Our Teams

Explore our teams


Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer

David Umbers

David is responsible for all business operations.

Prior to Ascent, David was senior partner at Lloyds broker Safeonline having organised their management buyout in 2006 and was instrumental in their rapid and profitable growth.

He also has experience in working for larger organisations and spent 5 years at Willis where he developed a substantial book of US Professional Indemnity business.


Co-Founder & Chief Underwriting Officer

Gareth Tungatt

Gareth has responsibility for all underwriting operations including product development.

With over 20 years experience writing cyber, technology and IP risk, he is recognised as one of the leading underwriters in the London market generating consistently profitable results.

He was previously with Barbican Syndicate (2009) as their specialist underwriter for e-commerce risk, and prior to that with ACE Global Markets.

Gareth is a regular contributor to several industry publications and forums on insurance risk management for the e-commerce sector.

Chief Operating Officer

Kevin Cleary

Kevin has worked in the insurance industry for over 20 years, working for large insurers, Lloyd’s syndicates and MGAs.

Kevin’s most recent role was a Navigators 1221 where he was Head of Delegated Authority across the Lloyd’s platform.

Kevin’s background is predominantly underwriting financial lines business, and he has latterly developed a solid understanding of compliance and the operational risk that businesses face.

Chief Financial Officer

Robert Harden

Joined in 2018.

Robert has over 20 years Lloyd’s and London market insurance experience across a number of organisations including Beazley, Canopius, Liberty Specialty Markets and QBE.





Chief Information Officer

Manesh Mistry

Joined in 2012 and is responsible for Ascent's IT infrastucture and OPTIO, our proprietary online underwriting platform.
BSc in Maths & Economics and MSc in Information Technology. Has worked as an IT Architect and consultant in the London insurance industry since 2000, managing, designing and developing online insurance systems.


OPTIO forms a significant part of the organisation's SME product and distribution strategy and the team of four work to improve, grow, scale and integrate our award winning solution.



The Claims department specialises in handling data security and privacy claims and Medical Billings and allied health claims in America.
The department also handles data privacy claims in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom together with professional errors and omissions claims in the United Kingdom, Ireland and other European jurisdictions.
These claims are often large in terms of financial exposure, they are also sensitive due to the significant reputational issues which arise in data privacy claims.
Our claims department has developed core panels to provide top tier legal advice and support, forensic rectification and notification services and reputational management in the domestic and international markets in which Ascent transacts business.

Claims Director

Mark Bowers

Mark is a Solicitor qualified to practice law in England & Wales.
After gaining a degree in law and doing the Legal Practice Course, Mark worked in several City law firms dealing with cross-border commercial and insurance disputes.
Mark then left private practice to develop and head an international claims team specialising in major and complex insurance claims for a global insurance company.
Mark joined Ascent as Claims Director in April 2017. He has extensive experience in the insurance sector particularly in Financial & Professional Risks and Cyber Claims.


Personal Assistant

Vanessa Hernandez

BSc (Hons) in Marketing and a MA (Hons) in Cross-Cultural Communications & International Business Management.
Specialised in Operational Delivery at the Home Office UK Visas & Immigration before joining Ascent in 2017.
At Ascent, Vanessa is the point of contact for the Chief Officers, undertaking PA duties, co-ordinating corporate events, leading marketing projects and overseeing renewal business administration.

Cyber, Technology & Media


CyberPro is Ascent's unique and proprietary product which combines comprehensive professional services coverage for technology and miscellaneous professionals with a cutting-edge cyber liability solution, providing unique non-tangible risk insurance covering network business interruption, ecommerce trading exposures, crime and social engineering fraud.
It is suitable for clients in most industry sectors and can be adapted to each Insured’s specific needs and requirements.
Coverage is provided on a modular basis, with independent insuring agreements so that a policyholder can "pick and choose" their coverage according to their own requirements.

Head of Cyber & Technology

Caspar Stops

Caspar joined from Brit, where he held the position of global cyber, privacy and technology underwriter. He previously served at Aegis and Hiscox, also in underwriting roles.
He is responsible for the development of further innovative Ascent products, including focusing on their increased appetite for large risk while contributing to the continued profitable growth of the existing portfolio.
Caspar is supported by a team of seven underwriters.

