Asta, the successful third party managing agent at Lloyd’s, announced it has been given in principle approval from the Lloyd’s Franchise Board to set up and manage Blenheim Syndicate 5886. Asta hopes to begin underwriting policies from 1 January 2017. Nick Destro has been hired as active underwriter joining the senior management team of John Lynch and Peter Scales. Destro will be joined by Geraldine McMillan and Michael O’Sullivan to underwrite the treaty account from 1 January. Blenheim will be launched as a new ‘independent’ with a large portion of the operation owned by the team. It wants to provide the desirable trading environment for market-leading expertise and nurture the next generation of Lloyd’s underwriters. Blenheim has a 2017 stamp capacity of £150m, underwriting US and international treaty books, direct insurance (D&F) and some speciality lines. The ambition is to build out the portfolio of lines over time, subject to securing genuine market leading expertise. Blenheim is thought to announce a series of appointments over the coming weeks and months.