Of Special Interest


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11th January 2015

NewslinkTrends: Weekly Insurance Global Analysis

As usual, the global insurance market took its time to get into motion after the holiday break. However, New Year activity gained momentum this week.
The big news over Christmas was that the President of India signed an ordinance to lift the foreign insurer investment ceiling in domestic insurers to 49%-a long running saga which needs still to receive the Parliamentary nod within the next six months, but has created positive market reaction. Shanghai-based Fosun International moved for US specialty insurer Meadowbank, and XL Group and Catlin agreed acquisition terms. SNL reviewed the doubling of insurer IPOs in Europe last year but said that 2015 may not continue at such a pace in the first few months as insurers pondered Solvency II potential impact. On the reinsurer front, Willis Re's review of the January renewals provided no respite for the smaller and less diverse players.
The International Underwriting Association(IUA) and Lloyd's Market Association(LMA) both welcomed the US House and Senate approving the renewal of the TRIA program-the former also issued three key priorities for 2015. New Zealand's insurance supervisor joined the IAIS's MMoU, which now includes 44 jurisdictions representing over 60% of insurance premium volumes globally.
Capgemini predicted five key trends for the global insurance industry this year. Applied Systems acquired in the US, and Transactor Global Solutions opened a new division for MGAs and Underwriting Agencies and confirmed support for the new MyLicence service. Sapiens reported the general availability of the latest release of its P&C Suite solution and SSP integrated its Marketplace broking e-trading portal with its Pure Insurance software to enable streamlining of commercial lines product distribution. PCIS won a major claims contract in California, and Xactware is now operating in Germany through a partner.
Quindell is looking at selling an operating division, and the share price soared as Toscafund Asset Management increased its investment to over 5%. Acappella Group Holdings launched in the London Market, and Brit announced a new Bermuda-domiciled special purpose reinsurer. Charles Taylor acquired Scottish Widows' Jersey-based closed book, Catalina is to take over Quinn Insurance's European run-off liabilities, and Randall & Quilter completed the portfolio transfer of a Norwegian captive. Brown & Brown sold its US reinsurance business to Beach Re and deVere Group is to partner with Howden Insurance Brokers.
BMS strengthened its Specialty Reinsurance division with a senior hire.
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