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April 2004/5

  • In the week that New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer announced he was investigating world’s largest broker Marsh for illegal use of placement service agreements (PSAs), parent company MMC released its financial results for the quarter ended March 31,
  • US regulators turn attention to insurance brokers over the growing practice of charging volume commissions
  • Assured Guaranty, the guarantee business unit of insurer ACE, has said it priced 49 million shares at $18 per share in its recent IPO.
  • Atrium managed Syndicate 570 has had its "A" (good) status affirmed by ratings agency Moody's, following an annual review of the syndicate's performance.
  • Bermudian (re)insurer XL Capital last week announced its entry into primary casualty for US corporations as part of its large account global P&C business.
  • Recent hopes for the resurrection of plans for US asbestos tort reform appear to have run aground after a revised bill failed to get the required number of votes to be put forward for consideration in the Senate.
  • The expansion into Continental Europe by Lloyd’s insurer Liberty Syndicates was boosted last week with the launch of a service company which will help it target new reinsurance business.
  • Quoted Lloyd’s insurers have been given a vote of confidence in the latest research published by London based stockbroker Arbuthnot, with buy recommendations remaining in place on Amlin, BRIT Insurance, Chaucer Holdings, SVB Holdings and Wellington Underw
  • Ratings agency AM Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of “A” (Excellent) of Swedish insurer Sirius. As reported in Insider Week No.118, the rating was placed under review by AM Best pending the proposed acquisition of Sirius by the White Mount
  • Premiums for US commercial property insurance have fallen by an average of 10 percent in the past year, according to broker Aon's first US property report for 2004.
  • French insurer last week put 2002's €154mn loss behind it, announcing 2003 net earnings of €155mn.
  • Lloyd's chairman Lord Levene has told US business leaders they need to be more concerned about business interruption costs, corporate fraud and increased liability claims if they are to successfully manage risk in an increasingly unstable world.