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Weekly news: Proxy advisory firms pick sides in Argo/Voce tussle


The New York State Department of Financial Services approved The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.'s application to acquire Navigators Insurance Co. and Navigators Specialty Insurance Co. The Hartford expects the transaction to be effective May 23.

Property and casualty

Allstate Corp. sustained an estimated $290 million pretax catastrophe losses, or $229 million after tax, in April. The losses stemmed from seven events that had a combined estimated pretax cost of $259 million, or $205 million after tax, plus unfavorable reserve re-estimates of prior reported catastrophe losses.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to extend the National Flood Insurance Program to Sept. 30 from May 31. The multiyear authorization of the program expired Sept. 30, 2017. Since then, the U.S. Congress has passed 10 short-term extensions.

Proxy advisory firm Glass Lewis & Co. backed Voce Capital Management LLC in its proxy battle with Argo Group International Holdings Ltd., while Institutional Shareholder Services sided with the insurer.

Life and health

U.K.-based Just Group PLC is closing its "loss making operations" in the U.S. as part of efforts to improve its capital position.

Prudential Financial Inc.'s shareholders, at the company's May 14 annual shareholders meeting, rejected a fellow shareholder's proposal to allow the right to act by written consent.

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