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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-.
  • Quanta Capital Holdings has signed heads of agreement with Chaucer Holdings and the senior underwriting team of its Syndicate 4000 to form a new Lloyd's managing agent, Pembroke Managing Agency Limited.
  • Despite increasing asbestos reserves by another £128mn in the year to 31 March 2006, Lloyd's pre-1993 run-off vehicle Equitas highlighted its progress in resolving claims with major policyholders as it released its financial results last Tuesday (6 June).
  • New Lloyd's chief executive Richard Ward has begun to impose his authority on the Corporation with his first management reshuffle, consolidating business process reform (BPR) responsibilities under the leadership of Steven Haasz.
  • Starr Aviation Agency, the managing agency ultimately controlled by former American International Group chief executive Maurice "Hank" Greenberg, has found a head aviation underwriter to spearhead the company's London market operations.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Reinsurance broker Benfield Group has developed a $315mn, fully collateralised, Florida windstorm sidecar, Starbound Re, in conjunction with Bermudian reinsurer RenaissanceRe.
  • The International Underwriting Association (IUA) has begun a pilot project to test a new electronic claims system for the London Market.