Helen Yates takes a look back at the top news stories from 2007. All these stories were broken first on www.globalreinsurance.com.
3 January – Ironshore opens shop in Bermuda after raising $1bn.
10 January – Scottish Re urges its shareholders to back a deal with MassMutual Capital and Cerberus.
12 January – Marsh sets up the first broker-led sidecar in Bermuda.
15 January – Julian James, Lloyd’s director of worldwide markets, announces he is leaving to become executive chairman of Lockton International.
16 January – Validus announces it will launch an initial public offering (IPO).
17 January – JLT Re says the industry is overcapitalised.
22 January –Winter Storm Kyrill is the worst storm to have hit Europe in eight years, says AIR Worldwide.
23 January – Florida Governor Charlie Crist is “mortgaging [taxpayers’] economic future” with new insurance reform laws, accuses the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).
29 January – Bank of America establishes a new Lloyd’s syndicate with £33m of capacity.
30 January – Fitch downgrades the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund following new legislation which expands its capacity and exposure.
13 February – NYMEX begins trading catastrophe risk index futures.
13 February – An IPO by Chinese life insurer Ping An is the world’s largest ever by an insurer.
14 February – Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Carvill launch hurricane index futures.
16 February – Lloyd’s chairman backs calls for a single US insurance regulator.
19 February – AM Best predicts Bermuda reinsurers will become competitive in the Lloyd’s market and Europe after being pushed out of the Florida market.
21 February – Scor buys 32.9% of Converium’s share capital.
26 February – Scor makes a formal bid for the remaining 67.1% of Converium’s shares.
26 February – XL announces a $1bn buyback of shares.
26 February – Hannover Re securitises $1bn of reinsurance recoverables in the first transaction of its kind for the company.
28 February – Munich Re posts a $3.5bn profit for 2006.
28 February – Sidecars will decline predicts Moody’s.
2 March – Ace announces Evan Greenberg will replace Brian Dupperault as chairman in May 2007.
2 March – Willis reviews supplemental compensation arrangements and agrees transparency is the way forward.
7 March – III president Robert Hartwig says Florida has created its own Frankenstein with new legislation.
12 March – Aon Re pays Benfield £9.5m after poaching most of Benfield’s facultative reinsurance team in 2006.
12 March – Stephen Byers tells delegates at a GR conference that the industry is in the “front line” against climate change.
13 March – Swiss Re announces it will form three legal entities in Luxembourg ahead of the Reinsurance Directive.
14 March – Lloyd’s receives a formal license from the Chinese regulator for Lloyd’s Reinsurance Company China.
15 March – Hannover Re reveals it has generated its best result in the company’s history in 2006.
19 March – Aquiline, Whittington, Swiss Re and Lehman Brothers back new Lloyd’s syndicate Ark.
22 March – Willis chairman and CEO Joe Plumeri highlights the importance of embracing principles-based regulation.
29 March – Lloyd’s reveals a profit of £3.7bn for 2006 and the lowest combined ratio of any major international market.
3 April – Concerns that “Florida Re” could impact catastrophes prices proved unfounded at the 1 April renewals, says Willis Re.
4 April – Max Capital buys a US-based excess and surplus lines company.
4 April – Ron Whyte and Julian Samengo-Turner leave Guy Carpenter’s facultative operations to join Integro.
5 April – Integro announces the formation of an international insurance and reinsurance business unit in London.
10 April – Lloyd’s chooses RI3K and Xchanging for its new China operations.
16 April – Munich Re warns the risk of a global flu pandemic is still very high.
19 April – Bird flu could hit US insurers with a $24bn loss, warns Moody’s.
19 April – Converium triples its first quarter income to $150.9m.
20 April – Swiss Re shareholders approve an ambitious CHF4.2bn buyback of shares at the company’s AGM.
23 April – Standard & Poor’s upgrades Lloyd’s to “A+” reflecting the market’s “unstoppable momentum” and resolution of Equitas.
