July 5th, 2012

GC Capital Ideas Top Stories: Second Quarter 2012

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

1. Risk Profile, Appetite and Tolerance: Fundamental Concepts in Risk Management and Reinsurance Effectiveness: Prior to the recent turbulence in the financial markets, insurers and reinsurers were increasing their use of enterprise risk management to make risk and capital management decisions. While this was driven in part by rating agencies and regulators, many carriers began to recognize the value of metric-based frameworks and capital models in evaluating their portfolios.

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2. Reinsurance Rates Rise at April 1, 2012 Renewals: Reinsurance rates rose as the market continues to work through the impact of the events of 2011, according to Guy Carpenter. In a briefing released today, Guy Carpenter reports that this year’s April 1 renewals are continuing the general trends observed at January 1, 2012.

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3. Lessons Learned From the Catastrophes of 2011: The Marsh Point of View: Guy Carpenter sister company, Marsh, has just published “Lessons Learned from the Catastrophes of 2011.” According to the report, the scale of the catastrophes experienced in 2011 exceeded previous loss-modeling predictions and has challenged established thinking on the nature of risk. Companies now need to re-examine their risk management strategies and introduce new methodologies to strengthen their operational and financial resilience.

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4. Plentiful Capacity Sets the Stage at June 1 Reinsurance Renewals: More moderate pricing trends were evident at the June 1, 2012, reinsurance renewals as the relatively light catastrophe loss activity during the first five months of the year contributed to positive reinsurer results and plentiful capacity, according to a briefing released today by Guy Carpenter.

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5. 6.0Mw Earthquake in Northern Italy: A strong 6.0Mw earthquake hit northern Italy at 02:03 on May 20, causing severe shaking in the Emilia Romagna region and surrounding areas. Damage has been reported across Emilia Romagna, particularly to historic buildings, commercial properties and agriculture in towns and cities close to the earthquake’s epicenter.

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6. Oliver Wyman: Strategic Impact of Solvency II: Guy Carpenter sister company, Oliver Wyman, has published a new report on Solvency II. The road to implementing Solvency II has been longer and more circuitous than expected. In Oliver Wyman’s joint report with Morgan Stanley, Solvency II: A Long and Winding Road, they provide insights on implementation progress thus far. The report also discusses key debates in the industry, which will have a significant impact upon the insurance landscape across Europe.

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7. GC Securities:* Catastrophe Bond Issuance Tops USD1.3 Billion in Q1 2012: The first quarter of 2012 was the most active first quarter on record for the global catastrophe bond market, according to GC Securities. During the quarter, a total of USD1.34 billion of risk capital was issued through eight transactions, exceeding last year’s record of USD1.02 billion for the same time period.

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8. Periodic Payment Orders - Issues and Implications for Reinsurance: Following the passage of the Courts Act 2003, which gave courts in England and Wales the power to impose rest-of-life structured settlements, known as periodical payment orders (PPOs) to provide for the long-term care and loss of earnings of severely injured third parties, the actual incidence of such awards in the market has been relatively low. It is clear however that the trend towards PPOs has accelerated over the past year, partly driven by low interest rates. This trend presents real challenges to both insurers and reinsurers of casualty classes, particularly for motor.

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9. European Countries Face Continued Challenges Adapting Local Legislation to EU Legal Requirements: Guy Carpenter published its semiannual report on key legislative developments in Europe affecting liability insurers and reinsurers. A number of these developments underscore the challenges in adapting local legislation and jurisprudence to European Union and international law.

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10. Chart: Reinsurance Valuations at a Long-Term Low: The challenging macroeconomic environment of subdued growth and low interest rates meant the reinsurance sector ended 2011 trading near 20-year lows. As the chart below illustrates, the average price to book ratio for the sector of 0.893 is just greater than one and a half standard deviations down from the 20-year average of 1.32.

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* Securities or investments, as applicable, are offered in the United States through GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities Corp., a US registered broker-dealer and member FINRA/SIPC. Main Office: 1166 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10036. Phone: (212) 345-5000. Securities or investments, as applicable, are offered in the European Union by GC Securities, a division of MMC Securities (Europe) Ltd., which is authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Reinsurance products are placed through qualified affiliates of Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC. MMC Securities Corp., MMC Securities (Europe) Ltd. and Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC are affiliates owned by Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. This communication is not intended as an offer to sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy any security, financial instrument, reinsurance or insurance product.

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