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Risk managers with U.K. mainland properties should see lower property terrorism coverage premiums next year. A claims-free year so far has allowed Pool Reinsurance Co. Ltd. in London, the U.K. government-backed reinsurer that provides property terrorism coverage, to lower 1998 premiums by between 20% and 40%, though the discounts may be changed or withdrawn if terrorism losses occur. Pool Re is reducing rates for inner London and the business districts of specific cities and large towns by 20%. Risks located in the rest of mainland United Kingdom will get 40% reductions. . . .Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. is buying Swedish brokerage AB Max Matthiessen and its reinsurance brokerage affiliate for an undisclosed sum. The brokerages will be merged with Marsh & McLennan's existing operations in Sweden. Max Matthiessen was previously an independent brokerage and a member of the UNISON network. It is one of several former UNISON members that have been bought by Marsh & McLennan since the broker bought Johnson & Higgins, the senior UNISON member, earlier this year (BI, March 17). . . .General & Cologne Re has set up a management company in Sao Paulo, Brazil. General & Cologne Re Brazil Ltda. will be the representative office for General Re Corp. in Stamford, Conn., and for Cologne Reinsurance A.G. in Cologne, Germany. General Re has a controlling interest in Cologne Re. . . .U.S. life reinsurer Reinsurance Group of America Inc. will set up a London market operation next year, possibly during the first quarter. RGA may expand its international operations, particularly in Europe and South Africa, and has started the process by buying 20% of financial services consultant TBOi (U.K.) Ltd., a bancassurance specialist, for 2.5 million pounds ($4.24 million). The capitalization of RGA's London operations and the volume of business it aims to write there are still to be decided, but it will most likely become a member of the London International Insurance & Reinsurance Market Assn. . . .Italian insurer Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. last week became the most recent full member of LIRMA, adding access to LIRMA non-marine business and London Processing Centre Ltd. systems to its open market non-marine business and Institute of London Underwriters marine business. Generali has had a U.K. branch office in London since 1963, and this move will give Generali "new opportunities to do business," said Terry Linnegar, Generali's U.K. chief executive. Generali could underwrite London market business from its home office in Trieste, Italy, though a Generali spokesman said the company does not plan to do so at present. . . .Alistair Ross Goobey has been appointed as a nominated member of Lloyd's of London's ruling Council, to take over the place soon to be vacated by retiring regulatory board chairman Sir Alan Hardcastle. Mr. Goobey is chief executive and chief investment officer of Hermes Pensions Management. His appointment has been approved by the Bank of England. . . .Lloyd's of London regulators have given their approval for agency Duncanson & Holt Syndicate Management Ltd. to set up two new syndicates for the 1998 year of account. Syndicate 1308 will have 80 million pounds ($135.8 million) in capacity and will write a mixed book of business including marine, non-marine, aviation, space and catastrophe reinsurance, while syndicate 1999 will specialize in space business, backed by 12.5 million pounds ($190.9 million) capacity. Both syndicates will have Simon Spinney as underwriter, supported by deputy underwriter Mark Pepper. . . .Shareholders last week unconditionally approved the merger between Benfield Group P.L.C. and Greig Fester Group Ltd. . . .John Hamblin will take over the role of active underwriter for Bankside Syndicates Ltd.'s syndicate 566 following the election of current underwriter Elvin Patrick to the Lloyd's of London ruling Council earlier this month.