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July 2007/6

  • Insurance broker Willis Group Holdings has agreed to a $2.6mn settlement with the Florida attorney general and insurance regulators, the company has announced.
  • Connecticut’s attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, has issued 20 subpoenas as part of the continuing investigation into anti-competitive practices in the reinsurance industry.
  • In a volatile week for the global equity markets, Bermudian (re)insurer Validus Holdings made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange with shares priced at $22, below the $24-26 range it set at the beginning of the month.
  • Contrasting performance on organic growth was highlighted by analysts as Arthur J Gallagher & Co (AJG) and Hilb, Rogal & Hobbs (HRH) reported total revenues up for the second quarter.
  • Montpelier Re Holdings Ltd reported stable second quarter operating profits of $54mn as it took a $30.5mn hit from UK and Australian flood losses in the period, partially offset by reserve releases and an increase in investment income.
  • Fast-growing Australian (re)insurer QBE Insurance Group Ltd has entered into a Joint Venture Agreement with the Rajan Raheja Group (RRG) to establish a general insurance company in India.
  • Lloyd’s insurer Novae issued an upbeat trading statement with improvements to its syndicate forecasts, a decrease in run-off expenditure and a better-than-expected assessment of the rating environment.
  • Markel Group has seen AM Best upgrade its financial strength rating on its London-based platform Markel International Insurance Co Ltd.
  • UK insurer Brit Holdings plc announced the creation of an independent underwriting advisory forum as part of a group restructure.
  • London market reinsurers led by Allianz suffered a blow following a High Court decision in their controversial EUR44.3mn dispute with the North Korean state insurer.
  • Resurgent UK insurer Royal & Sun Alliance Group saw its shares slide last week against a backdrop of fears over flood losses and jittery investors following the turmoil in the global credit markets.
  • Despite a liberal sprinkling of “record” results in last week’s interims, it was a bruising week for (re)insurers on both sides of the Atlantic as equities slumped on the back of continuing fears in the global credit markets.