4 May – Munich Re says it will return more than ?8bn to shareholders by the end of 2010.
4 May – Flagstone raises $173m in its IPO.
9 May – Travelers establishes a $500m multi-year catastrophe bond programme through Cayman-based Longpoint Re.
10 May – After numerous rejections, Converium urges its shareholders to accept Scor’s improved offer for the company.
14 May – Marsh & McLennan enters into a $500m accelerated share repurchase.
15 May – Talbot confirms its sale to Class of 2005 start-up reinsurer Validus Re.
17 May – Scottish Re’s CFO Dean Miller resigns.
18 May – Clifford Wagner says he will step down as CEO of Scottish Re’s North American segment later in the year.
21 May – Montpelier Re closes sidecar Blue Ocean Re to new business.
22 May – Lockton sets up new Bermuda-based office.
22 May – Effective enterprise risk management sees S&P revise Hannover Re’s outlook from negative to stable.
24 May – Seven insurers agree to pay $2.5bn to resolve outstanding claims on the World Trade Center.
25 May – Following successful listings from Flagstone and Castlepoint, Greenlight Re goes public, raising $194.8m.
29 May – Paris Re announces its intention to IPO.
31 May – European insurers are behind on Solvency II, warns S&P.
5 June – RenaissanceRe forms a new sidecar, Starbound II, for the Florida market.
12 June – IAG reveals more than 9,000 claims following storms on Australia’s east coast.
12 June – Glacier Re launches a $75m wind and quake bond.
13 June – The World Bank, Munich Re and Benfield back the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility which covers 16 Caribbean countries.
19 June – PCI raises concern over mandatory “make available” nuclear, biological, chemical and radiological provisions in TRIA extension plans.
19 June – State Farm places $4bn in cat bonds through Merna Re.
20 June – Montpelier Re opens Syndicate 5151 at Lloyd’s.
22 June – Bermuda premier Ewart Brown is named in an $8m corruption file.
25 June – Marsh testifies before Congress in support of the ten-year extension of TRIA.
25 June – Active underwriter Andrew Carrier leaves Kiln.
26 June – The Florida Commission rejects Risk Management Solutions’ (RMS) near-term view of hurricane risk.
28 June – Swiss Re Capital Markets and S&P launch new cat bond indices.
28 June – Paris Re launches $240m IPO.
29 June – A thwarted car bomb attack in the UK “slipped through the intelligence net”, says RMS.
4 July – Ascot establishes renewable energy insurer, Renewco Underwriting.
4 July – Prices remain flat or fall at the mid-year renewals, reveals Willis.
6 July – Tropical Storm Risk lowers its Atlantic hurricane activity forecast but continues to predict an active season.
6 July – Travelers resolves all its current and future asbestos-related coverage claims in a landmark settlement.
10 July – Scor reaches “a very important milestone” as it reveals it owns 86% of Converium.
11 July – Munich Re says the Solvency II framework is “impressive” but not yet perfect.
12 July – The Court of Appeal in London rules that Marsh cannot sue three former GCFac executives in New York.
24 July – Fitch puts the cost of UK summer flooding at £3bn but says the disaster will have a limited impact on UK insurer ratings.
26 July – Tawa raises £20m in AIM listing.
30 July – RMS raises its UK summer flood loss estimate to between £2.25bn and £3.25bn.
6 August – AIR reaches a cat bond milestone as it models $3bn worth of bonds in 2007.
6 August – PCI backs a new bill proposing a national US catastrophe pool.
8 August – PXRE and Argonaut merge to form Argo Group.
8 August – The UN’s IPCC says extreme weather events will become more frequent.
8 August – Andrew Carrier is named president of new Bermuda reinsurer Peleus Re.
13 August – New modelling consultancy firm Karen Clark & Company launches.
14 August – A bidding war between AIG and Starr Marine is pushing down marine insurance premiums, discovers Global Reinsurance.
