Renowned London market property underwriting executive Les Rock has taken a non-executive director position at MGA and Lloyd’s coverholder Rokstone - a trading name of Direct Insurance Group plc - as the company sets out on an ambitious growth strategy, Re-insurancecan reveal.

Rock was part of the founding management team of Ironshore when the company was launched in Bermuda by the late Bob Clements with private equity backing in 2007 and generated sizeable income and profits for the company in its earliest days.

He was CUO before departing the start-up in late 2008.

Rock was previously active underwriter at Heritage Managing Agency, now part of Bermuda-based carrier Argo Group and is a leading figure in the market for writing US property risk, including facultative business.

Rokstone is an MGA and Lloyd’s coverholder that writes property facultative (Rokstone Re) and treaty business (Rokstone Re-Treaty), as well as marine and auto business, on behalf of a number of different carriers.

Its property treaty business was launched earlier this year, writing on the paper of AM Best A- rated Best Meridian International Insurance Company. Its marine facility on behalf of Lloyd’s paper and the firm is shortly expected to unveil a separate construction facility.

The firm is also in talks with a number of different carriers as it anticipates sizeable growth in the future. While it wrote in the region of $20mn GWP in the first year it expects this to have doubled to the region of $40mn for the 2018/19 risk year.

However, it has aspirations of writing up to $250m on behalf of a number of different carriers and via different facilities within five years and anticipates Rock will be a significant influence in helping support its roll-out plans.

The treaty unit’s head, Peter Mousley, is a former CNA Hardy executive and the Facultative unit head, Paul Hallinan, is a former Talbot Underwriting executive, who both report to Rokstone Underwriting CUO James Potter and David Bearman, who is also CEO of the parent company Direct Insurance Group plc.

Speaking to re-Insurance.com, the former Price Forbes executive Potter welcomed Rock’s arrival.

“Les has a deserved reputation as one of the leading US property underwriters and I am delighted he is joining Rokstone at a crucial chapter in the company’s evolution. I have long been an admirer of Les’s talents and I am looking forward to working closely with him in the future”.

Rock added: “I am thrilled to be joining Rokstone and supporting James and David’s vision of a premier MGA providing first class underwriting services to clients and our markets. I look forward to helping build the business over the years to come”.