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Article by DailyStocks_admin    (11-13-13 05:30 AM)

Description

Allied World Assurance Co Holdings. Director Eric S Schwartz bought 35,000 shares on 11-06-2013 at $ 109.12

BUSINESS OVERVIEW

Overview

We are a Swiss-based insurance and reinsurance company that underwrites a diverse portfolio of property and casualty lines of business through offices located in Bermuda, Hong Kong, Ireland, Singapore, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. For the year ended December 31, 2012, our U.S. insurance, international insurance and reinsurance segments accounted for 42.7%, 24.7% and 32.6%, respectively, of our total gross premiums written of $2,329.3 million. As of December 31, 2012, we had $12.0 billion of total assets and $3.3 billion of shareholders’ equity.

We were formed in Bermuda in 2001, and we redomesticated to Switzerland in December 2010, at which time Holdings became the ultimate parent company of Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, Ltd, the former publicly-traded Bermuda holding company (“Allied World Bermuda”) and its subsidiaries. Since our formation, we have focused primarily on the direct insurance markets. We offer our clients and producers significant capacity in both the direct property and casualty insurance markets as well as in the reinsurance market. We have expanded since our formation and now have 17 offices located in seven different countries.
Internationally, we first established a presence in Europe when Allied World Assurance Company (Europe) Limited was approved to carry on business in the European Union (“E.U.”) from its office in Dublin, Ireland in October 2002 and from a branch office in London, England in May 2003. Allied World Assurance Company (Reinsurance) Limited was approved to write reinsurance in the E.U. from its office in Ireland in July 2003 and from a branch office in London, England in August 2004. In recent years, we have further expanded our European presence, first in October 2008 when Allied World Assurance Company (Reinsurance) Limited opened a branch office in Zug, Switzerland to further penetrate the European market, and later in March 2011 when we received an insurance and reinsurance license for Allied World Assurance Company, AG, a Swiss-domiciled company located in Zug, Switzerland.

In July 2002, we established a presence in the United States when we acquired two insurance companies, Allied World Assurance Company (U.S.) Inc. and Allied World National Assurance Company. We have made substantial investments to expand our North American business, which has grown significantly since 2009 and which we expect will continue to grow in size and importance in the coming years. In February 2008, we acquired a U.S. reinsurance company which we operated under the name Allied World Reinsurance Company until December 2012, when it was renamed Allied World Insurance Company. We write our U.S. reinsurance business through this company. In October 2008, we acquired Darwin Professional Underwriters, Inc. and its subsidiaries (collectively, “Darwin”) to further expand our U.S. insurance platform. We currently have eleven offices in the United States and are licensed in Canada.

Our corporate expansion continued into Asia when Allied World Assurance Company, Ltd opened branch offices in Hong Kong in March 2009 and in Singapore in December 2009. In July 2011, we received a license to write reinsurance business in Labuan, a financial center in Malaysia.

In early 2010, we received approval from Lloyd’s to establish a syndicate. Our Lloyd’s syndicate, Syndicate 2232, commenced underwriting in June 2010. Syndicate 2232 is managed by Capita Managing Agency Limited, a subsidiary of The Capita Group PLC, which is authorized by the Financial Services Authority in the United Kingdom (the “FSA”). In July 2010, we received approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Lloyd’s Asia to register and operate a service company, Capita 2232 Services Pte Ltd. As part of the Lloyd’s Asia platform, the service company underwrites exclusively on behalf of Syndicate 2232. Syndicate 2232, via the service company, offers a broad range of insurance and reinsurance treaty products from Singapore, including property, casualty and specialty lines, to clients in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions. In September 2012, Allied World Reinsurance Management Company received approval to act as a Lloyd’s coverholder to underwrite Latin American and Caribbean treaty business from our Miami office on behalf of Syndicate 2232.
Available Information

We maintain a website at www.awac.com . The information on our website is not incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
We make available, free of charge through our website, our financial information, including the information contained in our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish such material to, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). We also make available, free of charge through our website, our Audit Committee Charter, Compensation Committee Charter, Investment Committee Charter, Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee Charter, Enterprise Risk Committee Charter, Corporate Governance Guidelines, Code of Ethics for CEO and Senior Financial Officers and Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. Such information is also available in print for any shareholder who sends a request to Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, AG, Lindenstrasse 8, 6340 Baar, Zug, Switzerland, attention: Wayne H. Datz, Corporate Secretary, or via e-mail to secretary@awac.com. Reports and other information we file with the SEC may also be viewed at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov or viewed or obtained at the SEC Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20549. Information on the operation of the SEC Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330.

Our Strategy

Our business objective is to generate attractive returns on equity and book value per share growth for our shareholders. We seek to achieve this objective by executing the following strategies:

•
Capitalize on profitable underwriting opportunities. Our experienced management and underwriting teams are positioned to locate and identify business with attractive risk/reward characteristics. We pursue a strategy that emphasizes profitability, not market share. Key elements of this strategy are prudent risk selection, appropriate pricing and adjusting our business mix to remain flexible and opportunistic. We seek ways to take advantage of underwriting opportunities that we believe will be profitable.

•
Exercise underwriting and risk management discipline. We believe we exercise underwriting and risk management discipline by: (i) maintaining a diverse spread of risk across product lines and geographic zones, (ii) managing our aggregate property catastrophe exposure through the application of sophisticated modeling tools, (iii) monitoring our exposures on non-property catastrophe coverages, (iv) adhering to underwriting guidelines across our business lines and (v) fostering a culture that focuses on enterprise risk management and strong internal controls.

•
Maintain a conservative investment strategy. We believe that we follow a conservative investment strategy designed to emphasize the preservation of our capital and provide adequate liquidity for the prompt payment of claims. Our investment portfolio consists primarily of investment-grade, fixed-maturity securities of short-to medium-term duration.

Our premium revenues are generated by operations conducted from our corporate headquarters in Switzerland and our other offices in Bermuda, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States. For information concerning our gross premiums written by geographic location of underwriting office.

Our Operating Segments

We have three business segments: U.S. insurance, international insurance and reinsurance. These segments and their respective lines of business and products may, at times, be subject to different underwriting cycles. We modify our product strategy as market conditions change and new opportunities emerge by developing new products, targeting new industry classes or de-emphasizing existing lines. Our diverse underwriting skills and flexibility allow us to concentrate on the business lines where we expect to generate the greatest returns.

U.S. Insurance Segment

General

The U.S. insurance segment includes our direct insurance operations in the United States. Within this segment we provide an increasingly diverse range of specialty liability products, with a particular emphasis on coverages for healthcare and professional liability risks. Additionally, we offer a selection of direct general casualty insurance and general property insurance products. We generally target small- and middle-market, non-Fortune 1000 accounts domiciled in North America, including public entities, private companies and non-profit organizations. In recent years we have enhanced our U.S. insurance operating platform, principally through hiring underwriting talent, through an expanded network of branch offices located in strategically important locations across the country and through upgrades to our information technology platform to accommodate our increasing business demands. Our underwriters are spread among our locations in the United States because we believe it is important to be physically present in the major insurance markets where we compete for business. We believe improvements to our operating platform have allowed us to assume and maintain a significant role as a writer of primary professional liability and other specialty liability coverage for small firms. We will continue to seek attractive opportunities in the U.S. market.

Products and Customer Base

Our casualty operations in the United States focus on insurance products providing coverage for specialty type risks, such as professional liability, environmental liability, product liability, and healthcare liability risks, and we offer commercial general liability products as well. Professional liability products include policies covering directors and officers, employment practices and fiduciary liability insurance. We also offer a diverse mix of errors and omissions liability coverages for a variety of service providers, including law firms, technology companies, insurance companies, insurance agents and brokers, and municipalities. We also provide both primary and excess liability and other casualty coverages to the healthcare industry, including hospitals and hospital systems, managed care organizations, accountable care organizations and medical facilities such as home care providers, specialized surgery and rehabilitation centers, and outpatient clinics. We regularly assess our product mix, and we evaluate new products and markets where we believe our underwriting and service will allow us to differentiate our offerings.

In late 2009, we commenced writing environmental liability business by offering a line of environmental casualty products covering the pollution and related liability exposures of general contractors, tank installers, remediation contractors and others. During 2012, we introduced new coverages for mergers and acquisitions liability, privacy and technology liability.

With respect to general casualty products, we provide both primary and excess liability coverage, and our focus is on complex risks in a variety of industries including construction, real estate, public entities, retailers, manufacturing, transportation, and finance and insurance services. We also offer comprehensive insurance to contractors and their employees working outside of the United States on contracts for agencies of the U.S. government or foreign operations of U.S. companies.

Our U.S. property insurance operations provide direct coverage of physical property and business interruption coverage for commercial property risks. During 2011, we also commenced writing inland marine business. We write solely commercial coverages and concentrate our efforts on primary risk layers of insurance (as opposed to excess layers), offering meaningful but limited capacity in these layers. This means that we are typically part of the first group of insurers that cover a loss up to a specified limit. We offer general property products from our underwriting platforms in the United States, and cover risks for retail chains, real estate, manufacturers, hotels and casinos, and municipalities.

