All forward-looking statements will have a number of assumptions concerning future events that are subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors. For more detailed descriptions of these uncertainties and other factors, please see the “Risk Factors” section in Aspen’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC and on our website.
This presentation contains non-GAAP financial measures, which we believe are meaningful in evaluating the company’s performance. For a detailed disclosure on our non-GAAP financials, please refer to the supplementary financial data posted on the Aspen website.
I’ll now turn the call over to Chris O’Kane.
Christopher O’KaneThank Kerry. And good morning everyone. Like so many recent quarters, the first quarter 2012 prove to be very interesting one. This time though the interest arises not from past catastrophe losses, but rather from the wide diversity of price changes and momentum in the underwriting cycle is affecting the industry throughout the world. If I tell you that the line of business with the greatest rate movements in the quarter for us was Japanese earthquake with cumulative rates up 74% and that’s in contrast with the number of other events, which renewed flat, you’ll understand what I mean. And why is this coming about? Well, in my view there are three or four drivers. First, the industry has finally recognized that the reduction in investment income resulting from the present yield environment, need to be offset by improved underwriting income. This is at last being understood and acted upon. Second, the fact that the industry sustained catastrophe losses of $117 billion last year has given many management teams the confidence and the authority to demand more price from the customers. Is a slow burning fuse, but one if it certainly looked at as a result we are moving well in the right direction.