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21st December 2014

Newslink Trends: Weekly Insurance Global Analysis

This week, there was a flurry of company news before the holiday break. The biggest breaking announcement revealed that XL Group were in negotiation to acquire Catlin-today's Sunday Times suggests that a deal has been finalised-shortly after Stephen Catlin was nominated to join the International Insurance Society(IIS) Hall of Fame. Generali bought a major stake in a Malaysian insurer, as RSA sold its stake in a Thai carrier. CGSC opened in Uruquay, Progressive is to acquire a majority stake in the parent of American Strategic insurance, ACE has agreed to buy the high worth personal lines book of Allianz's Fireman's Fund, and Gallagher acquired in New Jersey. Fairfax Financial moved for QBE portfolios in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. In the UK, A-Plan's majority shareholder sold its stake to HgCapital, and Jelf agreed a deal for Yorkshire broker Beaumonts Insurance Group. Lloyd's approved a new Barbican Special Purpose Syndicate, and Plum Underwriting announced an MBO.
On the IT front, Majesco continued on the acquisition trail by agreeing to acquire leading US insurance software supplier Cover-All Technologies, Guidewire had a second success at Capital insurance Group, and Canopius purchased and installed the Sequel Impact risk exposure and aggregation solution. FINEOS was shortlisted for an Employer Engagement Award.
A Swiss Re sigma report summarised the year's global economic losses from catastrophes and man-made disasters. Fitch looked at the UK life market outlook, and there was a major report released on Defined Contribution(DC) pension scheme charges and benefits. The Financial Conduct Authority(FCA) said that the Retail Distribution Review(RDR) changes had improved the market but there was still some way to go. AON Risk Solutions highlighted top risk factors for EMEA financial institutions, and EIOPA commented on financial stability, and also started a consultation on Solvency II full equivalence assessment for Bermuda, Japan, and Switzerland. Terms for Flood Re were agreed between the insurance industry and the UK Government. Towers Watson and Confused.com revealed that UK motor insurance premiums had risen for the third month running, whilst ingenie reported that telematics could bring about a 40% reduction in new young driver accidents.
Canopius made two senior appointments and the Insurance Fraud Bureau(IFB) announced a new chairman and seven new members of its Technical Board. Skuld produced a $5m bottom line at the nine months stage.
Articles on the above topics are included in those added to the Insurance Newslink and Financial Newslink global database service on Wednesday and today at www.onlystrategic.com