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3rd May 2015

Newslink Trends: Global Insurance Analysis

This week, the XL Group acquisition of Catlin was finalised, and first quarter results began to flow.
The Association of British Insurers(ABI) published top ten insurance and savings priorities for the next parliamentary session, and the Islamic Insurance Association of London was launched with the Lord Mayor at the Mansion House in the City. The Lloyd's Market Association(LMA) and solicitors Clyde & Co published Consumer Wordings Guidelines, whilst the Chartered Insurance Institute(CII) New Generation Group issued a Best Practice Guide to improve quality of data sharing to prevent and detect crime.
An annual UK survey by Eptica indicated that many consumers still prefer to meet financial advisors face to face, and are wary of online contact. Interestingly, Equifax highlighted in a report that UK insurers where not delivering through multi-channels. Towers Watson's global research indicated that the risk management function was becoming more strategic, with European insurers leading the way-no doubt the impact of the long haul to prepare for Solvency II is making a positive impact as insurers take a wider view of "risk". Aon published key risks identified by clients, at the annual RIMS conference in New Orleans, with cyber entering the top ten for the first time.
The Competition & Markets Authority(CMA) at last formally agreed the Xchanging acquisition of Agencyport Europe, and Accenture Duck Creek and Deloitte announced a strategic alliance in the US. Sapiens' ALIS life solution was selected by Tennessee Farmers Life, and SunGard launched BI dashboards to enable insurance executives to
evaluate company performance and financial health. Guy Carpenter announced a new digital strategy.
Ironshore, Antares, and Markel launched the XXV Consortium to focus on Lead Umbrella Liability cover for US-based corporates, and SCOR reported a rise in gwp from its April renewals. Lloyd's underwriters received authorisation to write business in Finland on an establishment basis.
The first quarter results and trading updates included: Arch Capital(net income up), Axis Capital(net income increase) and PartnerRe(solid start), Berkshire Hathaway(insurance underwriting and investment income up) Everest Re(after-tax operating income improved), Lancashire(gwp and profit down), Swiss Re(net income up 17%), XL Group(combined ratio improved), AIG(progress on financial objectives), Aflac(net earnings and revenue down), The Hanover(operating income improved), The Hartford(good start), LV=(life buoyant), St James's Place(growth continues), Aon(slight rise in net income), JLT(trading in line with expectations), MarshMac(income up), Willis(solid beginning).
Prudential announced that Mike Wells, who head's the insurers US business, is to take over as Group chief executive from Tidjane Thiam, and Markel made management changes in its Global Reinsurance operations.
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