A matter of improving Insurance company balance sheets
I'm already out of VRSK with a profit, waiting for a re-entry point after this Q's earnings report. Do you know whether or when these additional shares will hit the market, or have they already? It would explain the recent softness.
Forced or unload sale, same difference. The insurance companies needed cash pretty badly (some were asking for TARP), WEB did not. Why sell a steady business with high profit margins and a locked-in customer base if you aren't hurting? So I'll go with WEB's judgment here. Plus, the insurance companies now can mark their remaining shares to a defensible market amount instead of some phantom "mark" they can't explain or justify. That does pretty up their balance sheets, even though they've lost a profitable asset in the process.
Sure looks like it helped Traveler's bottom line. "Investment income, after taxes, rose to $456 million from $291 million a year earlier. Investment results were the highest since the fourth quarter of 2007, helped by private equity and hedge fund gains.
The company's investment income was helped by the initial public offering of Verisk Analytics Inc (VRSK.O), an insurance services firm in which Travelers owns a stake. That IPO raised $1.9 billion in October."