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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.
  • 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.
  • Lloyd’s post-Equitas open year liabilities increased by £0.3bn last year and have become the “elephant in the room” of UK run-off, according to Philip Grant, chairman of the Association of Run-off Companies (ARC).
  • US and EU Legal Developments
  • Paris-based investment bank Calyon has completed a $63mn securitisation, Pinnacle, once again demonstrating the industry’s growing enthusiasm to sell-on risk to the capital markets.
  • Bermuda-headquartered Catlin Group confirmed on 27 September that it is entering into a catastrophe swap agreement that would provide it with coverage of up to $200.25mn for global natural catastrophes.
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