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Endurance gets positive outlook

Fast-growing Bermudian post-9/11 start-up Endurance Specialty saw it’s A- Standard & Poor’s ratings outlook updated from stable to positive last week (13 December) on the back of its “strong competitive position, which is supported by a diversified business platform”.

In its statement, the rating agency said its decision to give the (re)insurer an improved outlook was also founded on the company’s “strong capital adequacy and strong operating performance”.

S&P added that the change reflected “Endurance's performance through the recent hurricane season, whereby the company has performed well versus peers in terms of capital and earnings, as well as from a volatility standpoint”.

And it said that the recent sale of 9.8 million Endurance shares by co-founder Aon had “significantly mitigated any potential perceived conflict”.

However, S&P warned that offsetting these factors “are concerns about Endurance's exposure to large losses, unproven performance of newly acquired books, and minimal reinsurance protections, which increase the risk of volatile earnings and capital adequacy”.

Naturally Endurance welcomed the move, with chairman and CEO Ken LeStrange commenting: “We are pleased by S&P's affirmation of the progress we have made in the development of our business platforms. It is particularly gratifying to receive this positive outlook change in an environment marked by negative rating activity and heightened scrutiny by all of the rating agencies.

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