Greenlight Capital Re, Ltd. ( GLRE)

Q3 2010 Earnings Call

November 3, 2010 9:00 am ET


David Einhorn – Chairman

Len Goldberg – Chief Executive Officer

Bart Hedges – President, Chief Underwriting Officer

Tim Courtis – Chief Financial Officer





Good day and thank you for joining the Greenlight Re Third Quarter 2010 Earnings call. Joining us on the call this morning are Dave Einhorn, Chairman; Len Goldberg, Chief Executive Officer; Bart Hedges, President and Chief Underwriting Officer; and Tim Courtis, Chief Financial Officer.

The Company reminds you that forward-making statements that may be made in this call are intended to be covered by the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are not statements of historical fact but rather reflect the Company’s current expectations, estimates and predictions about future results and events, and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions including risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are enumerated in the Company’s Form 10-K dated February 24, 2010 and other documents filed by the Company with the SEC. If one or more risks or uncertainties materialize, or if the Company’s underlying assumptions prove to be incorrect, actual results may vary materially from what the Company projects. The Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

After today’s presentation, there will be an opportunity to ask questions. To ask a question, you may press star then one on a touchtone phone. To withdraw your question, please press star then two.

Please note this event is being recorded. If you should need operator assistance at any time during the conference, please signal an operator by pressing star then zero.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Len Goldberg. Please go ahead.

Len Goldberg

Good morning. My name is Len Goldberg, Chief Executive Officer of Greenlight Re. Thank you for taking the time to join us today.

In the third quarter of 2010, I am pleased to report that our balanced approach produced a 4.2% increase in fully diluted adjusted book value per share. While we had a small loss on our underwriting result for the quarter, we produced a positive return in our investment portfolio.

Greenlight Re continued to build on our strong reinsurance franchise during the quarter despite the fact that it is increasingly difficult to generate significant returns in most reinsurance models. We are navigating this difficult market by focusing on our core areas and staying disciplined in our underwriting while awaiting improvement or dislocation in the market.

The core areas of focus of Greenlight Re continue to be employer stop-loss, Florida homeowners, small account workers’ comp and general liability, and property catastrophe retro. These businesses continue to perform well.

In the third quarter of 2010 in particular, we were able to grow our Florida homeowners business significantly, although a large part of the increase in premium for that line represents unearned premium that was transferred to us at the start of one new contract. We now have quota share relationships with four specialist insurers in Florida that we believe will generate opportunities for us to create strong economics and cash flow while at the same time controlling the downside risk in part through minimal wind exposure.

The principle contributor to our underwriting result during the third quarter of 2010 was adverse development on a motor liability contract we had placed in runoff during the first quarter. While we cannot ensure there will not be further developments, the 2008 and 2009 years are maturing and we are getting a better view of the ultimate loss.

As we have mentioned in prior calls, part of our process is to reserve every account each quarter to what we think is an appropriate estimate. When the data and our analysis tell us we need to increase or decrease the reserves on our contract, we do it in that quarter. For the first nine months of 2010, our combined ration was 101.4%.

Our gross written premium for the nine months ended September 30, 2010 increased by 48% over the same period in 2009. This was driven by an increase in our targeted frequency business and a reduction in severity business. Frequency business currently makes up in excess of 92% of our premium written year-to-date. Bart will discuss in more detail why we believe this success is mainly attributable to getting our message out to the market consistently and actively identifying and seizing opportunities in the market. Meanwhile, we remain focused on only writing accounts that we believe can generate an acceptable return on capital deployed.

Greenlight Re’s investment portfolio gained 3.6% in the third quarter of 2010 and has produced a 4.2% gain for the first nine months of the year. Market gains in the third quarter were strong and we were pleased with the returns considering our defensive positioning. In the month of October 2010, we reported a 3.4% gain on our investment portfolio.

Finally during the third quarter, we opened Greenlight Reinsurance Ireland Limited, or GRIL for short. GRIL is a Dublin-based reinsurer that we believe will help us more effectively serve the European Union. Just as we did in Cayman, we will carefully build our team with professionals we believe can help us extend the Greenlight Re franchise.

Given the current market realities, we do not expect to write a significant amount of new business at GRIL in the near future, but we ultimately believe the EU marketplace will require more reinsurance in the face of increased capital requirements under Solvency II. We intend to be a reinsurer of choice as those new reinsurance relationships are established in the run-up to 2013 when Solvency II becomes effective.

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