We currently have a total of 12 insurance programs in the United States, offering a variety of products including professional liability, excess casualty and primary general liability. We generally retain responsibility for administration of claims, although we may opt to outsource claims in selected situations. In selecting program administrators, we consider the integrity, experience and reputation of the program administrator, the availability of reinsurance and the potential profitability of the business. In order to assure the continuing integrity of the underwriting and related business operations in our program business, we conduct additional reviews and audits of the program administrator. To help align our interests with those of our program administrators, we seek to set up incentive-based compensation to encourage better long-term underwriting results as a component of their fees.
For more information concerning our gross premiums written by line of business in our U.S. insurance segment, see Item 7 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Results of Operations — U.S. Insurance Segment — Comparison of Years Ended December 31, 2012 and 2011” and “— Comparison of Years Ended December 31, 2011 and 2010.”

Distribution

Within our U.S. insurance segment, insurance policies are placed through a network of over 200 insurance intermediaries, including excess and surplus lines wholesalers and regional and national retail brokerage firms. A subset of these intermediaries also access certain of our U.S. casualty products via our proprietary i-bind platform that allows for accelerated quote and bind capabilities through the internet. Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (“Marsh”) accounted for approximately 10% of gross premiums written in the U. S. insurance segment during 2012.

International Insurance Segment

General

The international insurance segment includes our direct insurance operations outside of the United States. It includes our operations in Bermuda, Europe and Asia. Our Bermuda operations underwrite primarily larger, Fortune 1000 casualty and property risks for accounts domiciled in North America. Our insurance operations in Europe, with offices in Dublin, London and Switzerland, have focused on mid-sized to large European and multi-national companies domiciled outside of North America, and we are also diversifying into insurance products for smaller commercial clients. In addition, Syndicate 2232 offers select product lines including international property, general casualty and professional liability, targeted at key territories such as countries in Latin America and the Asia Pacific region. The international insurance segment also encompasses our offices in Asia that underwrite a variety of primary and excess professional liability lines and general casualty and healthcare insurance products. Our staff in the international insurance segment is spread among our locations in Bermuda, Europe and Asia because we believe it is important that our underwriters be physically present in the major insurance markets around the world where we compete for business.

Products and Customer Base

Our casualty operations within our international insurance provide general casualty products; professional liability products such as directors and officers, employment practices, fiduciary and errors and omissions liability insurance; and healthcare liability products. Our focus with respect to general casualty products is on complex risks in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, energy, chemicals, transportation, real estate, consumer products, medical and healthcare services and construction. We also offer a diverse mix of coverages for a number of industries including law firms, technology companies, financial institutions, insurance companies and brokers, manufacturing and energy, and engineering and construction firms. Our healthcare underwriters provide risk transfer products to numerous healthcare institutions, such as hospitals, managed care organizations and healthcare systems. We offer both primary and excess coverage, with the latter focused primarily on insuring excess layers, with a median attachment point of $80 million. Our international insurance segment utilizes significant gross limit capacity.

We offer general property products from our underwriting platforms in Bermuda and Europe. Our international property insurance operations provide direct coverage of physical property and business interruption coverage for commercial property risks and mining risks. We write solely commercial coverages and focus on the insurance of the primary risk layer. The types of commercial property risks we cover include retail chains, real estate, manufacturers, hotels and casinos.

In 2010, we commenced writing trade credit insurance by offering short- and medium-term credit insurance for clients that export primarily to and from Latin America and the Caribbean.

For more information on our gross premiums written by line of business in our international insurance segment, see Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Results of Operations — International Insurance Segment — Comparison of Years Ended December 31, 2012 and 2011” and “— Comparison of Years Ended December 31, 2011 and 2010.”

Distribution

With regard to our international insurance segment, we utilize our relationships with insurance intermediaries as our principal method for obtaining business. Our international insurance segment maintains significant relationships with Marsh, Aon Corporation (“Aon”) and Willis Group Holdings (“Willis”), which accounted for 29%, 25% and 11%, respectively, of our gross premiums written in this segment during 2012.

Reinsurance Segment

General

Our reinsurance segment includes the reinsurance of property, general casualty, professional liability, specialty lines and property catastrophe coverages written by other insurance companies. In order to diversify our portfolio and complement our direct insurance business, we target the overall contribution from reinsurance to be approximately 30% of our total annual gross premiums written.

We presently write reinsurance on both a treaty and a facultative basis, targeting several niche markets including professional liability lines, specialty casualty, property for U.S. regional insurers, accident and health, marine, aerospace and crop risks. Overall, we strive to diversify our reinsurance portfolio through the appropriate combination of business lines, ceding source, geography and contract configuration. Our primary customer focus is on highly-rated carriers with proven underwriting skills and dependable operating models.

We determine appropriate pricing either by using pricing models built or approved by our actuarial staff or by relying on established pricing set by one of our pricing actuaries for a specific treaty. Pricing models are generally used for facultative reinsurance, property catastrophe reinsurance, property per risk reinsurance and workers compensation and personal accident catastrophe reinsurance. Other types of reinsurance rely on actuarially-established pricing. On a written basis, our business mix is more heavily weighted to reinsurance during the first three months of the year. Our reinsurance segment operates from our offices in Bermuda, London, Miami, New York, Singapore and Switzerland.

Product Lines and Customer Base

Property, casualty and specialty reinsurance is the principal source of revenue for this segment. The insurers we reinsure range from single state to nationwide insurers located in the United States as well as specialty carriers or the specialty divisions of standard lines carriers. For our international treaty unit, our clients include multi-national insurers, single territory insurers, niche carriers and Lloyd’s syndicates. We focus on niche programs and coverages, frequently sourced from excess and surplus lines insurers. In October 2008, we expanded our international reach by opening a branch office in Switzerland that offers property, general casualty and professional liability products throughout Europe. This business is now being written by Allied World Assurance Company, AG, our Swiss licensed insurance and reinsurance company. Syndicate 2232 also offers international treaty reinsurance. During 2009, we expanded our reinsurance operations both in Asia, where we opened a branch office in Singapore that serves as the company’s hub for all classes of treaty reinsurance business for the region, and in the United States, where we added a property underwriting team to our reinsurance platform. In December 2010, we expanded our specialty reinsurance offerings by launching a marine and specialty division. In 2011, we added crop reinsurance offerings. In September 2012, our Miami operations received approval to act as a Lloyd’s coverholder to underwrite treaty business in Latin America and the Caribbean on behalf of Syndicate 2232. We target a portfolio of well-rated companies that are highly knowledgeable in their product lines, have the financial resources to execute their business plans and are committed to underwriting discipline throughout the underwriting cycle.

Our property reinsurance underwrites treaties which protect insurers who write residential, commercial and industrial accounts in North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America. Our predominant exposure to loss is in North America. We also write Euro-centric business, including Lloyd’s syndicates and Continental European companies, and are expanding our capabilities in Asia and Latin America. We emphasize monoline, per risk accounts, which are structured as either quota share or excess-of-loss reinsurance. Monoline reinsurance applies to one kind of coverage, and per risk reinsurance coverage applies to a particular risk (for example a building and its contents), rather than on a per accident, event or aggregate basis. Where possible, coverage is provided on a “losses occurring” basis, which limits coverage to property losses occurring within the treaty year. We selectively write industry loss warranties where we believe market opportunities justify the risks.

Our casualty reinsurance business consists of general casualty and professional liability lines and writes both treaty and facultative business. Our general casualty treaties cover working layer, intermediate layer and catastrophe exposures. We sell both quota share and excess-of-loss reinsurance. We principally underwrite general liability, auto liability and commercial excess and umbrella liability for both admitted and non-admitted companies. Our general casualty facultative business is principally comprised of lower-attachment, individual-risk reinsurance covering automobile liability, general liability and workers compensation risks for many of the largest U.S. property-casualty and surplus lines insurers. Our professional liability treaties cover several products, primarily directors’ and officers’ liability, but also attorneys’ malpractice, medical malpractice, miscellaneous professional classes and transactional risk liability. The complex exposures undertaken by this unit demand highly technical underwriting and pricing analysis.

For our specialty reinsurance business, we underwrite on a global basis crop, marine and aviation, and other specialty lines of business, including accident and health business with an emphasis on catastrophe personal accident programs and workers compensation catastrophe business.

For more information on our gross premiums written by line of business in our reinsurance segment, see Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Results of Operations — Reinsurance Segment — Comparison of Years Ended December 31, 2012 and 2011” and “—Comparison of Years Ended December 31, 2011 and 2010.”

