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May 2005/4

  • Mammoth financial services company Allianz confirmed last week (13 May) that it is well on track to meet its 2005 earnings target, after reporting a 33 percent increase in net income to almost EUR1.2bn for the first quarter of the year.
  • Steve McGill, the former chief executive of Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group plc, has left his short consultancy role at Benfield Group to join Aon Corp.
  • Faraday Group chief executive Milan Vukelic has been suspended as US regulatory authorities continue to probe General Re’s past finite reinsurance transactions.
  • The High Court refused applications by a group of aggrieved former Lloyd’s Names to bring actions of “misfeasance in public office” against Lloyd’s, last week.
  • Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) announced last week (11 May) that it was leaving its A+ rating for world’s largest reinsurer Munich Re unchanged following its recent strong first quarter results (see Insider Week No 172).
  • UK insurer R&SA offered a ray of sunshine to its long-suffering shareholders with a consensus beating first quarter operating profit of £160mn, way ahead of the £106mn-£134mn forecasts.
  • Germany's Hannover Re showed its strength across the board, with operating profit up 16.2 percent to EUR179.5mn, net income increasing 11.1 percent to EUR107.7mn and gross written premiums growing 6.2 percent to EUR2.6bn against the first quarter of 2004.
  • Swiss reinsurance newcomer Glacier Re has increased its capital base with the release of two tranches of subordinated notes.
  • Slimmed down Swiss reinsurer Converium reported a higher than expected first quarter loss last week (10 May) as Erwin, commutations, reserve strengthening and restructuring costs hit the bottom line.
  • Hiscox plc has appointed XL D&O underwriter Marc van der Veer as managing director of the group’s retail operations in continental Europe.
  • Lloyd’s insurer Wellington Underwriting plc has announced the appointment of Heather Thomas as general counsel and company secretary.
  • Under-the-cosh insurance giant AIG was facing more fallout from its errant accounting practices today when it was reported in the Wall Street Journal that a further “six or more” senior executives will be forced to leave the company in the next two weeks.