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August 2003/3

  • In a report last week, Hartford Investment Management Company – a subsidiary of US insurer The Hartford Financial Services Group – counselled against complacency over inflation.
  • Quoted Lloyd’s insurer Amlin is upbeat about its 2003 prospects, as the company updated its forecasts for the 2001 and 2002 years.
  • Pension deficit deteriorates; film finance exposures could cost £200mn+ HLF Group plc was hit by a further wave of resignations last week as its 12 strong International Facilities and Binders team handed in their notices.
  • Although the power outage that affected much of New York, the Eastern United States and Canada will inevitably result in losses to the insurance industry, they are unlikely to be catastrophic.
  • Rating agency Standard & Poor’s last week revised its outlook to negative on Aon after the broker’s latest interims showed the firm’s margins continue to lag behind its peers.
  • In the wake of alleged dubious selling practices from the notorious claims manager The Accident Group, a recent study has concluded that at least a third of all claims against local councils may be fraudulent or exaggerated.
  • Lloyd’s franchise performance director Rolf Tolle wrote to Lloyd’s insurers last week explaining he will use his discretion in implementing the franchise performance guidelines.
  • Ralph Jones, the newly recruited president and chief executive of Arch Insurance Group, is set to be reunited with former Chubb colleague Bob Van Gieson later this year.
  • The Chinese authorities are targeting illegal operations of foreign insurers, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.
  • North American broker group Hub International Ltd has withdrawn from a proposed acquisition of the Near North National Group – the second time in under a year that take-over talks have collapsed at the 11th hour.
  • Three Financial Institutions brokers from Aon have resigned to take up posts at rival broker Willis.
  • Lloyd’s insurer Chaucer Holding Plc received a boost last week after revealing that Lloyd’s has approved the proposed merger of Syndicates 587 and 1096 into Syndicate 1084, creating a combine with an anticipated 2004 capacity of £400mn.