S&P: outlook improves for Argo Group US
Argo Group US Inc and its subsidiaries have had their outlook revised to positive from stable by S&P Global Ratings.
The companies are part of Bermudian-based Argo Group Holdings Ltd.
S&P Global Ratings affirmed its “BBB-” long-term issuer credit rating on Argo Group US and its “A-” long-term financial strength and issuer credit ratings on the company’s core operating subsidiaries.
In making the announcement, S&P Global noted that during the past few years, Argo Group US Inc and its parent have invested in technology, advanced its risk management, and undertaken initiatives to diversify its underwriting portfolio.
It also said the company has leveraged its technology platform and use of predictive analytics to provide additional opportunities for growth and expense efficiencies.
S&P Global said Argo’s increasing use of risk-reward analysis to drive strategic initiatives could provide better ability to manage its expanding portfolio and optimise returns.
The ratings group said the positive outlook could lead to an upgrade of Argo within the next two years if it is successful in leveraging its strategic risk management capabilities, resulting in a sustained improvement in underwriting performance in line with that of “A” rated peers
S&P Global noted that the company has also been acquiring talent, underwriting expertise, and platforms such as Maybrooke Holdings — which operates under the name Ariel Re — to support its international expansion and adding to its efforts to build out its overall underwriting portfolio.
It also recognised “the concerted effort” Argo has made to enhance its enterprise risk management framework and embed its processes into its strategic planning.
S&P Global said: “The company made a focused effort to improve its underwriting in its primary US business during the past couple of years, as highlighted in its performance. Similar strategies are afoot at its international business, including at its Lloyd’s syndicate operations.”