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October 2006/3

  • A tsunami is expected to hit northern Japan and Russia today (15 November), the US Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has warned.
  • Munich Re, the world’s second largest reinsurer, raised its full year earnings forecast and announced its first ever share buy-back today (7 November) as it became the latest industry carrier to benefit from the benign claims season.
  • Despite paying over $1bn in settlements and foregoing contingent commissions, the post-Spitzer picture is still not “rosy” for the big three brokers, according to a report by ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P).
  • Aon Re Global appears to have pulled off a coup with the hiring of Elliot Richardson, currently head of facultative reinsurance at rival Benfield Group, to run its global Fac operation.
  • Despite the growing popularity of sidecars, executives in the London market are not convinced about their merits, according to findings by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for its 2006 London Insurance Market survey.
  • But dollar fluctuations continue to deliver mixed results to bottom line figures
  • Lloyd’s last month reported half year pre-tax profits of £1.35bn – marginally down on the £1.38bn booked at the same stage last year – as strong underwriting results in benign conditions were offset by a fall in investment income.
  • Quoted Lloyd’s insurers Hardy Underwriting Group plc and Advent Capital Holdings plc are taking the final steps towards achieving the buy-out of remaining Names’ capital.
  • Review recommends freeing up of agency agreement and sidecar-style Names’ syndicates Lloyd’s has unveiled plans to overhaul its annual venture in a bid to tackle complaints that its current structure adds costs and restricts management flexibility.
  • The Financial Services Authority’s (FSA) decision to look more closely at brokers’ commission disclosure has been broadly welcomed by the London market.
  • A number of (re)insurers are growing significant reserve redundancies, potentially using them to support margins and returns as the market softens, according to research by analysts at Morgan Stanley.
  • Fresh from Alba sale, Whittington plans new Lloyd’s syndicate The trio of senior Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd executives who have resigned from the reinsurer in the past few months are planning a start-up reinsurer that is likely to have a Lloyd’s plat
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