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September 2006/2

  • Lloyd’s this morning announced 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.
  • Highfields continues SCOR sidecar dispute; Spitzer drops key Greenberg charges; Fairfax restates; ACE acquires minority stake in Russian Re; AM Best removes Hannover Re from review; Greenlight Re receives Best rating; et al
  • Levene makes tax call for London’s competitiveness; Beazley boosts cat capability with Berkshire Hathaway tie-up; Gibson returns to Highway; LMA launches wordings repository; Fitch affirms Lloyd’s A rating; et al
  • With the limitations of traditional reinsurance pushing cedants to look for other options they must get comfortable with their understanding of the basis risk associated with the alternatives, according to Rolf Tolle...
  • Bookmakers will rarely accept bets once the race has started which explains why – halfway through the Atlantic hurricane season – there have not been any recent US windstorm catastrophe (cat) bonds.
  • Hiscox plc revealed on 1 September that it is close to setting up a Bermudian sidecar operation to reinsure its Lloyd’s Syndicate 33.
  • UK professional indemnity (PI) rates are under pressure and nowhere is this more keenly felt than solicitors’ PI.
  • Reinsurers who fail to meet the challenge of cycle management risk being downgraded, said rating agency Fitch as it released its report on the sector at the beginning of September.
  • Insurance giant Zurich Financial Services (ZFS) reported half-year net profits of $1.96bn, up 9 percent on the first six months of 2005, and ahead of analysts’ consensus of $1.8bn.
  • It was a tale of two markets for reinsurance specialist Benfield Group with disappointing news on its new corporate risks division being more than matched by impressive earnings growth in its US division on the back of the capacity crunch for catastrophe
  • Two months after Jardine Lloyd Thompson’s (JLT) proposed takeover of rival Heath Lambert fell through, analysts have turned their attention to the quoted UK broker’s prospects as an independent entity.