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Ascot launches Bermuda reinsurer; John Berger to lead

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Ascot Group Ltd. on Monday said it has launched Bermuda reinsurer Ascot Reinsurance Co. Ltd. and named John Berger as its chief executive, effective in January.

Mr. Berger most recently served as CEO of Third Point Reinsurance Ltd., London-based Ascot said in a statement.

Mr. Berger is a longtime reinsurance executive who stood down as CEO of Third Point earlier this year. Prior to helping launch Third Point, Mr. Berger held CEO roles at Alterra Reinsurance Ltd. and Chubb Re Inc.; and before forming Chubb’s reinsurance unit in 1988, he was a longtime senior executive at F&G Re, the reinsurance arm of the former USF&G.

Oldwick, New Jersey-based ratings agency A.M. Best Co. Inc. said in a separate statement Monday that it has assigned an A rating to Ascot Reinsurance on the company’s balance sheet strength, adequate operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management.

According to the company’s business plan, Best said, that in 2018 Ascot Re will start writing quota share reinsurance for Lloyd’s Syndicate 1414, which is managed by Ascot Underwriting Ltd. Best said it expects Ascot Re to also write nonaffiliated business, the size of which will depend on market conditions.

Based on business plans shared with Best, Ascot Re’s risk-adjusted capitalization is projected to be at the strongest level as measured by the Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio, Best said in its statement.

“The company’s balance sheet strength is further supported by good financial flexibility,” Best said, “as well as a risk-averse asset allocation policy and excellent liquidity. Partially offsetting these rating factors is the company’s relatively high exposure to catastrophic loss events. Stemming from this is also a moderate level of third-party reinsurance dependence.”