Bermuda-based AXIS Capital has set up a new syndicate to expand its global underwriting platform, and provide access to Lloyd’s worldwide licenses and distribution network.

Named AXIS Syndicate 1686, will be managed by Asta Managing Agency under a turnkey arrangement.

The syndicate, approved by Lloyd’s, will have a stamp gross premium of nearly $180m and underwrite a diversified and balanced portfolio of specialist classes such as marine, energy, aviation, terrorism, property, casualty and professional indemnity.

The syndicate will be formed on the transfer of an existing portfolio of business from AXIS Insurance’s London, Bermuda and Dublin operations.

The new underwriting business is expected to begin operations on or after 1 January 2014, subject to the required approvals.

AXIS Insurance CEO Jack Gressier said, "As Lloyd’s is the pre-eminent market for specialty insurance business with exceptional worldwide reputation and licensing, our presence in Lloyd’s will be a key element to the further expansion of our global specialty underwriting platform."

AXIS Insurance’s International Division executive vice president and head of global property Alistair Robsonhas been appointed as the active underwriter.