Excluding the onetime expenses related to senior leadership transitions in the quarter, our run rate results which I believe are more relevant for the purposes of our discussion are even stronger with an adjusted combined ratio of 88.4, and an adjusted annualized operating return on equity of 11.3%.

In addition to the senior leadership transition charges our results were also affected by the investment markets with lower interest rates and negative equity returns. Our investment portfolio delivered a total return of 0.5% for the quarter. Nevertheless our diluted book value per share grew almost 3% in the quarter to a record $40.55.

Our diluted book value per share growth including dividends paid was a strong 12.8% over the last 12 months. The market environment for our business is showing ongoing improvement and we are taking advantage of marketing conditions and our position in the market to improve the balance and risk adjusted returns of our global portfolio.

Our growth is strong in markets that have shown improvements in pricing, and in the lines were investments and products for geographic expansion in recent years is gaining traction. In other areas, which are for the most part stable or showing modest improvement in risk adjusted returns, we have been actively optimizing portfolio composition to expand margin.

In some cases this has come with net premium reductions. But the resulting portfolio provides a more powerful base on which to grow in an improved market. We are confident that we’ve strategically and tactically positioned ourselves to deliver continued significant value growth to shareholders. At this point I will pass the call to Joe Henry our new CFO.

Joe came to us from XL where he was a chief financial officer of the $4 billion insurance business. In addition, Joe was previously CFO at two public insurance companies. Joe brings to Axis 37 years of experience in finance and operations and we are very pleased to have him on our team. Joe?

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