S&P, Best See no Ratings Changes as Brandon Leaves Gen Re

April 15, 2008

Neither Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services nor A.M. Best Co. anticipate making any ratings changes as a result of Joseph Brandon’s leaving his post as CEO of General Reinsurance Corp. S&P rates Gen Re ‘AAA’; Best rates it ‘A++’ – both are the highest categories.

S&P said the ratings on the operating companies that constitute the General Re Group are based on its core status to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK). “General Re benefits from explicit support provided through a loss portfolio contract and quota share agreement from National Indemnity Co. (NICO) and Columbia Insurance Co. (Columbia)–both BRK companies.”

Best commented that under Brandon’s leadership, “the underwriting culture of Gen Re was vastly improved and stringent underwriting standards and controls were established globally.”

The rating agency also indicated that it believes Brandon’s successor as CEO, Franklin “Tad” Montross, “has the necessary experience and capabilities to ensure a smooth transition and maintain the group’s underwriting culture.” He has served as president and chief underwriting officer of Gen Re for the past several years and, Best said, has “played a significant role in Gen Re’s transition.”

Best added that following Brandon’s resignation, it expects the “scrutiny applied to Gen Re during the last several years relating to finite reinsurance” will be reduced.

Sources: Standard & Poor’s – www.standardandpoors.com and A.M. Best – www.ambest.com

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