StarStone has launched a casualty consortium targeted at the Australian and New Zealand markets.

StarStone’s Lloyd’s coverholder in Australia will underwrite the facility on behalf of a consortium of Lloyd’s syndicates. The consortium is led by StarStone’s Mark Hunt.

StarStone will back the venture with a 20 percent lead line. Four other unnamed syndicates will provide the balance of the capacity, each writing an equal share.

The consortium will initially offer A$50mn ($36.4mn) of capacity and focus on middle-market casualty risks not usually underwritten in London.

StarStone will also provide claims support for the consortium through its network in Australia and New Zealand.

“We have identified clear market and broker demand for a solution that combines Lloyd’s expertise and local knowledge in Australia and New Zealand,” Robin Barham, managing director of StarStone in Australia said.

“StarStone has been building our presence in the region for some time, and, with experts like Mark leading the way, we can harness the strengths of Lloyd’s to focus on providing exceptional client service,” Barham went on.

“The consortium supports a truly tailored and client-centric approach to decision-making in the local market, allowing brokers and customers to transact deals as if they were in the underwriting room at Lloyds in London,” Hunt said.

“I believe the collective expertise of those involved in this consortium will significantly increase the local capabilities and profile of Lloyd’s within the casualty space,” Hunt went on.