Best Affirms Lloyd’s Syndicate 570 Ratings

January 26, 2007

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the Best’s Syndicate Rating of “A” (Excellent) and the issuer credit rating of “a+” of Lloyd’s Syndicate 570, which is managed by Atrium Underwriters Limited, with a stable outlook. Best also affirmed Atrium’s Syndicate 609 (See previous article).

“Syndicate 570’s ratings reflect its strong financial performance and low-risk business profile, in addition to the financial strength of the Lloyd’s market, which underpins the security of all Lloyd’s syndicates,” said Best.

“Syndicate 570’s ratings factor its active management of the insurance cycle, which is demonstrated by the reduction of the syndicate’s capacity to £125 million ($295 million) in 2007 from £150 million ($295 million) the previous year due to an expected decline in underwriting opportunities in 2007,” the bulletin continued. Best said it also “believes that the syndicate’s financial strength is supported by continued positive reserve development and the low risk nature of its portfolio. These strengths are reflected in the syndicate’s 2007 capital requirement, whereby it holds funds at Lloyd’s at the default minimum of 40 percent of capacity.

“A.M. Best believes syndicate 570’s ratings are further enhanced by strong prospective returns on capacity, including a likely return of above 5 percent for the 2006 year of account. This anticipated return reflects hardening property catastrophe rates, a benign hurricane season and a relatively stable rating environment in the majority of the syndicate’s remaining lines of business. In addition, A.M. Best believes syndicate 570 is likely to record a good return on capacity of between 0 percent-5 percent in 2005, taking into account significant losses from the 2005 U.S. hurricanes (of approximately 7 percent of capacity).

“The syndicate’s ratings are also supported by its profile as a specialist underwriter of small to medium-sized commercial business (including professional indemnity and property insurance), primarily emanating from the United States.”

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