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Everest can lean in if opportunities emerge from Vesttoo collateral issue: Williamson


Speaking today, Everest COO and Head of Reinsurance Jim Williamson said the company has the flexibility to lean in to any underwriting opportunities that emerge as a result of the fall-out from collateral issues linked to Vesttoo, although it would see them as secondary in terms of priority to its core focus.

jim-williamson-everest-reSpeaking during an earnings call held today, Everest’s reinsurance chief highlighted that, while his company remains focused on building out its core franchise, it would be open to writing business for cedents that have a collateral problem, or a desire to shift to a new provider, referring to issues related to Vesttoo facilitated transactions.

An analyst asked about the headlines surrounding collateralized casualty reinsurance, and whether the Everest executive team were already seeing cedents looking to replace covers with high-quality reinsurers, or if this is something that we should expect to see in the near future.

Williamson took the questions and said, “We are definitely hearing a lot of chatter around the topics, particularly given some recent events. You’ve seen some dislocation in a variety of parts, particularly in the fronting market.”

He went on to say, “Look, what I would say to that is, obviously we’re opportunistic, we have the flexibility. If there’s an interesting opportunity that emerges that gives us an opportunity to earn great returns, we’d certainly take it.

“But our priority remains building franchise positions with the best global underwriters over time.”

Despite the core focus at Everest, it seems the reinsurer would not be adverse to looking at any opportunities that emerge though.

Williamson said, “That means that’s where our focus is, and we don’t get distracted by some of the noise that might exist around a particular opportunity.

“Even though we are ready to lean into it should should those opportunities come our way.”

Also read:

July 27th – Vesttoo issue shows importance of sound counterparty risk practices: DBRS.

July 27th – Beazley CEO on Vesttoo: We would look to replace cover & recover premium.

July 26th – Clear Blue rating under review with negative implications on Vesttoo issues.

July 25th – Vesttoo: Updated statement says appears “procedures were circumvented”.

July 25th – AM Best to review fronting collateral in light of Vesttoo news.

July 25th – Fronting company Obsidian says Vesttoo exposure “de minimus”.

July 24th – Clear Blue: No material rating impact from Vesttoo issue. Reinsurance may be required.

July 21st – Vesttoo: Multiple LOCs from one bank in focus. Failure of security controls or KYC?

July 20th – MS Transverse: Any exposure to Vesttoo LOC collateral issues “immaterial”.

July 20th – Vesttoo: Collateral damage.

July 19th – Vesttoo: New report claims significant amount of forged LOCs. The question is how?

July 18th – Vesttoo faces fraudulent collateral claim. Confirms investigation, exit of some leaders.

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