15 August – Subprime exposure sees Scottish Re sidecar Ballantyne Re placed on negative review.
22 August – Swiss Re and Ascendant take part in a catastrophe derivatives trade.
22 August – Hurricane Dean is “most intense Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in two decades”.
23 August – Eqecat estimates losses from Dean to be $2bn.
23 August – PartnerRe consolidates in Dublin under the Reinsurance Directive.
7 September – Deutsche Bank backs new Bermuda run-off firm Afinia.
10 September – Terror cover should be compulsory where government pools exist, says Swiss Re in Monte Carlo.
11 September – Flagstone opens a new office in Puerto Rico headed by Rafael Saer.
11 September – The industry should stop talking the market down, says Paris Re CEO Hans-Peter Gerhardt in Monte Carlo.
12 September – Sidecars have served their purpose, says Carvill’s Steve Breen in Monte Carlo.
13 September – Benfield boss Grahame Chilton says cat bonds are here to stay.
13 September – Catastrophe teams are deployed as Hurricane Humberto tears through the Gulf, reveals PCI.
14 September – UK bank Northern Rock is bailed out by the Bank of England as the credit crunch spreads into Europe.
17 September – No reasons are given as Marsh CEO Brian Storms steps down.
19 September – Shanghai braces for Super Typhoon Wipha.
24 September – A Willis market review finds marine rates are unsustainable.
24 September – Bermuda executives say they have considered leaving the island due to the political climate.
25 September – European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes calls broker transparency and co-insurance pricing into question.
1 October – Antitrust charges against Marsh originating from Spitzer’s investigations are dismissed.
9 October – Guy Carpenter says “there is no basis” for Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal’s antitrust lawsuit.
11 October – Capital market solutions will transform the industry, predict delegates at GR conference Insuring Climate Change.
15 October – Catlin joins the rush of reinsurers setting up branches in newly-open Brazil.
17 October – Ace opens a new box at Lloyd’s.
17 October – Munich Re launches a Japanese earthquake bond.
17 October – Subprime has not hindered new cat bond issuances, says Swiss Re’s Dan Ozizmir.
18 October – Willis CEO Joe Plumeri applauds the Senate’s vote to extend TRIA for seven years.
23 October – Reinsurers were “lucky” not to have been hit with major cat losses in 2007, says Markel’s Peter Middleton in Baden Baden.
24 October – XL president and CEO Brian O’Hara and chairman Michael Esposito announce they are retiring.
24 October – Despite plans to retire in December 2008, Axis CEO John Charman’s employment agreement is extended.
25 October – Fitch predicts that California wildfires could be costliest in US history.
31 October – “Prepare [for climate change] don’t panic” advise speakers at the annual PCI conference.
31 October – California wildfires could cost as much as $1.6bn according to cat modellers AIR and RMS.
5 November – Bermuda premier Ewart Brown chooses YouTube to tell country of his election plans.
5 November – Goldman Sachs forms Lloyd’s Arrow Syndicate 1910 to trade from 1 January 2008 with £65m capacity.
5 November – Hank Greenberg suggests he may look to buy AIG in an SEC statement.
6 November – Tawa reveals plans to buy PXRE for $114m from Argo Group.
7 November – Mark Newman, Hugh Powell and John Trace are named co-leaders of GCFac.
7 November – Allianz launches cat bond notes to cover European windstorm.
8 November – Ex-Converium CEO Inga Beale joins Zurich Financial Services.
9 November – Michael Cherkasky blames Marsh’s “unacceptable financial performance” for MMC’s Q3 profit slump.
13 November – Willis says subprime D&O claims could reach $3bn.
19 November – Swiss Re reveals a massive $1bn subprime-related write-down.
28 November – Catlin reveals it has taken a $75m subprime hit.
29 November – Whittington’s new Lloyd’s syndicate Barbican has capacity of £75m and will write specialty lines.
30 November – A large earthquake is expected to trigger the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility for the first time.
3 December – The Florida regulator considers relaxing 100% collateral rules for foreign reinsurers.
3 December – Former AIG Europe MD Dan Glaser is named chairman and CEO of Marsh Inc.
4 December – Lockton forms a facultative reinsurance property team.
4 December – Warren Buffett is called as a witness in the finite case that caused Hank Greenberg to leave AIG.
4 December – Brit renews its Bermuda-based sidecar Norton Re II for 2008.
5 December – Hardy Group reveals it is relocating to Bermuda and establishing Class 3 reinsurer Hardy Re.
Helen Yates is editor of Global Reinsurance.