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Catalina-Zurich talk deal; Lloyd's confirms CEO hire; Japan typhoon losses

Infrastructure Issues: Tools to Dig Deep on Potential Risks

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Catalina-Zurich talk deal; Lloyd's confirms CEO hire; Japan typhoon losses

Former QBE Insurance Group Ltd. head John Neal will take over from Inga Beale as CEO of Lloyd's of London on Oct. 15, Lloyd's confirmed late Friday. Lloyd's Market Association CEO David Gittings told S&P Global Market Intelligence that he hopes Neal will get to work on rebuilding the executive team at Lloyd's.

Also, the High Court of England and Wales approved QBE European Operations' restructuring plan, which is part of its preparations for Britain's departure from the European Union.

The annual Monte Carlo reinsurance convention is in full swing, with the attendant deal rumors swirling. Among them is a report by The Insurance Insider that Catalina Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd. is close to signing a deal for Zurich Insurance Group AG's £1.6 billion legacy U.K. employers' liability book. The publication also wrote that Neon Underwriting Ltd. CEO Martin Reith has been cleared by majority owner American Financial Group to pursue a management buyout, and that Armour Holdings is in talks with Munich Re Co. over the latter's Beaufort Lloyd's business.

Also, MS Amlin PLC appointed TigerRisk to advise it on disposing a portfolio of Irish public and employers' liability exposures, backed by about €90 million of reserves, the Insider said.

Meanwhile, Scor SE reiterated that the French reinsurer is not interested in a merger, after SGAM Covéa's approach last week, according to Re-Insurance.com.

Italy-based insurer Generali may acquire more boutique asset managers after entering exclusive talks for a majority stake in French ESG-focused asset manager Sycomore Asset Management, Reuters reported, citing group CEO Philippe Donnet.

Moody's expects reinsurers' near-term profitability to continue to receive a boost from rising interest rates and better pricing trends. Fitch Ratings, meanwhile, said it expects further M&A activity in the reinsurance sector, given intense competition and the benefits of scale.

Excess capital in the reinsurance sector, modest loss development from 2017 catastrophe losses and the relatively benign first half have combined to suppress positive reinsurance rate momentum throughout 2018, according to JLT Re.

Industry insured losses from the typhoon that struck Japan on Sept. 4 are expected to be between ¥257 billion and ¥502 billion, according to catastrophe risk modeling firm AIR Worldwide.

Hurricane Florence is regaining strength, is forecast to become a major hurricane this morning and is expected to remain an exceedingly dangerous hurricane through Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Centre. No coastal watches or warnings are yet in effect, although the NHC warned Southeastern and mid-Atlantic states to monitor the storm's progress.

The insurance-linked securities market could face up to 20% of the insured losses resulting from hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Marie, according to A.M. Best. Based on the loss estimate, the market could bear between $14 billion to $18 billion of losses from the hurricanes.

Individual health insurance rates in New Jersey will fall by 9.3% on average for 2019, Gov. Phil Murphy said.

Hub International Ltd. has acquired Ottawa, Canada-based Access Insurance Brokers Inc. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Catalina Holdings (Bermuda) Ltd.Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings Ltd. announced a corporate restructuring to create a new division called Accredited, which will encompass the company's U.S. and European program management business. The company also renamed its Malta-domiciled insurance platform R&Q Insurance (Malta) Ltd. to Accredited Insurance (Europe) Ltd., effective Sept. 7.

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

ACA market shows signs of stabilizing with benign rate increases for 2019: Among the largest health insurers, just five companies in three states have requested rate hikes, according to an S&P Global Market Intelligence analysis of preliminary rate requests.

Insurance deal target received rare 'excessive' reserve opinion prior to sale: Potential loss reserve deficiencies rank among the most prominent real and perceived risk factors to M&A transactions in the property and casualty industry. But the target of one recently completed deal seems to have had the opposite problem.

PolarityTE fires CEO on fraud charges; Merck & Co.'s cancer drug gets EC nod: PolarityTE fired its CEO John Stetson after the healthcare executive was charged with fraud by the U.S. SEC; Merck & Co. said the European Commission approved a Keytruda combination for the first-line treatment of a certain type of lung cancer.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: ICBC gets nod for Austrian unit; India fines 3 lenders; Axis Bank names CEO

Europe: Lloyd's confirms Neal as CEO; probe looking into $150B of Danske transactions

Middle East and Africa: Bahrain's Al Baraka eyes 2019 share offering; Zimbabwe names new finance chief

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 1.33% to 26,613.42. The Nikkei 225 rose 0.30% to 22,373.09. In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.36% to 7,304.01, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.48% to 1,034.28.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

On the macro front

The consumer credit report and the TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index are due out today.

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