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December 2003/3

  • Swiss Re has launched Vita Capital Ltd, the first ever bond securitising life reinsurance risk instead of retrocessional cover.
  • At last week’s Bermuda Angle conference, XL Capital announced it expects to earn between $9.05-9.25 per share for 2004, slightly down on consensus estimates of $9.28.
  • Bermudian reinsurer Renaissance Re said last week that it expects to earn between $6.10 and $6.50 per share in 2004, reflecting falling premium growth in property catastrophe business against moderating growth in specialty reinsurance and individual risk.
  • Bermudian giant ACE last week announced plans to spin off its financial guaranty business next year in a New York IPO. ACE said it will offer 65-75 percent of its interest in the new company.
  • London based insurer Catlin Group has appointed JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs and UBS to advise on a 2004 IPO, according to reports last week.
  • The promotion of Donald Kanak as AIG’s joint vice chairman and co-chief operating officer has muddied the succession issue of Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, the septuagenarian patriarch of the world’s most valuable insurance company.
  • A number of significant commutations and buy-back settlements have reduced Equitas’ reinsurance income, the run-off reinsurer revealed last week when publishing its six months summary financial income.
  • There was more insurance industry courtroom drama last week with a mammoth case management conference for the film finance litigation.
  • Liability start-up Illium began trading last week, issuing quotes for risks which attach from 1 January 2004.
  • Reinsurance focussed Lloyd’s insurer Liberty Syndicates continued its rapid advance last week when confirming that 2004 capacity will be £793mn – making it one of the largest Lloyd’s managing agencies behind Limit, Amlin and Hiscox.
  • Willis – the world’s third largest broker – announced last Thursday (4 December) it had successfully completed a finance deal providing it with $600mn unsecured credit facilities, made up of a $450mn term loan and a $150mn revolving facility.
  • The French and US governments look set for a courtroom showdown after failed attempts to settle a dispute over Credit Lyonnais’ 1991 takeover of failed Californian insurer Executive Life.