ACE Limited

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ACE Limited
Type Public
Traded as NYSEACE, BSXACL.BH
S&P 500 Component
Industry Insurance and Reinsurance
Founded Hamilton, Bermuda (1985 (1985))
Headquarters Zürich, Switzerland
Area served Worldwide
Key people Evan G. Greenberg
(President and CEO)
Products Property and Casualty
Accident and Health
Life insurance
Reinsurance
Revenue Increase US$ 19.261 billion (2013)[1]
Operating income Increase US$ 04.238 billion (2013)[1]
Net income Increase US$ 03.758 billion (2013)[1]
Total assets Increase US$ 94.510 billion (2013)[1]
Employees 20,000
Website acegroup.com

ACE Limited, incorporated in Zurich, Switzerland, is the parent company of the ACE Group,[2] a global provider of insurance products covering property and casualty, accident and health, reinsurance, and life insurance. ACE operates in 53 countries and territories and in the Lloyd's insurance market in London. Clients of the ACE Group consist of multinational corporations and local businesses, individuals, and insurers seeking reinsurance coverage.

In 2012, the group had $92.5 billion in assets, nearly $21.6 billion of gross written premiums and more than 17,000 employees. ACE trades on the NYSE and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Its core operating insurance companies are rated "AA-" (Very Strong) for financial strength by Standard & Poor's[3] and "A+" (Superior) by A. M. Best[4] with positive outlooks from both agencies. Fitch rates ACE Limited and its subsidiaries "AA" (Very Strong) for financial strength, "AA-" for issuer default and "A+" for senior debt.[5] Moody's rates the U.S. companies "A1" and the unsecured loan notes "A3".[6]

Business Structure[edit]

ACE provides insurance and reinsurance products and services through several operating units.[7]

North American[edit]

ACE USA provides commercial property insurance and casualty (P&C), risk management and accident and health (A&H) coverages through retail brokers. ACE Agriculture offers crop, farm and agribusiness P&C coverages through agents and brokers. ACE Westchester offers commercial P&C excess and surpluslines through wholesale brokers. ACE Bermuda provides liability, property, political risk coveragesand captive programs through large international brokers. ACE Private Risk Services offers high-value personal lines coverages through independent agents and brokers. ACE Commercial Risk Services provides specialty small business coverages through agents and brokers.

International[edit]

ACE International provides commercial P&C, A&H, and traditional and specialty personal lines through retail brokers, agents and other channels in 50 countries outside North America. ACE Global Markets offers commercial P&C excess and surplus lines and A&H sold by wholesale brokers and through Lloyd’s.

Reinsurance[edit]

ACE Tempest Re offers P&C and life reinsurance sold worldwide by reinsurance brokers.

Life[edit]

ACE Life provides protection and savings products through agents, bancassurance and other channels in Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Combined Insurance offers personal accident and supplemental health coverages sold by captive agents in North America.

History[edit]

1985–1999[edit]

ACE Limited was established in 1985, funded by a group of 34 U.S. companies seeking difficult to obtain excess liability and directors and officers insurance coverage.[8] That year, ACE and its Bermuda subsidiary, incorporated in the Cayman Islands and headquartered in Hamilton, Bermuda, wrote its first insurance policy with John Cox as its President and CEO. In 1987 the company assumed management of Corporate Officers & Directors Assurance Limited (CODA), expanding ACE Bermuda's product line.[8]

Walter Scott became Chairman, President, and CEO of ACE in 1990 and saw the company listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1993. Brian Duperreault succeeded Scott in 1994 as Chairman, President & CEO and worked for the next ten years as ACE went through a series of acquisitions and a diversification process that brought the ACE Group of Companies global status.[9] One of the multiple acquisitions made during this time was the global property and casualty business of Cigna Corporation, formerly the Insurance Company of North America, or INA, which was purchased for $3.45 billion in 1999.[10]

2000–2011[edit]

In 2004 Evan G. Greenberg became President and CEO of ACE Ltd.[11] In 2004 ACE was also investigated by NY Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for participating in a bid rigging and price fixing scheme with insurance broker Marsh & McLennan.[12][13]

In 2008, ACE purchased the accident and health insurance provider Combined Insurance Company of America (founded by W. Clement Stone in 1919) from Aon Corporation for $2.56 billion[14] and the high net worth personal lines business of the Atlantic Companies.[15]

Also in 2008, ACE relocated from the Cayman Islands to Zurich, Switzerland. Evan Greenberg described the move as a "natural progression" that would provide ACE with a "better strategic flexibility…and a solid legal and regulatory environment…"[16] The re-domestication was completed in July that year.[17]

In 2010 the ACE company ESIS Inc. was hired by BP to process claims made by the victims of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.[18][19]

In 2010, ACE Limited purchased Rain and Hail, LLC for $1.1 billion. Rain and Hail Insurance Service, headquartered in Johnston, Iowa, is an industry leader in crop insurance in the United States.[20][21][22]

In 2011, ACE Limited purchased agribusiness insurer Penn Millers. [23]

During 2012, they purchased Indonesian insurer Asuransi Jaya Proteksi. [24]

During 2013, they purchased Mexican Surety Lines Company Fianzas Monterrey and Mexican Personal Lines Insurer ABA Seguros. [25] [26]

ACE under investigation[edit]

