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January 2009/1

  • Lloyd’s (re)insurer Hardy Underwriting Bermuda Ltd has increased capacity on its Syndicate 382 from £185mn to £250mn for 2009 in response to the weak UK pound.
  • Bermudian Ironshore has continued its raid on beleaguered insurance giant American International Group (AIG) with the hiring of Joe Boren and John O'Brien to head up its newly formed Environmental Insurance unit.
  • The liquidated estate of US workers' compensation insurers Mission Insurance Companies yielded a further $121mn for policyholders, bringing the total amount distributed to approximately $1.5bn.
  • The Hartford Financial Services Group has had the A+ financial strength ratings of its subsidiaries removed from review with negative implications and affirmed by AM Best, albeit with a negative outlook.
  • US property & casualty (P&C) (re)insurers saw net income for the first three quarters of 2008 fall by 85 percent to $7.3bn, with an underwriting loss of $10.9bn, according to a report by rating agency AM Best.
  • Randall & Quilter (R&Q), the UK listed run-off acquisition and management firm, has continued its strategy of acquiring service companies with a deal to pay up to $6.9mn to acquire the Bermuda-based Quest Management Services Ltd.
  • Three Japanese non-life insurers Aioi Insurance, Mitsui Sumitomo, and Nissay Dowa are in talks to create Japan’s largest non-life insurer, according to a report from Bloomberg citing two sources close to the situation.
  • Former American International Group (AIG) CEO Hank Greenberg, described the firm as "Bleeding people and business" in a television interview last month.
  • The US Congress will today (5 January) hold a hearing to investigate how US financial regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) failed to prevent the alleged $50bn fraud by Wall Street trader Bernard Madoff...
  • Reinsurance rate increases at 1/1 renewals have been relatively modest, caused in no small part by a relatively small depreciation in industry capital, which has helped to contain price rises...
  • XL Capital's competitive position has "diminished" because of the enervating effect of the earnings and capital charges that have overshadowed the Bermudian (re)insurer in the past few years, according to ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P).
  • Ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) affirmed its junk ratings on three catastrophe bonds affected by the collapse of Lehman brothers after their total return swaps were terminated...