Helen Yates lists the top stories of 2005

Nobody will forget 2005 in a hurry, punctuated as it was by shock headlines of fraud, investigations, natural catastrophes and market-changing events. From the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami, to Spitzer's relentless investigations, high profile resignations and terrorist attacks. And just as the dust began to settle hurricane season kicked off with consequences we all know too well.


3 January - An III report says the impact of the magnitude 9.0 earthquake, centred about 100 miles off the island of Sumatra, is likely to be modest in terms of insurance.

3 January - Fitch expects insured losses stemming from the tsunami to affect the Asian primary insurance market and the worldwide reinsurance market.

7 January - A senior executive of Marsh, Robert Stearns, pleads guilty to criminal charges relating to fraud and bid rigging.

21 January - XL Capital increases its estimates of the cost of the 2004 hurricanes by 16% to $520m.

24 January - Connecticut AG sues Marsh and ACE over secret $50,000 commission payment.


1 February - Marsh & McLennan agrees to pay $850m to settle Spitzer investigation.

2 February - Lloyd's reports a net loss from the Indian Ocean tsunami of approximately £100m.

3 February - Willis Re appoints Peter Hearn as CEO of Willis Re US.

8 February - AM Best assigns "A-" financial strength rating to Bermuda life start-up Wilton Re.

15 February - AIG receives subpoenas from Eliot Spitzer and the SEC relating to non-traditional insurance products.

16 February - Two executives from AIG and one from Marsh & McLennan plead guilty to fraud charges.

17 February - Aon names Philip Stamp as chairman and CEO of Aon Re UK.

24 February - Converium appoints Terry Clarke as its new CEO.


1 March - Converium reports a loss of $760.8m in 2004, worse than market expectations.

2 March - Leading scientists say there is no evidence for more major hurricanes.

4 March - Aon settles with Eliot Spitzer and four agencies in three US states on allegations of fraud and anti-competitive practices.

8 March - Berkshire Hathaway faces claims by the liquidators of FAI and HIH that it engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct.

15 March - Maurice (Hank) Greenberg steps down as president and CEO of AIG.

16 March - Alea CFO Amanda Atkins quits as profits fall.

18 March - Rodman Fox, CEO of Benfield's US Division, is granted leave of absence.

23 March - Peter Garvey, co-president of Marsh, resigns due to personal reasons.

25 March - Eliot Spitzer says AIG has "a serious problem" if its senior executives refuse to answer regulators' questions.


4 April - Gregory Case is named as president and CEO of Aon.

6 April - Hank Greenberg, Edward Matthews and Howard Smith resign from Transatlantic board.

14 April - The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority investigates reinsurance practices involving General Re's general insurance business.

14 April - Spitzer and the SEC contact AXA Re with subpoenas.

21 April - The Carvill Group appoints John Cavanagh and David Thomas as joint CEOs.

26 April - Kevin McCarty, Insurance Regulation Commissioner for Florida, issues 17 subpoenas requesting information on finite reinsurance.


3 May - Willis Employee Benefits Practice in New York appoints six senior ex-Marsh employees.

5 May - Industry warned to wake up to risks of climate change in a report by Climate Change Capital.

6 May - The NAIC president announces the FBI has sought guidance on accounting and reporting of reinsurance transactions.

9 May - Berkshire Hathaway announces that the SEC is considering bringing a civil action against a senior executive of General Re.

20 May - ACE confirms it has sacked three employees and suspended two others in connection with investigations into the underwriting practices in its excess casualty unit.

21 May - Berkshire Hathaway ends the consulting services of its former CEO, Ronald Ferguson, after he invokes the Fifth in response to ongoing investigations.

25 May - Benfield report finds that reinsurance rates are continuing to soften despite record storms in 2004.

27 May - Eliot Spitzer sues AIG and Hank Greenberg for fraud.


3 June - Alea chairman John Reeve reveals the group will continue its programme of strategic exits from lines of business.

7 June - The European Parliament approves the EU Reinsurance Directive.

9 June - Hank Greenberg resigns from the board of AIG.

15 June - The NAIC P&C Reinsurance Study group approves enhanced disclosure requirements for finite reinsurance.

20 June - ACE receives another subpoena as part of an investigation into finite risk insurance products.

29 June - AIR warns if hurricane wind speeds increase by as little as 6%, insured losses could rise by as much as 75% per year.


1 July - Former Marsh CEO John Sinnott is named vice chairman of MMC.

7 July - AIG vice president Charles Dangelo becomes the group's senior reinsurance officer.

7 July - Following explosions in London, the Association of British Insurers says insurance companies will deal with claims as quickly and sympathetically as possible.

8 July - The NAIC calls for the extension of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) in the wake of the London attacks.

8 July - Tropical Storm Risk increases its forecast for Atlantic hurricane activity in 2005 by 20%.

12 July - Risk Management Solutions (RMS) estimates that insured losses from Hurricane Dennis will be between $1bn and $5bn.

