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April 2007/4

  • Swiss Re has launched its EUR329mn European Clean Energy Fund to invest in environmentally friendly projects.
  • The failure of previous ventures has given the London market a certain notoriety for its inability to embrace new processes and methods of doing business. But is this fair? And, more importantly, are we finally seeing some real progress?
  • Property facultative and catastrophe treaty lines in South America are likely to continue softening in 2007 after bumper returns in 2006, according to Swiss Re’s head of reinsurance in Latin America, Beat Strebel.
  • Underwriters are divided on whether premiums in the financial institutions market will bottom out this year, according to a survey conducted by Willis.
  • European insurance trade body the Comité Européen des Assurances (CEA) has urged the European Commission (EC) to retain the industry’s block exemption from certain anti-competition rules, arguing it actually promotes competition.
  • One of the final strands of litigation remaining from US bank PNC Financial Services Group Inc’s decision to repackage its bad debt via financial reinsurance with American International Group (AIG) was settled last week.
  • Beazley Group plc has increased the capital of its US admitted insurance company, Beazley Insurance Company by $45mn, bringing its total capitalisation to around $105mn.
  • Charlie Crist, the Florida governor behind far-reaching reform in the state’s hurricane catastrophe fund earlier this year, has run into opposition from the White House over proposals for a federal catastrophe insurance programme.
  • Bermudian (re)insurer Allied World Assurance Company has made a $2.1mn settlement with the Texas attorney general Greg Abbott over his investigation into bid-rigging by the firm.
  • Three Lloyd’s (re)insurers are building operations in Shanghai as part of Lloyd’s new Chinese reinsurance operation.
  • Converium has reeled out key business partners in its public campaign to shareholders as it continues to fend off advances from rival SCOR with a warning that a tie-up could mean the loss of up to $800mn in premium income.
  • Former Lloyd’s commercial director Roger Sellek is set to join ratings agency AM Best next month to drive its non-US operations, Insider Week can reveal.