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July 2003/2

  • Alphastar – the firm formerly known as Stirling Cooke Brown (SCB) – has until the end of this week to file overdue financials or face delisting from Nasdaq.
  • UK insurer Royal and Sun Alliance (R&SA) has fought back against last week’s downgrade by ratings agency Moody’s, expressing its disappointment that “delivered improvements to date are not more fully taken into account.”
  • Insurers exposed to the myriad of US shareholder class action suits were encouraged by New York courts last week who rejected four lawsuits against Wall Street banks and the dot.com companies they helped IPO in the heady days of the late nineties.
  • With the Senate Judiciary Committee in recess over the 4 July break, hopes for successful passage of Senator Orrin Hatch’s Fairness in Asbestos Resolution Act were dealt a blow last Thursday as insurers threatened to withdraw from the initiative to set up
  • Markel International, the London based arm of US insurer Markel Corporation, received a boost last week from rating agency AM Best when its financial strength rating was upgraded to A-.
  • General insurers are less pessimistic than they were in the first three months of 2003, according to today’s latest quarterly financial services survey by the CBI and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).
  • Axis Speciality Ltd, the Bermudian insurer formed by John Charman in the aftermath of the 11 September terrorist attacks, announced today (7 July) that it will provide directors & officers liability insurance and other financial lines coverage.
  • Bermudian post 9/11 start-up Montpelier Re has tied up a $450mn funding arrangement to support its letter of credit needs.
  • Trenwick Managing Agency announced last week that it had stopped writing aviation business “with immediate effect”. The firm, which is set to announce a management buyout from its distressed parent Trenwick International later this week, explained in a ma
  • A Marsh takeover of UK broker HLF Group has taken a step closer to reality as Insider Week can reveal that the world’s largest insurance broker has begun due diligence proceedings.
  • Despite the relatively benign report by Royal Commissioner Justice Neville Owen into the A$5.3bn collapse of HIH, Australia’s prosecutors are lining up some of the key protagonists for criminal prosecutions over the debacle.
  • Victims of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) lost a landmark appeal last Thursday as a December 2002 High Court ruling was upheld, preventing claimants from suing airlines for compensation.