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NEW YORK—Merger and acquisition activity in the property/casualty insurance industry appears likely to increase “modestly” this year, according to a survey released Wednesday by Towers Watson & Co.
Fifty-five percent of the chief financial officers who participated in “Property & Casualty Insurance CFO Survey #2: Mergers and Acquisitions” said they would consider acquiring a company this year. Half of those surveyed said they would consider acquiring a block of business. The survey found that in the previous 12 months, 30% of the respondents said they had acquired or pursued another company and 20% reported that they had acquired or pursued a block of business.
“The M&A market was active in 2011, and that activity is likely to increase modestly in 2012,” said Towers Watson in the report. But the report also noted that the pool of potential acquisitions may be small, with only 5% of the respondents saying they might sell a company and 15% saying they could consider selling a block of business in 2012.
The report said that the majority of respondents considering mergers and acquisitions in 2012 are interested in standard and specialty commercial lines, with an emphasis on liability. “The primary reason for an acquisition by companies that considered or completed a transaction is growth via market and product expansion, and the major target is the United States.”
The report is available at www.towerswatson.com
LONDON (Reuters)—Lloyd's of London insurer Beazley P.L.C. said its takeover interest in smaller rival Hardy Underwriting Bermuda Ltd. would likely trigger competing bids as insurers face continued pressure to merge because of weak prices and tighter capital requirements.