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Monday
Nov022009

Int. Insurance Links 2.11.09

Mixed response to Lloyd’s cat concerns

29 October 2009

There has been a mixed response from players in the London market to the news that Lloyd’s is taking a close look at the amount of catastrophe-related exposure in the market.

There has been a mixed response from players in the London market to the news that Lloyd’s is taking a close look at the amount of catastrophe-related exposure in the market.

Citing market insiders, UK newspaper the Financial Times reported Wednesday that Lloyd’s is likely to ask some of its members to reduce their exposure to catastrophe business or stump up more capital.

The insurance market is in the midst of discussions with...


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AIR warns of north-east hurricane risk

28 October 2009

Insurers and reinsurers should not overlook the possibility of a strong hurricane making landfall on the north-east US coast, Ming Lee, president and CEO of AIR Worldwide, and Jayanta Guin, AIR’s senior vice-president of research and modeling, told the PCI Reporter.

Insurers and reinsurers should not overlook the possibility of a strong hurricane making landfall on the north-east US coast, Ming Lee, president and CEO of AIR Worldwide, and Jayanta Guin, AIR’s senior vice-president of research and modeling, told the PCI Reporter.

According to Lee and Guin, Hurricane Bill this year provided a timely reminder that the US coast is not immune from the effects of hurricanes.

When the National Hurricane Centre released its forecast for Hurricane...

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Frustration expressed with homeowners market

27 October 2009

Private insurers are becoming increasingly frustrated with the situation of US homeowners insurance and are leaving the market, Bryon Ehrhart, CEO of Aon Benfield Analytics and chairman of Aon Benfield Securities, has warned.

Keywords (click to search): [homeowners] [Bryon Ehrhart] [Aon Benfield]

Private insurers are becoming increasingly frustrated with the situation of US homeowners insurance and are leaving the market, Bryon Ehrhart, CEO of Aon Benfield Analytics and chairman of Aon Benfield Securities, has warned.

According to Aon Benfield's annual review of the US homeowners market, the prospective return on equity for homeowners insurance has declined to 6.1% from 6.5% in the past 12 months.

"The deterioration of return...

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Ironshore expands property business

19 October 2009

Ironshore has gained approval to write direct and facultative property business on behalf of its Pembroke Lloyd’s syndicate effective October 1, 2009

Keywords (click to search): [Ironshore] [Pembroke] [Rod Todd]

Ironshore has gained approval to write direct and facultative property business on behalf of its Pembroke Lloyd’s syndicate effective October 1, 2009. The team will underwrite a...

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Florida insurer deemed insolvent

13 October 2009

The Florida Department for Financial Services has ordered American Keystone Insurance Company into receivership after it was found to be in an impaired state and unable to pay money owed to private reinsurers and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.

Keywords (click to search): [florida]

The Florida Department for Financial Services has ordered American Keystone Insurance Company into receivership after it was found to be in an impaired state and unable to pay money owed to private reinsurers and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.

The property/casualty company American Keystone,...

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RBS may be forced to sell insurance arm

02 November 2009

Royal Bank of Scotland today warned that the European Union is forcing it to sell more of its assets than originally planned.

Royal Bank of Scotland today warned that the European Union is forcing it to sell more of its assets than originally planned.

Speculation increased over the weekend that the European Commission...

Addtional info here from Bloomberg and here from Reuters.

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Ironshore launches energy casualty unit

16 September 2009

Ironshore has established a dedicated energy casualty division, as an extension of its global energy unit.

Ironshore has established a dedicated energy casualty division, as an extension of its global energy unit.
...

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Aviva to restructure European business

22 October 2009

Aviva is planning an extensive restructuring of its European activities, following a review of 12 European businesses by division CEO Andrea Moneta.

Moneta and group CEO Andrew Moss are...

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Recession hits cedants hard

26 October 2009

Costas Miranthis, chief executive of PartnerRe Europe, is a spokesman for two companies at this year’s Baden-Baden meeting. Although the integration of recently acquired Paris Re is well underway, the two companies will go through the January 2010 renewal separately.

