Markel CATCo CEO Belisle, Directors acquire more London fund shares


Tony Belisle, CEO of Markel CATCo Investment Management Ltd. and a number of Directors of the managers London-listed retrocessional reinsurance strategy, have acquired more shares in the fund yesterday.

Belisle acquired another half a million Depositary Interests in the C Shares class of the CATCo Reinsurance Opportunities Fund yesterday, adding to purchases he made in the retro fund vehicle back in May and June.

We reported at the time that Belisle had acquired 1 million Ordinary shares in listed retrocessional reinsurance fund, the CATCo Reinsurance Opportunities Fund in May and then acquired another 500,000 shares in the C Class in June.

Belisle then followed that up with another acquisition of a further 1,000,000 Ordinary shares in the fund, taking the total purchased at the time to 2 million in that share class, alongside 500,000 C Shares purchased.

Now Belisle has added another 500,000 Depository Interests in the C Share class, which are the newly issued shares from 2018 that are not exposed to the legacy catastrophe losses and hurricanes of 2017, taking the holdings purchased in that share class in recent months to 1 million.

Other Directors have also acquired shares yesterday, with Non-executive Chairman of the Board James Keyes acquiring 100,000 Depositary Interests in the C Shares class and fellow Non-Exec Director Margaret Gadow acquiring 50,000 Depositary Interests in the C Shares.

Depository Interests enable investors to hold their shares in electronic form, or acquire them through a secondary market, giving beneficial ownership of the underlying common shares and can typically be converted into common shares at any time.

This could just be executives exercising options to buy shares that they have earned in the course of their duties, but it does underscore the confidence CEO Belisle and others have in the Markel CATCo retrocessional reinsurance investment strategy.

The valuations for the shares remain lower than they perhaps should be at this time, having done so since the announcement of the fund bolstering its reserves for 2017 catastrophe losses by another 19.5% of net asset value.

But these purchases further help to demonstrate Belisle’s and other executives alignment with the investors in the fund, at a time when the shares would likely face some level of recovery if the rest of 2018 remains relatively loss free for the strategy.

Belisle’s buying into the fund is generally seen as an effort to align his interests with those of his investors at a time when the management’s confidence in the strategy and portfolio underwritten for 2018 remains strong.

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