RenaissanceRe Holdings' CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

RenaissanceRe Holding Ltd. (RNR)

Q2 2012 Earnings Call

August 1, 2012, 10:00 a.m. ET

Executives

Peter Hill – IR

Neill Currie – CEO

Kevin O'Donnell – EVP and Global Chief Underwriting Officer

Jeff Kelly –EVP, CFO

Analysts

Mike Zaremski – Credit Suisse

Sarah DeWitt – Barclays

Josh Shanker – Deutsche Bank

Josh Stirling – Sanford Bernstein

Michael Nannizzi – Goldman Sachs

Ian Gutterman – Adage Capital

Vinay Misquith – Evercore Partners

Presentation

Operator

Good morning. My name is Dashauna, and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the RenaissanceRe Second Quarter 2012 Financial Results Conference Call. (Operator Instructions)

Mr. Peter Hill, you may begin your presentation.

Peter Hill

Good morning and thank you for joining our second quarter 2012 financial results conference call. Yesterday, after the market closed, we issued our quarterly release. If you didn’t receive a copy, please call me at 212-521-4800 and we’ll make sure to provide you with one. There will be an audio replay of the call available from approximately noon eastern time today through midnight on August 22 nd. The replay can be accessed by dialing 855-859-2056, or 404-537-3406. The passcode you need for both numbers is 11170297.

Today’s call is also available through the investor information section of www.renre.com, and will be archived on RenaissanceRe’s website through midnight on October 10 th, 2012.

Before we begin, I’m obliged to caution that today’s discussion may contain forward-looking statements, and actual results may differ materially from those discussed. Additional information regarding factors shaping these outcomes can be found in RenaissanceRe’s SEC filings, to which we direct you.

With me to discuss today’s results are Neill Currie, Chief Executive Officer, Jeff Kelly, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and Kevin O’Donnell, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Underwriting Officer. I’d like to turn the call over to Neill. Neill?

Neill Currie

Thank you, David. Good morning, everyone. RenaissanceRe reported operating income of 111.5 million, and net income of 142.3 million for the second quarter. This resulted in an increase in tangible book value per share plus accumulated dividends of just over 4%. Our results reflected strong underwriting performance and benefited from continued relatively low levels of catastrophe loss activity.

Over the last year or so, we have been saying that we expected pricing in the property catastrophe market to improve gradually and steadily. That view generally held true through the first quarter of this year. We had anticipated additional firming at the 6/1 one renewals, but as it turned out, pricing was relatively flat. We believe this was due primarily to new supply entering the market, several existing reinsurers becoming more interested in writing southeast hurricane-exposed business, and the increase in demand was a little less than the market generally anticipated.

We believe that the primary factors that were driving the pricing increases for over a year, that is, those learnings from the cat losses of 2010 and ’11, and companies having the time to form a view on RMS 11. We feel like both of those things have been absorbed by the marketplace now. I feel our decision to grow our property catastrophe book substantially at 1/1 was a good decision, and although pricing was generally flat at 6/1, we were able to write enough attractive business, or to find enough attractive business and write it, to grow by 11% during the quarter and just over 20% year-to-date. We now have a larger, more attractive book of business. We were able to produce this attractive portfolio as a result of executing well on what we call our three superiors: superior customer relationships, superior risk selection and superior capital management.

Turning to our international business, we were also able to improve the quality of that book. As we indicated last quarter, we continued to serve our clients in loss-affected markets such as Japan, Australia and New Zealand, by being a stable source of capacity, being there for them when they needed us. We integrated our expertise in science and risk modeling with our underwriting capabilities, to develop an enhanced view of the risk we were assuming in those regions.

Our ventures team continued to work closely alongside the underwriting team this quarter, developing the most efficient ways for our clients to manage their risk, and creating attractive opportunities for investors. In early June, we announced the formation of a new sidecar, Tim Re III, to target a portfolio of Florida-specific risks. This vehicle was formed to help our customers and brokers by bringing more capital to the Florida marketplace. It also offers a flexibility to expand, and to provide more capacity should it be needed post-event.

Tim Re III typifies the flexibility we’ve built into our capital structure, which allows us to allocate the right capital at the right time for what we consider to be the best opportunities. We were also able to bring new partners into DaVinci Re, who we feel will be valuable additions over the long term of this franchise.

Outside of property catastrophe, we have a strong specialty reinsurance team that continues to evaluate opportunities in a challenging marketplace. It’s positioned to grow meaningfully when market conditions allow. We are pleased with progress and results at our Lloyd’s unit, where margins have continued to improve as the operation has scaled up.

With the majority of our book now written for the year, we will remain focused on serving our clients as the rest of the hurricane season unfolds. The dynamics of the upcoming January 1 st renewals can be affected by the level of losses during the Atlantic hurricane season, and whether or not insurance and reinsurance companies are surprised by their losses that result from those events. From our standpoint, as we have often said, we don’t wish for any particular loss scenario or outcome; rather, we strive to be able to play whatever hand we are dealt, and to play it well. With the strength and flexibility of our capital structure, our underwriting discipline and solid client-broker relationships, we are well-positioned to continue to target attractive business opportunities as they arise. So with that, I’ll turn the call over to Kevin.

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