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New reinsurer Third Point Re has $500m in capital

New Bermuda reinsurer Third Point Re has $500 million in capital, two investors involved revealed to Bloomberg News.

And Third Point LLC, the $8 billion New York-based hedge fund founded by Daniel Loeb that is behind the new company, aims to raise a further $250 million to $500 million for the project, the sources added.

John Berger, who stepped down last month from his previous role as the chief executive officer of reinsurance for Bermuda-based Alterra Capital Holdings Ltd, will be Third Point Re’s chief investment officer.

Mr Berger has almost three decades of experience in the reinsurance business. He was previously president and founder of Chubb Re Inc and also led Harbor Point Re, a Bermuda Class of 2005 start-up, which merged with Max Capital last year to form Alterra.

A spokeswoman for Third Point LLC yesterday declined to comment on the reinsurance project and it is unclear as to when the company is likely to start up in business and how many people it is likely to hire.

A letter sent on Tuesday to Third Point investors said: “We believe that the combination of Third Point’s longstanding exceptional asset management returns, Mr Berger’s standout underwriting track record, and a reinsurance market that may improve following multiple events in the past 12 months make it a promising time to launch Third Point Re.”

Established reinsurers may be less than enthusiastic about a newcomer, given that the abundance of capital in the industry is frequently blamed for a soft market in which rates, according to reinsurance broker Guy Carpenter & Co, have fallen in four of the last five years.

Even estimated catastrophe losses of $60 billion in the first half of this year have been insufficient to cause a broad and substantial turn in the market. However, ratings agency AM Best sees pressure building on rates and a likelihood of higher prices in property and catastrophe renewals for January 2012.

The last “wave” of new reinsurers in Bermuda occured in 2005, after Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma caused industry capacity to shrink and rates to rocket.

Ironshore and Torus Insurance Holdings have been the major additions to the ranks of the Bermuda Class 4 international commercial insurers over the past five years. Insurance regulator the Bermuda Monetary Authority considers applications to form new insurance companies. The Authority has yet to publish its list of new insurance incorporations for August.

Third Point raised capital from private-equity investors Kelso & Co and Pine Brook Road Partners LLC, along with Mr Loeb and insurance executives, including Mr Berger, according to the letter.

John Berger: Insurance industry veteran will be Third Point Re?s chief investment officer

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Published September 08, 2011 at 10:14 am (Updated September 08, 2011 at 10:14 am)

New reinsurer Third Point Re has $500m in capital

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