Distribution

Due to a number of factors, including transactional size and complexity, the distribution infrastructure of the reinsurance marketplace is characterized by relatively few intermediary firms. As a result, we have close business relationships with a small number of reinsurance intermediaries, and our business during 2012 was primarily with affiliates of Marsh, Aon and Willis accounting for 41%, 27% and 14%, respectively, of total gross premiums written in this segment during 2012. Due to the substantial percentage of premiums produced in our reinsurance segment by the top three intermediaries, the loss of business from any one of them could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Security Arrangements

Allied World Assurance Company, Ltd, our Bermuda insurance and reinsurance company, is not admitted as an insurer nor is it accredited as a reinsurer in any jurisdiction in the United States, although it is qualified as an “eligible” reinsurer in several U.S. states. Except in states where it has qualified as an eligible reinsurer, Allied World Assurance Company, Ltd is generally required to post collateral security with respect to any reinsurance liabilities it assumes from ceding insurers domiciled in the United States in order for these cedents to obtain credit on their U.S. statutory financial statements with respect to insurance liabilities ceded by them. Under applicable statutory provisions, the security arrangements may be in the form of letters of credit, reinsurance trusts maintained by trustees or funds-withheld arrangements where assets are held by the ceding company.

CEO BACKGROUND

The Board is currently divided into three classes of directors, Class I, Class II and Class III. The Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee has recommended electing to the Board an additional director, and the director nominee is being presented for election at the Special Shareholder Meeting to serve as a Class I Director until the Annual Shareholder Meeting in 2014. The nominee is not a current member of the Board.
Your Board unanimously recommends a vote FOR the nominee, Mr. Eric S. Schwartz, as listed on the enclosed proxy card. It is not expected that the nominee will become unavailable for election as a director but, if Mr. Schwartz should become unavailable prior to the meeting, proxies will be voted for such other person as your Board shall recommend. Please note that by signing, dating and returning the enclosed proxy card, you also agree that the Special Shareholder Meeting will be chaired by Mr. Wesley D. Dupont, our Executive Vice President & General Counsel, in accordance with Article 13 of the Company’s Articles of Association.

The biography of Mr. Schwartz below contains information regarding his business experience, director positions at other companies held currently or at any time during the last five years, and his applicable experiences, qualifications, attributes and skills.

Eric S. Schwartz (age 50) is a founder and Chief Executive Officer of 76 West Holdings, a private investment company, since June 2008. In support of the activities of 76 West, he serves as Chairman of Jefferson National Financial Corp., an insurance company focused on the variable annuity market, since January 2012; as Chairman of Gold Bullion International LLC, a precious metals dealer, since January 2012; as a director of Indostar Capital Finance, a finance company based in India, since April 2011; and as a director of Binary Event Network, an electronic prediction marketplace, since May 2011. He also served as Chairman-elect of Nikko Asset Management from June 2008 until its sale in June 2009; and as a director of Prosper Marketplace, an internet-based consumer lending company, from March 2012 until January 2013. Mr. Schwartz is a former Co-CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. He joined The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (“Goldman Sachs”) in 1984 and served in various leadership positions at the firm during his tenure at Goldman Sachs. In 1994, he became a partner in the Equity Capital Markets unit of Goldman Sachs’ Investment Banking Division and later served as Co-Head of its Global Equities and Investment Management Divisions. He joined Goldman Sachs’ Management Committee in 2001 and was named Co-Head of its Partnership Committee in 2005. In June 2007, he retired from Goldman Sachs. He serves as a director of the Food Bank for New York City and as a director of Securing America’s Future Energy. The Board believes that, among other qualifications, Mr. Schwartz’s broad experience and expertise in corporate finance and investment matters as well as his international business background give him the skills to serve as a director.

Barbara T. Alexander (age 64) was appointed to the Board in August 2009. Ms. Alexander has been an independent consultant since January 2004. Prior to that, she was a Senior Advisor to UBS Warburg LLC and predecessor firms from October 1999 to January 2004, and Managing Director of the North American Construction and Furnishings Group in the Corporate Finance Department of UBS from 1992 to October 1999. From 1987 to 1992, Ms. Alexander was a Managing Director in the Corporate Finance Department of Salomon Brothers Inc. From 1972 to 1987, she held various positions at Salomon Brothers, Smith Barney, Investors Diversified Services, and Wachovia Bank and Trust Company. Ms. Alexander is currently a member of the Board of Directors of QUALCOMM Incorporated, where she is a member of both the Audit Committee and Compensation Committee; KB Home, where she is a member of the Audit and Compliance Committee; and Choice Hotels International, Inc., where she is a member of the Audit Committee and Chairperson of the Diversity Committee. Ms. Alexander previously served on the board of directors of Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) from November 2004 to March 2010, Centex Corporation from July 1999 to August 2009, Burlington Resources Inc. from January 2004 to March 2006 and Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. from February 2002 to April 2007. Ms. Alexander was selected as one of seven Outstanding Directors in Corporate America in 2003 by Board Alert magazine and was one of five Director of the Year honorees in 2008 by the Forum for Corporate Directors. She has also served on the board of directors of HomeAid America, Habitat for Humanity International and Covenant House. Having been a member of numerous public company boards of directors, Ms. Alexander is familiar with a full range of corporate and board functions. She also has extensive experience in corporate finance, investment and strategic planning matters. The Board believes that, among other qualifications, Ms. Alexander’s extensive experience in corporate finance, investment and strategic planning matters give her the skills to serve as a director.

Scott A. Carmilani (age 49) was elected our President and Chief Executive Officer in January 2004, became a director in September 2003 and was appointed Chairman of the Board in January 2008. Mr. Carmilani was, prior to joining our Company as Executive Vice President in February 2002, the President of the Mergers & Acquisition Insurance Division of subsidiaries of American International Group, Inc. (“AIG”) and responsible for the management, marketing and underwriting of transactional insurance products for clients engaged in mergers, acquisitions or divestitures. Mr. Carmilani was previously the Regional Vice-President overseeing the New York general insurance operations of AIG. Before that he was the Divisional President of the Middle Market Division of National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., which underwrites directors and officers liability, employment practice liability and fidelity insurance for middle-market-sized companies. Prior to joining our Company, he held a succession of underwriting and management positions with subsidiaries of AIG since 1987. Mr. Carmilani is currently a member of the board of trustees of the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) Health Group, Inc. of New Jersey. The Board believes that, among other qualifications, Mr. Carmilani’s extensive expertise and experience in the insurance and reinsurance industry give him the skills to serve as a director.

James F. Duffy (age 69) was appointed to the Board in July 2006. Mr. Duffy retired in 2002 as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The St. Paul Reinsurance Group, where he originally served from 1993 until 2000 as President and Chief Operating Officer of global reinsurance operations. Prior to this, Mr. Duffy served as an executive vice president of The St. Paul Companies from 1984 to 1993, and as President and Chief Operating Officer of St. Paul Surplus Lines Insurance Company from 1980 until 1984. Mr. Duffy had 15 years prior experience in insurance underwriting with Employers Surplus Lines Insurance Company, First State Insurance Company and New England Re. The Board believes that, among other qualifications, Mr. Duffy’s extensive expertise and experience in the insurance and reinsurance industry give him the skills to serve as a director.

Bart Friedman (age 68) was appointed to the Board in March 2006, was elected Vice Chairman of the Board in July 2006 and was appointed Lead Independent Director of the Board in January 2008. Mr. Friedman has been a partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, a New York law firm, since 1980. Mr. Friedman specializes in corporate governance, special committees and director representation. Mr. Friedman worked early in his career at the SEC. Mr. Friedman is currently a member of the board of directors of Sanford Bernstein Mutual Funds, where he is a member of the Audit Committee and chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee. He is also the chairman of the Public Responsibility and Ethics Committee of The Brookings Institution and is a member of the board of directors of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where he is chairman of the Audit Committee. The Board believes that, among other qualifications, Mr. Friedman’s extensive expertise and experience in corporate finance, investment and corporate governance matters give him the skills to serve as a director.

Scott Hunter (age 62) was appointed to the Board in March 2006. Mr. Hunter has served as an independent consultant to Bermuda’s financial services industry since 2002. From 1986 until 2002, Mr. Hunter was a partner at Arthur Andersen Bermuda, whose clients included numerous insurance and reinsurance companies. The Board believes that, among other qualifications, Mr. Hunter’s broad insurance and reinsurance industry experience and expertise specifically with regard to insurance and reinsurance corporate finance and accounting matters give him the skills to serve as a director.

Compensation Committee; KB Home, where she is a member of the Audit and Compliance Committee; and Choice Hotels International, Inc., where she is a member of the Audit Committee and Chairperson of the Diversity Committee. Ms. Alexander previously served on the board of directors of Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) from November 2004 to March 2010, Centex Corporation from July 1999 to August 2009, Burlington Resources Inc. from January 2004 to March 2006 and Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. from February 2002 to April 2007. Ms. Alexander was selected as one of seven Outstanding Directors in Corporate America in 2003 by Board Alert magazine and was one of five Director of the Year honorees in 2008 by the Forum for Corporate Directors. She has also served on the board of directors of HomeAid America, Habitat for Humanity International and Covenant House. Having been a member of numerous public company boards of directors, Ms. Alexander is familiar with a full range of corporate and board functions. She also has extensive experience in corporate finance, investment and strategic planning matters. The Board believes that, among other qualifications, Ms. Alexander’s extensive experience in corporate finance, investment and strategic planning matters give her the skills to serve as a director.

