October 2010 - Capital and reinsurance: Glacier Re goes down
AM Best’s Miles Trotter tells Global Reinsurance that the move into run-off was unexpected, adding: “It is not down to losses, but rather the desire of investors to withdraw. We expected the company to be profitable for the full year.”
Operators in the European legacy market are less surprised by the move. “Some rumours were circulating,” Ruxley Ventures’ chief executive John Winter confirms. There are, however, raised eyebrows at the company’s decision to manage the run-off process itself rather than selling to a specialist legacy operator. “They are not a run-off operation,” says Winter, although he notes that legacy players may be reticent to take on the business.
He says: “Glacier is very different. Anyone would need to look at them closely. It is too new a business for a lot of people to take on, and it wouldn’t interest Ruxley as we specialise in asbestos, pollution and environmental hazard.”
Winter concludes: “The hedge funds are going to be watched very carefully by regulators, but the hedge funds could really drive an acquisition and lots of people could already be in talks with them.”
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