Regulatory & Healthcare


Ben Wilson

Ben holds a BA(Hons) degree in Politics from University of the West of England, Bristol.
After graduating, Ben joined Marketform in 2011 and underwrote the US and International Healthcare portfolio gaining significant experience in writing international medical malpractice exposures.
Ben joined QBE in 2016 to underwrite a global healthcare portfolio before joining Ascent Underwriting in February 2017, where he is responsible for developing a regulatory and healthcare portfolio.


Ascent’s Healthcare Regulatory coverage is a unique and proprietary insurance product tailor-made for the client. This product provides coverage for Errors and Omissions arising from incorrect billing and associated regulatory exposure and responds to actions brought by or on behalf of the federal government. Ascent can offer this in conjunction with comprehensive network security to protect against HIPAA data protection legislation.
Ascent also offers medical malpractice coverage for Allied Health practitioners, facilities and miscellaneous medical services. In the ever changing world of healthcare, we will provide coverage that is both viable and clear in an easily understood manner.
Both products are available in all 50 states and coverage is provided on a modular basis, with independent insuring agreements, so a policyholder can adapt the coverage according to their business and legal requirements.




Our team of three focus on UK & Irish privately owned entities with good claims experience and proven risk management. We do not write medical malpractice, financial institutions, solicitors or independent financial advisors.

Coverage for our professional clients is on a civil liability, any one claim basis, with cover included for fraud and dishonesty, loss of documents, data protection prosecution defence costs, legal representation costs, compensation for court attendance and innocent non-disclosure. We are able to offer limits of up to GBP 5,000,000 or currency equivalent.

We can offer solutions for Professional Indemnity, Directors & Officers liability and Not-for-Profit liability coverages. We can offer all of these coverages in isolation or packaged with our flagship Cyber coverage, CyberPro.

Senior Underwriter

Josh Smith

Josh joined Ascent in late 2016 where he leads UK & Ireland PI portfolio development whilst assisting management in developing international strategies across PI and other financial lines products.

He holds an LLB (Hons) degree in Law from Sussex University. He began his insurance career in 2010 and at The Channel Syndicate specialising in UK & International PI and D&O, achieving ACII status in 2013.

In early 2015, Josh moved to Navigators Syndicate 1221 to develop the International PI book of business via open market business, lines slips and cover holder arrangements.

Political Risk & Trade Credit

Head of Political Risk & Trade Credit

Nick Hedley

Nick has over 35 years’ experience in the Credit & Political Risk market, having worked for Euler Hermes, AIG, JLT and most recently Latin American Underwriters where he was a founding partner & President.
Upon LAU’s purchase by Allied World, Nick became SVP and Product Line Head for the business within Allied World.


Ascent's focus in the Credit & Political Risk insurance market is on supporting companies trading with and investing in emerging markets. We have built our business plan around providing support in three principal areas:

  • Companies selling heavy industrial & capital equipment, or providing sophisticated engineering services to large commercial or state-owned entities in the country in question
  • Traders buying or selling commodities from key counterparties, often on long term contracts and in challenging countries
  • Businesses establishing local operations in emerging markets where this some degree of inherent political & security risk

We provide support by eliminating the commercial and political risks inherent in such commercial activities.

Transactional Risk


Ascent's Transactional Risk team will focus on the provision of W&I insurance for SME transactions. Our underwriting team has a proven track record for both innovation and first-class service levels. Our products will offer insurance in the following areas:

  • Transaction Values up to GBP 250m
  • Sell-side and buy-side policies
  • European focus (including UK, Nordics, DACH, Benelux and Iberia)
Head of Transactional Risk

Alex Smith

Prior to joining Ascent, Alex was Underwriting Director of Capital Risks MGA Limited specialising in the provision of W&I insurance for the SME market.
Prior to this, Alex was an underwriter at AIG within the M&A insurance group.
Alex joined AIG from Kinmont, a corporate finance advisory based in London where he participated on private equity backed MBO's and private M&A, as well as equity/debt capital raising, capital structuring and restructurings.