Posts Tagged ‘KRW’



October 28th, 2008

Alternatives to Alternative Capital

Posted at 8:01 PM ET

David Piebe, Chairman of Global Client Development
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(Re)insurers have come to expect that alternative sources of capital will always be available. Private equity funds, hedge funds, and other alternative investment vehicles have contributed copious capacity to risk-bearers since the turn of the millennium, and especially following the 2005 storm season. The well, however, may be at risk of running dry.

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October 27th, 2008

Carrier Capital Softens the Financial Catastrophe Blow

Posted at 12:42 AM ET

Christopher Klein, Global Head of Business Intelligence
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The ongoing financial catastrophe is already shaping the market’s perception of the next reinsurance renewal. A unique confluence of factors has complicated the annual ritual of anticipating the direction of reinsurance rates. Though a number of factors have coalesced to prevent the continued rapid decline in risk-transfer pricing that characterized 2008, pricing on average at January 1, 2009 renewals is likely to remain within a narrow range of expiring rates. Nonetheless, the global credit crisis is far from over. Conditions are changing daily. New financial developments—or a mega-catastrophe—could change market conditions substantially and with little lead time.

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October 19th, 2008

Sidecars Have a Specific Role to Play

Posted at 6:37 PM ET

Christopher Klein, Global Head of Business Intelligence
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The popularity of sidecars seems to have ended. The availability of traditional capital and access to insurance-linked securities (ILS) and other alternatives simply has made sidecars less attractive. But, reinsurers know that the market can harden at any time, with one mega-catastrophe creating near-immediate demand for fresh capital. Low overhead and an inherent exit strategy are likely to help these vehicles regain prominence in the next hard market—with investors and reinsurers alike.

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October 1st, 2008

Navigating Pricing Peaks and Valleys

Posted at 6:11 PM ET

By David Priebe, Chairman, Global Client Development
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The capital models for (re)insurance risks are evolving. Over the past 15 years, alternative sources of capital have become increasingly important, particularly in the capital-constrained environments that follow major catastrophe events. As expected, capital market vehicles such as catastrophe bonds and sidecars have brought additional capacity to risk-bearers when they need it most, alleviating price pressure as a result.*

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September 9th, 2008

Let ERM Decide When Capital Is Excessive

Posted at 6:26 PM ET

Joan Lamm-Tennant, Global Chief Economist and Risk Strategist
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Excess capital is only excessive until you need it. Throughout the year, carriers have struggled to find uses for capital that has not seemed necessary, given the benign loss years that followed the 2005 storm season. Rates are down, retentions are up, and repatriation has been continual. Market conditions have overshadowed analytics in determining carrier behavior. But, aggressive repatriation may have been hasty. Looking to the future, buyback and dividend decisions could benefit from Enterprise Risk Management (ERM).

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September 8th, 2008

A Sidecar Comeback?*

Posted at 2:05 PM ET

David Priebe, Chairman of Global Client Development
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High-velocity capital was crucial in 2005 and 2006. Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma struck with unexpected consequences, and (re)insurers were left with a USD34 billion price tag. Balance sheets were drained, and the hunger for fresh capital was universal. Some replenishment did come from the dedicated capital of traditional reinsurance companies, but for the first time, alternative sources were prominent and accounted for a third of the cash coming into the industry. Sidecars effectively made their large-scale debut at this time, funneling USD13 billion onto carrier balance sheets.

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September 7th, 2008

Capital Constraints: The New Reality?

Posted at 5:44 PM ET

Mark Hewett, Chairman of London Operations
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For several years, carriers have enjoyed a period of low insured losses, and access to cash has not been a problem. Traditional sources have been bolstered by the largesse of hedge funds, private equity funds, and even the wealth of high-net worth investors through a variety of insurance-linked securities (ILS). But, credit market turmoil has brought these conditions to an unceremonious close.

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September 6th, 2008

Under Pressure: Rate Drops Slowed by Asset Squeeze

Posted at 5:56 PM ET

Christopher Klein, Global Head of Business Intelligence
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The next renewal period may be four months away, but it is uppermost in everyone’s mind across the (re)insurance industry. Without a crystal ball, it is impossible to predict the market’s exact trajectory, but several trends have become evident in 2008. Absent a mega-catastrophe, rates likely will continue to trend downward but will be tempered by pressure on investment gains arising from the ongoing effects of the global credit crunch and reinsurers’ fears of an imminent market-changing disaster.

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