A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A (Excellent) and issuer credit rating (ICR) of “a” of Validus Reinsurance, Ltd. (Validus Re) (Bermuda) and Validus Reinsurance (Switzerland) Ltd. (VRS) (Zurich, Switzerland). Additionally, A.M. Best has affirmed the ICR of “bbb” and debt ratings of the parent company, Validus Holdings, Ltd. (Validus Holdings) (Bermuda) (NYSE: VR). The outlook for all ratings is stable. (See below for a detailed listing of debt ratings.) The ratings reflect Validus Re’s strong risk-adjusted capitalization, solid historical operating performance through a variety of market conditions, experienced management team, excellent enterprise risk management program and prudent operating strategies. The company’s consistent positive operating results demonstrate the capability of providing results that are at the high end of its peer group. Validus Re has the expertise and capacity to write diverse books of business globally. Further supporting the ratings is the support of Validus Holdings, which provides financial flexibility as a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange. Partially offsetting these strengths are Validus Re’s exposure to high severity events as a property catastrophe-focused reinsurer and the increased competition from capital markets in this space. However, the company’s risk-adjusted capital remains at levels that have been stress tested to absorb significant catastrophe losses mitigating this concern. Additionally, Validus Re has enhanced the business profile of the group by diversifying its revenues to include other lines of business, spreading risk exposures geographically and expanding distribution channels, which has increased its client base and scale. The stable outlook reflects A.M. Best’s expectation that the group will continue to produce favorable long-term operating results and maintain excellent risk-adjusted capitalization, which remains supportive of its current rating level. Rating factors that could lead to an upgrading of the ratings and/or a positive outlook would be the continuation of long-term, consistently strong operating profitability relative to Validus Re’s peer group and maintaining a strong risk-adjusted capital level. Rating factors that could lead to a downgrading of the ratings and/or a revision of the outlook to negative include outsized catastrophe or investment losses relative to its peer group, unfavorable operating profitability trends and a significant decline in risk-adjusted capital that would not be supportive of the current rating level.
The following debt rating has been affirmed:Validus Holdings, Ltd.— -- “bbb” on $250 million 8.875% senior unsecured notes, due January 2040 The following indicative ratings for securities available under the shelf registration have been affirmed: Validus Holdings, Ltd.— -- “bbb” on senior unsecured debt -- “bbb-” on subordinated debt -- “bb+” on preferred stock The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best’s Credit Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best’s rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. Best’s Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology. A.M. Best Company is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com. Copyright © 2014 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.