In the news
Allied World Assurance Co. Holdings AG's deal to sell to Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. will have a provision that will allow Allied to look for a better deal, Allied's chairman, president and CEO, Scott Carmilani, said during a conference call. Allied World would be the largest company that Fairfax has purchased in more than three decades, Fairfax Chairman and CEO Prem Watsa said, according to a transcript of the call.
Capabilities and scale were two of the factors Carmilani cited as benefits of selling to Fairfax. With the pressure from falling insurance rates, smaller property and casualty insurers might be drawn, as Allied World was, to sell ownership for the ability to do more and attain a global reach, Keefe Bruyette & Woods analyst Meyer Shields said in an interview.
The deal also marks a turnaround in Watsa's outlook on the U.S. economy, The Wall Street Journal said. The executive predicted in a letter to shareholders in March that financial markets would come under stress. During yesterday's conference call, however, he underscored the potential for an improved economic and regulatory environment in the U.S. with Donald Trump as president and Republicans in control of Congress.
A measure requiring state insurers to file an annual corporate governance disclosure to the Ohio Department of Insurance passed in both the Ohio House and Ohio Senate, the Insurance Journal reported. Senate Bill 273 now moves to Gov. John Kasich's desk for his signature.
Barton Hedges will step down as CEO of Greenlight Capital Re Ltd. as of March 31, 2017. Leonard Goldberg, the company's former CEO and current board member, will become interim CEO.
QBE North America, an operating division of QBE Insurance Group Ltd., named Kris Hill as CFO, effective Jan. 17, 2017.
James River Group Holdings Ltd. appointed Sarah Doran CFO of the group's holding companies. Doran will join the company Jan. 16, 2017, from Allied World Assurance Co. Holdings AG.
In deal news, Caledonia, Mich.-based insurance brokerage Acrisure LLC acquired the commercial insurance and employee benefits books of business from Alaska USA Insurance Brokers, the Grand Rapids Business Journal reported.
Confie, a California-based provider of personal and commercial lines insurance, acquired Oasis Insurance, a Mesa, Ariz.-based provider of nonstandard auto insurance. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group Plc unit JLT Re acquired Minnesota-based StoneHill Reinsurance Partners LLC.
Needham, Mass.-based Kaplansky Insurance acquired certain assets of Framingham, Mass.-based R.P. Ahearn Insurance Agency, Worcester Business Journal Online reported. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Sanofi, Boehringer deal under regulatory scrutiny; Biogen names CEO: Novartis AG is acquiring private company Encore Vision Inc. to add a treatment for presbyopia to its ophthalmology pipeline.
Financial news in other parts of the world
Asia-Pacific: Doha Bank eyes Indian branch network; Google delays NAB proceedings
Europe: Lloyds to buy MBNA; Credit Suisse could face up to $7B US penalty
Middle East & Africa: 3 Qatari banks mull a merger; Nigeria buckles up for sukuk drive
Latin America: Itaú names CEO for US unit; new testimony threatens Temer's presidency
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng dropped 0.47% to 21,729.06, while the Nikkei 225 rose 0.53% to 19,494.53.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 gained 0.16% to 7,028.14, and the Euronext 100 lifted 0.36% to 928.99.
On the macro front
The Redbook is due out today.