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Insurance ratings actions: S&P affirms Marsh & McLennan

S&P Global Market Intelligence compiles ratings actions in the insurance space daily through 5 p.m. ET. Actions after 5 p.m. ET will be included in the following day's roundup.

U.S. and Canada

A.M. Best affirmed the long-term issuer credit rating of "a-" of Minneapolis-based Ameriprise Financial Inc. and the ratings of certain subsidiaries.

The agency also affirmed the financial strength rating of A+ and the long-term issuer credit ratings of "aa-" of RiverSource Life Insurance Co. and its wholly owned subsidiary, RiverSource Life Insurance Co. of New York.

Additionally, A.M. Best affirmed the financial strength rating of A and the long-term issuer credit rating of "a+" of Ameriprise Captive Insurance Co. The ratings outlook is stable.

The ratings of RiverSource and its subsidiary reflect their very strong balance sheet, strong operating performance, favorable business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

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A.M. Best affirmed the financial strength rating of A and the long-term issuer credit rating of "a" of Bermuda-based Stellar Insurance Ltd. with a stable outlook.

The ratings reflect Stellar's very strong balance sheet, strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

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A.M. Best affirmed the financial strength rating of A and the long-term issuer credit rating of "a" of Bermuda-based Transmonde Services Insurance Co. Ltd. with a stable outlook.

The ratings reflect Transmonde's balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as strongest, strong operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

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Moody's affirmed the A2 insurance financial strength ratings of two subsidiaries of Montpelier, Vt.-based NLV Financial Corp.

The subsidiaries are National Life Insurance Co. and Life Insurance Co. of the Southwest. The outlook on the ratings was changed to positive from stable.

The agency said the actions were based on NLV Financial's growing market position in life insurance and annuities, "strong" financial flexibility and "good" consistent operating profitability.

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S&P Global Ratings affirmed the A- long-term issuer credit rating on New York-based Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. and removed the rating from CreditWatch Negative, where it was placed on Sept. 18.

The outlook is negative.

The actions were taken upon the company's announcement that a unit agreed to acquire Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group PLC. The agency asserted that the company will be committed to and able to delever back to the mid-2x area over the next two years following the acquisition.

But S&P took note of Marsh & McLennan's elevated leverage levels during the interim period and execution risk associated with a large transaction.

Europe

A.M. Best downgraded the long-term issuer credit rating to "aa-" from "aa" and affirmed the financial strength rating of A+ of Switzerland-based Intercona Re AG.

The outlook of these ratings is stable.

The ratings reflect Intercona's balance sheet strength, which A.M. Best categorizes as strongest, strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

The downgrade reflects the weakened financial strength of the company's ultimate parent, Nestlé SA, following changes in the group's capital structure.

Asia-Pacific

A.M. Best assigned a financial strength rating of A and a long-term issuer credit rating of "a" to China-based COSCO SHIPPING Captive Insurance Co. Ltd.

The outlook assigned to these ratings is stable.

The ratings reflect COSCO SHIPPING Captive's very strong balance sheet, adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

This S&P Global Market Intelligence news article may contain information about credit ratings issued by S&P Global Ratings, a separately managed division of S&P Global. Descriptions in this news article were not prepared by S&P Global Ratings. The original S&P Global Ratings documents referred to in this feature can be found here.

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