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MONTE CARLO, MonacoReinsurance buyers can expect continuity when AXA Re, the reinsurance arm of Paris-based AXA S.A., becomes Paris Re Holdings Ltd. at the end of this year, according to the company's chief executive officer.
Hans-Peter Gerhardt, CEO of AXA Re, said that clients will still deal with the same teams of people when the transfer takes place, and that the company's values would remain the same.
The transaction is expected to become final in December 2006, he said, but all renewals will be written on "AXA Re paper," and Paris Re will be able to use AXA Re as a fronting company until March 2008. This is to enable Paris Re time to achieve standalone ratings from rating agencies, Mr. Gerhardt explained.
The deal will mean that AXA Re is less "capital constrained" than it was under the ownership of AXA, which wanted to limit its exposure to the reinsurance market, Mr. Gerhardt noted.
While the reinsurance company has no specific expansion plans, growth will be easier under the new ownership structure, in which it will be backed by a consortium of investors led by Trident III L.L.P., a fund managed by Greenwich, Conn.-based Stone Point Capital L.L.C.
Paris Re will be based in Bermuda, but the new name was chosen partly to underline to staff and clients that the company will remain a European reinsurer, with an established European franchise, Mr. Gerhardt noted.