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The Monday Express: North American financials

* A U.S. House subcommittee head has introduced theTransparent Insurance Standards Act of 2016, a long-awaited that would give primacy tostate insurance regulators in adopting any international insurance supervisorystandards and allow congressional oversight of any internationalstandard-setting, including the ability to reject proposed standards.

* Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s first-quarter operating profitsslipped year over year on lower earnings from its insurance and railroadbusinesses. Accordingto preliminary results posted during its annual shareholders meeting, the conglomerate reported after-tax operating earnings of in the quarter,down from $4.24 billion in the first quarter of 2015.

* At the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting,Warren Buffett pulled no punches in his evaluation of Valeant PharmaceuticalsInternational Inc., calling the troubled company "" and comparingits tactics to those of a chain letter.

* JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s exposure to theoil-and-gas and natural gas pipelines industries climbed in the first quarter,reaching $47.9 billion at March 31.

* Investors Bancorp Inc. will seek variousopportunities, including M&A,during this "transitional" year as it leverages excess capital andgrows, President and CEO Kevin Cummings said during the company's first-quarterearnings call.

* At Damariscotta, Maine-based First Bancorp Inc., themandatory retirement date for Chairman David Soule Jr. has been to Dec. 31, 2017, fromDec. 31, 2016.

* BB&T Corp. shareholders the Winston-Salem, N.C.-basedcompany's executive compensation program.

* Scotch Plains, N.J.-based United Financial ServicesCommunity Federal Credit Union mergedinto New Providence, N.J.-based Advanced Financial Federal Credit Union,effective April 30.

* Halliburton Co. and Baker Hughes Inc. their proposed $34.6billion merger, a blowto the investment bankers who advised the companies, Reuters reports. CreditSuisse Group AG served as lead financial adviser to Halliburton, with Bank ofAmerica Corp. also advising. Baker Hughes was advised by Goldman Sachs GroupInc.

* Cotiviti Holdings Inc. filed for an IPO,which will be led by Goldman and JPMorgan, Bloomberg News reports.

* Private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC is leading aninvestment round of over $27 million in Varo Money Inc., a San Francisco-basedstartup that may seek its own bankcharter in the future, The WallStreet Journal reports.

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