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Ironshore to write worldwide cat book


HAMILTON, Bermuda—Having raised more than $1 billion through a private placement of equity securities, a new Bermuda-based catastrophe insurer plans to use the capital to write a worldwide book of property catastrophe business.

Through its Hamilton, Bermuda-based Ironshore Insurance Ltd. subsidiary, newly formed Ironshore Inc. will focus initially on commercial risks with wind exposures in U.S. coastal areas such as Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas, as well as exposures in the Caribbean and Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. Ironshore also will write commercial earthquake coverage in California.

The new catastrophe insurer is led by a team of industry veterans that includes Robert V. Deutsch, who has been named Ironshore's chief executive officer; Leslie J. Rock, who has been appointed president and chief underwriting officer; and Mitchell E. Blaser, who was named chief financial officer.

Ironshore was founded by Robert Clements and John Clements—through their investment vehicle Tara Partners Fund L.L.C.—and the company's management in response to demand in U.S. property catastrophe markets.

Ironshore's management noted that, following Hurricane Katrina and other catastrophic storms in 2005, most of the billions of dollars that have flowed into the property catastrophe market has gone into reinsurance with little going to increase capacity for primary cat insurance.

Other founding investors in Ironshore include Bear Stearns Merchant Banking, the Corporate Partners unit of Lazard Alternative Investments, Fremont Partners, TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P. and Greenhill Capital Partners L.L.C.

Though broker Integro Ltd. initiated Ironshore's formation, Robert Clements, who is Integro's chairman, said in a statement that the new catastrophe insurer will be "an independent, open-market facility available to all brokers, which we know from experience works best for all concerned."