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In Brief


S&P to introduce runoff ratings system

New York-based rating agency Standard & Poor's Corp. plans to introduce a new ratings system for runoff insurers and reinsurers later this year. The new ratings criteria will be used to gauge the likelihood of recovering principal from reinsurance companies. The ratings scale will mirror the one S&P currently uses for recovery ratings in the leveraged finance world, said Peter Hughes, a London-based vp for the agency.

Panel: AIG unit owes comp insurers $444M

An arbitration panel has determined that an American International Group Inc. subsidiary should pay more than $443.5 million to a group of insolvent workers compensation insurers to resolve a reinsurance dispute, according to California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner. The award, which is subject to court approval, would be paid to five companies in the Superior National Insurance Cos. group. The dispute arose over a 1998 reinsurance contract that AIG subsidiary United States Life Insurance Co. wrote for the Superior National companies.

Miss. AG urges repeal of antitrust exemption

The attorney general of Mississippi urged Congress to revoke the insurance industry's limited federal antitrust exemption during a Wednesday House panel hearing. Appearing before the House Financial Services Committee's Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood accused insurers of trying to "intimidate" the state's justice system and failing to pay legitimate claims after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005, and called on Congress to repeal the McCarran-Ferguson Act's antitrust exemption.

ACE chief Greenberg named chairman

ACE Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Evan G. Greenberg has been elected chairman of ACE's board of directors. Mr. Greenberg--whose appointment will be effective in May at the company's annual general meeting--will replace Brian Duperreault, who retired last June. Mr. Duperreault, who currently serves as nonexecutive chairman, will remain a member of Hamilton, Bermuda-based ACE's board.

Commercial market stable, Best says

A.M. Best Co. has revised its outlook for the U.S. commercial market to stable from negative, but warns there continues to be evidence of pricing deterioration. Best said the outlook change considers the level of rate adequacy in the sector, last year's record underwriting reserves and an expectation of stabilized reserve development over the near term.