Scott A. Carmilani (age 49) was elected our President and Chief Executive Officer in January 2004, became a director in September 2003 and was appointed Chairman of the Board in January 2008. Mr. Carmilani was, prior to joining our Company as Executive Vice President in February 2002, the President of the Mergers & Acquisition Insurance Division of subsidiaries of American International Group, Inc. (“AIG”) and responsible for the management, marketing and underwriting of transactional insurance products for clients engaged in mergers, acquisitions or divestitures. Mr. Carmilani was previously the Regional Vice-President overseeing the New York general insurance operations of AIG. Before that he was the Divisional President of the Middle Market Division of National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, Pa., which underwrites directors and officers liability, employment practice liability and fidelity insurance for middle-market-sized companies. Prior to joining our Company, he held a succession of underwriting and management positions with subsidiaries of AIG since 1987. Mr. Carmilani is currently a member of the board of trustees of the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) Health Group, Inc. of New Jersey. The Board believes that, among other qualifications, Mr. Carmilani’s extensive expertise and experience in the insurance and reinsurance industry give him the skills to serve as a director.

James F. Duffy (age 69) was appointed to the Board in July 2006. Mr. Duffy retired in 2002 as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The St. Paul Reinsurance Group, where he originally served from 1993 until 2000 as President and Chief Operating Officer of global reinsurance operations. Prior to this, Mr. Duffy served as an executive vice president of The St. Paul Companies from 1984 to 1993, and as President and Chief Operating Officer of St. Paul Surplus Lines Insurance Company from 1980 until 1984. Mr. Duffy had 15 years prior experience in insurance underwriting with Employers Surplus Lines Insurance Company, First State Insurance Company and New England Re. The Board believes that, among other qualifications, Mr. Duffy’s extensive expertise and experience in the insurance and reinsurance industry give him the skills to serve as a director.
Bart Friedman (age 68) was appointed to the Board in March 2006, was elected Vice Chairman of the Board in July 2006 and was appointed Lead Independent Director of the Board in January 2008. Mr. Friedman has been a partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP, a New York law firm, since 1980. Mr. Friedman specializes in corporate governance, special committees and director representation. Mr. Friedman worked early in his career at the SEC. Mr. Friedman is currently a member of the board of directors of Sanford Bernstein Mutual Funds, where he is a member of the Audit Committee and chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee. He is also the chairman of the Public Responsibility and Ethics Committee of The Brookings Institution and is a member of the board of directors of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where he is chairman of the Audit Committee. The Board believes that, among other qualifications, Mr. Friedman’s extensive expertise and experience in corporate finance, investment and corporate governance matters give him the skills to serve as a director.

Scott Hunter (age 62) was appointed to the Board in March 2006. Mr. Hunter has served as an independent consultant to Bermuda’s financial services industry since 2002. From 1986 until 2002, Mr. Hunter was a partner at Arthur Andersen Bermuda, whose clients included numerous insurance and reinsurance companies. The Board believes that, among other qualifications, Mr. Hunter’s broad insurance and reinsurance industry experience and expertise specifically with regard to insurance and reinsurance corporate finance and accounting matters give him the skills to serve as a director.

MANAGEMENT DISCUSSION FROM LATEST 10K

Overview

Our Business

We write a diversified portfolio of property and casualty insurance and reinsurance internationally through our subsidiaries and branches based in Bermuda, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States as well as our Lloyd’s Syndicate 2232. We manage our business through three operating segments: U.S. insurance, international insurance and reinsurance. As of December 31, 2012, we had approximately $12.0 billion of total assets, $3.3 billion of total shareholders’ equity and $4.1 billion of total capital, which includes shareholders’ equity and senior notes.

During the year ended December 31, 2012, we continued to experience rate increases on property lines that had experienced significant loss activity in the prior year. We also continued to see rate improvement during the year on some of our casualty lines of business in certain jurisdictions. We believe that there are opportunities where certain products have attractive premium rates and that the expanded breadth of our operations allows us to target those classes of business. Given these trends, we continue to be selective in the insurance policies and reinsurance contracts we underwrite. Our consolidated gross premiums written increased by $389.8 million, or 20.1%, for the year ended December 31, 2012 compared to the year ended December 31, 2011. Our net income increased by $218.5 million to $493.0 million compared to the year ended December 31, 2011. The increase resulted from the improvement in underwriting results, as catastrophe losses were $112.6 million lower, combined with a $296.3 million increase in our realized investment gains as markets and economic conditions rebounded during the year, partially offset by the $101.7 million reduction in other income.

Recent Developments

We reported a net loss of $41.1 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012 compared to net income of $183.1 million for the three months ended December 31, 2011, a decrease of $224.2 million.

The decrease in net income was due to the following:

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For the three months ended December 31, 2012, we incurred $166.1 million of pre-tax catastrophe-related losses from Superstorm Sandy (net of estimated reinstatement premiums) compared to $59.1 million of pre-tax catastrophe-related losses for the three months ended December 31, 2011 related to the flooding in Thailand that occurred in the fourth quarter of 2011 and from other catastrophes that occurred earlier in 2011, an increase of $107.0 million.

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Net favorable reserve development related to prior years decreased $59.6 million to $32.8 million for the three months ended December 31, 2012 from $92.4 million for the same period in 2011.

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The three months ended December 31, 2011 included non-recurring termination fee income of $66.7 million from our previously-announced merger agreement with Transatlantic.

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Net realized investment gains decreased by $17.2 million.

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Income tax expense decreased by $12.2 million as a result of the items described above.

During the three months ended December 31, 2012, we completed four strategic investments through AWFS in Cunningham Lindsey, MatlinPatterson, Aeolus Capital Management and Crescent Capital Group. Our goal with AWFS is to invest in strategic business opportunities that we believe will complement our core insurance and reinsurance operations and diversify our revenues.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

In presenting the company’s results, management has included and discussed certain non-GAAP financial measures, as such term is defined in Item 10(e) of Regulation S-K promulgated by the SEC. Management believes that these non-GAAP measures, which may be defined differently by other companies, better explain the Company’s results of operations in a manner that allows for a more complete understanding of the underlying trends in the Company’s business. However, these measures should not be viewed as a substitute for those determined in accordance with U.S. GAAP.

Operating income & operating income per share

Operating income is an internal performance measure used in the management of our operations and represents after-tax operational results excluding, as applicable, net realized investment gains or losses, net impairment charges recognized in earnings, net foreign exchange gain or loss and other non-recurring items. We exclude net realized investment gains or losses, net impairment charges recognized in earnings, net foreign exchange gain or loss and other non-recurring items from our calculation of operating income because these amounts are heavily influenced by and fluctuate in part according to the availability of market opportunities and other factors. We have excluded from our operating income the aggregate $101.7 million termination fee we received from Transatlantic in 2011 as this is a non-recurring item. In addition to presenting net income determined in accordance with U.S. GAAP, we believe that showing operating income enables investors, analysts, rating agencies and other users of our financial information to more easily analyze our results of operations and our underlying business performance. Operating income should not be viewed as a substitute for U.S. GAAP net income. The following is a reconciliation of operating income to its most closely related U.S. GAAP measure, net income.

Diluted book value per share

Annualized return on average equity

Annualized return on average shareholders’ equity (“ROAE”) is calculated using average shareholders’ equity, excluding the average after tax unrealized gains or losses on investments. We present ROAE as a measure that is commonly recognized as a standard of performance by investors, analysts, rating agencies and other users of our financial information.

Annualized operating return on average shareholders’ equity is calculated using operating income and average shareholders’ equity, excluding the average after tax unrealized gains or losses on investments.

Relevant Factors

Revenues

We derive our revenues primarily from premiums on our insurance policies and reinsurance contracts, net of any reinsurance or retrocessional coverage purchased. Insurance and reinsurance premiums are a function of the amounts and types of policies and contracts we write, as well as prevailing market prices. Our prices are determined before our ultimate costs, which may extend far into the future, are known. In addition, our revenues include income generated from our investment portfolio, consisting of net investment income and net realized investment gains or losses. Investment income is principally derived from interest and dividends earned on investments, partially offset by investment management and custodial expenses and fees paid to our custodian bank. Net realized investment gains or losses include gains or losses from the sale of investments, as well as the change in the fair value of investments that we mark-to-market through net income.

Expenses

Our expenses consist largely of net losses and loss expenses, acquisition costs and general and administrative expenses. Net losses and loss expenses incurred are comprised of three main components:

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losses paid, which are actual cash payments to insureds and reinsureds, net of recoveries from reinsurers;

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outstanding loss or case reserves, which represent management’s best estimate of the likely settlement amount for known claims, less the portion that can be recovered from reinsurers; and

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reserves for losses incurred but not reported, or “IBNR”, which are reserves (in addition to case reserves) established by us that we believe are needed for the future settlement of claims. The portion recoverable from reinsurers is deducted from the gross estimated loss.

