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July 2006/2

  • S&P reassesses syndicate ratings; UK start-up begins trading; FSA consults on special purpose vehicles; RFIB recruits energy team; Insurers dealt UK asbestos blow; Omega upbeat; Ward targets change with reshuffle; et al.
  • Rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) has described the old and "much-maligned Lloyd's accounting and reporting regime" as superior to the GAAP system imposed last year.
  • Total capacity at Lloyd's may rise next year after the first round of syndicates made their 2007 business forecasts.
  • Insurance service provider Whittington surprised the market last month by agreeing the sale of its newly established Lloyd's managing agency and specialist Asian syndicate, Alba, to Insurance Australia Group (IAG).
  • White Mountains raises storms bill by $200mn; Imagine heads for court date with former CEO; River Re licensed in Barbados; Glacier Re mounts defence of under review rating; NAIC vote moves to end US collateral requirements; et al.
  • Bavarian-based (re)insurance giant Munich Re moved a step closer to restoring its once cherished double A rating on 27 June, with the news that Standard & Poor's (S&P) had revised its outlook on the company's A+ rating from stable to positive.
  • Rating agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) confirmed last month that Swiss Re's acquisition of GE Insurance Solutions (GEIS) has cost the reinsurer its AA rating, which has been downgraded a notch to AA-.
  • Despite initial reservations, the investment community appears to have warmed to French giant AXA's move last month to buy Swiss insurer Winterthur from banking conglomerate Credit Suisse Group.
  • But mixed views on rationale behind takeover... Analysts have given a mixed welcome to the move by Italian insurer Assicurazioni Generali to take over compatriot Toro Assicurazioni in a deal worth EUR3.85bn.
  • Carriers will not just be tested on their ability to pay claims but will also be ranked according to their client service levels, following a new initiative launched by broker Willis Group Holdings Ltd.
  • Broker Aon Corp has agreed to sell its warranty arm to Canadian conglomerate Onex Corp in an estimated $710mn deal.
  • Insurance broker Willis Group Holdings Ltd cancelled a $300mn debt issue at the end of June - a move that has led to speculation the firm is again considering a significant acquisition.