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June 2006/3

  • UK general insurer Royal & Sun Alliance has unveiled plans to cut over 1500 jobs in an efficiency drive that will save the group £130mn in annual costs.
  • French giant AXA announced today (14 June) that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Credit Suisse Group to buy the Zurich-based company’s insurance operation Winterthur for SFr12.3bn, or EUR7.9bn in cash.
  • Rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) last night (12 June) confirmed 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-.
  • South African broking group Alexander Forbes announced last Wednesday (7 June) that its CEO is to step down, it is in discussions with potential private equity buyers of the company, and that it is looking at options for its International Risk...
  • French insurer AXA is reportedly in exclusive talks to buy Winterthur, the insurance unit of financial services giant Credit Suisse Group in a deal that could be worth up to SFr10bn, or $8bn.
  • As predicted by this publication last week, Swiss Re today (12 June) announced the completion of its acquisition of GE Insurance Solutions (GEIS), creating the world's largest reinsurer.
  • Latest sidecar vehicle Bay Point Re - which will sit alongside Bermudian "Class of 2005" start-up Harbor Point - has received a BB debt rating for its $125mn debt facility from Standard & Poor's, along with a Baa2 debt rating from Moody's for the loan...
  • Reinsurance broker Benfield Group has developed a $315mn, fully collateralised, Florida windstorm sidecar, Starbound Re, in conjunction with Bermudian reinsurer RenaissanceRe.
  • Novae Group is entering the Lloyd's energy market with the appointment of Jason Poulastides to Novae Syndicate 2147. The firm is hoping to take advantage of the "biggest ever" rate rises in the sector.
  • Tropical Storm Alberto, the first named storm of this year's hurricane season, has struck Cuba and was heading towards Florida at the time of going to press.
  • AM Best has affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A+ (Superior) on US insurer HCC Insurance Holdings and assigned indicative ratings on the firm's $1bn shelf registration.
  • The International Underwriting Association (IUA) has begun a pilot project to test a new electronic claims system for the London Market.
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