Award-winning Essex commercial insurance broker, Ascend Broking, has expanded its operations and sphere of influence, by launching a new division, totally focused on risks within the world of property transactions and property development.
The new Real Estate Transactions division is headed up by a newly recruited expert in this field of insurance, Edward Karslake, who has held previous positions with global insurer Willis Towers Watson and PIB Insurance Brokers.
Under Karslake’s leadership, Ascend’s Real Estate Transactions division will primarily serve the needs of professional services’ clients such as solicitors and property developers, who require specialist insurance covers whilst handling purchases and sales of property for their clients.
With potential issues always a likelihood within property transactions, there is a need to mitigate a number of risks that could result in legal action, delays or disputes with regard to missing documentation.
Edward Karslake says, “Disposing or acquiring property comes with several risks that we can help mitigate. The purpose of our insurance products is to provide a safety net to the beneficiaries, to manage ‘known unknowns’, with one example being a missing property title. Whilst it may be known that the title is missing, it may be totally unclear what easements or restrictive covenants are contained within, which could later cause an issue. In this instance, we could provide our client with a missing title indemnity insurance policy – a solution that could allow a transaction to proceed without delay.”
With other pitfalls to also consider, it pays for solicitors, who are assisting clients with their property acquisitions or disposals, to arm themselves with the right insurance covers. To ensure its offering in this regard becomes well-known, Ascend Broking will forge relationships with referrers such as surveyors, architects and real estate companies, to grow its new Real Estate Transactions team.
Ascend Broking is also confident that its new division can add value to existing clients, who require the very specialist covers that relate to the real estate sector.
Ascend Broking’s managing director, Matthew Collins, is convinced that Edward Karslake’s expertise will be invaluable to the division’s success. He says, “Ted has been working in the Legal Indemnities and Rights of Light market since 2014, on all manner of projects from simple conveyancing problems to complex Rights of Light issues that have held up multi-million-pound developments. Privately, he is a property developer and landlord, so very well positioned to understand the frustrations of transactional real estate. Furthermore, he completed a course in Real Estate Economics & Finance in 2021, to gain further understanding of the issues faced by developers and asset managers.
“His expertise shone through when we came to recruit for our new Real Estate Transactions division, which will be an invaluable addition to our suite of client services and another specialist hub within Ascend Broking. Its focused covers will sit alongside the more conventional insurances that we provide to many property and construction businesses, complementing them perfectly.”
When not focusing on property, Edward Karslake, who lives in Southend, spends his time indulging his passion for music and his enthusiasm for restoring classic cars.
His goals are to increase brand awareness amongst solicitors across the UK and rapidly grow Ascend Broking’s presence in the property transactions risk sector, whilst establishing very solid foundations for the division, for the years ahead.