Topic: Reinsurance

Ninth Circuit Finds Evident Partiality In Arbitrator’s Failure To Investigate Potential Conflicts Arising From New Employment

Recently, in New Regency Productions, Inc. v. Nippon Herald Films, Inc., No. 05-55224 (9th Cir. Sept. 4, 2007), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a district court’s vacatur of an arbitration award based upon evident partiality of the arbitrator, holding that an arbitrator has a duty to investigate possible conflicts arising from new employment and an obligation to disclose that employment to the parties. 

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European Commission Issues Final Report on Business Insurance Industry

Over two years ago, the European Commission (“EC”) initiated an inquiry into the state of competition in the European Union (“EU”) business insurance industry.  In explaining the purpose of the inquiry, the EC notes in its Final Report that “[t]aking into account indications that competition in this sector within the common market may be restricted or distorted, the sector inquiry aimed at further investigating the sector and the practices concerned with a view to ultimately identifying any concrete restrictive practices or distortions of competition that may fall within the scope of Articles 81 or 82 of the Treaty.” 

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Reinsurance Reports: Stabilized Market; Softening of Prices

The reports, studies and opinions about the reinsurance market for 2008 have continued to emanate from Monte Carlo over the past two weeks.  Aon and Guy Carpenter released reports timed to the Monte Carlo Reinsurance Rendezvous, which indicate that the reinsurance market stabilized in 2007, with capacity increasing to meet the increased demands in 2006 arising after the large catastrophes of 2005 and prior years. 

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Subprime Lending Unlikely to Impact Reinsurance Sector: Rating Agency

According to a recent report from credit rating agency Fitch Ratings, subprime lending exposure is not expected to present a significant rating issue for the reinsurance sector.  Noting that reinsurers typically seek to generate underwriting income rather than spread-based income, Fitch observes that most reinsurers have avoided heavy investments in subprime mortgage-backed securities. 

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