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Amlin ratings affirmed by Best

AM Best Europe - Rating Services Ltd. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A (excellent) and issuer credit rating of “a” of Amlin AG (Switzerland).The outlook for both ratings is stable.In October 2010, Amlin plc., the holding company of the Amlin group, completed the establishment of a reinsurance platform in Zurich, Switzerland, to underwrite reinsurance business from European markets starting in 2011. A key part of this process was to re-domicile ABL (now Amlin AG) to Switzerland from Bermuda. Amlin's Bermuda operation is now a branch of Amlin AG, which will accordingly operate through two divisions, Amlin Bermuda and Amlin Re Europe.Best said that Amlin AG's risk-adjusted capitalisation remained excellent despite significant dividend payments to its parent in 2009 and 2010. An increase in premium income was anticipated as Amlin Re Europe becomes established, but the company is expected to maintain an excellent level of risk-adjusted capitalisation.Tha ratings agency said that Amlin Bermuda achieved an exceptional result in 2009, with low catastrophe losses and favourable prior-year reserve developments giving a profit of $391 million. The combined ratio was 57 percent, compared with 80 percent in 2008.Amlin Bermuda's performance was enhanced by low management expenses and the quality of its account, a significant proportion of which comprises participation on business underwritten by Lloyd's Syndicate 2001 (managed by Amlin Underwriting Ltd.), said Best. Syndicate 2001 has a history of strong profitability within Lloyd's. It is anticipated that Amlin Re Europe will have little impact on performance in 2011 but over time will improve business diversification and earnings stability.l AM Best Europe - Rating Services Ltd. has also affirmed the financial strength rating of A+ (superior) and issuer credit rating of “aa-” of Lloyd's Syndicate 2001, which is managed by Amlin Underwriting Ltd.At the same time, Best has affirmed the ICR of “a-” of Amlin plc., the non-operating holding company of the Amlin group of companies, and the debt ratings of “bbb+” on Amlin's £230 million 6.5 percent subordinated debt, its $50 million 7.28 percent subordinated debt and its $50 million 7.11 percent subordinated debt. The outlook for all ratings is stable.Best said that Syndicate 2001's financial strength benefited from the support of Amlin, which maintained strong consolidated risk-adjusted capitalisation. Amlin owns 100 percent of the syndicate's capacity and provides assets in the form of bonds and equities to support the syndicate's funds at Lloyd's.Additionally, the ratings agency said, the syndicate maintains a prudent level of reserves and has a history of reserve releases since 1998.