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Jobs will stay as Ariel Re is sold

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No jobs will go as a result of the sale of Bermuda-based Ariel re/insurance operations to Goldman Sachs,

The Royal Gazette can reveal.

As the two businesses are combined, it is expected that more jobs will be created, said the company.

Yesterday, Ariel Re confirmed the deal stating the sale includes reinsurance of all in-force business and outstanding reserves associated with the property reinsurance, property insurance and specialty reinsurance business, as well as the Ariel Re brand and intellectual property.

The company currently has 61 employees, 42 of which are Bermudian or spouses of Bermudians none are in danger of losing their job.

“All of our Bermuda-based staff have received offers,” said Tom Hulst, CEO of Ariel Re in an interview with

The Royal Gazette. “Everyone is staying, and everyone is doing the same thing it’s a full merger of the business. People should feel very good about that.”

The current underwriting staff of Ariel Re and the existing Goldman Sachs underwriting team will be merged into a single, coordinated underwriting team, writing business in both London and Bermuda.

Mr Hulst added that he believes new jobs will be created out of the companies combining.

“We actually expect that as we integrate the businesses, we’re likely to be increasing the staff here in Bermuda,” he said. “We expect as we integrate and get some of Goldman’s resources we will likely be growing the headcount somewhat.”

The combined business will operate as part of the Goldman Sachs Reinsurance Group, and there will be a single organisational structure overseeing three operating entities, Ariel Re Bermuda Ltd, Ariel Syndicate 1910 and Arrow Capital Reinsurance Company Ltd.

Senior management in the combined organisation will include Tom Hulst of Ariel and Tom Milligan of Goldman. The Bermuda-based operations will remain in the same building on Victoria Street.

Syndicate 1910 will be renamed Ariel Syndicate 1910 and along with its existing business will offer renewal and novation of the in-force covered business. Ariel Reinsurance and Ariel Holdings will be renamed ‘Arden Re’ and ‘Arden Holdings’, respectively, and will continue to own and operate its credit and surety business and Lloyd’s operation Atrium.

The company said the rationale behind the merger was that Goldman Sachs Reinsurance Group, having been in the property and casualty reinsurance business since 2005, had been seeking profitable ways to grow its business. Ariel Holdings had been looking to for liquidity for its initial private equity investors and said the merger creates a strong combined business and ongoing operating platform for both customers and employees.

After the deal was announced yesterday, ratings agency AM Best affirmed Ariel Re’s financial strength rating of A-.

“The outlook reflects AM Best’s expectation that the overall operating results will remain positive and the risk-adjusted capital levels will continue to be supportive of the current ratings,” the agency stated.

According to UK industry publication “Insurance Insider”, the transaction will result in a significant increase in business written at Lloyd’s by Arrow with the Goldman-backed writing only $160.5 million of gross premium in 2010. It is also said that the capacity on the syndicate will immediately more than double to at least $398.6 million.

According to Ariel Re’s financials, at the end of the third quarter of 2011, the company had shareholders’ equity of $1.11 billion. For the first nine months of the year, the company reported $464.3 million in gross premium written and reported an income (after taxes) of $27.2 million.

“I think it’s good for the organisation and good for Bermuda,” added Mr Hulst. “Goldman Sachs is a well respected organisation, it represents a great deal of opportunity for both Bermudians and non-Bermudians in the organisation. People are excited and enthusiastic about the opportunity we have in front of us to build a really exciting business.”

Founder and former chairman and CEO Don Kramer said about the merger in an e-mail to this newspaper: “Goldman is a first rate company and I’m pleased to see the Ariel operation go forward in such capable hands.”

Terms of the deal will not be disclosed, and while the transaction remains subject to regulatory approvals, it is expected to close on April 1, 2012.

Useful website: www.arielholdings.com

Don Kramer: The founder of Ariel Re is pleased to see the company pass into 'capable hands'

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Published March 02, 2012 at 1:00 am (Updated March 02, 2012 at 8:09 am)

Jobs will stay as Ariel Re is sold

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