Future thinking

We are insurance experts and market-makers dedicated to building strong relationships.

Explore

Optio brings together people and technology to innovate.

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People

We have a team of market specialists who work together to find new ways to do better business.

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Technology

We use smart technology to streamline processes, make things simpler and keep ahead of the market.

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Innovation

We use a fully integrated approach to underwriting and the alignment of capital to deliver solutions that add value at every level of our industry.

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Support

We provide the right support through a team of experts who have our business partners’ interests at heart.

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Our vision

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We are here to drive innovation in insurance to manage risk more effectively. By harnessing expertise and embracing technology, we strive to evolve with the needs of our business partners.

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Using a combination of technology and market specialists, we create new products, services and solutions that bring efficiency to the market.

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With an open culture and unified approach, our people aim to form strong, long-term relationships with business partners so we can exceed expectations every time and set new standards for insurance.

Our people

Kevin Hastings

Group CEO

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Kevin Hastings

Group CEO

Kevin began his career in the London insurance market over 20 years ago with Broker positions at Alexander & Alexander, Horace Holman and Newman Martin and Buchan. In 1991, he founded Jansen and Hastings, a Lloyd’s cover holder and program manager, merging with the BMS Group in 1996. By 2006, Jansen and Hastings had created an additional US MGA platform, underwriting multiple E&S coverage lines, classes and specialist programs on behalf of several domestic carriers. Looking to secure full independence for his clients and stakeholders, Kevin co-founded Cove Programs, a dual US/UK platform with Paul Jansen in 2011 and Bay Risk Services in 2016.

David Umbers

Group Chairman

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David Umbers

Group Chairman

David has many years experience working for large insurance companies and spent five years at Willis developing a substantial book of US Professional Indemnity business. He went on to become Senior Partner at Safeonline, a Lloyd’s broker based in Leadenhall, where he organised their management buyout in 2006. His work was instrumental to their rapid and profitable growth in recent years. David co-founded Ascent Underwriting in 2012 becoming Chief Executive Officer and responsible for all business operations.

Paul Western

Group CUO

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Paul Western

Group CUO

Paul has over 25 years of experience in the insurance market and has held positions at Unionamerica and St Paul Group UK. Joining Amlin in 2002, he worked his way through the ranks to US Casualty and Specialty Lines Product Lead. Paul is responsible for strategy, leadership and management of the Group’s business lines and underwriting.

Paul Jansen

Director / Founder / Head of Construction

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Paul Jansen

Director / Founder / Head of Construction

Paul has been a Lloyd’s broker since 1985, working on US Casualty business in the marine, energy and construction sectors. He has held Director positions at various Lloyd’s brokers, including Hull & Co and Newman Martin and Buchan. In 1996, Paul co-founded Jansen and Hastings with Kevin Hastings, a specialist coverholder with expertise in construction. As Chairman for the company, he also helped build its reputation in the US, placing millions of premium into the global insurance market. Following a merge with the BMS Group in 1996, Paul co-founded Cove Programs, where he serves as Managing Director and Head of Construction.

John Mawson

Group COO

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John Mawson

Group COO

John has held operational management roles in the worldwide insurance and reinsurance industry since 1981. He began his career in North American reinsurance with Sedgwick Payne (now Marsh), moving to BMS Group in 1984 and then into the international marketplace with Harris & Dixon Insurance Brokers in 1997. He was instrumental in the set up of BMS International Intermediaries in 2002, where he was Operations Director for a global network, comprising six offices with 70 people. In 2008, John joined Jansen & Hastings as Operations Manager, moved to Cove Programs in 2012, and became Operations Director of Bay Risk Services in 2016.

Kevin Cleary

Group CCO

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Kevin Cleary

Group CCO

Kevin has worked in the insurance industry for over 20 years, working for large insurers, Lloyd’s syndicates and MGAs. He has worked for a number of companies underwriting financial lines business, including Allied World Assurance and The Channel Syndicate. In 2014, Kevin moved to The Navigators Group where he was Head of Delegated Authority across the Lloyd’s platform. He began working for Ascent Underwriting as Chief Operations Officer in 2016.

Robert Harden

Group CFO

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Robert Harden

Group CFO

Robert has over 20 years Lloyd’s and London market insurance experience across a number of organisations including Beazley, Liberty Specialty Markets and QBE. In 2016, Robert became Chief Financial Officer at Canopius, before moving to Ascent Underwriting in 2018. 

George Dale

Managing Director US

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George Dale

Managing Director US

George has worked in the US construction and International insurance industries since 1985. Beginning as a business attorney for Western US construction industries, George founded one of the first specialist construction defect law firms, Dale, Braden & Hinchcliffe, that grew to over 50 attorneys in California and Nevada. He then founded a pioneering risk management company, DBH Resources in 1999. In 2007, following the sale of his businesses, George worked for Aon’s Construction Group as a member of the National Executive Committee, before joining Cove Programs as Managing Director of the US entity in 2011.

Manesh Mistry

Group CTO

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Manesh Mistry

Group CTO

Manesh has worked as an IT Architect and consultant in the London insurance industry since 2000, managing, designing and developing online insurance systems. Manesh joined Ascent Underwriting as Chief Intelligence Officer in 2012 and is responsible for IT infrastructure and overseeing Optio Connect, the proprietary online underwriting platform. 

Contact us

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