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November 2004/5

  • Leading brokers could see up to a quarter of their bottom line earnings eroded as a result of abandoning contingency commissions, according to a survey by investment banking and financial consulting outfit WFG Capital Advisors.
  • Hurricanes, unresolved WTC losses, unreliable catastrophe modelling, PSAs: these are just some of the challenges faced by the global insurance industry for 2005 according to XL chief executive of Insurance Operations Clive Tobin.
  • Zurich Financial Services (ZFS) shrugged off the impact of the most severe hurricane season in memory to post net income of $1.902bn for the first nine months of 2004 – a 35 percent increase over the same period last year.
  • US property casualty giant The Hartford announced last Thursday (18 November) that it has bought a $247.5mn cat bond from Cayman Island reinsurance company Foundation Re “to enhance its ability to manage risk related to large natural catastrophes”.
  • At a time when capital management has become increasingly important to insurance investors, Lloyd’s listed insurer Chaucer announced on Friday (19 November) it would increase dividends by around 10 percent a year from 2005 to 2008, matching its objective
  • Broker Aon has stated the potential impact of a mammoth round of energy litigation currently underway in the Royal Courts of Justice.
  • The mooted takeover of GoshawK, the UK listed owner of Rosemont Re, has been ruled out by Nikko, the Japanese private equity firm which was given a deadline of 23 November to make firm its declaration of interest.
  • Argenta’s new marine Lloyd syndicate will be allocated number 1965 when it begins trading next year, Insider Week can reveal.
  • A heady cocktail of collusion, doctored documents and “implausible” testimony has come to light after judgement was handed down last week in a fraud dispute between German reinsurer R+V and former Lloyd’s managing agency Risk.
  • The verdict on the latest round of WTC insurance litigation is still hanging in the balance, as Insider Week goes to press.
  • The beleaguered broking giant MMC took further steps to improve its corporate governance rating by firing five senior executives from its board of directors last week.
  • Willis’ hopes that it may be the main beneficiary from any client fall-out at Marsh were boosted last week with the revelation that Fortune brands – a company named in Spitzer’s 14 October lawsuit – appointed Willis to replace the world’s largest broker.