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October 2009/4

  • After a lengthy impasse, Russian-backed private equity firm Pamplona Capital Management finally upped its shareholding in Lloyd's insurer Chaucer to 16.27 percent on Friday (23 October).
  • Credit rating agencies Moody's and S&P have until the end of the week (30 October) to respond to fraud charges levelled in a far-reaching class action suit accusing them of masking the risks of the collapsed Cheyne SIV.
  • Luzi Hitz, CEO of European catastrophe information aggregator Perils AG, said the company's plans to provide a European industry-wide loss index will boost capacity in the European insurance-linked securities (ILS) and industry loss warranty (ILW) markets
  • As the European reinsurance industry descended upon the sleepy German spa town of Baden Baden yesterday to kick-start the annual reinsurance gathering, several key themes dominated early conversations.
  • With the Q3 reporting season picking up pace this week, strident third quarter results from early reporting US and Bermudian (re)insurers have brought the issue of capital management back into sharp focus.
  • AIG's challenge of retaining its key management may have got tougher last week, after the Obama administration's pay tsar Kenneth Feinberg imposed brutal cuts on the salaries of its most senior executives.
  • UK regulator the Financial Services Authority (FSA) weighed into the hot political topic of the supervision and regulation of financial institutions deemed "too big to fail" last week.
  • Swiss Re said it is "very well positioned" to enter January 2010 renewal discussions, but will focus on quality instead of quantity as it faces up to the pricing problems in key European markets.
  • The recession will continue to drive down demand for the ample insurance capacity in the US property casualty market and keep pressure on pricing in 2010, according to a report by Advisen.
  • In a reversal of normal industry practice, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled last week (22 October) that VAT is now liable on the cross-border sale of portfolios of reinsurance business
  • Mirroring the 2009 bounce-back within the global (re)insurance industry, Lloyd's pro forma capital base increased by 13 percent to £16bn in the first half of 2009 and 30 percent year-on-year.
  • Canadian combine Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH) now owns 97 percent of Odyssey Re following the expiration of its cash tender offer for the remaining shares in its affiliated reinsurer.