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Jan 10, 2010

Buffett sticks with Symetra IPO in tough market

NEW YORK, Jan 8 (Reuters) – U.S. life insurer Symetra’s
latest attempt to go public shows how difficult the market
remains for initial public offerings, even with the cachet of
being partly owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc
<BRKa.N>.

Symetra first filed for an IPO in 2007, but pulled the deal
in October 2008 during the worst of the financial crisis.

Jan 6, 2010

Symetra sets IPO terms, Buffett to keep shares

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Life insurance company Symetra Financial Corp set the terms of its initial public offering on Wednesday, lowering the overall value of the deal from its October filing and signaling that it is likely to price soon.

The company, which sells group health, retirement and life insurance, and employee benefits, said that the entire offering could net as much as $434.7 million and it expects it’s share of the proceeds to be about $208.3 million.

Dec 10, 2009

Tax change boosts regulatory capital for insurers

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Insurance regulators have approved an accounting change to temporarily give insurers the ability to use future tax benefits to boost regulatory capital, despite the protests of consumer groups who say the change could hurt policyholders.

The measure, approved by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) at a quarterly meeting earlier this week, allows life and property-casualty insurers to count billions of dollars of deferred tax assets as regulatory capital through the end of next year.

Dec 10, 2009

Prudential says Wachovia stake sale on track

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Prudential Financial Inc’s <PRU.N> sale of its stake in a brokerage joint venture is on schedule to close next month and is expected to give its capital position a “significant lift,” the company said on Thursday.

Vice Chairman Mark Grier, speaking at an annual investor conference, said the final price the company receives in the sale of its minority stake in Wachovia Securities to majority owner Wells Fargo & Co <WFC.N> was still being decided in an appraisal process.

Dec 7, 2009

MetLife sees 2010 operating earnings up 50 percent

NEW YORK (Reuters) – MetLife Inc <MET.N> forecast 2010 earnings that could beat average Wall Street expectations, helped by cost cuts, improved investment returns and higher revenue, but said it did not see a return to historical growth levels until at least 2011.

The largest publicly traded U.S. life insurer said it expects full-year 2010 operating earnings to rise by about half to between $3.3 billion and $3.6 billion, or $4.00 to $4.40 a share.

Dec 4, 2009

AIG left without HR head in midst of pay crisis

NEW YORK, Dec 4 (Reuters) – American International Group
Inc <AIG.N>, the bailed out insurer beset by executive pay
restrictions, has parted ways with its head of human resources,
leaving open a key vacancy in the midst of fragile pay
negotiations with Washington.

AIG confirmed the departure but declined to comment on it
further, or to say how quickly someone will be named to replace
Andrew Kaslow, who had been chief human resources officer since
2007 and a member of the senior executive committee.

Nov 25, 2009

AIG, ex-CEO Greenberg reach pact to settle disputes

NEW YORK (Reuters) – AIG and former chief executive Maurice “Hank” Greenberg have reached an agreement to bury a long-standing, bitter legal battle and the insurer will turn over materials the former boss can use to write his memoir, as well as prized photographs and a Persian carpet.

The settlement is a feather in the cap of AIG Chief Executive Robert Benmosche, as it frees up the company’s resources to deal with the more pressing matter of repaying taxpayers, which gave the company a $180 billion bailout to save it from collapse under soured mortgage bets last year.

Nov 19, 2009

AIG board meets Tues, no plan on CEO -source

NEW YORK, Nov 19 (Reuters) – An American International Group
Inc’s <AIG.N> board meeting is expected next week against the
backdrop of Chief Executive Robert Benmosche’s frustration with
the U.S. government’s involvement in the insurer’s affairs, a
source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

But the board does not plan to take any action with respect to
Benmosche when it meets next Tuesday, the source said.

Nov 18, 2009

Ambac capital exceeds required minimum

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Ambac Financial Group Inc <ABK.N> said on Wednesday that the statutory capital of its main unit was well above a regulatory minimum at the end of the third quarter, easing concerns the company would fall short of funds and risk being taken over by state officials.

Ambac shares soared 44 percent to $1.01 during the regular session on the New York Stock Exchange and were a penny higher in late trading after Standard & Poor’s said it could raise some ratings.

Nov 18, 2009

Ambac capital exceeds required minimum; shares up

NEW YORK, Nov 18 (Reuters) – Ambac Financial Group Inc
<ABK.N> said on Wednesday that the statutory capital of its
main unit was well above a regulatory minimum at the end of the
third quarter, easing concerns the company would fall short of
funds and risk being taken over by state officials.

Ambac shares soared 44 percent to $1.01 during the regular
session on the New York Stock Exchange and were a penny higher
in late trading after Standard & Poor’s said it could raise
some ratings.