Costas Miranthis, chief executive of PartnerRe Europe, is a spokesman for two companies at this year’s Baden-Baden meeting. Although the integration of recently acquired Paris Re is well underway, the two companies will go through the January 2010 renewal separately.

“We’re at around 83% share ownership now and plan to have acquired 100% by the end of the year,” Miranthis says. “Our aim is to have an integrated structure in place by July 1.”

Looking ahead to the fully integrated “new” PartnerRe, Miranthis says the company will be bigger and broader as a result of the...

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PZU to launch IPO In July 2010

30 October 2009

Polish insurer, PZU, could hold an initial public offering (IPO) in July 2010 after the end of an eight-year dispute between shareholders, Bloomberg reports.

Polish insurer PZU could hold an initial public offering (IPO) in July 2010 after the end of an...

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WR Berkley hires Spanish exec chairman

20 October 2009

WR Berkley Insurance (Europe) has appointed Javier Esteban as executive chairman. The insurer has hired Esteban as the Presidente Ejecutivo of its Sucursal en España branch.

WR Berkley Insurance (Europe) has appointed Javier Esteban as executive chairman....

To continue reading this article please subscribe or take a free trial to Reactions.

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Aon Benfield adds Benelux trio

26 October 2009

Aon Benfield has expanded its Benelux division with three appointments, the reinsurance broker announced Friday.

Keywords (click to search): [Aon Benfield] [Benelux]

Aon Benfield has expanded its Benelux division with three appointments, the reinsurance broker announced Friday.

Hans Groot, ex-CEO of Cunningham Lindsey, has...

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Ceiops elects new chairman

02 November 2009

European insurance watchdog the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors has appointed Gabriel Bernardino as chairman.

European insurance watchdog the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions...

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Tuesday
Oct272009

Danish Insurance Links 27.10.09

Færre buler kan give lavere præmier

Antallet af trafikulykker er det laveste i årevis, og det får flere forsikringsselskaber til at varsle billigere forsikring, skriver JydskeVestkysten. I årets første ni måneder er der sket 9016 ulykker. Det er 11,5 procent færre end i tilsvarende periode sidste år og hele 19,5 procent færre end i 2007.

Alka og GF er blandt de selskaber, som bebuder, at det faldende antal ulykker og deraf smadrede biler skal komme deres kunder til gode. Til gengæld skal for eksempel Topdanmarks kunder ikke regne med at få udbytte af de færre trafikuheld.

Ifølge selskabet er det nemlig blevet dyrere at reparere skaderne.

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Trygfondens Tryghedsmåling

I løbet af de to år siden Tryghedsmåling 2007 har en række nye trusler og flere ældre trusler fået ny aktualitet. F.eks. drøftes en fremtidig klimakatastrofe nu som en reel mulighed. Internationale terrornetværk taler om Danmark som et nærliggende mål, og lokale sympatisører har – som et par spektakulære retssager har vist – ikke ladet det blive ved snakken. Den såkaldte bandekrig har raset i hovedstadens gader og har krævet sine første civile ofre. Endelig står vi midt i en økonomisk krise, som
en overgang så ud til at true hele verdens finansielle systemer, og som har fået aktier og huspriser til at falde, og ledigheden til at stige.

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Det Bliver Dyrt at Bo for Lavt

Både forsikringsselskaber og kommuner bebuder nu, at klimaændringerne skal påvirke de enkelte husejeres økonomi i langt højere grad end i dag, skriver Politiken søndag.

Dyrere forsikringspræmie og kloakafgift

Før i tiden måtte de, der boede lavt og tæt på vådområder, blot slås med en forhøjet risiko for oversvømmelser. Men nu skal deres forsikringspræmie og kloakafgift afhænge af, om huset ligger højt eller lavt, og af hvad de selv har gjort for at minimere risikoen for oversvømmelser.

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Monday
Oct262009

Int. Insurance links 26.10.09 (First report in Q4) - part 2

Broker consolidation to continue at brisk pace

The desire for growth and the potential competitive advantages of size will encourage further consolidation in the broking market, despite strained revenue streams in the economic climate, according to a new report from Advisen.

