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September 2003/2

  • Like its slightly larger German rival Munich Re, Swiss Re has been recently downgraded by S&P. But at least the reinsurer has reported improved half-year results, returning earnings of SFr691mn up from SFr118mn for the first six months of 2002.
  • French reinsurer SCOR has booked 18 percent less in gross written premiums in the first half of 2003 compared to the comparable period last year.
  • Lloyd’s insurer Wellington Underwriting restored its dividend to shareholders last week following a sharp rise in interim profits.
  • City stockbrokers Collins Stewart has threatened legal action against the Financial Times after the newspaper printed allegations of unsavoury business practices.
  • There was increased speculation over the weekend that the UK’s second largest domestic non-life insurer, Royal & Sun Alliance (R&SA), will launch a rights issue later this week.
  • Premiums increases for professional indemnity for solicitors and law firms are beginning to level out over the past year, according to Aon Professional Risks (APR).
  • Lloyd’s insurer Omega Underwriting Agents hopes of expansion have hit a stumbling block after seven weeks of negotiations with members’ agents proved inconclusive.
  • Illium Insurance Group Ltd, the UK liability start-up headed by former Limit underwriter Denis Burniston and Russell Benzies, the former chief executive of Euler Trade Indemnity plc, is set to begin trading via a new Lloyd’s Syndicate 4040 next year.
  • HLF Group is continuing to attract senior new executives and expand overseas despite the recent uncertainties caused by take-over talks with Marsh.
  • Despite last month’s decision by Lloyd’s to approve Chaucer’s syndicate merger plans, it seems the fiery response from elements of the Members' Agents has yet to be doused.
  • While 2002 promises to be a bumper year for Lloyd’s, the legacy of US casualty exposures continues to drag down the 2001 forecasts, according to the latest set of Syndicate Quarterly Returns published by Lloyd’s last week.
  • Giant German reinsurer Munich Re has rallied against rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) after being downgraded from AA- to A+ with a stable outlook. In a statement, the world’s largest reinsurer by premium described the move as “unjustified” and founde