Posts Tagged ‘reinsurance rates’
Disruptive Forces to M&A Activity: Alternative Capital Directly Supporting Increased Market Competition
The flow of alternative capital into the reinsurance markets has been sustained and substantial. The growth of this capital, coming from a number of sources, including fund managers and sidecars, has been a staggering 22 percent - compounding since 2008 and accelerating to 34 percent during the period 2012 to 2014. There was a consequent rate softening, mostly felt within the reinsurance landscape, particularly in short tail lines. The softening then trickled down into the specialty insurance classes.
The reality is that many external forces continually disrupt the impact on merger & acquisition (M&A) activity of the insurance pricing cycle. This is especially true in recent years as insurance markets are influenced by wider financial conditions, new investors, globalization and the benefits of healthy profits despite a prolonged period of rate softening. These disruptive forces provide both positive and negative contributions to the M&A-conducive market conditions resulting from the current stage in the insurance cycle.
Challenging market conditions due to abundant capacity, the ongoing influx of new capital and limited loss experience, continue to put pressure on the reinsurance sector, while recent M&A activity is adding a new dynamic to the mix. This is according to the panel of speakers at the eighth annual press briefing held at the Reinsurance Rendez-Vous 2015 in Monte Carlo, by Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC, a leading global risk and reinsurance specialist and a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies.
Assessing the impact of the continuing influx of capital into the reinsurance sector, David Priebe, Vice Chairman, Guy Carpenter, commented on ILS pricing levels. He said: “We believe current price levels for ILS could be a ‘golden compromise’ in which protection buyers perceive good value for fixed-price multi-year cover and investors continue to broaden and diversify their portfolio of holdings. With costs of issue falling and time-to-market shortening, this equilibrium could provide a substantial boost to the market that the record issuance of early 2015 portends.”
Alex Moczarski, President and Chief Executive Officer, Guy Carpenter & Company, and Chairman, Marsh & McLennan Companies International, introduces the Guy Carpenter press briefing at the Monte Carlo Rendez-Vous in this GC Capital Ideas videocast.
Looking at developments in the EMEA region, Nick Frankland, CEO of EMEA Operations, Guy Carpenter, described the last 12 months as a “testing period” for the market. Commenting on renewal expectations, he said: “Following another benign loss year, clients will continue to seek improved terms, yet reinsurers are beginning to get near to technical minimums, which will not allow enough scope for firm orders to be easily won.” Another influencing factor, he added, will be the impact of recent M&A activity and the interplay between the new combined groups and the existing markets. “Such a dramatic tension should work to clients’ benefit as they try to find the greatest value available and construct the most responsive panels,” he concluded.
Consistent with Guy Carpenter’s post-January 1, 2015 renewal report, the U.S. casualty reinsurance market continued to soften on both quota share and excess of loss reinsurance programs. This trend continues to be driven by the reduction in property catastrophe premiums, causing reinsurers to further diversify their overall premium writings into casualty lines and by the improved loss ratios among these underlying lines of business. As a result, reinsurance pricing continued to soften via ceding commissions increases on quota share placements (albeit at a slower pace than in 2014 and earlier in 2015) and rate decreases on excess of loss placements (subject to stable loss experience).