Keywords (click to search): [broker]

The desire for growth and the potential competitive advantages of size will encourage further consolidation in the broking market, despite strained revenue streams in the economic climate, according to a new report from Advisen.

The report, Insurance Broker Economics: The Carousel of M&As, says a consideration of the drivers and future of mergers and acquisitions suggests that the largest brokers in particular are still looking for new growth opportunities. The US middle market and various specialised niche opportunities seem to be where they are seeing the greatest growth potential.

The report says: “Today, the largest brokers are seeking out new opportunities in the middle market, attempting to expand into parts of the economy where the broker behemoths have had lukewarm success at best. The focus of acquisitions has shifted to breadth and depth, and away from...

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RSA drops $1bn cash call

RSA has dropped plans for a $1bn rights issue, the Daily Telegraph reports. The insurance group has scrapped the multi-million pound fundraising after failing to achieve some of its main targets.

Keywords (click to search): [RSA] [rights issue]

RSA has dropped plans for a $1bn rights issue, the Daily Telegraph reports. The insurance group has scrapped the multi-million pound fundraising after failing to achieve some...

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RSA sells British Engine for £28m

UK insurer RSA is to sell the inwards reinsurance business of British Engine Insurance to Knapton Holdings, a subsidiary of Enstar Group for £28m ($45.5m).

Keywords (click to search): [RSA] [Enstar] [British Engine Insurance] [Knapton Holdings]

UK insurer RSA is to sell the inwards reinsurance business of..
.

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Solvency II may drive insurers away from EU

Stephen Haddrill, CEO of the Association of British Insurers, outlines his concerns about proposals for the implementation of Solvency II in this op-ed piece for Reactions.

Keywords (click to search): [Stephen Haddrill] [ABI] [Association of British Insurers] [Solvency II]

The European Union’s (EU) Solvency II Directive provides a comprehensive new framework for insurance supervision and regulation, introducing across the EU more risk-based approach to supervision and capital assessment, using market-based valuation of assets and liabilities.

The Directive was agreed in May 2009 and we at the Association of British Insurers continue to support its aims and principles. It has the potential to create a stronger single market for insurance across Europe. And to give consumers assurance that firms have the right level of capital, neither too little nor too much.

However a large number of issues remain to be settled in the implementing of regulations. The regulations will be written by the European Commission next year. The Commission will take into account the advice of Ceiops, a committee of all Europe’s national insurance regulators, including the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Some of the proposals from...

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Ribeiro talks up emerging opportunities

Lloyd’s of London plans to further expand its operations in emerging markets, Jose Ribeiro, director of Lloyd's international markets business, said Wednesday.

Keywords (click to search): [Lloyd’s of London] [Jose Ribeiro]

Lloyd’s of London plans to further expand its operations in emerging markets, Jose Ribeiro, director of Lloyd's international markets business, said Wednesday.

Speaking at an AM Best conference in the City of London, Ribeiro said that Lloyd’s, which already has overseas operations in Brazil, Singapore, and China, is eyeing further growth as those economies grow.

“The growth in...

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Monday
Oct262009

Int. Insurance links 26.10.09 (First report in Q4) 

Aviva with-profits customers share £470m payout

About 805,000 Aviva policyholders have voted to share in a one-off payout of £470m, the insurer announced today. Customers with Aviva's GNU and CULAC with-profits funds were asked if they wanted to take part in the reattribution of the insurer's inherited estate – surplus money that has built up in the funds over decades of investment.

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PPI ruling could trigger customer refunds

Thousands of borrowers could potentially benefit from a ruling relating to the way credit card holders are sold payment protection insurance (PPI), it emerged today. A county court judge has decided that an "unfair relationship" had arisen between Lynne Thorius and MBNA because she was advised to take out PPI by the card giant but was not told it would receive a commission from the sale.

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Aviva put up Delta Lloyd for £1bn sale

Aviva, Britain's second largest insurance group, today put a sale sign above its Dutch subsidiary Delta Lloyd in a bid to raise between €1bn and €1.6bn (£919m to £1.47bn) for fresh acquisitions.

