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June 2005/5

  • Hardy underwriting has announced the termination of merger talks with fellow Lloyd’s insurer Omega.
  • In a day of flux for the London Market insurance sector, Lloyd’s motor underwriter Cox has confirmed the appointment of Highway CEO Andrew Gibson as its new finance director.
  • French reinsurer SCOR has successfully raised a total of EUR233.2mn from the issue of 149.5 million shares (after full exercise of over-allotment option), with the majority of the gross proceeds going to buy back the remaining shares of Irish subsidiary I
  • Lloyd’s liability specialist Illium Insurance is set to expand into commercial motor insurance next year after recruiting former Equity Red Star underwriter John Shepherd.
  • Lloyd’s insurer Kiln has said today (27 June) that it continues to see good trading conditions in 2005, with renewal rating levels at 98.4 percent of the equivalent price a year ago.
  • Lloyd’s listed insurer Hiscox last week (21 June) described rates as “strongly profitable”, despite more competitive conditions, but said that it is likely to reduce capacity on its Syndicate 33 for next year, from £775mn to £650mn.
  • Lloyd’s based electronic data transfer initiative Kinnect has confirmed that Beaufort Underwriting Agency Ltd has signed contracts to become its 20th customer.
  • Barbados-based Imagine has had its A- financial strength rating and a- credit rating put on negative outlook by AM Best following a review of the reinsurer’s acquisition of Danish Re and current uncertainty surrounding the finite reinsurance market.
  • Australia headquartered (re)insurer QBE is set to merge its European commercial and European divisions to create a single Dublin based operation.
  • As the market continues to soften, a divide is emerging among European reinsurers, with stronger companies unencumbered by recent problems outpacing their peers, according to Benfield’s latest quarterly report on the sector.
  • Start-up broker Integro has maintained the momentum of the past few weeks with news of another key hiring.
  • European non-life insurers are set for record profits in 2005, according to the latest quarterly report from ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P), entitled “Industry Report Card: European Insurance”.
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