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Former Enstar US CEO to launch acquisition start-up Aylesbury

The chairman of Enstar's US business Karl Wall has left to launch his own company, Aylesbury Insurance Acquisitions, The Insurance Insider can reveal.

Wall was CEO of Enstar Holdings (US) for eight years up until May last year, when he moved upstairs to become chairman.

During that period the legacy heavyweight made a number of major US acquisitions including a $219mn deal to purchase Clarendon from Hannover Re and the landmark $252mn takeover of New York-listed live business SeaBright.

Little is known about Wall's new venture or his backers, but it is believed to be a legacy start-up.

The chairman of Enstar Holdings (US) has left as the group goes through a period of significant transition.

Enstar has opted to shift to a combined live-and-legacy model by acquiring Lloyd's business Atrium for $263mn and global specialty insurer Torus for $692mn.

The strategic change is believed to have two main drivers. The first is the need to secure an additional revenue stream as the pool of asbestos, pollution and health (APH) business that has served the company so well dries up.

The second is the potential for a live business to be used as a frame to hang profitable portfolios on that are picked up through "buy-to-kill" legacy transactions.

Enstar has faced some early reverses since adopting the strategy. Although it agreed to acquire Torus in July 2013, more than eight months have gone by without the deal closing as UK regulator the Prudential Regulatory Authority drags its heels.

And while Torus has sat in limbo there have been a slew of departures due to redundancies and defections. Group CEO Clive Tobin left first, followed by Americas CEO Naveen Anand and CFO Tim Harris.

There have also been significant defections on the underwriting side that have hollowed out the already-struggling US business, with a healthcare team headed by Bob Allen exiting, as well as the management and professional liability team led by Jeffrey Grange.

The $100mn US property book was also placed into run-off, with staff including head of property in the Americas Gerald Dupre leaving. Tony Albanese's $20mn surety book was also dropped.

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