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November 2003/5

  • London securities house Collins Stewart Tullett has confirmed that one of its US employees was arrested by the FBI last week on suspicion of currency fraud.
  • Lloyd’s insurer Wellington has expanded its US operations with the recruitment of a ten strong accident and health underwriting team from Reinsurance Management Group.
  • Liability start-up Illium announced last Friday a significant capital investment from Barbadian Imagine Group, and confirmed that FSA approval to underwrite through Syndicate 4040 at Lloyd’s had been granted.
  • Standard & Poor’s negative stance on the reinsurance industry was confirmed last week at the ratings agency’s European Insurance Seminar, held at London’s Gibson Hall on 20 November.
  • Acrimony between reinsurers and rating agencies flared again last week when embattled French reinsurer SCOR commented that its latest downgrade by Fitch Rating was “unfounded, ill-timed and causes serious damage to the Company”.
  • The “for sale” sign hoisted above GoshawK has been taken down, as the insurer revealed it has concluded the strategic review which began in July.
  • Bermudian reinsurer Everest Re has announced dividends of nine cents per share. The dividend will be paid on or before 19 December to all shareholders of record as of November 26, 2003.
  • AM Best has downgraded the financial strength rating of Paris-based reinsurer AXA Re and its subsidiaries from “A” (excellent) to “A-“ (excellent) with a stable outlook.
  • Zurich Financial Services (ZFS) has posted Q3 2003 profits of $701mn, compared with a net loss of $763mn for the same period in 2002.
  • The steep rise in directors and officers insurance is forcing UK companies to seek alternative cover, according to a survey from the Association of Insurance and Risk Managers (AIRMIC).
  • Travelers Property Casualty Corporation became the latest insurer to announce positive news regarding a section of asbestos claims relating to statutory direct actions.
  • The multibillion dollar coverage dispute between World Trade Center leaseholder Larry Silverstein and the building’s insurers is set for a 9 February 2004 trial date.
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