The insurer said it wanted to list a minority stake in the business on Euronext's Amsterdam exchange in November, in what will be Europe's largest flotation in more than a year. Most analysts welcomed the decision to boost Aviva's capital base at a time when regulators and investors were concerned about the insurer's balance sheets.

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Indemnity insurance: Protect yourself against unforeseen property risks

The case of a Warwickshire couple forced to sell their farm following a £230,000 bill to fund repairs to a nearby church may have set alarm bells ringing for homebuyers across the country. But there is a way to avoid being hit by the kind of obscure and ancient law that left the Wallbanks liable for part of the upkeep of the 13th-century church in Aston Cantlow: indemnity insurance.

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Equitable Life victims win in high court

Hundreds of thousands more victims of the Equitable Life debacle could now be entitled to compensation after policyholders claimed a high court victory in their long battle with the government over payouts.

Lawyers for Emag, the Equitable Members Action Group, had argued that ministers could not evade the reality of regulatory failures linked to the insurer's near collapse at the start of the decade. Today, Lord Justice Carnwath and Mr Justice Gross quashed the Treasury's decision to reject a number of findings of injustice and maladministration made by the parliamentary ombudsman.

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Fraudster staged almost 100 car crashes and cost insurance firms £1.6m

After dozens of unsuccessful attempts, Mohammed Patel might have been reasonably expected to navigate his car safely around the Eden Point roundabout on the A34 in Stockport.

Yet, to the growing incredulity of staff across the road at the offices of Bovis Homes, the same driver managed to get involved in low-speed crashes again and again at the same spot as he inexplicably slammed his brakes on, leaving the helpless driver behind to hit his car. Today, a court heard the real explanation for the 24-year-old's 93 separate smashes – a fraud that cost the insurance industry £1.6m.

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Aviva CEO backed following affair revelations

Andrew Moss, the chief executive of Aviva, has received the full support of his chairman after it emerged that Moss had an affair with a colleague. Lord Sharman, chairman of Aviva, said last night that he still had "full confidence" in Moss.

News of the relationship between Moss and Deirdre Moffat broke this morning. The Times reported that the chief executive of Britain's biggest insurance company has left his family to live with Ms Moffat, who was a director in Aviva's HR department. She resigned from Aviva 10 days ago.

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Zurich loses personal details of 51,000 customers

Insurance firm Zurich today admitted it had lost a tape containing the personal details of 51,000 UK customers and said it had launched an investigation into the incident. The group said the back-up tape was lost during a routine transfer to a data storage centre in South Africa in August last year.

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Chairman defends Aviva chief over office affair

Aviva's plans to revamp its continental businesses were overshadowed today by revelations that chief executive Andrew Moss had an affair with a junior member of staff. Moss, who became chief executive two and a half years ago, admitted to an affair with Deirdre Moffat, 45, a former member of Aviva's human resources department.

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PPI complaint cases to be reopened

Thousands of consumers who had complaints about payment protection insurance (PPI) turned down could be in line for compensation after the City watchdog told lenders they must reassess their cases.

Rules introduced by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) mean lenders must revisit about 185,000 cases of consumers who have unsuccessfully complained about cover bought alongside unsecured loans since 1 July 2007, and compensate any they find have been mis-sold policies. If the review reveals widespread problems they could be forced to reopen cases going back to 2005 when the FSA took on the regulation of general insurance.

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Great American's Ocean Marine Unit, Avalon Form Strategic Marketing Relationship

Great American Insurance Group’s Ocean Marine division is expanding its role in the international trade community through its strategic marketing relationship with Avalon Risk Management.

Under this partnership, Great American Alliance Insurance, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Great American Insurance and member of the Great American Insurance Group of companies, will underwrite international transportation and US customs bonds with Avalon. Avalon writes more than 35% of all continuous bonds on file with US customs and border protection (CBP).