2004 Eliot Spitzer investigation[edit]

In 2004 New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer conducted an investigation in the insurance industry. ACE, American International Group (AIG), Marsh & McLennan, and other large insurers and brokerages were named in Spitzer's investigation for possibly participating in questionable insurance practices including the payment of contingent commissions, bid-rigging, price-fixing, and improper accounting.[27] [28]

Spitzer asserted that contingent commissions contributed to a widespread practice of "bid-rigging" where brokers solicited fake bids with deliberately less favorable terms for the consumer than the bid offered by the insurance company paying the highest commissions.[29][30]

Resolution[edit]

As part of an $80 million settlement that abated further inquiry, ACE signed an Assurance of Discontinuance in which they acknowledged their prior conduct and agreed to alter their business practices. Evan Greenberg himself admitted no fault in Spitzer's allegations although a junior executive did plead guilty to criminal charges.[31][32]

Spitzer's insurance industry probe additionally looked in early 2005 into ACE Ltd's subsidiary ACE Tempest Re's reporting to the SEC of a series of reinsurance transactions, together with the SEC reporting of a further 16 unaffiliated reinsurers. Evan Greenberg said that his company's investigation should be completed within a month. According to Greenberg, contracts appeared "generally structured in a way to provide for appropriate risk transfer and accounted for properly."[33]

The Spitzer investigations also triggered civil litigation by policyholders who claim they were victimized by the bid rigging and commission schemes.[34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d ACE Limited (ACE) Income Statement 2013, Yahoo! Finance, December 31, 2013
  2. ^ "Insured". 
  3. ^ "What's Behind Our Ratings On The Top 15 Global Multiline Insurers Following The Application Of Our New Criteria". globalcreditportal.com. 4 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "AM Best Revises Outlook to Positive for ACE Limited and Most of Its Subsidiaries". ambest.com. 14 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Fitch Upgrades ACE Limited's IFS Ratings to 'AA'; Sr. Debt to 'A+'". Fitch Ratings. 14 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "Moody's rates ACE Limited shelf; ACE INA Holdings' provisional senior debt at (P)A3; outlook stable". 2013-03-05. 
  7. ^ "Business Structure". acegroup.com. 1 August 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "ACE Company Site History Page". aceeuropeangroup.com. Retrieved 8 Aug 2010. 
  9. ^ "Brian Duperreault's Executive Team Page". acebermuda.com. Retrieved 8 Aug 2010. 
  10. ^ "ACE Completes Acquisition of CIGNA's P&C Businesses; ACE Announces Expense Savings Targets; ACE Outsources Information Technology Operations to IBM". acelimited.com. Retrieved 8 Aug 2010. 
  11. ^ Treaster, Joseph B. (12 Mar 2004). "A Greenberg, 3rd in Family, To Be Chief Of an Insurer". New York Times. 
  12. ^ "ACE SETTLES BID-RIGGING PROBE: Agreement is Part of Ongoing Effort to Restore Competition in Insurance Industry". www.ag.ny.gov. 29 Apr 2006. 
  13. ^ "Marsh Settles Spitzer Bid-Rigging Accusations for $850 Million". Bloomberg. 21 Jan 2005. 
  14. ^ ACE Completes Acquisition of Combined Insurance Company of America
  15. ^ ACE Agree to Acquire Personal Lines Business of the Atlantic Companies
  16. ^ "ACE Limited Announces Proposed Re-Domestication of Holding Company from Cayman Islands to Switzerland". Bnet. 19 Mar 2008. 
  17. ^ ACE Limited Announces Completion of Re-Domestication of Holding Company from Cayman Islands to Switzerland
  18. ^ "BP hires company to handle oil spill claims whose goal is "reducing payouts" for clients". southernstudies.org. 10 Jun 2010. 
  19. ^ ESIS Deepwater Horizon Incident Response
  20. ^ ACE to acquire Rain and Hail Insurance Service, Inc. in $1.1 billion transaction
  21. ^ "ACE Limited acquires Rain and Hail Insurance Service". 2010-09-14. 
  22. ^ "ACE Wraps Up Rain and Hail Buy". 2010-12-29. 
  23. ^ ACE to Acquire Penn Millers
  24. ^ [1]
  25. ^ [2]
  26. ^ [3]
  27. ^ "Spitzer Sues Marsh & McLennan". badfaithinsurance.org. 10 Oct 2004. 
  28. ^ "N.Y. Attorney General Spitzer Targets Insurance Broker Compensation Agreements". insurancejournal.com. 23 Apr 2004. 
  29. ^ "N.Y. Attorney General Spitzer Sues Marsh Over Contingent Commissions". insurancejournal.com. 25 Oct 2004. 
  30. ^ "Spitzer Says Insurance Broker Fees Fueled 'Improper Practices'". Business Week. 17 Feb 2010. 
  31. ^ Valdmanis, Thor (4 Nov 2004). "Ace fires two executives, suspends three". USA Today. 
  32. ^ "Chief of Ace Unit Resigns". New York Times. 10 Jun 2006. 
  33. ^ "Finite Reinsurance Probes Appear Infinite". insurancejournal.com. 9 May 2009. 
  34. ^ "NEW CINGULAR WIRELESS HEADQUARTERS LLC et al v. MARSH & MCLENNAN COMPANIES INC". ACE Insurance Litigation Watch. 25 Oct 2006. 

External links[edit]