Fitch Ratings has affirmed the “A” insurer financial strength ratings of Max Re Ltd. and its Dublin-based subsidiaries, Max Re Europe Limited and Max Insurance Europe Limited. Fitch also affirmed the “A-” issuer default rating (IDR) of Max Re Capital Ltd., the Bermuda-based holding company of Max Re Ltd., and has removed all of the ratings from its “Rating Watch Negative” list. The outlook on all of the ratings is stable.
“The rating action reflects a reduced level of uncertainty following Fitch’s assessment that Max Re’s franchise, reputation, competitive and financial position was not adversely impacted as a result of the company’s reopened internal finite risk investigation and further restatement in November 2006,” said the announcement. “Fitch also feels confident that W. Marston ‘Marty’ Becker, Max Re’s Chairman and CEO, and the management team will continue to successfully execute the company’s business strategy going forward.”
Fitch noted that Becker “was appointed Chairman and CEO following the resignation of Robert J. Cooney, one of the company’s founders, in October 2006.”
The rating agency said that its ratings on Max Re “reflect the company’s disciplined and flexible approach to underwriting risks, through the continued use of its sophisticated models and structuring of every contract with loss caps and aggregate limits, improved operating results posted in 2006 and favorable parent company financial flexibility.
“Partially offsetting these positives is the execution risk derived from Max Re’s shifting product strategy, most recently announcing plans to enter the U.S. excess and surplus lines market, and uncertainty related to how the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) could potentially respond to the information provided by the company in relation to its restatements.”
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