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September 2005/5

  • Giant insurer American International Group (AIG) has taken legal action in an effort to seize $20bn of its own shares from the control of ousted former chief executive Maurice “Hank” Greenberg, according to reports today in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
  • Ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) has lowered its outlook on the reinsurance industry to negative from stable, suggesting that company downgrades will outnumber upgrades for the remainder of the year.
  • Following the news that the first Hurricane Katrina lawsuit had been filed against insurers in the US (see Insider Week No. 191), law firms have begun to brief insurance clients in earnest over the challenges they will face in the likely deluge of...
  • The industry needs to be prepared for the $100bn storm according to risk assessment experts who last week warned (re)insurers over issues caused by both the rising cost and frequency of hurricane driven catastrophes in the United States.
  • One month ago it looked like overall capacity would be down at Lloyd’s next year, now with the market changed by Hurricane Katrina the reverse could be true. Although total industry losses and individual insurer losses caused by Hurricane Katrina...
  • Ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service has added to fears over Advent Underwriting Ltd’s ability to weather its substantial Hurricane Katrina losses by placing its B (average) rating on the company’s Syndicate 780 on review for a possible downgrade.
  • JLT Re, the reinsurance arm of Jardine Lloyd Thompson, is continuing to build following the decision to separate it from the brokers other businesses and grow beyond its presence in marine and aviation.
  • A good set of first-half year results for Hardy Underwriting Group was boosted by IFRS accounting rules which improved income by £1mn. The insurer released its interim results for the six months up to 30 June 2005 on 22 September and saw...
  • Marsh & McLennan (MMC) has reached agreement with more than 30 US insurance regulators over alleged fraud and anti-competitive practices. The charges were levelled by New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer and New York State Insurance...
  • It was a bittersweet week for MMC in its negotiations with US regulators to settle the investigations and allegations into the firm’s past business practices. On the one hand, the broking giant entered into an agreement with the National Association...
  • Embattled UK quoted reinsurer Alea Group Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd has cancelled a rescue fund raising plan following AM Best’s decision on 23 September to downgrade the firm’s financial strength rating from A- to B++.
  • The (re)insurance industry has continued its assessment of the likely financial impact of hurricane Katrina, the category 4 storm that brought devastation to New Orleans and the US South late last month.