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TheStreet Open House

Old Republic International's CEO Discuss The Decision To Withdraw The Spin-Off Of Its RFIG Subsidiary's Stock To ORI Shareholders Conference (Transcript)

Stocks in this article: ORI

Joining us today from management is Al Zucaro, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. At this time I would like to turn the call over to Al Zucaro for his opening remarks. Please go ahead.

Aldo Zucaro

Thank you Scott and good morning to everyone. I have got Chris Nard here to provide commentary when we get to the question-and-answer period. In the mean time I will go over some initial remarks that may be a little long but I think it’s necessary that we provide appropriate background as to we got to where we are.

As most everyone who has followed Old Republic’s business knows our mortgage guarantee segment has spilled a lot of red ink in the past five-and-a-half years. And by way of background, between 1990s through the first five years of this century, our mortgage guarantee business gradually became the most profitable and largest bottom line contributor of Old Republic. In just the five-and-a-half years ending in June of this year, however, we will have lost almost $1.5 billion in this line. To put that in perspective, this loss amounts to 110% of the capital we had at year end 2006 just before the housing debacle took hold and it wipes out 80% of all the mortgage guarantee profits we booked between 1980 when we entered the business and year end 2006, along a 26-year period.

As we sit here, our best guess is that we will continue to experience operating loss as well into 2014. And by then, our total loss since 2007 will have been $1.7 billion versus the total accumulated profit of $1.8 billion booked in the first 26 years since the beginning of our MI journey so to speak.

Another way of looking at this is that we have just marked time in these last 33 years. And however we look at it, these are sovereign facts that bring into question the very rationale of the MI business model. Since our experience is basically mirrored by the rest of the mortgage guaranty industry as well as that of similar private and public sector financial guarantors in housing.

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