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February 2008/1

  • The $250mn loss of an African telecommunications satellite at the end of last year was placed in the space insurance market by Willis, with cover understood to be led by Munich Re.
  • Shares in AJ Gallagher & Co traded up last week after the company revealed it was divesting its reinsurance unit.
  • Rating agencies - those all-powerful arbiters of insurers' destinies - are getting restless and it is not just the monoliners who are in their sights.
  • One of the largest providers of business to independent wholesale London market brokers is poised to launch an EC3 operation called Decus Insurance Brokers Ltd.
  • Ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) has downgraded Bermudian life reinsurer Scottish Re Group after its investment portfolio continued to suffer from the sub-prime crisis.
  • UK regulator the Financial Services Authority (FSA) warned last week that it is scrutinising the wholesale broking industry and called on the sector to implement the necessary "culture change".
  • St Paul Travelers' UK operations are following the lead of its US parent company and rebranding as Travelers.
  • Aon Corp has hired the former Max Re chief executive Bob Cooney as managing director of its Capital Markets division, the unit which provides structured finance and capital markets products to the (re)insurance industry.
  • Two recent decisions in the US Supreme Court will aid professional liability insurers defending themselves against claims and litigation stemming from the sub-prime mortgage crisis, according to Chubb Corp vice chairman John Dengan.
  • The sub-prime mortgage crisis has had little impact on availability, cost or policy conditions of directors' and officers' (D&O) and errors and omissions (E&O) policies, according to a survey of financial sector risk managers and CFOs.
  • The biggest fraud in investment banking history, at French bank Société Générale, may still result in a loss for the bank's insurers, as employee shareholders filed a lawsuit against unnamed directors at the firm.
  • Giant bond insurer MBIA Inc has seen its results decimated by the recent sub-prime debacle, posting a $1.9bn loss last year, down from an $819.3mn profit in 2006.
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