General and administrative expenses include personnel expenses including stock-based compensation expense, rent expense, professional fees, information technology costs and other general operating expenses.

Ratios

Management measures results for each segment on the basis of the “loss and loss expense ratio,” “acquisition cost ratio,” “general and administrative expense ratio,” “expense ratio” and the “combined ratio.” Because we do not manage our assets by segment, investment income, interest expense and total assets are not allocated to individual reportable segments. General and administrative expenses are allocated to segments based on various factors, including staff count and each segment’s proportional share of gross premiums written.

Critical Accounting Policies

It is important to understand our accounting policies in order to understand our financial position and results of operations. Our consolidated financial statements reflect determinations that are inherently subjective in nature and require management to make assumptions and best estimates to determine the reported values. If events or other factors cause actual results to differ materially from management’s underlying assumptions or estimates, there could be a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations. The following are the accounting estimates that, in management’s judgment, are critical due to the judgments, assumptions and uncertainties underlying the application of those estimates and the potential for results to differ from management’s assumptions.

The reserve for losses and loss expenses is comprised of two main elements: outstanding loss reserves, also known as case reserves, and reserves for IBNR. Outstanding loss reserves relate to known claims and represent management’s best estimate of the likely loss settlement. IBNR reserves relate primarily to unreported events that, based on industry information, management’s experience and actuarial evaluation, can reasonably be expected to have occurred and are reasonably likely to result in a loss to our company. IBNR reserves also relate to estimated development of reported events that based on industry information, management’s experience and actuarial evaluation, can reasonably be expected to reach our attachment point and are reasonably likely to result in a loss to our company. We also include IBNR changes in the values of claims that have been reported to us but are not yet settled. Each claim is settled individually based upon its merits and it is not unusual for a claim to take years after being reported to settle, especially if legal action is involved. As a result, reserves for losses and loss expenses include significant estimates for IBNR reserves.

The reserve for IBNR is estimated by management for each line of business based on various factors, including underwriters’ expectations about loss experience, actuarial analysis, comparisons with the results of industry benchmarks and loss experience to date. The reserve for IBNR is calculated as the ultimate amount of losses and loss expenses less cumulative paid losses and loss expenses and case reserves. Our actuaries employ generally accepted actuarial methodologies to determine estimated ultimate loss reserves.

While management believes that our case reserves and IBNR are sufficient to cover losses assumed by us, there can be no assurance that losses will not deviate from our reserves, possibly by material amounts. The methodology of estimating loss reserves is periodically reviewed to ensure that the assumptions made continue to be appropriate. To the extent actual reported losses exceed estimated losses, the carried estimate of the ultimate losses will be increased (i.e., unfavorable reserve development), and to the extent actual reported losses are less than estimated losses, the carried estimate of ultimate losses will be reduced (i.e., favorable reserve development). We record any changes in our loss reserve estimates and the related reinsurance recoverables in the periods in which they are determined.

In certain lines of business, claims are generally reported and paid within a relatively short period of time (“shorter tail lines”) during and following the policy coverage period. This generally enables us to determine with greater certainty our estimate of ultimate losses and loss expenses. The estimate of reserves for our shorter tail lines of business and products, including property, crop, aviation, marine, personal accident and workers compensation catastrophe relies primarily on traditional loss reserving methodologies, utilizing selected paid and reported loss development factors.
Our casualty insurance and casualty reinsurance lines of business include general liability risks, healthcare and professional liability risks. Claims may be reported or settled several years after the coverage period has terminated for these lines of business (“longer tail lines”), which increases uncertainties of our reserve estimates in such lines. In addition, our attachment points for these longer tail lines are often relatively high, making reserving for these lines of business more difficult than shorter tail lines due to having to estimate whether the severity of the estimated losses will exceed our attachment point. We establish a case reserve when sufficient information is gathered to make a reasonable estimate of the liability, which often requires a significant amount of information and time. Due to the lengthy reporting pattern of these casualty lines, reliance is placed on industry benchmarks supplemented by our own experience. For expected loss ratio selections, we are giving increasing consideration to our existing experience supplemented with analysis of loss trends, rate changes and experience of peer companies.

Our reinsurance treaties are reviewed individually, based upon individual characteristics and loss experience emergence. Loss reserves on assumed reinsurance have unique features that make them more difficult to estimate than direct insurance. We establish loss reserves upon receipt of advice from a cedent that a reserve is merited. Our claims staff may establish additional loss reserves where, in their judgment, the amount reported by a cedent is potentially inadequate. The following are the most significant features that make estimating loss reserves on assumed reinsurance difficult:

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Reinsurers have to rely upon the cedents and reinsurance intermediaries to report losses in a timely fashion.

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Reinsurers must rely upon cedents to price the underlying business appropriately.

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Reinsurers have less predictable loss emergence patterns than direct insurers, particularly when writing excess-of-loss reinsurance.

For excess-of-loss reinsurance, cedents generally are required to report losses that either exceed 50% of the retention, have a reasonable probability of exceeding the retention or meet serious injury reporting criteria. All reinsurance claims that are reserved are reviewed at least every six months. For quota share reinsurance treaties, cedents are required to give a periodic statement of account, generally monthly or quarterly. These periodic statements typically include information regarding written premiums, earned premiums, unearned premiums, ceding commissions, brokerage amounts, applicable taxes, paid losses and outstanding losses. They can be submitted 60 to 90 days after the close of the reporting period. Some quota share reinsurance treaties have specific language regarding earlier notice of serious claims.

Reinsurance generally has a greater time lag than direct insurance in the reporting of claims. The time lag is caused by the claim first being reported to the cedent, then the intermediary (such as a broker) and finally the reinsurer. This lag can be up to six months or longer in certain cases. There is also a time lag because the insurer may not be required to report claims to the reinsurer until certain reporting criteria are met. In some instances this could be several years while a claim is being litigated. We use reporting factors based on data from the Reinsurance Association of America to adjust for time lags. We also use historical treaty-specific reporting factors when applicable. Loss and premium information are entered into our reinsurance system by our claims department and our accounting department on a timely basis.

We record the individual case reserves sent to us by the cedents through the reinsurance intermediaries. Individual claims are reviewed by our reinsurance claims department and adjusted as deemed appropriate. The loss data received from the intermediaries is checked for reasonableness and for known events. Details of the loss listings are reviewed during routine claim audits.

The expected loss ratios that we assign to each treaty are based upon analysis and modeling performed by a team of actuaries. The historical data reviewed by the team of pricing actuaries is considered in setting the reserves for each cedent. The historical data in the submissions is matched against our carried reserves for our historical treaty years.

Loss reserves do not represent an exact calculation of liability. Rather, loss reserves are estimates of what we expect the ultimate resolution and administration of claims will cost. These estimates are based on actuarial and statistical projections and on our assessment of currently available data, as well as estimates of future trends in claims severity and frequency, judicial theories of liability and other factors. Loss reserve estimates are refined as experience develops and as claims are reported and resolved. In addition, the relatively long periods between when a loss occurs and when it may be reported to our claims department for our casualty insurance and casualty reinsurance lines of business increase the uncertainties of our reserve estimates in such lines.

We utilize a variety of standard actuarial methods in our analysis. The selections from these various methods are based on the loss development characteristics of the specific line of business. For lines of business with long reporting periods such as casualty reinsurance, we may rely more on an expected loss ratio method (as described below) until losses begin to develop. For lines of business with short reporting periods such as property insurance, we may rely more on a paid loss development method (as described below) as losses are reported relatively quickly. The actuarial methods we utilize include:
Paid Loss Development Method. We estimate ultimate losses by calculating past paid loss development factors and applying them to exposure periods with further expected paid loss development. The paid loss development method assumes that losses are paid at a consistent rate. The paid loss development method provides an objective test of reported loss projections because paid losses contain no reserve estimates. In some circumstances, paid losses for recent periods may be too varied for accurate predictions. For many coverages, especially casualty coverages, claim payments are made slowly and it may take years for claims to be fully reported and settled. These payments may be unreliable for determining future loss projections because of shifts in settlement patterns or because of large settlements in the early stages of development. Choosing an appropriate “tail factor” to determine the amount of payments from the latest development period to the ultimate development period may also require considerable judgment, especially for coverages that have long payment patterns. As we have limited payment history, we have had to supplement our paid loss development patterns with appropriate benchmarks.

