12 May 2015News

Competition shrinks reinsurance book at Global Indemnity

The Bermuda-based reinsurance operations of Global Indemnity, the Irish re/insurance group, shrank in the first quarter because of intense competition in the property-catastrophe reinsurance marketplace.

For the three months ended March 31, 2015, gross premiums written and net premiums written in the reinsurance book both decreased by 18 percent, compared with the same period in 2014. The company said the decrease is due to competition in the property-catastrophe reinsurance marketplace.

Global Indemnity Reinsurance Company in Bermuda, founded in 2003, was historically a specialist of limited risk and structured reinsurance. It is now repositioning itself to the underwriting of conventional treaty reinsurance. Its portfolio includes such lines as worldwide catastrophe and global marine business, as well as casualty-oriented business ranging from professional liability to workers' compensation.

The Global Indemnity group as a whole, enjoyed substantial growth in the first quarter of 2015 on the back of a recent acquisition of American Reliable but its profits dipped.

The company made a $6.8 million net profit in the quarter compared with $8.8 million in the same period a year earlier. Its gross written premiums increased to $142.9 million compared with $77.2 million the year before.

Cynthia Valko, chief executive officer, said: “The first quarter of 2015 is the start of an exciting new chapter for Global Indemnity. In addition to Global’s specialty commercial lines and reinsurance product offerings, the American Reliable acquisition, which closed January 1, both broadens our underwriting competencies and expands our distribution relationships enabling us to now provide specialty and agricultural products to the personal lines segment.

“After three months, the operating and financial impact of the acquisition on our consolidated results is significant. For the first quarter of 2015: net written premiums increased 73 percent over the comparable prior year period, operating income increased 45 percent (before acquisition costs), and the combined ratio improved to 92.6 percent.

“Over the next 24 months, as Global’s and American Reliable’s operations are more fully integrated, we anticipate that additional revenue and expense synergies will emerge, which will further enhance our overall profitability.”