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May 2004/3

  • US banking giant Citibank announced today (10 May) that it has reached a pre-tax $2.65bn settlement of class action litigation brought by WorldCom investors.
  • US regulators’ investigations into broker commission kickbacks has widened with news that the Connecticut Attorney-General Richard Blumenthal has launched a parallel investigation alongside that of the campaigning New York A-G Eliot Spitzer.
  • World’s largest insurer, American International Group (AIG), kicked off the US first quarter reporting season on 23 April when it said profits had jumped 36 percent to reach $2.6bn, compared with $1.95bn for the same period a year earlier.
  • Fast growing Bermudian (re)insurer Endurance had its AM Best A (Excellent) rating affirmed last Thursday (7 May), a week after reporting first quarter net profits double last year’s.
  • Talbot Holdings, the private equity backed Lloyd’s insurer, revealed a 66 percent increase in profits to $19.8mn for the year.
  • Lloyd’s insurer Hardy Underwriting Group plc made a profit of almost £12mn from its 18-month investment in rival Atrium Underwriting plc, the company revealed last week.
  • Lloyd’s revealed that it is now authorised to trade in 72 territories worldwide following the enlargement of the European Union on 1 May.
  • On the back of strong reserve building in recent years, the short-fall in US property & casualty reserves has declined to $80bn, estimates industry analysts Morgan Stanley.
  • Improvements in technology, cycles and consolidation, and increased corporate governance are the three major trends facing the insurance industry, CEO and chairman of broker Willis Jo Plumeri has said.
  • A number of Californians who lost houses in last year’s wildfires have filed a proposed class action lawsuit against four US insurers they claim charged premiums for property that no longer exists.
  • Ratings agency Fitch has warned that the introduction of international accounting standards (IAS) could have an impact on some insurance company ratings in the medium term depending on the response of management and investment markets to the new standards
  • Swiss Re today opened the debate on the increasing use of nanotechnology in industrial and commercial production, calling for greater analysis of the inherent risks of the process to enable the insurance industry to provide the framework for further growt
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