Asta can help set up your business:

Asta is the leading third party managing agent at Lloyd’s. We support a diverse range of businesses by delivering cost-effective underwriting management solutions tailored to your exact requirements and business lifecycle. Our goal is to help you achieve your ambition – of establishing a successful, profitable underwriting business.

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