Weekly Wrap: Broker network members vote in name change

Weekly Wrap: Broker network members vote in name change | Insurance Business New Zealand

Weekly Wrap: Broker network members vote in name change
Broker network members vote in name change
A proposal to change broker network Austbrokers’ name to AUB Group Limited has been approved by members voting on it at the company’s AGM last Thursday.

One of the reasons for the change was the company’s expansion into New Zealand plus its diversification into risk services and increased growth in the underwriting agency business.

Votes were also taken on the appointment of new chairman David Clarke, who was appointed by the Board last month to replace outgoing chairman Richard Longes.

They were also asked to vote on whether to re-elect director Paul Alan Lahiff, and on whether CEO Mark Searles’ term should be extended for a further three years, with his remuneration made two thirds incentive based.

All these resolutions were also passed.
Lloyd’s announces nat cat initiative
Eight Lloyd’s syndicates have joined forces and committed capacity of US$400 million towards developing solutions that address natural catastrophe risks in emerging and developing economies.

Emerging economies across Latin America, Africa, and Asia currently contribute 40% to global GDP, yet represent only 16% of global insurance premiums, Lloyd’s said.

In the event of a natural catastrophe, this level of underinsurance can damage growth and hamper economic development.

The initial group of Lloyd’s syndicates participating in the new initiative are managed by Amlin, Beazley, Hiscox, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group, Nephila, RenaissanceRe Syndicate Management, Tokio Marine Kiln and XL Catlin.

However, the group was keen to stress that membership was open to the entire Lloyd’s market and other managing agencies were welcome to participate.

Tom Bolt, director of performance management at Lloyd’s, said: “This collective initiative means the Lloyd’s market can help provide the insurance solutions needed to build resilience to natural hazards and promote risk awareness around the world.

“We are keen to work closely with organisations across the globe to help protect economic growth in developing countries.”
Activist investor takes unprecedented step in fight to break up AIG
Carl Icahn is not backing down on his quest to improve American International Group’s profit margins by attempting to break up the company.

The activist investor announced Tuesday that he intends to bypass senior leadership by arguing his cause, which would see AIG split into three different companies, directly with shareholders. Chief Executive Peter Hancock has previously shot down this plan, saying it “did not make financial sense.”

Instead, Hancock has told investors and analysts AIG plans to take a middling approach and perhaps sell some business units, but insists he will not take a “machete” to the company. Neither will he sell prominent units, such as AIG’s mortgage insurance business, unless an appropriate offer is made.

Icahn, who is AIG’s fifth-largest shareholder, owns more than 42 million shares worth $2.61 billion, giving him a 3.4% stake in the company. He has told reporters that it has become “abundantly clear” that Hancock is not willing to “sincerely consider” the breakup plan, and hopes that other shareholders will approve his consent solicitation, which may include a proposal to replace Hancock as CEO.

Icahn is taking his proposal to investors now, as he says he cannot wait until the spring annual meeting date to raise the issue.

“AIG is too important, and the current situation is too time-sensitive, to wait years,” he said.

The move is an unusual one for a shareholder, and theWall Street Journal reports that only five such precatory proposals to break up a company have been put forward since 2009. Only three were successful.

Further complicating matters is Icahn’s plan to solicit votes by “written consent,” with only 26 such instances occurring in the past five years, according to FactSet.

In fact, the statistics group suggests it may be the first time a shareholder has attempted to combine the two.

A shareholder proposal requires a majority of all shares outstanding, and is not binding. However, analysts say such a vote would signal a “clear victory” for Icahn and be difficult for the AIG board to ignore.

AIG posted a $231 million net loss in the third quarter.