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W. R. Berkley Corporation Launches Berkley Fire & Marine Underwriters

W. R. Berkley Corporation (NYSE: WRB) today announced the launch of a new underwriting unit, Berkley Fire & Marine Underwriters. Headquartered in Chicago, Berkley Fire & Marine will focus on inland marine and related property risks regionally and nationwide. Products will be distributed through independent agents and brokers.

Berkley Fire & Marine will underwrite products on an admitted basis on behalf of Berkley Insurance Company and other W. R. Berkley Corporation member insurance companies, which are all rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best Company, Inc.

John Geary has been named president of Berkley Fire & Marine. Mr. Geary has more than 25 years of experience in the property casualty insurance industry. He most recently served as vice president of inland marine for another major U.S. insurance group, having previously held senior positions with other major insurers. Mr. Geary earned a B.S. from Valparaiso University.

In making the announcement, William R. Berkley, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of W. R. Berkley Corporation, said: "The creation of Berkley Fire & Marine is another example of how we bring talented people together with capital and allow them to focus in areas where they have a particular expertise. John is an experienced specialist in this area of the market, and we are pleased to welcome him to the team. Berkley Fire & Marine will use its underwriting expertise in inland marine and related property products to become a leading nationwide market. It will provide W. R. Berkley Corporation with another excellent opportunity for profitable growth."

For further information about the products and services available from Berkley Fire & Marine, please contact John Geary at jgeary@usic.com.

Founded in 1967, W. R. Berkley Corporation is an insurance holding company that is among the largest commercial lines writers in the United States and operates in five segments of the property casualty insurance business: specialty insurance, regional property casualty insurance, alternative markets, reinsurance and international.

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