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September 2003/4

  • Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has criticised proposed International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) describing them as costly to implement and likely to lead to greater earnings volatility.
  • Troubled French (re)insurer SCOR has rallied against AM Best after having its financial strength ratings downgraded last Wednesday, as the industry continues to lay down battle lines between itself and ratings agencies.
  • Lloyd’s insurer SVB showed signs of a continuing turnaround last week, announcing a trebling of operating profits and combined ratio recovering to below 100 percent.
  • Lloyd’s insurer Advent Capital (Holdings) plc revealed a welcome return to profit after the devastations of the 2001 underwriting year.
  • Against the backdrop of US tort reform, some US insurers are lobbying to increase Equitas’ burden of asbestos claims, warned the run-off reinsurer’s new chief executive Scott Moser last week.
  • Munich Re executives met with some of London’s leading insurance analysts last week as the reinsurer sought to reassure the City in the light of its shock downgrade by rating agency Standard & Poor’s.
  • The $10mn fine handed to AIG last week was a further sign that US regulators are scrutinising the industry’s penchant for complicated financial instruments.
  • Embattled reinsurer ESG Re is suing accountancy firm Deloitte & Touche (D&T) and its Irish based partner Mary Fulton following its decision to resign as the company’s auditors last year.
  • A new $550mn capitalised (re)insurer is set to be launched later this year with backing from US private equity houses and management shipped in from Swiss Re, Insider Week can reveal.
  • Post-9/11 start-up Endurance officially opened the new offices of its FSA licensed London subsidiary on Friday morning (12 September).
  • Buyers and sellers in the reinsurance industry expect rates in some short tail business to fall in 2004, according to a Europe-wide survey by Aon, the world’s largest reinsurance broker.
  • Five insurance companies filed suit in the US last week against a host of alleged WTC conspirators ranging from Osama bin Laden to the Saudi government.
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