Reported Loss Development Method. We estimate ultimate losses by calculating past reported loss development factors and applying them to exposure periods with further expected reported loss development. Since reported losses include payments and case reserves, changes in both of these amounts are incorporated in this method. This approach provides a larger volume of data to estimate ultimate losses than the paid loss development method. Thus, reported loss patterns may be less varied than paid loss patterns, especially for coverages that have historically been paid out over a long period of time but for which claims are reported relatively early and have case loss reserve estimates established. This method assumes that reserves have been established using consistent practices over the historical period that is reviewed. Changes in claims handling procedures, large claims or significant numbers of claims of an unusual nature may cause results to be too varied for accurate forecasting. Also, choosing an appropriate “tail factor” to determine the change in reported loss from the latest development period to the ultimate development period may require considerable judgment. As we have limited reported history, we have had to supplement our reported loss development patterns with appropriate benchmarks.

Expected Loss Ratio Method. To estimate ultimate losses under the expected loss ratio method, we multiply earned premiums by an expected loss ratio. The expected loss ratio is selected utilizing industry data, historical company data and professional judgment. This method is particularly useful for new lines of business where there are no historical losses or where past loss experience is not credible.

Bornhuetter-Ferguson Paid Loss Method. The Bornhuetter-Ferguson paid loss method is a combination of the paid loss development method and the expected loss ratio method. The amount of losses yet to be paid is based upon the expected loss ratios and the expected percentage of losses unpaid. These expected loss ratios are modified to the extent paid losses to date differ from what would have been expected to have been paid based upon the selected paid loss development pattern. This method avoids some of the distortions that could result from a large development factor being applied to a small base of paid losses to calculate ultimate losses. This method will react slowly if actual loss ratios develop differently because of major changes in rate levels, retentions or deductibles, the forms and conditions of reinsurance coverage, the types of risks covered or a variety of other changes.

Bornhuetter-Ferguson Reported Loss Method. The Bornhuetter-Ferguson reported loss method is similar to the Bornhuetter-Ferguson paid loss method with the exception that it uses reported losses and reported loss development factors.

During 2012, 2011 and 2010, we adjusted our reliance on actuarial methods utilized for certain casualty lines of business and loss years within our U.S. insurance and international insurance segments from using a blend of the Bornhuetter-Ferguson reported loss method and the expected loss ratio method to using only the Bornhuetter-Ferguson reported loss method. We also began adjusting our reliance on actuarial methods utilized for certain other casualty lines of business and loss years within all of our operating segments including the reinsurance segment, by placing greater reliance on the Bornhuetter-Ferguson reported loss method than on the expected loss ratio method. Placing greater reliance on more responsive actuarial methods for certain casualty lines of business and loss years within each of our operating segments is a natural progression as we mature as a company and gain sufficient historical experience of our own that allows us to further refine our estimate of the reserve for losses and loss expenses. We believe utilizing only the Bornhuetter-Ferguson reported loss method for older loss years will more accurately reflect the reported loss activity we have had thus far in our ultimate loss ratio selections, and will better reflect how the ultimate losses will develop over time. We will continue to utilize the expected loss ratio method for the most recent loss years until we have sufficient experience to utilize other acceptable actuarial methodologies.

We expect that the trend of placing greater reliance on more responsive actuarial methods, for example from the expected loss ratio method to the Bornhuetter-Ferguson reported loss method, to continue as both (1) our loss years mature and become more statistically reliable and (2) as we build databases of our internal loss development patterns. The expected loss ratio remains a key assumption as the Bornhuetter-Ferguson methods rely upon an expected loss ratio selection and a loss development pattern selection.

The key assumptions used to arrive at our best estimate of loss reserves are the expected loss ratios, rate of loss cost inflation, selection of benchmarks and reported and paid loss emergence patterns. Our reporting factors and expected loss ratios are based on a blend of our own experience and industry benchmarks for longer tailed business and primarily our own experience for shorter tail business. The benchmarks selected were those that we believe are most similar to our underwriting business.

Our expected loss ratios for shorter tail lines change from year to year. As our losses from shorter tail lines of business are reported relatively quickly, we select our expected loss ratios for the most recent years based upon our actual loss ratios for our older years adjusted for rate changes, inflation, cost of reinsurance and average storm activity. For the shorter tail lines, we initially used benchmarks for reported and paid loss emergence patterns. As we mature as a company, we have begun supplementing those benchmark patterns with our actual patterns as appropriate. For the longer tail lines, we continue to use benchmark patterns, although we update the benchmark patterns as additional information is published regarding the benchmark data.
For shorter tail lines, the primary assumption that changed during both 2012 as compared to 2011 and 2011 as compared to 2010 as it relates to prior year losses was actual paid and reported loss emergence patterns were generally less severe than estimated for each year due to lower frequency and severity of reported losses. As a result of this change, we recognized net favorable prior year reserve development in both 2012 and 2011. However, we did experience significant losses on certain of our shorter tail lines related to the current loss year.

During the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010, we incurred $179.6 million, $292.2 million and $98.3 million of catastrophe-related losses. In addition, during the year ended December 31, 2012 we recognized $36.0 million related to drought losses on the U.S. Crop reinsurance book.
We will continue to evaluate and monitor the development of these losses and the impact it has on our current and future assumptions. We believe recognition of the reserve changes in the period they were recorded was appropriate since a pattern of reported losses had not emerged and the loss years were previously too immature to deviate from the expected loss ratio method in prior periods.

The selection of the expected loss ratios for the longer tail lines is our most significant assumption. Due to the lengthy reporting pattern of longer tail lines, we supplement our own experience with industry benchmarks of expected loss ratios and reporting patterns in addition to our own experience. For our longer tail lines, the primary assumption that changed during both 2012 as compared to 2011 and 2011 as compared to 2010 as it relates to prior year losses was using the Bornhuetter-Ferguson loss development method for certain casualty lines of business and loss years as discussed above.

This method calculated a lower projected loss ratio based on loss emergence patterns to date. As a result of the change in the expected loss ratio, we recognized net favorable prior year reserve development in 2012, 2011 and 2010. We believe that recognition of the reserve changes in the period they were recorded was appropriate since a pattern of reported losses had not emerged and the loss years were previously too immature to deviate from the expected loss ratio method in prior periods.

Our overall change in the loss reserve estimates related to prior years decreased as a percentage of total carried reserves during 2012. During 2012 we had a net decrease of $170.3 million, or 4.0%, on an opening carried reserve base of $4,222.2 million, net of reinsurance recoverable. During 2011 we had a net decrease of $253.5 million, or 6.4%, on an opening carried reserve base of $3,951.6 million, net of reinsurance recoverables. We believe that these changes are reasonable given the long-tail nature of our business.

There is potential for significant variation in the development of loss reserves, particularly for the casualty lines of business due to their long tail nature and high attachment points.

The change in the reasonably possible variance for the 2005 through 2008 loss years in 2012 compared to 2011 is due to giving greater weight to the Bornhuetter-Ferguson loss development method for additional lines of business during 2011 and additional development of losses. The total reasonably possible variance of our expected loss ratio for all loss years for our casualty insurance and casualty reinsurance lines of business was six percentage points as of December 31, 2012. Because we expect a small volume of large claims, it is more difficult to estimate the ultimate loss ratios, so we believe the variance of our loss ratio selection could be relatively wide.

If our final casualty insurance and reinsurance loss ratios vary by six percentage points from the expected loss ratios in aggregate, our required net reserves after reinsurance recoverable would increase or decrease by approximately $610.6 million. Excluding the impact of income taxes, this would result in either an increase or decrease to net income and total shareholders’ equity of approximately $610.6 million. As of December 31, 2012, this represented approximately 18% of total shareholders’ equity.

In terms of liquidity, our contractual obligations for reserves for losses and loss expenses would also increase or decrease by approximately $610.6 million after reinsurance recoverable. If our obligations were to increase, we believe we currently have sufficient cash and investments to meet those obligations.

Our range for each business segment was determined by utilizing multiple actuarial loss reserving methods along with various assumptions of reporting patterns and expected loss ratios by loss year. The various outcomes of these techniques were combined to determine a reasonable range of required loss and loss expense reserves. While we believe our approach to determine the range of loss and loss expense is reasonable, there are no assurances that actual loss experience will be within the ranges of loss and loss expense noted above.

Our selection of the actual carried reserves has typically been above the midpoint of the range. As of December 31, 2012, we were 4.5% above the midpoint of the consolidated net loss reserve range. We believe that we should be prudent in our reserving practices due to the lengthy reporting patterns and relatively large limits of net liability for any one risk of our direct excess casualty business and of our casualty reinsurance business. Thus, due to this uncertainty regarding estimates for reserve for losses and loss expenses, we have carried our consolidated reserve for losses and loss expenses, net of reinsurance recoverable, above the midpoint of the low and high estimates for the consolidated net losses and loss expenses. We believe that relying on the more prudent actuarial indications is appropriate for these lines of business.

MANAGEMENT DISCUSSION FOR LATEST QUARTER

Overview

Our Business

We write a diversified portfolio of property and casualty insurance and reinsurance internationally through our subsidiaries and branches based in Bermuda, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States as well as our Lloyd’s Syndicate 2232. We manage our business through three operating segments: U.S. insurance, international insurance and reinsurance. As of September 30, 2013, we had approximately $12.4 billion of total assets, $3.4 billion of total shareholders’ equity and $4.2 billion of total capital, which includes shareholders’ equity and senior notes.

