North America Professional & Financial


Gareth Tungatt (Chief Underwriting Officer)

Gareth is co-founder of Ascent Underwriting and also the Chief Underwriting Officer with responsibility for all underwriting operations including product development. With over 15 years experience writing cyber, technology and intellectual property risk, he is recognised as one of the leading underwriters in the London market generating consistently profitable results.

He was previously with Barbican Syndicate from May 2009 as their specialist underwriter for e-commerce risk, and prior to that with ACE Global Markets. Gareth is a regular contributor to several industry publications and forums on insurance risk management for the e-commerce sector.


David Umbers (Chief Executive Officer)

David started his career in insurance in 1984, originally as a broker for Leslie & Godwin and then with Gibbs Hartley Cooper and Willis, specializing in professional and management liability.

He joined Safeonline in 2000, and as a Partner was instrumental in organizing the management buyout in 2006 with FCA and Lloyd’s Broker accreditation quickly following. David’s management role within Safeonline included the development and growth of Safeonline’s MGA and broking operations increasing returns year on year. As co-founder of Ascent Underwriting, he is also the Chief Executive Officer.


Odile Vidot (Senior Underwriter)

Odile Vidot graduated with an honours degree in Mathematical, Statistical and Actuarial Sciences in 2008. Following her internship with the State Assurance Corporation of Seychelles, she opted to pursue further studies in the insurance field, completing a Masters in Insurance and Risk Management from CASS Business School in 2009.

Odile has worked in the London market since 2009, firstly as a broker at Safeonline, and then as an Underwriter from 2011. She has been at Ascent since it opened its doors in October 2012, where she is an integral part of the team underwriting and developing cyber risk and technology insurance products.


Alice Woods (Underwriter)

During her time at Exeter University, Alice undertook work experience placements across a variety of industries. Since graduating in 2014 with a upper second class BA Hons degree in Geography, she has worked in the London insurance market with OIM Underwriting. Alice thereafter pursued her interest for a career in the industry and joined Ascent in March 2015.

Alice’s primary responsibilities at Ascent include servicing and underwriting SME business and managing broker relationships.


James Morgan (Underwriter)

James graduated from the University of the West of England, Bristol in 2013 with a upper second class BA Honours degree in Business Studies. After graduating, James initially undertook various work experience placements at both broker and underwriting companies before commencing employment at Markel International. James spent two years writing Commercial Legal Expenses and gaining significant industry understanding before joining Ascent in October 2015.

James’ main responsibilities at Ascent include servicing and underwriting SME business and managing broker relationships.


Sarah Kennerley (Assistant Underwriter)

Sarah graduated from Leicester University in 2012 with a upper second class BA honours degree in History of Art. After graduating, Sarah started her insurance career at Safeonline where she was a cyber and technology broker working mainly on North American business. After 3 years of broking, Sarah moved into underwriting and joined Ascent in September 2016.


Emma Denny (Assistant Underwriter)

Emma graduated from the University of Exeter in 2015 with an upper second class BA Hons degree in History. Since, she has undertaken work placements at both Clifford Chance and Marsh before pursuing a keen interest in underwriting, joining Ascent in October 2016.


Josh Smith (UK & International Underwriter)

Josh graduated from Sussex University with an LLB Honours Degree in Law in 2010. He began his insurance career in 2010 at The Channel Syndicate specialising in UK & International PI and D&O, achieving ACII status in 2013.

In early 2015, Josh moved to Navigators Syndicate 1221 to develop the International PI book of business via open market business, lineslips and coverholder arrangements. In late 2016, he joined Ascent to spearhead the development of the UK & Ireland PI portfolio whilst assisting management in developing international strategies across PI and other financial lines products.


Lucy McNally (Underwriting Assistant)

Having worked in the London insurance market for over 17 years, Lucy has a wealth of experience across multiple industry sectors, most recently within the Lockton Affinity team handling Solicitors E&O and before that at Dickson Manchester as a professional indemnity team leader.

Lucy's responsibilites at Ascent are to coordinate the administration of our renewal business and assist the underwriting team.