AXIS Capital Holdings Limited ("AXIS Capital") (NYSE:AXS) today announced the expansion of the Company’s global underwriting platform, facilitated through the establishment of a new syndicate that will provide access to Lloyd’s worldwide licenses and an extensive distribution network. The new syndicate, “AXIS Syndicate 1686,” which has been approved in principle by Lloyd’s Franchise Board, will be managed by Asta Managing Agency Ltd (“Asta”) under a turnkey arrangement. AXIS Capital and Asta are working to secure the required approvals to commence underwriting business incepting on or after January 1, 2014. The syndicate is expected to have a stamp gross premium of approximately $180 million and will underwrite a diversified and balanced portfolio of specialist classes including marine, energy, aviation, terrorism, property, casualty and professional indemnity. AXIS Syndicate 1686 will be founded substantially on the transfer of an existing portfolio of business from AXIS Insurance’s London, Bermuda and Dublin operations. Jack Gressier, CEO of AXIS Insurance, commented: “We are pleased that Lloyd's has approved in principle the formation of AXIS Syndicate 1686. 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. The new AXIS syndicate will be founded on a diversified and balanced portfolio of specialist classes in which AXIS Insurance has an established reputation. We look forward to working with Lloyd’s and are confident that our outstanding team of specialists will continue to deliver the AXIS tradition of underwriting excellence.” The Active Underwriter will be Alistair Robson, who has served as Executive Vice President and Head of Global Property for AXIS Insurance’s International Division since 2011. He will be supported by a strong team of specialist underwriters and claims professionals who are experts in the new syndicate’s product offerings and business lines.