During the three months ended September 30, 2013, we continued to see rate improvement during the quarter on some lines of business in certain jurisdictions, particularly in our U.S. insurance segment. Rates on property lines, across our segments, have begun to flatten, particularly those accounts that had experienced loss activity in the prior year. We believe that there are opportunities where certain products have attractive premium rates and that the expanded breadth of our operations allows us to target those classes of business.

Our consolidated gross premiums written increased by $76.5 million, or 15.2%, for the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to the three months ended September 30, 2012. Our net income decreased by $96.8 million to $122.8 million compared to the three months ended September 30, 2012. The decrease was due to lower net realized investment gains (losses) of $122.3 million for the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, partially offset by an increase in underwriting income of $27.7 million.

Our consolidated gross premiums written increased by $351.0 million, or 19.2%, for the nine months ended September 30, 2013 compared to the nine months ended September 30, 2012. Our net income decreased by $254.2 million to $280.0 million compared to the nine months ended September 30, 2012. The decrease was due to lower net realized investment gains (losses) of $300.1 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, partially offset by an increase in underwriting income of $60.4 million.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

In presenting the company’s results, management has included and discussed certain non-GAAP financial measures, as such term is defined in Item 10(e) of Regulation S-K promulgated by the SEC. Management believes that these non-GAAP measures, which may be defined differently by other companies, better explain the company’s results of operations in a manner that allows for a more complete understanding of the underlying trends in the company’s business. However, these measures should not be viewed as a substitute for those determined in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (“U.S. GAAP”).

Operating income and operating income per share

Operating income is an internal performance measure used in the management of our operations and represents after-tax operational results excluding, as applicable, net realized investment gains or losses, net impairment charges recognized in earnings, net foreign exchange gain or loss, and other non-recurring items. We exclude net realized investment gains or losses, net impairment charges recognized in earnings, net foreign exchange gain or loss and any other non-recurring items from our calculation of operating income because these amounts are heavily influenced by and fluctuate in part according to the availability of market opportunities and other factors. In addition to presenting net income determined in accordance with U.S. GAAP, we believe that showing operating income enables investors, analysts, rating agencies and other users of our financial information to more easily analyze our results of operations and our underlying business performance. Operating income should not be viewed as a substitute for U.S. GAAP net income. The following is a reconciliation of operating income to its most closely related U.S. GAAP measure, net income.

Diluted book value per share

We have included diluted book value per share because it takes into account the effect of dilutive securities; therefore, we believe it is an important measure of calculating shareholder returns.

Annualized return on average equity

Annualized return on average shareholders’ equity (“ROAE”) is calculated using average shareholders’ equity, excluding the average after tax unrealized gains or losses on investments. We present ROAE as a measure that is commonly recognized as a standard of performance by investors, analysts, rating agencies and other users of our financial information.

Annualized operating return on average shareholders’ equity is calculated using operating income and average shareholders’ equity, excluding the average after tax unrealized gains or losses on investments.

Relevant Factors

Revenues

We derive our revenues primarily from premiums on our insurance policies and reinsurance contracts, net of any reinsurance or retrocessional coverage purchased. Insurance and reinsurance premiums are a function of the amounts and types of policies and contracts we write, as well as prevailing market prices. Our prices are determined before our ultimate costs, which may extend far into the future, are known. In addition, our revenues include income generated from our investment portfolio, consisting of net investment income and net realized investment gains or losses. Investment income is principally derived from interest and dividends earned on investments, as well as distributed and undistributed income from equity method investments, partially offset by investment management expenses and fees paid to our custodian bank. Net realized investment gains or losses include gains or losses from the sale of investments, as well as the change in the fair value of investments that we mark-to-market through net income.

Expenses

Our expenses consist largely of net losses and loss expenses, acquisition costs and general and administrative expenses. Net losses and loss expenses incurred are comprised of three main components:

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losses paid, which are actual cash payments to insureds and reinsureds, net of recoveries from reinsurers;

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outstanding loss or case reserves, which represent management’s best estimate of the likely settlement amount for known claims, less the portion that can be recovered from reinsurers; and

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reserves for losses incurred but not reported, or “IBNR”, which are reserves (in addition to case reserves) established by us that we believe are needed for the future settlement of claims. The portion recoverable from reinsurers is deducted from the gross estimated loss.

Acquisition costs are comprised of commissions, brokerage fees, insurance taxes and other acquisition related costs such as profit commissions. Commissions and brokerage fees are usually calculated as a percentage of premiums and depend on the market and line of business. Acquisition costs are reported after (1) deducting commissions received on ceded reinsurance, (2) deducting the part of deferred acquisition costs relating to the successful acquisition of new and renewal insurance and reinsurance contracts and (3) including the amortization of previously deferred acquisition costs.

General and administrative expenses include personnel expenses including stock-based compensation expense, rent expense, professional fees, information technology costs and other general operating expenses.

Ratios

Management measures results for each segment on the basis of the “loss and loss expense ratio,” “acquisition cost ratio,” “general and administrative expense ratio,” “expense ratio” and the “combined ratio.” Because we do not manage our assets by segment, investment income, interest expense and total assets are not allocated to individual reportable segments. General and administrative expenses are allocated to segments based on various factors, including staff count and each segment’s proportional share of gross premiums written. The loss and loss expense ratio is derived by dividing net losses and loss expenses by net premiums earned. The acquisition cost ratio is derived by dividing acquisition costs by net premiums earned. The general and administrative expense ratio is derived by dividing general and administrative expenses by net premiums earned. The expense ratio is the sum of the acquisition cost ratio and the general and administrative expense ratio. The combined ratio is the sum of the loss and loss expense ratio, the acquisition cost ratio and the general and administrative expense ratio.

Critical Accounting Policies

It is important to understand our accounting policies in order to understand our financial position and results of operations. Our unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements reflect determinations that are inherently subjective in nature and require management to make assumptions and best estimates to determine the reported values. If events or other factors cause actual results to differ materially from management’s underlying assumptions or estimates, there could be a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations. We believe that some of the more critical judgments in the areas of accounting estimates and assumptions that affect our financial condition and results of operations are related to reserves for losses and loss expenses, reinsurance recoverables, premiums and acquisition costs, valuation of financial instruments and goodwill and other intangible asset impairment valuation. For a detailed discussion of our critical accounting policies, please refer to our 2012 Form 10-K. There were no material changes in the application of our critical accounting estimates subsequent to that report.

Results of Operations

Comparison of Three Months Ended September 30, 2013 and 2012
Premiums
Gross premiums written increased by $76.5 million, or 15.2%, for the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to the three months ended September 30, 2012. The overall increase in gross premiums written was primarily the result of the following:

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U.S. insurance: Gross premiums written increased by $45.6 million, or 17.3%. The increase in gross premiums written was primarily due to new business across existing lines that added $102.9 million during the quarter combined with premium rate increases in all lines of business. The increase in new business for the quarter was primarily driven by our general casualty, programs, and inland marine lines of business. Our new lines of business, primary construction and surety, contributed a further $8.1 million in new business;

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International insurance: Gross premiums written increased by $11.6 million, or 9.6%. The increase was primarily due to new business written of $13.1 million in our new aviation line of business. Effective October 1, 2013, we acquired the renewal rights to a book of aviation business from Markel International that was written through Lloyd’s Syndicate 1400 and Markel Europe plc. In conjunction with the renewal rights agreement, in August we assumed the unexpired inforce aviation business from Markel International, which resulted in gross premiums written of $13.1 million this quarter. This business encompasses airlines, aerospace (primarily airports and aviation products) and general aviation classes. In addition, we had continued growth in our professional liability line of business, driven by the expansion of new initiatives. However, this growth was partially offset by $7.1 million of non-recurring premiums in our trade credit line of business recorded in 2012; and

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Reinsurance: Gross premiums written increased by $19.3 million, or 16.1%. The increase was driven by new business in the specialty lines primarily written out of Asia and Latin America, combined with increased participations on renewing business and rate increases for certain lines of business.

Net premiums written increased by $61.6 million, or 15.7%, for the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to the three months ended September 30, 2012. The increase in net premiums written was due to the increase in gross premiums written. The difference between gross and net premiums written is the cost to us of purchasing reinsurance coverage, including the cost of property catastrophe reinsurance coverage. We ceded 22.0% of gross premiums written for the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to 22.4% for the same period in 2012.

Net premiums earned increased by $69.8 million, or 15.8%, for the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to the three months ended September 30, 2012 as a result of higher net premiums written in 2012 and 2013.

We evaluate our business by segment, distinguishing between U.S. insurance, international insurance and reinsurance. The following table illustrates the mix of our business on both a gross premiums written and net premiums earned basis.

