Our Teams


Executive Management



Explore our teams

Executive Management


Kevin Hastings

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

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

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.






John Mawson

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

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

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.





Manesh Mistry

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 Information Officer in 2012 and is responsible for IT infrastructure and overseeing Optio Connect, the proprietary online underwriting platform.





Lead Developer

Sam Boyce

Sam graduated from the University of Surrey in 2012 with a First-Class BSc Honours in Mathematics followed by 2 years at Xuber as a Support Analyst, maintaining and developing a platform system used by various Insurance Brokers in the London market.
At Ascent, Sam leads the development of our proprietary underwriting, claims and MI system.


OPTIO Connect forms a significant part of the organisation's SME product and distribution strategy and the team of six work to improve, grow, scale and integrate our award winning solution.
It is a global quote and bind insurance portal combining underwriting workflow, rating, claims, MI and data analysis.


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.