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ING to split in two, launch rights issue

Dutch bancassurer ING Group NV will split in two, shrinking itself into a smaller Europe-focused bank, in the most striking example yet of the deep changes the EU wants to force on banks that received state aid. The company also said it would pay back 50 percent of its aid from the Dutch state early and launch a 7.5 billion euro ($11.25 billion) rights issue.

Monday's surprise announcement from ING, which said the dismantling was expected to run through 2013, accelerates a move that investors had expected, but not for years to come. It effectively dismantles something of a national champion that was created just 18 years ago.

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Aviva Names New CFO

Aviva has appointed Patrick Regan as chief financial officer (CFO). He will join Aviva during February 2010 and will become a member of the group board. Mr. Regan is currently group chief operating officer and chief financial officer of Willis Group Holdings (Willis), an insurance broker. He joined Willis as CFO in 2006 and took on the additional responsibilities of COO last year. He recently established Willis Capital Markets & Advisory and is the chairman of that business.

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Travelers Unveils IndustryEdge For Healthcare Organisations

Travelers Commercial Accounts has unveiled a new IndustryEdge product for healthcare organisations. The product addresses the property & casualty insurance needs (excluding professional liability) of mid-sized healthcare clients.

The IndustryEdge product that is available through Travelers network of independent insurance agents and brokers for healthcare organisations, offers for outpatient facilities, including medical offices, clinics, laboratories, diagnostic centers and, in most states, ambulatory surgical centers. Available products include specialised coverages for property, automobile, general liability, umbrella and workers compensation.

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WGA Purchases RPG Insurance Administrators

William Gallagher Associates (WGA) has acquired RPG Insurance Administrators (RPG) of Medfield, Massachusetts.

Philip Edmundson, chairman and CEO of WGA, said: “WGA has steadily built our health care industry practice over the past few years, and now with the addition of RPG’s expertise we can continue to give our clients expanded capabilities within the health care arena.”

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Daman, Munich Re Extend Strategic Partnership

The National Health Insurance Company, Daman, a health insurance company in the UAE, and Munich Re, a reinsurers, have extended their strategic alliance and partnership.

The initial five-year agreement between both the firms was signed in 2005 when Daman was set up. Due to the profitable business development, both the companies have agreed to extend the agreement to 2019. Daman, which is jointly owned by the government of Abu Dhabi (80%) and Munich Re (20%), started operations in 2006. Since then, Daman has got hold of an 80% share in Abu Dhabi’s health insurance market.

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State Auto Insurance Implements Pangea

The State Auto Insurance Companies have executed Pangea for Insurance, a product of General Information Services (GIS). Pangea for Insurance is an insurance industry specific agent on-boarding version of GIS’s Human Capital Management (HCM) solution. The insurance solution was implemented on June 29 and is helping State Auto remain on the cutting edge.

The integration capabilities offered by Pangea for Insurance helps to streamline State Auto’s insurance licensing, background check and appointment processes.

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NARS Establishes Northeast Regional Office

North American Risk Services, a claims management firms, has set up a new office in Red Bank, New Jersey. The office will have an adjusting, sales and support staff and will handle claims across multiple lines of business. The new office is is likely to begin operations on October 26, 2009

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HumanaOne Introduces Individual Dental Insurance

HumanaOne, an health arm of Humana, has unveiled new individual dental insurance and vision plans on www.humanaonedental.com. With the launch of these products, it also is expanding its affordable dental and vision plans to a number of states it had not previously served.

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Max Capital Names CEO Of Max, Lloyd’s

Max Capital Group has appointed Adam Mullan as chief executive officer of Max at Lloyd’s Limited, the Lloyd’s managing agent for Syndicates 1400, 2525 and 2526.

Marston (Marty) Becker, chairman and chief executive officer of Max Capital Group, said: "We are pleased that Adam has accepted the CEO role at Max at Lloyd’s. As we move to significantly build out our Lloyd’s operation, the importance of strong leadership cannot be overstated, and we believe that Adam has the expertise, experience and vitality to effectively develop this business for us.”

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‘Unprecedented’ 14% UK motor premium ris

Car insurance premiums are rising faster than at any time over the past 15 years, according to the latest AA British Insurance Premium Index.

