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April 2007/6

  • It was at least a year in development, but Paris-based IXIS Corporate and Investment Bank has finally launched its new Bermudian reinsurer and insurance linked securities fund with some $600mn of capital.
  • The rising price for distribution channels was demonstrated with AXA’s recent acquisition of UK consolidator Smart & Cook Group Ltd.
  • The Bermudian (re)insurer Validus Holdings Ltd has emerged as the front-runner to buy the up-for-sale Lloyd’s insurer Talbot Underwriting Holdings, The Insurance Insider understands.
  • A consortium including ICAP founder Michael Spencer and hedge fund giant Eton Park Capital Management LLC is set to take a controlling interest in electronic trading platform RI3K, Insider Week can reveal.
  • Bermudian IPCRe followed its shock Standard & Poor’s (S&P) downgrade with a strong set of first quarter results and plans for a $200mn share buyback.
  • It could prove to be a tough year for brokers but Willis Group Holdings Ltd showed last week that it was still able to grow revenues and profits despite falling rates.
  • In a further sign of dramatically changed supply conditions in the retro market, rates for Industry Loss Warranties (ILWs) have slumped 30 percent since 1 January 2007, according to Montpelier Re chairman and CEO Tony Taylor.
  • Troubled energy mutual Oil Insurance Ltd has had its A- rating placed on CreditWatch with negative implications by rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P).
  • Lloyd's insurer Kiln plc revealed last week that it had bolstered its aviation presence with the appointment of underwriter Philippe Daouphars to write a European account.
  • UK quoted insurer Novae Group plc has issued £100mn of medium-term subordinated notes in a move to restructure its debt.
  • Australian insurer QBE Insurance Group has confirmed a privately placed $550mn offering of hybrid notes to institutional investors.
  • Steven Haasz - an influential figure in driving market reform at Lloyd's - resigned from the Corporation last week only days after the Society was upgraded to A+ by Standard & Poor's citing "unstoppable momentum behind improving London market business pro
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