NU Online News Service, June 4, 3:01 p.m. EDT

Bermuda-based Aspen Insurance announced today that it has invested $25 million in a partnership with a newly formed specialized investment fund focusing on insurance linked securities and reinsurance.

The firm said the new entity, Cartesian Iris 2009A, is a global effort sponsored and managed by affiliates of Cartesian Capital Group and has been capitalized with funds from Aspen, Cartesian affiliates and other investors.

In addition to its capital investment, Aspen said it will provide advice on risk selection, pricing and portfolio design. Aspen was advised on this transaction by Willis Capital Markets.

Chris O’Kane, Aspen chief executive officer, said, “Iris is Aspen’s first step into the managed fund market for insurance linked securities and we expect our partnership with Cartesian will allow us to develop a more substantial presence in due course. Aspen’s participation in Iris is a great opportunity to leverage our actuarial and risk assessment skills while maintaining aggregate catastrophe exposures within Aspen’s pre-established group tolerances.”

Aspen provides reinsurance and insurance coverage to clients in various domestic and global markets through subsidiaries and offices in Bermuda, France, Ireland, Singapore, the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.