Ratings Roundup: Lloyds Syndicates 507 & 609, Ecclesiastical/Ansvar

January 25, 2008

A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the its Syndicate Rating of ‘A’ (Excellent) and issuer credit rating (ICR) of “a+” of Lloyd’s Syndicate 570 and of Lloyd’s Syndicate 609. Both syndicates are managed by Atrium Underwriters Limited (AUL). Best also revised the rating outlook for both syndicates to stable from positive, reflecting its stable outlook on Lloyd’s. Best said both syndicates are “likely to benefit from financial flexibility provided by Ariel Holdings Limited, which acquired Atrium Underwriting plc (the ultimate holding company of AUL) in August 2007. Additionally, Ariel’s expertise in certain lines of business, particularly property catastrophe business, is expected to assist both the AUL managed syndicates.”

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services has revised the outlook on the long-term counterparty credit and insurer financial strengths ratings on U.K.-based non-life insurer Ecclesiastical Insurance Office PLC and on its subsidiary Ansvar Insurance Limited to positive from stable. “This reflects our expectation that continued strong cross-cycle performance may permit an upgrade in the medium term,” said S&P. “At the same time, we affirmed the ‘A-‘ ratings on Ecclesiastical and the ‘BBB+’ ratings on Ansvar. The ratings reflect the company’s strong capitalization, strong operating performance, and strong competitive position.”

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