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December 2004/4

  • Troubled broking giant MMC finalised $3bn of financing last week soothing fears of a liquidity crunch as the firm strives to settle with the New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer.
  • Lloyd’s revealed last week that its 2005 global capacity is likely to shrink a higher than expected 9 percent to £13.7bn in response to falling rates.
  • 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 busine
  • Willis Group Holdings revealed today (20 December 2004) that it has bought the business of the Mexico insurance broker Maisterrena Asesores.
  • 2004 would have been the best year for the US P&C industry “in decades” were it not the for the third quarter storms, but next year is set to become the first year to witness an underwriting profit since 1978.
  • Fears over deteriorating conditions in the market for US Directors’ and Officers’ insurance (D&O) have been confirmed by actuarial consulting firm Tillinghast in its annual survey on the sector.
  • Nine months into its merged existence, US insurer The St Paul Travelers revealed last week (16 December) that it plans to slash the size of its board from 23 to a proposed 13 members.
  • Lloyd’s managing agent St Paul Syndicate Management Ltd (SPSM) has confirmed that it is in exclusive negotiations for the sale of its Cassidy Davis life Syndicate 779 to fellow Lloyd’s managing agency Jubilee, and hopes to complete the deal by 18 February
  • The Bermudian reinsurer Rosemont Re warned last week that its 2004 result is likely to be break even at best after upgrading the loss estimates from this year’s storms.
  • Switzerland got a new reinsurer last week with the launch of Glacier Re, a niche, global specialty reinsurer backed by money from legendary investment guru George Soros.
  • In the December edition of The Insurance Insider, we referred to the "Citibank backed Independence Re" in the article "Hedge Funds gamble on reinsurance".
  • Canadian holding company Fairfax Financial Holdings has announced the closure of its issuance of $300mn of subordinate voting shares (2,406,741 shares) to a number of institutional investors, including Markel Corporation ($100mn) and Southeastern Asset Ma