How merger deals will change insurance rankings

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  • Changes: This graph from Aon Benfield projects how new reinsurance entities created by mergers and acquisitions will fair, based on premiums, in the Aon Benfield Aggregate list of companies

    Changes: This graph from Aon Benfield projects how new reinsurance entities created by mergers and acquisitions will fair, based on premiums, in the Aon Benfield Aggregate list of companies
    ((Source: Individual company reports, Aon Benfield market analysis))

A visual image of how a spate of mergers and acquisitions will impact the global reinsurance market has been produced by Aon Benfield.

It shows a combined XL/Catlin entity moving ahead of Hannover Re, by way of comparison, in rankings based on premiums.

Hannover Re reported $12.4 billion in net premium earned last year and has long been regarded as the world’s third largest reinsurance company.

The Axis/PartnerRe combination will elevate the new entity into Aon Benfield’s top ten list of reinsurance companies based on premiums, while the combination of Endurance and Montpelier Re would place the new entity ahead of Allied World and Aspen on the list.

The merger of RenaissanceRe and Platinum Underwriter Holdings, a $1.9 billion deal which closed last month, places the resulting entity in the lower reaches of the listings among companies with annual premiums of $5 billion or below.

Aon Benfield, which is part of reinsurance intermediary and capital advisor Aon, in its latest “Reinsurance Market Outlook” report points to the emergence of reinsurance-supported growth.

Global reinsurance capital now stands at an estimated record of $575 billion, with alternative capital accounting for $68 billion of that total. The report notes that the alternative capital trajectory is on track to hit $150 billion by the end of 2018.

The first quarter of 2015 saw catastrophe bond issuance hit a record $1.7 billion. The report said that, as previously predicted, “evidence of the next most likely disruptive move of alternative capital into property insurance (rather than casualty reinsurance) has materialised in the form of new primary carrier and broker partnerships”.

Ahead of the June and July renewal cycles, Aon Benfield is anticipating “greater reinsurance utilisation as insurers capitalise on reinsurance-supported growth opportunities”.

The report also highlights more private traditional reinsurance and alternative capital featuring in the insurance coverage portfolio of Florida Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. The US government entity has increased its capacity from the reinsurance market substantially for each of the past four years. In 2011 the private risk transfer was $580 million, however a diagram that featured at a Citizen’s board meeting last month suggests reinsurance purchases of $4.05 billion this year, according to Aon Benfield.

The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, another government entity, is also evaluating buying up to $2.2 billion of additional risk finance. Last month the fund received approval to explore risk transfer options in the private market, something it has not done since it was formed in 1993 — a year after Hurricane Andrew proved to be the costliest hurricane in US history (now the fifth costliest) when it hit the state as a category 5 hurricane.

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Published Apr 7, 2015 at 8:00 am (Updated Apr 6, 2015 at 7:36 pm)

How merger deals will change insurance rankings

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