Previous Statements by RE
» Everest Re Group, Ltd. Q1 2010 Earnings Call Transcript
» Everest Re Group Q4 2009 Earnings Call Transcript
» Everest Re Group, Ltd. Q3 2009 Earnings Call Transcript
Ralph will take you through the underwriting particulars momentarily, including the July 1 renewals for both the international book and for Florida. In Florida, although catastrophe rates were down 10% to 15% for the industry we improved our overall portfolio, since most of our portfolio is pro-rata and our pro-rata clients have improved their position, because reinsurance costs are less, and because they’ve been granted meaningful underlying rate increases. Again, Ralph will get into this in greater detail.In the quarter we repurchased 2.7 million shares at a cost of $200 million. This represents 4.5% of the outstanding shares at the end of the first quarter. 5.2 million shares remain available under the current authorization. In March 2009, we put out a tender offer for $0.50 on the dollar for $400 million of the hybrid bonds we previously floated in the market. They were trading in the market at $0.45 on the dollar, as there was much fear in the market. 40% of the holders took the deal. Today one year later these bonds are selling at twice the value. This transaction was a hard market transaction for us. I go through this example to let you know that I view buying back our stock today, much the same. When it comes to buying back our stock, it’s a hard market. We will continue to invest our earnings into buying our stock. We will do it in a way where our capital and our ratings remain as strong as ever. Last, I will be retiring, December 31 of this year as CEO. I will remain as Chairman of the Board. Effective January 1, 2011 Ralph will become CEO. I have had the privilege of working with many wonderful people at Everest over the last 16 years. Those people have helped me grow the company from a modest size to the global franchise it is today with over $6 billion of capital. I thank them all.
For the past two years I have with Ralph Jones, I have been impressed with his breadth of experience, his intelligence and his leadership. The Board and I are confident that Ralph and our team will continue to effectively grow Everest in 2011, and beyond. As Chairman I will help Ralph and Everest in any way that I can. Ralph.Ralph Jones Thank you Joe, I am thrilled at the opportunity to lead the Everest franchise next year. You set the bar pretty high during your tenure as CEO Joe. During the last 10 years the average growth and book value per share was over 14%. Even with all the challenges of the decade, from 9-11, to Hurricane Katrina, then financial meltdown, it’s a pretty high standard of achievement in our industry. It’s a great company, I like the people, I like our position of strength, and I like our prospects. Thank you Joe for the opportunity. Overall it was a good quarter; we wrote just over $1 billion in written premium at a 93 combined. The largest segment is international which includes Canada, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East and Africa, which wrote in total $307 million in written premium for international in the second quarter, up 12% in US dollars and 9% in base currencies in the countries in which we operate. Much of the growth came from new business in Brazil, rate increases in Australia, and in Latin America, but mostly in Chile, and larger signings in Canada and in South Africa. Combined ratio for international was 106% in the quarter, and that included 26 points of the cap loss from the earthquake in Chile. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com