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January 2004/6

  • R&SA has announced the sale of its 37.1 percent shareholding in South Africa’s Mutual & Federal Insurance Company Ltd.
  • US insurer Safeco announced today (26 January) that its has almost trebled its fourth quarter net income year-on-year, returning $166.2mn, or $1.19 per share compared to $57.1mn, or 42 cents a share in the same period of 2002.
  • Just two months after news of the proposed St Paul Travelers supermerger broke, St Paul admitted last week it would take a $350mn pretax fourth quarter reserve charge to bolster its healthcare business in run-off.
  • Tony Taylor, the founding chief executive of Bermudian reinsurer Montpelier Re, has resigned from the board of Aspen following the latter’s flotation on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • In a new report, ratings agency Moody’s has suggested that core reserves (i.e. reserves excluding asbestos and environmental liabilities) for the insurance industry may be short by as much as $30bn.
  • Consultants Watson Wyatt has announced that it will establish an insurance and financial services consulting team based in Munich.
  • The imminent expansion of the European Union – creating the largest trading bloc in the world – will benefit the insurance industry, according to actuaries Tillinghast.
  • UK run-off firm Omni Whittington Capital Management Ltd will manage the affairs of Talbot’s loss-struck Syndicate 376 when a novation of the managing agent’s agreements occurs later this year.
  • Bermudian (re)insurer Endurance announced last Thursday (22 January) that its 2003 net income has rocketed 158 percent to $263.4mn, or $4.00 per diluted share.
  • Recently aired views on declining property rates were backed up last week by a survey from the Risk Insurance Management Society (RIMS) in the US, which found that the cost of premiums fell 8.8 percent in the final quarter of 2003.
  • Independent Lloyd’s brokers Lochain Patrick Insurance Brokers Limited has announced plans to acquire London Special Risks Limited (LSR), the specialist marine insurance and reinsurance advisory and broking company.
  • Ratings agency Fitch has affirmed insurer Brit’s “A” financial strength rating, with a positive outlook, after the firm announced a capital reorganisation.
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