A.M. Best Co. has upgraded the issuer credit ratings (ICR) to “a+” from “a” and affirmed the financial strength rating (FSR) of A (Excellent) of the Odyssey Reinsurance Group (Odyssey Re) members. Concurrently, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of “bbb” and the debt ratings of Odyssey Re Holdings Corp. (Odyssey Re Holdings) (Wilmington, DE). The outlook for these ratings is stable.
Additionally, A.M. Best has assigned an FSR of A (Excellent) and an ICR of “a+” to Hudson Excess Insurance Company (Wilmington, DE), the newest member of Odyssey Re. The outlook assigned to both ratings is stable. (See below for a detailed list of the companies and ratings.)
The ICR upgrades reflect Odyssey Re’s excellent risk-adjusted capitalization, strong financial performance and sound business position. Odyssey Re is a global underwriter of reinsurance and specialty primary insurance products and ranks among the top 15 global reinsurance groups in terms of premium volume. Odyssey Re's competitive position benefits from its worldwide market presence with regard to business mix and geographic reach. These positive attributes are further supported by Odyssey Re's diversified geographic client base, combined with its large line capacity, broad product capability and an opportunistic business strategy. Odyssey Re's investment management philosophy, which emphasizes a total return strategy, has augmented its earnings to the extent that on a total return basis it has outperformed its reinsurance peers over the past five-year period. The ratings also recognize Odyssey Re's strong liquidity and the benefits derived from access to its ultimate parent , Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited (Fairfax), and Fairfax's access to public markets.
Somewhat offsetting these strengths are the challenging underwriting and investment environments and Odyssey Re’s historical reliance on both realized and unrealized capital gains to bolster its overall financial performance. A.M. Best views this source of earnings as more variable and less predictable than earnings sourced from underwriting.