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December 2005/3

  • “Class of 2005” start-up Ariel Re announced Saturday (17 December) that it has begun underwriting following the completion of $1bn fundraising by parent company Ariel Holdings and receipt of an A- financial strength rating from AM Best.
  • Harbor Point Limited has become the latest of the “Class of 2005” to receive an AM Best rating, after the agency announced today (16 December) it has awarded an A (Excellent) financial strength rating and “a” credit rating to the start-up.
  • Some of Bermuda’s “Class of 2005” (re)insurance start-ups moved closer to writing business this week as they received ratings from AM Best. Today (14 December) saw the launch of Validus Re, which will be headed by ex-American Re CEO Ed Noonan.
  • As predicted in The Insurance Insider and Insider Week, Bermudian start-up (re)insurer Lancashire Holdings Ltd floated this morning (13 December) on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) raising over $1bn...
  • Peter Hardy is to retire from his position of chairman at Hardy Underwriting – the company he founded in 1978. Hardy will be replaced by David Mann.
  • The blaze ripping through a UK oil depot could cost insurers up to $900mn according to industry sources. The fire, at the Buncefield depot, 25 miles north of London, followed a series of blasts, which began early on Sunday (11 December)...
  • Forecasters Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) have warned that 2006 will be yet another over-active hurricane season in the Atlantic with a higher number than average expected to make landfall in both the US and Caribbean.
  • Barbados-headquartered (re)insurer Imagine Insurance is set to receive a $50mn cash injection from its parent company. Imagine Group Holdings will issue a ten-year $50mn subordinated note to an affiliate of its parent company Brookfield Asset...
  • Ratings agency AM Best has affirmed Montpelier Re Holdings Ltd’s financial strength rating of A- after a review of the company’s capitalisation plans. Montpelier was downgraded to A- from A in October after announcing losses from hurricanes Katrina...
  • UK broker Windsor plc revealed that profits were up for an eighth consecutive year – by 9 percent to £5.07mn for the year ended 30 September 2005.
  • Liberty Syndicates announced last week that it is raising its capacity for 2006 to £912mn, up 27 percent from this year. The Lloyd’s (re)insurer intends to use the extra capacity to support increased underwriting across all five of its divisions...
  • A panel of High Court judges has thrown out an appeal by reinsurers against Justice Morison’s 21 December 2004 judgement in favour of claimant reinsureds and defendant brokers on all points in the notorious Aon 77 dispute.
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