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Late News


MMC to lay off 750 in restructuring

Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. has announced a $225 million cost-cutting plan, which includes elimination of 750 positions, as a means to enhance operational efficiencies and improve profitability. New York-based MMC said that while the initiative calls for layoffs affecting less than 2% of its 55,000-member workforce, most of the savings will come from other steps, including establishing global centers for service, infrastructure and network operations; consolidating data centers and servers; and disposing of excess space. The plan is expected to yield annualized savings of approximately $350 million by the end of 2008. MMC will incur about $225 million in charges for the plan, taken over three years.

Csiszar to resign as PCI top exec

Ernst Csiszar will resign as president and chief executive officer of the Property Casualty Insurers Assn. of America on Sept. 30, the association said. Gerald Whitburn, chairman of PCI board of governors, said the organization will begin a national search for a new CEO immediately. June Holmes, PCI's current chief operating officer, will serve as the interim CEO of the insurer trade group. In a statement, Mr. Csiszar, who gave no reason for his resignation, said he plans "to continue to work within the financial and insurance industries." A spokesman for PCI did not elaborate on the reasons for Mr. Csiszar's resignation.

Runoff specialist gets Quanta top job

Quanta Capital Holdings Ltd. has named Peter D. Johnson as its president and chief executive officer. Mr. Johnson, who previously led the runoff of The Home Insurance Co., replaces interim CEO Robert Lippincott. Mr. Lippincott, who took over from Tobey J. Russ last November, will continue as deputy chairman. Hamilton, Bermuda-based Quanta in May placed most of its business in runoff following a ratings downgrade out of the A range due to the 2005 hurricanes.

WCIRB suggests 6.3% rate decrease

The Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau has recommended a 6.3% pure premium rate decrease for California policies incepting Jan. 1. The proposal, however, is based on an expectation that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will veto S.B. 815. The legislation is currently on the governor's desk and seeks to double permanent disability benefits over three years. If the governor does not veto the bill, a 1.8% pure premium rate increase would be appropriate, the WCIRB said.

Treasury Department names benefits counsel

W. Thomas Reeder, a veteran employee benefits attorney, has been appointed benefits counsel at the Treasury Department. Mr. Reeder had been Treasury's acting benefits counsel since early last year following the resignation of Bill Sweetnam, who left to become a principal in the Washington office of the Groom Law Group. Before joining the Treasury Department, Mr. Reeder was a partner with the law firm Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker L.L.P.

Kiln to increase capacity in 2007

Lloyd's of London insurer Kiln P.L.C. said it plans to increase its capacity in 2007 to take advantage of "excellent opportunities" in property, reinsurance and personal accident lines. The company, which manages four Lloyd's syndicates, intends to increase the capacity it manages at Lloyd's from the current £803 million ($1.50 billion) to £1 billion ($1.86 billion) in 2007. The increase, to be funded by Kiln's existing resources, would put the London-based company among Lloyd's largest managing agents.

Comp rate increases advised in Mich., N.C.

The Compensation Advisory Organization of Michigan, the state's workers compensation rating bureau, has announced an average 4.7% pure premium rate increase, while the North Carolina Rate Bureau has asked for a 9.8% increase. The Michigan organization's pure premium increase announcement, effective Jan. 1, is advisory in nature. Michigan workers comp insurers are free to independently set their own rates. Meanwhile, the North Carolina Rate Bureau has asked the state's Commissioner of Insurance for the 9.8% rate increase for the workers comp residual market to be effective April 1, 2007. Generally, however, North Carolina's rating bureau does not get the rate increases it requests, a spokeswoman for the commissioner's office said.

Sedgwick CMS appoints CFO

William A. Houlihan has been named chief financial officer of Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. Mr. Houlihan, who most recently served as CFO of credit card firm Metris Cos. Inc., succeeds Donald W. Burkett, who is retiring as CFO at the end of 2006. According to a spokesman, Mr. Burkett will continue working on "a variety of special assignments" until his retirement.

W.R. Berkley unit forms specialty division

Berkley Specialty Underwriting Managers L.L.C. has formed a division offering specialty insurance products for environmental contractors, consultants and site-specific facility risks. Robert J. Patterson, who joined the W.R. Berkley Corp. unit from Zurich Insurance Group, has been named vp of the Atlanta-based division.