22 July - Quanta's CFO John Brittain announces his departure.

25 July - Ipe Jacob, of Grant Thornton, warns the BAIC decision could see the scheme market "shrink dramatically".


1 August - Moody's confirms it has received a subpoena from Eliot Spitzer's Office relating to documents, policies and practices concerning the ratings of reinsurance companies since January 1997.

1 August - SCOR returns to the "A" ranks after S&P decides to raise its rating to "A-" from "BBB+".

5 August - Reinsurance Group of America establishes a representative office in Beijing.

10 August - A joint venture between Cooper Gay and Michael Cashman strengthens Cooper Gay's US treaty operation.

15 August - Guy Carpenter appoints former Benfield CEO David Spiller as its new president, effective 1 January 2006.

25 August - Swiss Re appoints Jacques Aigrain to replace John Coomber as CEO effective 1 January 2006.

26 August - Former GE Insurance Solutions COO, Richard Smith, is named CEO and chairman-elect of Equifax.

30 August - Fitch Ratings warns Hurricane Katrina could be the largest insured loss from a single event since 9/11.


2 September - RMS says the economic loss from Hurricane Katrina and subsequent flooding is expected to top $100bn.

8 September - Benfield CEO Grahame Chilton says Hurricane Katrina could provide the opportunity for new business to enter the market.

9 September - S&P lowers Alea ratings to "BBB+" from "A-" and the board says a sale is on the cards.

10 September - Brian Storms is named chairman and CEO of Marsh.

11 September - RMS ups its forecast of private insured losses from Hurricane Katrina to between $40bn-$60bn.

12 September - Swiss Re ups its insured loss estimates for Katrina to $1.2bn.

12 September - Aon says hedge funds will become serious players in the industry post Katrina.

15 September - Moodys warns reinsurers to recapitalise quickly to avoid downgrades after sustaining massive losses from Hurricane Katrina.

15 September - Eight former Marsh executives are indicted over "a massive bid-rigging scheme that defrauded clients of millions of dollars".

16 September - The Mississippi AG Jim Hood files a civil action against the insurance industry seeking to declare void certain damage exclusions contained in policies issued to Mississippi Gulf Coast residents.

19 September - The PCIA says Mississippi AG's lawsuit will, if successful, "undermine the integrity of every legal contract in the nation".

26 September - The RMS US Terrorism Risk Model reveals increased risk of extreme terror attack.

26 September - RMS says it expects insured losses from Hurricane Rita to range from $4bn to $7bn.


4 October - PartnerRe estimates that total net impact of catastrophes in 2005 will be between $560m-$590m before tax.

5 October - Aon UK announces that 750 jobs must go as a result of restructuring of its UK operations.

7 October - "If you haven't started yet, you are probably already too late," is Brit CEO Dane Douetil's verdict on contract certainty at a panel discussion hosted by Global Reinsurance.

10 October - Aon report predicts a possible delay to 2006 renewals as a result of Katrina.

11 October - The Market Reform Group publishes the first two stages of a three-stage process to assist firms in achieving contract certainty.

17 October - Lloyd's announces its chief executive Nick Prettejohn is to leave the company on 31 December.

20 October - Hurricane Wilma briefly becomes the strongest-ever Atlantic storm as it continues on its path into the Gulf of Mexico.

24 October - GoshawK puts Rosemont Re into run-off but agrees to sell its infrastructure to a new Bermudan reinsurer with start-up capital of $750m.

24 October - The National Hurricane Center runs out of hurricane names for the 2005 season and turns to the Greek alphabet.

25 October - RMS says it expects insured losses of $6bn to $10bn from Hurricane Wilma.


1 November - Amlin announces plans to establish a new Bermudan reinsurer with capital of $1bn.

2 November - James Stanard, chairmain and CEO of RenaissanceRe, resigns in response to an ongoing investigation into its restated results.

5 November - AM Best a rating of "A-" (Excellent) to Bermuda start-up New Castle Re.

7 November - Alea ups its Katrina loss as its hunt for a buyer continues.

7 November - Hiscox announces it will establish a Bermuda reinsurer.

9 November - Omega announces it will launch a new Bermudian insurance and reinsurance company.

9 November - Lloyd's is granted permission to establish an on-shore reinsurance operation in China.

16 November - The US Senate agrees to legislation that will extend TRIA.

18 November - Swiss Re agrees to buy GE Insurance Solutions from General Electric Company in a $6.8bn transaction.

23 November - Quanta Capital Holdings CEO and director Tobey Russ resigns.

28 November - Beazley Group confirms parties interested in supporting a new Lloyd's syndicate have approached it.

30 November - Lloyd's ups its loss estimates for Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma to a total of $5.2bn.


1 December - Jardine Lloyd Thompson names Dominic Burke as group CEO.

2 December - The FSA forbids two former Benfield reinsurance brokers from undertaking any function in relation to regulated activity for two years.

5 December - Amlin confirms that its newly formed business, Amlin Bermuda, has started trading.

14 December - Beale is appointed CEO of Converium.

- Helen Yates is deputy editor of Global Reinsurance.