A.M. Best Co. has affirmed the financial strength rating of A+ (Superior) and issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa-” of RGA Reinsurance Company (St. Louis, MO) and RGA Life Reinsurance Company of Canada (Montreal, Canada). A.M. Best also has affirmed the ICR of “a-” and all ratings on the existing debt securities and indicative shelf ratings of Reinsurance Group of America, Incorporated (RGA) (St. Louis, MO) [NYSE: RGA]. The outlook for all ratings is stable. (See below for a detailed listing of the companies and ratings.)
The ratings of RGA and its two core North American insurance subsidiaries are based upon its stable risk-adjusted capitalization, favorable GAAP earnings trends, including those recorded through the third quarter of 2012 and strong franchise in the global reinsurance market. Earnings are primarily driven by both its U.S. and Canadian traditional (mortality) segments. The group’s business profile is expanding from the continued growth and diversification benefits it derived from its international market segment along with the recent expansion of its U.S. based asset intensive business. RGA maintains a leadership position in the reinsurance marketplace, utilizing its technology infrastructure to provide facultative services to its client base. RGA continues to be recognized favorably in industry surveys and has a well-developed enterprise risk management program.
Offsetting rating factors include the potential challenges in the highly competitive and consolidating reinsurance marketplace as reflected in declining cession rates in RGA’s U.S. market and a business profile, which is dependent on the utilization of operating leverage to secure reserve credits for noneconomic Regulation AXXX and XXX reserves. With cession rates on the decline in the U.S. marketplace, RGA has been able to capitalize on growth in the international marketplace despite global economic challenges and some recent adverse mortality and morbidity experience within its Asia Pacific business segment. Low interest rates could pressure RGA’s balance sheet and earnings, particularly in its asset intensive segment.