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February 2007/5

  • Converium has laid out a “road map” to generate a sustainable return on equity (ROE) of 14 percent by 2009 as it continues to fend off advances from rival SCOR.
  • Converium has reiterated its rejection of advances from SCOR after the French reinsurer stepped up its takeover approach by pre-announcing a public tender offer for the remaining shares in its Swiss rival which it says it will make within six weeks.
  • The acquisition of Hub International for $1.7bn ($1.8bn including debt) is further proof of investors' growing interest in the broking sector – and the rising multiples being charged by sellers.
  • Bermudian (re)insurer XL Capital has announced a new share repurchase programme authorising it to buy-back up to $1bn of its Class A ordinary shares from investors.
  • Struggling Bermudian life reinsurer Scottish Re Group said it was "disappointed" with its fourth quarter after unveiling a $233.8mn net loss.
  • QBE Insurance Group pointed to its recent foray of international acquisitions as deliverers of future growth, while joining the ranks of underwriters unveiling record 2006 results.
  • 2006 was a gold standard year for Bermudian reinsurer Platinum Underwriters Holdings as it joined its rivals in rebounding from the heavy losses of the previous year.
  • IPC Re's chief executive Jim Bryce has warned that the industry is now at a pricing crossroads and encouraged reinsurers to consider returning funds to shareholders to avoid excess capital chasing down rates.
  • Stephen Way has formally completed his departure from HCC Insurance Holdings, the company he founded in 1974, at the same time as the firm announced a 79 percent leap in profits last year.
  • The worst of the asbestos related difficulties faced by (re)insurers may now be in the past, according to a report by ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P).
  • It is imperative that the insurance industry not only understands risk, but thinks of it as an opportunity, according to Aon president and CEO Greg Case.
  • Expanding US broker Hilb Rogal & Hobbs has seen Bear Stearns upgrade its forecast earnings on the back of its accelerating acquisition strategy.