Mr. Benchimol concluded: "We are committed to the prudent management of capital. With total capital in excess of $6.8 billion as of September 30, 2015, and our ability to complement our strong balance sheet with capital from third-party providers to service clients and create new business opportunities, we are confident that we can meet our growth targets while maintaining our financial strength and returning excess capital to shareholders."About AXIS Capital AXIS Capital is a Bermuda-based global provider of specialty lines insurance and treaty reinsurance with shareholders' equity attributable to AXIS Capital at September 30, 2015 of $5.8 billion and locations in Bermuda, the United States, Europe, Singapore, Canada, Australia and Latin America. Its operating subsidiaries have been assigned a rating of "A+" ("Strong") by Standard & Poor's and "A+" ("Superior") by A.M. Best. For more information about AXIS Capital, visit our website at www.axiscapital.com.
AXIS Capital Holdings Limited ("AXIS Capital") (NYSE:AXS) today announced that the Company's Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $750 million of the Company's common shares. The Board has authorized the Company to effect repurchases under this new plan in open market or privately negotiated transactions through December 31, 2016, depending on market conditions. This new repurchase authorization, effective December 31, 2015, will replace the existing authorization, which currently has approximately $444 million in remaining authorization available through December 31, 2016. Albert Benchimol, President and Chief Executive Officer of AXIS Capital, said: "We have a strong track record of returning excess capital to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends that dates back to our initial public offering in 2003. In the period from 2011 through the end of the most recent quarter alone, we have returned to shareholders $2.3 billion in the form of dividends and share repurchases, representing 115% of the sum of our operating earnings in this period and the merger termination fee received this year." The Company's Board of Directors also declared a quarterly dividend of $0.35 per common share, which represents an increase of 21%. The common dividend will be payable on January 15, 2016 to the shareholders of record at the close of business on December 31, 2015. Mr. Benchimol continued: "A critical component of delivering superior returns to our shareholders is consistent growth in our common dividends. We are pleased to announce the twelfth consecutive annual dividend increase since we declared our first dividend." In addition, the Board declared a dividend of $1.875 per Series B Preferred Share, a dividend of $0.429688 per Series C Preferred Share and a dividend of $0.34375 per Series D Preferred Share. The Series B Preferred Share dividend is payable on March 1, 2016 to shareholders of record at the close of business on February 12, 2016. The Series C Preferred Share dividend is payable on January 15, 2016 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 31, 2015. The Series D Preferred Share dividend is payable on March 1, 2016 to shareholders of record at the close of business on February 12, 2016.