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In Brief


Caremark rejects Express Scripts bid

Pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts Inc. is challenging the Jan. 7 rejection of its merger offer by rival PBM Caremark Inc. on several fronts, filing a lawsuit to void the $675 million breakup fee featured in the merger agreement between Caremark and CVS Corp., asking Caremark shareholders to reject the proposed merger and nominating four candidates to Caremark's board. Express Scripts said its offer constitutes a "superior proposal" to the CVS/Caremark deal, but CVS called the lawsuit a "desperate attempt" to derail its merger with Caremark.

St. Paul scales back New Orleans withdrawal

St. Paul Travelers Cos. Inc. will not renew about 40% of its commercial property policies for New Orleans, according to a spokeswoman for Louisiana Insurance Commissioner James Donelon. The insurer had been considering nonrenewal of about 80% of the commercial coverage that it provides in the area, the spokeswoman said--amounting to about $2.4 billion in premiums--but revised those plans following negotiations with Mr. Donelon. A spokeswoman for St. Paul Travelers confirmed the 40% reduction, but declined to detail the insurer's original plans.

AIG names diversity officer

American International Group Inc. has appointed Terri D. Austin as chief diversity officer, a new position providing oversight and leadership for the insurer's diversity efforts worldwide. Ms. Austin, formerly chief compliance officer for AIG's domestic brokerage group, will be responsible for expanding and implementing AIG's diversity initiatives in the workforce and those relating to company products, suppliers, vendors and customers. She will be based in New York.

Gamble to step down as head of AIRMIC

The Assn. of Insurance & Risk Managers is setting up a company to promote risk management training. The new company, Risk Publishing Online, will be headed by David Gamble, who will step down as executive director of London-based AIRMIC, a position he has held since 1998. Mr. Gamble's successor has not been named.

Missouri comp reform law upheld

A state judge has upheld a workers compensation reform law supported by employers and adopted by Missouri lawmakers in 2005. Among other changes, the law modified the definition of a compensable accident to include events where work is the "prevailing" factor contributing to an injury instead of a "substantial" factor. Labor groups across the state challenged the law in court by claiming that the law is so unjust that the workers compensation system should no longer provide an exclusive remedy.

Bowler steps down as Mass. Regulator

Julianne Bowler has resigned as Massachusetts insurance commissioner, leaving the vacancy to be filled by newly installed Gov. Deval Patrick. Joseph Murphy, the Insurance Division's first deputy commissioner, was named acting commissioner until the Democratic governor names Ms. Bowler's successor, said a spokeswoman for the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, which oversees the Massachusetts Insurance Division.

ACE Tempest Re opens Canadian unit

The ACE Tempest Re Group at ACE Ltd. has created a Canadian subsidiary to write property/casualty reinsurance in Canada. The Montreal-based unit, ACE Tempest Re Canada, is authorized to write reinsurance on behalf of ACE's licensed and admitted Canadian insurance companies. In addition, ACE Tempest Re Canada is a Lloyd's of London-approved coverholder. Constantin Petalas has been appointed president of the new operation. He most recently served as chief executive officer and chief underwriting officer of AXA Re Canada.

Markel forms U.S. unit for onshore energy

Markel Corp. last week announced the launch of a new division within its Global Marine & Energy Inc. unit in Houston, dedicated to U.S. onshore energy risks. Ed Duffy, vp, was tapped to head the new division, which has already begun writing policies with $10 million in available limits.

Ryder to phase out defined benefit plan

Ryder System Inc. is phasing out its defined benefit pension plan and beefing up its 401(k) plan. Effective Jan. 1, 2008, new employees and employees whose combined age and service are less than 65 will receive retirement savings benefits exclusively through a 401(k) plan. Regardless of whether an employee contributes, the Miami-based truck leasing company will make an automatic contribution equal to 3% of employee pay. About 9,400 of Ryder's 27,000 employees will be affected by the change.