Net Investment Income

Net investment income increased by $0.2 million, or 0.5%, for the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to the three months ended September 30, 2012. The increase was due to an increase in the distributed and undistributed earnings of our equity method investments that we invested in at the end of 2012, as well as higher income from our hedge fund and private equity investments. This increase was partially offset by lower net investment income for our fixed maturity investments as we increased the allocation of our investment portfolio to other invested assets that contribute to our total return but carry little or no current yield. The annualized period book yield of the investment portfolio for the three months ended September 30, 2013 and 2012 was 1.9% and 1.9%, respectively.

As of September 30, 2013, we held 10.3% of our total investments and cash equivalents in other invested assets compared to 6.4% as of September 30, 2012.

Investment management expenses of $4.1 million and $3.7 million were incurred during the three months ended September 30, 2013 and 2012, respectively.
As of September 30, 2013, approximately 89.1% of our fixed income investments consisted of investment grade securities. As of September 30, 2013 and December 31, 2012, the average credit rating of our fixed income portfolio was AA- as rated by Standard & Poor’s.

Realized Investment Gains (Losses)

The total return of our investment portfolio was 0.8% and 2.2% for the three months ended September 30, 2013 and 2012, respectively. The decrease in total return is primarily due to lower mark-to-market gains on our fixed maturity, mark-to-market losses on our equity securities and lower realized gains from the sale of investments. The lower mark-to-market gains on our fixed maturity securities were caused by modest increases in interest rates on our fixed income portfolio during the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. The rising interest rate environment also negatively impacted our dividend focused equity portfolio, which underperformed the S&P 500 for the quarter.

Net Losses and Loss Expenses

Net losses and loss expenses increased by $18.1 million, or 7.0%, for the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to the three months ended September 30, 2012. The loss and loss expense ratio decreased by 4.5 percentage points for the same period. The increase in net loss and loss expenses was due to growth in net premiums earned, partially offset by higher net favorable prior year reserve development in 2013.

Excluding the prior year reserve development, the loss and loss expense ratios would have been 66.2% and 71.4% for the three months ended September 30, 2013 and 2012, respectively. The decrease in the loss and loss expense ratio of 5.2 points was primarily due to fewer current year reported large losses in the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to the three months ended September 30, 2012. The reported large losses were $25.2 million for the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to $53.7 million for the same period in 2012. The reported large losses in the three months ended September 30, 2012 included approximately $40.0 million of crop reinsurance-related losses and loss expenses related to drought conditions across much of the United States and $5.0 million for Hurricane Isaac.

We classify catastrophe losses as those losses that result from a major singular event or series of similar events (such as tornadoes) which are assigned a catastrophe loss number by industry data services, where our consolidated losses are expected to be at least $10 million per loss event or series of similar events and where we believe it is important to our investors’ understanding of our operations.

The unfavorable reserve development for the 2011 loss year for our U.S. insurance segment was primarily due to adverse development on reported claims in our healthcare and errors and omissions (“E&O”) products. The unfavorable reserve development for the 2012 loss year for our U.S. insurance segment was primarily due to adverse development on reported claims in our healthcare, private/not for profit directors’ and officers’ (“D&O”) and lawyers E&O. In response to the underwriting experience in these lines, we continue to take rate action, as well as make changes to policy terms and conditions, resulting in flat or reduced gross premiums written but reduced exposures.

The additions to the 2011 and 2012 loss years noted above are consistent with our practice of addressing unfavorable loss emergence early in our long-tail lines of business. We tend to recognize favorable loss emergence more slowly in our long-tail lines once actual loss emergence and data provides greater confidence around the adequacy of ultimate estimates.

The favorable reserve development for the reinsurance segment was primarily related to our property reinsurance line of business, and included favorable reserve development related to recent catastrophic events that occurred in 2010 through 2012.

The unfavorable reserve development in our U.S. insurance segment for loss years 2009 to 2011 was primarily due to adverse development on a program that commenced writing in 2008 and was terminated during 2011. The unfavorable reserve development in our international insurance segment for the 2005 loss year was primarily due to two product liability claims within our general casualty line of business. The unfavorable reserve development in our reinsurance segment for the 2010 loss year was primarily due to adverse emergence on certain classes of U.S. casualty business.

Acquisition Costs

Acquisition costs increased by $14.0 million, or 27.4%, for the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to the three months ended September 30, 2012. The increase in acquisition costs was consistent with the growth in premiums, as well as higher profit commission accruals during the current quarter as compared to the same period last year. Acquisition costs as a percentage of net premiums earned were 12.7% for the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to 11.6% for the same period in 2012. The increase in the acquisition cost ratio is driven by the increased profit commission accruals in our U.S. insurance and reinsurance segments, as well as the impact of the retrocessional reinsurance catastrophe cover in our reinsurance segment put in place in the current year. The retrocessional reinsurance catastrophe cover reduced net premiums earned but did not have any offsetting ceding commission income, and therefore resulted in an increase to the acquisition cost ratio.

General and Administrative Expenses

General and administrative expenses increased by $10.0 million, or 12.7%, for the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. Our general and administrative expense ratio was 17.3% and 17.8% for the three months ended September 30, 2013 and 2012, respectively. The increase in general and administrative expenses was primarily due to increased salary and related costs as average headcount increased by 15% to support our continued growth as well as higher stock-based compensation expense. We have granted cash equivalent restricted stock units and performance-based equity awards to certain key employees, and we measure the value of each award at the period ending share price. Changes in our share price are recognized as increases or decreases in our compensation expense ratably over the service period. Our share price increased 9% for the three months ended September 30, 2013, compared to a 3% decrease for the same period in 2012. We also increased stock-based compensation expense for our performance-based compensation as profitability is expected to exceed targeted levels.

Amortization of Intangible Assets

The amortization of intangible assets was unchanged for the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to the three months ended September 30, 2012.

Interest Expense

Interest expense increased by $0.3 million, or 2.2%, for the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to the three months ended September 30, 2012.

Net Income

Net income for the three months ended September 30, 2013 was $122.8 million compared to net income of $219.6 million for the three months ended September 30, 2012. The $96.8 million decrease was primarily the result of the $122.3 million decrease in realized investment gains for the three months ended September 30, 2013 compared to the same period in 2012. This was partially offset by an increase in underwriting income of $27.7 million. Income tax expense for the three months ended September 30, 2013 decreased by $1.4 million, or 20.0%, compared to the three months ended September 30, 2012. The decrease in income tax expense is due to lower taxable income in our U.S. operations.

CONF CALL

Sarah Doran - Senior Vice President of Investor Relations and Treasurer
Thank you, and good morning. Our press release, financial supplement and 10-Q were issued last night after the market close. If you’d like copies of any, please visit the Investor Relations section of our website at www.awac.com. Today's call will also be available through November 9 on our website as a teleconference replay. The dial-in information for this replay is included in our earnings press release.

Our speakers this morning are Scott Carmilani, Allied World's President and Chief Executive Officer; Tom Bradley, the company's Chief Financial Officer; Marshall Grossack, our Chief Actuary; and John Gauthier, our Chief Investment Officer.

Before we begin, I will note that statements made during the call may include forward-looking statements within the meanings of U.S. federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of uncertainties and risks that could significantly affect the company's current plans, anticipated actions and its future financial condition and results. These uncertainties and risks include, but are not limited to, those disclosed in the company's filings with the SEC.

Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made, and the company assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements in light of new information, future events or otherwise. Additionally, during the call, management will discuss certain non-GAAP measures within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws. For more information and a reconciliation of these measures to their most directly comparable GAAP financial measures, please refer to our earnings press release.

Let me turn the call over to Scott.

Scott A. Carmilani - Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairperson of Executive Committee
Thank you, Sarah, and good morning, everyone. Thanks for joining our call. We are pleased to announce another excellent underwriting quarter. Allied World generated a combined ratio of 84.2% for the quarter compared to 88.1% for the prior year, and a net income of $123 million or $3.54 per diluted share. We also did not experience any significant cat losses for this quarter.

Our diluted book value per share grew a healthy 3% from the second quarter, a growth rate that is on par with that of over the last 5 years, to $99.16.

Following a volatile second quarter, our investment portfolio gained 80 basis points for the quarter and approximately there a 1.2% gain year-to-date with increased returns from our noncore assets providing a nice supplement to our investment income. John Gauthier, our Chief Investment Officer, will give you all the details of that in a few minutes.

This quarter also benefited with more than $61 million of favorable reserve development, more than half of which came from our Reinsurance businesses, positively impacting our combined ratio by 12 points. Marshall Grossack, our Chief Underwriter, will give you more details on that later.

Our top line grew by over 15% for the quarter to $581 million of gross written premium compared to $504 million in the third quarter of 2012. This was driven by high double-digit growth in both our U.S. Insurance and Reinsurance businesses and almost 10% growth in our International businesses as we took advantage of attractive opportunities in what we see as a positive rate environment.

On average, rates on our insurance portfolio were up 4% for the quarter. Casualty led that with a 4.5% rate increases, and property lagged at around 1.5% rate increases.

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