The Index recorded a 5.6% increase for comprehensive car insurance over the third quarter of 2009. This is the biggest single quarterly jump since the index started in 1994. The index has also shown the greatest-ever annual increase of 14%.

Recessionary effects, an increase...

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Brit Positive on UK Market

UK insurer Brit Insurance has reported an increase in sales for the first nine months of the year, driven by rising insurance prices.

The Lloyd’s of London insurer said gross written premiums rose by 19% to £1.3bn ($2.15bn),.

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Standard Life Appoints CEO

Standard Life has promoted group finance director David Nish to CEO. Nish will replace Sandy Crombie on January 1, 2010.

Keywords (click to search): [Standard Life] [David Nish]

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R&Q appoints corporate finance director

Randall & Quilter, the insurance run-off services and acquisition specialist, has appointed Tom Booth to the new post of corporate finance director.

Keywords (click to search): [Randall & Quilter] [R&Q] [Tom Booth]

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QBE lands rugby sponsorship deal

QBE has signed an agreement to become the official insurance partner of the Guinness Premiership.

Keywords (click to search): [Guinness Premiership] [rugby] [QBE

QBE has signed an agreement to become the official insurance partner of the Guinness Premiership.

The agreement, which starts immediately and runs through to the end of July...

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Willis Re announces new structure and roles

Willis Re has today announced a series of management changes and a new organisational structure. 

The reinsurance broker is combining its international and specialty network into a single business unit. It also is more closely aligning its US and Bermuda operations in a new North America group. To support these changes, Willis Re will unify its analytics and operational teams globally. 

“Driven by the evolving needs of our clients, the...

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Wednesday
Sep232009

Int. Insurance Links 23.9.09

Tesco in underwriting deal with insurance group Fortis

Tesco Personal Finance and the Dutch-Belgian insurance group Fortis are to invest £100m each in a new venture that will underwrite household and motor insurance sold under the supermarket's financial brand.

After ditching its long-time partner Royal Bank of Scotland two months ago, Tesco Personal Finance has been talking to Fortis about underwriting the insurance business.

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Allianz voluntarily delists from non-German exchanges

MUNICH, Germany—Allianz S.E. is delisting from the New York Stock Exchange and four European exchanges to focus on the German marketplace that it said offers the greatest liquidity.
The Munich, Germany-based insurer said it voluntarily will delist its American depositary shares from the NYSE and is delisting from exchanges in London; Milan, Italy; Paris; and Zurich, Switzerland.

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Tesco, Fortis Ink Insurance Partnership

Belgian insurance group, Fortis and Tesco have teamed up to provide motor and household insurance in the UK - reported Reuters. As per the discussions held in June, both the companies would provide a first investment of about GBP100 million ($167.3 million).

The joint venture is expected to continue until 2015, and intends to cover Tesco's car, van and household insurance policies, which currently draws over £500 million pounds in annual gross premiums.

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BNP, Fortis To Purchase Majority Stake In UBI Banca's Non-Life Unit

BNP Paribas of France and Fortis, a Belgium-based insurer, are likely acquire a majority stake in the non-life insurance unit of UBI Banca of Itlay - reported Reuters Fortis and BNP Paribas Assurance would take 50% plus one share of UBI Assicurazioni, a provider of property and casualty insurance in Italy, from UBI Banca. Reportedly, Fortis and BNP are entitled to pay E120 million ($177.1 million) in cash after the deal is completed. It could make a further payment of about E40 million depending on future business.

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Lloyds Opens First Nordic Office

Lloyds has opened its first representative office in Sweden, which will act as the hub for all Nordic operations. Reportedly, the office in Stockholm will be run by Erik Borjesson, Lloyds Nordic representative, who has been building relationships with the regulatory authorities and developing business in the region since his appointment.

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AXA Signs Five Year Deal With Ryanair

AXA Travel Insurance, part of the AXA Assistance Group, has signed a five year contract with Ryanair, a European low-cost airline. As per the terms of the deal, AXA will offer single-trip, multi-trip and annual travel insurance for Ryanair’s passengers.