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GLOBAL RISK EXCHANGE NAMES CEO Paul R. Daoust has been named chairman and chief executive officer of Global Risk Exchange, an independent property/casualty commercial insurance exchange. Mr. Daoust is a former chief operating officer of Watson Wyatt Worldwide. Prior to joining Global Risk Exchange, he consulted with emerging companies through his own firm, Daoust Consulting L.L.C. Global Risk Exchange co-founder and former CEO Andrew Berry remains with the company as president and chief operating officer. Headquartered in Providence, R.I., Global Risk Exchange is an Internet-based property/casualty insurance exchange that gives large corporations direct access to insurance markets.
NEW FACULTATIVE WEB SITE Employers Reinsurance Corp. has launched a Web site, www.myreinsurance.com, designed to save time and increase productivity for clients by allowing them to renew and manage their casualty facultative reinsurance contracts online. According to ERC, the site permits casualty underwriters to renew facultative contracts in as little as five minutes, a process that can take up to five days using traditional methods. The site also reduces processing time for other transactions and allows ERC to work more efficiently with customers, according to the reinsurer. In addition, the site can be customized for individual customers, allowing a client, for example, to sort claims and policies by various criteria. Those interested in registering for MyReinsurance.com can log on to the site and take the "Movie Tour." Customers also can e-mail the company at support. My Reinsurance@ercgroup.com, or call 888-776-6973.
LLOYD'S IN CHINA Lloyd's of London has been granted permission by Chinese regulators to open a representative office in Beijing. The office is expected to open on Nov. 28, Lloyd's said. "The Chinese market is extremely important for Lloyd's," Lloyd's Chairman Max Taylor said in a statement. "We have been writing foreign currency reinsurance in the country since the 1970s. This approval for us to open an office in Beijing will further strengthen our presence and allow us to build closer links with regulators, officials and the Chinese market." Mr. Taylor said the opening of the Beijing office is a major step forward in Lloyd's aim of strengthening its franchise overseas.
ADVANTAGE CARE SUPERVISED Due to Advantage Care Inc.'s financial difficulties, the Kentucky Department of Insurance announced last week that state regulators will supervise the daily operations of the Lexington, Ky.-based health insurer. Kentucky Insurance Commissioner George Nichols III announced in a written statement that Advantage Care and state insurance officials agreed to the state takeover so that policyholders, providers and potential creditors would quickly know that the insurer is no longer able to meet minimum financial requirements. Additionally, Mr. Nichols said, the Department of Insurance and Advantage Care want to protect policyholders and give them time to find other insurers. Autonomous company operations could end as early as Dec. 31, according to the statement. Advantage Care provides health insurance to at least 36,000 policyholders in 55 counties of central and eastern Kentucky.
FRANK HONORED Eileen Frank, president of J.P. West Management & Financial Services, was the honoree at this year's National Insurance Industry Assn. of New York awards luncheon, which was held last week. The annual event honors an individual who has made distinguished achievements in the insurance industry. Ms. Frank founded J.P. West in February to offer services to purchasing groups and to create alternative risk financing programs. Previously, Ms. Frank was vp and director of underwriting operations and compliance at GAN North America Insurance Co. The NIIA was formed in 1973 to provide a forum for minority professionals in the insurance industry.
ST. PAUL GAINS The St. Paul Cos. Inc. has reported revenues of nearly $6.39 billion for the first three quarters of the year, a 13.5% increase from the company's first nine months of 1999. Net written property/casualty premiums stood at more than $4.38 billion for the first three quarters, a 10.9% increase from the comparable period in 1999. St. Paul's combined ratio for the first nine months of 2000 was 104.5%, down from 107.9% during the same period in 1999. Operating earnings for the first nine months of 2000 were $481.1 million, up 0.1% from 1999's first three quarters. St. Paul's commercial lines group brought in more than $1.25 billion in net written premiums during the first three quarters of the year, up 12.1% from the first nine months of 1999. The combined ratio was 95.7% for the commercial lines group in the first nine months of the year, down from 115.2% during the first three quarters of 1999. The company posted $900.5 million in net written reinsurance premiums during the first three quarters, a 15.1% increase from the same period in 1999. The company's combined ratio from reinsurance underwriting rose to 109.0% for the first nine months of the year from 93.1% during the first three quarters of last year.
BRIEFLY NOTED President Clinton last week signed into law the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act, a bipartisan measure designed to protect health care workers from job-related injuries. Among other things, the measure requires employers to keep more detailed records of injuries caused by contaminated "sharps," including needles and lancets....Shareholders of HSB Group Inc. have approved the $1.2 billion sale of the specialty engineering insurer to American International Group Inc. The deal, which still needs regulatory approval, is expected to close before year end....Factory Mutual Insurance Co. has renamed its boiler and machinery reinsurance services unit Mutual Boiler Re. The Malvern, Pa.-based FM Global unit, formerly known as ABMS, provides property breakdown treaty reinsurance and related services to insurers in North America....The Worldwide Broker Network added five new broker members at its recent conference, held in Zurich, Switzerland. Aegis International Insurance Corp. of Puerto Rico, Alianza Intermediarios de Seguros of Panama, Central Insurance Brokers of Scotland, Harmonia Corretora de Seguros of Brazil and London Brokers of Romania joined the global network of independent brokers, which has members in more than 55 countries....BISNet, an employee benefits application service provider, has expanded its headquarters in Concord, Calif., and opened regional sales offices in Dallas, Denver and Los Angeles. BISNet provides employee self-service enrollment, information, education and employee benefits administration services using Web technology....Alex Swedlow has been named to the newly created position of executive vp of research and development of the California Workers Compensation Institute, an Oakland-based non-profit organization that serves as the research arm of the state's workers comp industry. Mr. Swedlow has been a consultant to the CWCI for several years.