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Timothy J. Carroll has been elected chairman-designate of the International Underwriting Assn. of London. The IUA, a new trade association being formed by the merger of the London International Insurance & Reinsurance Market Assn. and the Institute of London Underwriters, is expected to take effect by the end of the summer (BI, June 29). Mr. Carroll has been deputy chairman of LIRMA since 1996 and is managing director of ERC Frankona (U.K.), the London-based subsidiary of German insurer Frankona Ruckversicherungs A.G. of Munich. . . .U.K.-based insurance companies achieved a combined 6.5% increase in worldwide profit from all operations to 3.14 billion pounds ($5.18 billion) in 1997, according to new statistics from the Assn. of British Insurers. Worldwide net written premiums were 35.33 billion pounds ($58.32 billion), up from 35.17 billion pounds ($60.23 billion) in 1996. Exchange rate differences are responsible for the drop in profits in U.S. dollars. Worldwide underwriting losses narrowed to 1.63 billion pounds ($2.69 billion) in 1997 from 1.88 billion pounds ($3.22 billion) in 1996. However, underwriting losses in the United Kingdom and European Union increased to 1.42 billion pounds ($2.34 billion) in 1997 from 895 million pounds ($1.53 billion) in 1996. "There is scope for a better performance nearer to home, but competition remains very strong," commented ABI Director General Mark Boleat. . . .Zurich Group has announced plans to form a pension fund business in Poland in conjunction with Polish workers' association Solidarnosc NSZZ. Zurich, Switzerland-based Zurich and Gdansk, Poland-based Solidarnosc, which has 1.6 million members throughout Poland, have applied for a joint license to operate in Poland's new, privatized pension system, which starts in early 1999. . . .Standard & Poor's has affirmed its A+ financial strength rating of the Lloyd's of London insurance market. The rating initially was assigned in October 1997. In May, A.M. Best Co. affirmed its A rating of Lloyd's, assigned last autumn. The ratings, the first assigned to the Lloyd's market, apply to all of Lloyd's syndicates. Max Taylor, Lloyd's chairman, said the ratings demonstrate the continued confidence in Lloyd's underlying security. . . .Munchener Ruck Italia S.p.A., the Milan, Italy-based Italian subsidiary of Germany's Munich Re, has completed its 400 billion lire ($224 million) acquisition of Italian reinsurer Reale Riassicurazioni S.p.A. of Turin. Reale, which will be renamed Torino Riassicurazioni S.p.A., wrote premiums of 566 billion lire ($317 million) in 1997. Munchener Ruck Italia had 1997 premium volume of 529 billion lire ($296.2 million). Hans-Jurgen Schinzler, chairman of Munich Re's board of management, said the bulk of Reale's business comes from Italy and that the purchase will substantially strengthen Munich Re's presence in the market. . . .Hunter Devine will retire Sept. 30 as chairman of Aon Consulting, the U.K. employee benefits and human resources subsidiary of Aon Group Ltd. of London. He will be replaced by current deputy chairman Ron Amy. . . .In its third purchase this year, U.K.-based HSB Haughton Engineering Inspection & Insurance Services Ltd. has acquired Inspection Quality Ltd., the engineering inspection subsidiary of London-based Imperial Chemical Industries P.L.C. The purchase follows HSB Haughton's June purchases of independent inspection companies EMSS (U.K.), of East Anglia, England, and EMSS (Ireland), of Mallow, Ireland. Terms of the purchases were not disclosed. Tim Cramphorn, HSB Haughton managing director, said the purchases are focused on improving the range and level of engineering inspection services available to HSB Haughton's insurance clients.