Ironshore takeover completed
The acquisition of Bermuda-based insurance company Ironshore by China’s Fosun Investments has been completed. Fosun bought a 20 per cent stake in the firm in February and announced its intention to acquire the remaining 80 per cent in May. Having received regulatory approval for the takeover the deal was completed. Fosun has stated that it has bought Ironshore as a long-term investment and has given its backing to the insurer’s management and staff. Fosun has a range of businesses and encourages them to collaborate. The deal should allow Ironshore to further expand its specialty insurance offering globally.
US top for weather-related disasters says UN report
The United States has topped the list of nations for weather-related disasters over the past 20 years. Research by the United Nations shows that 90 per cent of major disasters have been caused by 6,457 recorded weather-related incidents such as floods, storms, heatwaves and droughts. The US share of these events was 472, followed by China (441), India (288), Philippines (274) and Indonesia (163). The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction says that since the first Climate Change Conference in 1995 there have been 606,000 lives lost and 4.1 billion have been injured, left homeless or needed emergency aid as a result of weather-related incidents.
Mutual insurer increases dividend payments by 37 per cent
New York Life, the largest mutual life insurer in the US, has increased its dividend payments to qualifying policyholders by 37 per cent since 2012. The insurer will pay a record $1.7 billion in dividends in 2016 and is also expecting a record year-end surplus for 2015 of at least $22 billion.
Chairman and CEO Ted Matthias says the success of the business is down to a strategy of diversification: “With the zero interest rate policy of the Federal Reserve now in its seventh year, and only modest interest rate increases expected over the near term, policyholders can be comforted by the fact that New York Life’s diversified strategy is working to their benefit. Our ability to sustain and grow our dividend payout is working as planned.”
Matthias said that policyholders are tending to maintain their policies with the firm, which is one of only two US life insurers with the highest financial strength rating from the four major ratings agencies.