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Markel values Alterra’s Bermuda operation highly

US insurer Markel Corp says it’s placed a “high value” on Bermuda-based Alterra, which it is buying for $3 billion in cash and stock to diversify into reinsurance.

Responding to concerns about staff cuts at the Alterra office in Bermuda, Markel senior vice-president Pam Perrott told

The Royal Gazette yesterday: “While it is premature to comment on our position regarding any aspect of the Alterra business until the deal closes, we are prepared to make the following observation. Markel has closely examined the Alterra business in Bermuda and has placed a high value on the operation there. We plan to retain a robust presence in Bermuda as it is critical to Markel’s entry to the reinsurance market.”

Asked whether there would be job cuts, Ms Perrott, based in Virgina, added: “We cannot comment further on the staff size at this time.”

Markel has said that Alterra will move its domicile to the US rather than Markel moving its holding company offshore. And Alterra CEO Marty Becker, at least, is expected to leave the company after the merger is completed.

Markel this week reported 2012 fourth-quarter net profit of $56.79 million, up 13.2 percent compared to $50.18 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.

For the full-year 2012, the insurer’s net profit to shareholders was $253.39 million, up 78.4 percent from $142.03 million reported for the full-year 2011.

Commenting on the agreement to acquire Alterra, Markel chairman and CEO Alan Kirshner Kirshner said in a statement on Monday: “We believe the combination of Alterra with Markel will create a strong company in global specialty insurance and investments, with a demonstrated track record of underwriting discipline in niche market segments and proven asset management strengths that should benefit shareholders of both companies.”

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Published February 06, 2013 at 8:00 am (Updated February 05, 2013 at 6:19 pm)

Markel values Alterra’s Bermuda operation highly

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