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In Focus: Industry analysts


Jay Cohen

Merrill Lynch & Co.

Managing Director

Age: 41

Years analyzing the insurance industry: 16

2007 industry outlook/prediction: "Barring unforeseen circumstances, we expect underwriting results to remain quite good in 2007, although they will likely deteriorate from the excellent performance of 2006. Premium growth will remain under pressure. We expect market conditions to deteriorate but stay rational for much of the year. Finally, we expect a gradual increase in the pace of consolidation."

Jay Gelb

Lehman Bros. Inc.

Senior Vp, Senior Non-Life Insurance Equity Analyst

Age: 36

Years analyzing the insurance industry: 8

2007 industry outlook/prediction: "Barring unforeseeable circumstances, I predict the property/casualty insurance stocks will perform roughly in line with the broad market indexes. This should be driven by robust earnings and book value per share growth (barring significant catastrophe losses) that should be mostly offset by valuation multiple contraction due to concerns about a softening property/casualty market. A softening P/C market, in turn, should be driven by stable demand for coverage along with increased capacity after a period of record earnings."

Andrew Kligerman

UBS Securities L.L.C.

Managing Director, Global Insurance Strategist & U.S. Life Insurance Analyst

Age: 44

Years analyzing the insurance industry: 14

2007 industry outlook/prediction: "Anticipate modest upside, since the life group appears a little rich. Given that the group is trading above historic absolute and relative valuations, we think it is relatively more vulnerable to equity market and interest rate pressures."

Adam Klauber

Cochran Caronia Waller

Managing Director

Age: 42

Years analyzing the insurance industry: 16

2007 industry outlook/prediction: "There's no end in sight to the softening. That's one extreme. On the other end, claims trends and frequency tend to be extremely good....I think it's a big question mark what the returns from the real underwriting year are going to be. The obvious thing tends to be rate softening. But I don't think most industry constituents have a real good handle on how good the claims trends are. So the profitability might be better than people think from a softening market."

Mark Lane

William Blair & Co.

Principal & Equity Research Analyst

Age: 37

Years analyzing the industry: 15

2007 industry outlook/prediction: "We believe the property/casualty commercial underwriters will at best perform in line with the overall market."