Is it just coincidence, or is there a connection between the suicides of the former CFO and CEO? I doubt we'll ever know. However, an insurance organization, like Zurich, is built on trust, and that is something these type events don't foster. Despite the stock being cheap with a high yield, I'll stay on the sidelines.
IMO, the share price of Validus Holdings is poised to move higher. As a leader in the short-tail reinsurance market, this company should benefit from a bottoming in pricing, which is in the process of occurring. Moreover, the underwriter's recent moves into the direct insurance business, through its purchase of Western World and the establishment of Talbot MGU in the US, should add to incremental growth and assist its stock price valuation. Finally, the company is committed to significant returns of capital to its shareholders, allocating all of its 2016 operating earnings to share repurchases. This double-digit return entity should be selling at a much higher premium to book value, IMO, and I anticipate such a result over the next 12 months.
Read the 8K SEC filing at Baldwin & Lyons and observe the way a management transition shouldn't be done. The letters/e-mails paint a real soap opera scenario. It's hard to believe these moves will be well received. I wonder where the share price will settle out?
Why would Jamie Dimon, Chairman & CEO, do such a dumb thing as to call the President of the Community Bankers' Association a "JERK"? Albeit he didn't do this directly, saying the person who wrote an article he didn't like was a "jerk". That person just happened to be the President of the Community Bankers' Association. And even if he is a "jerk", is this a wise thing to say when you want to make peace with community banks around the nation? I have great respect for Jamie Dimon as a businessperson. However, I do think that on occasion he shoots from the hip, and that gets him into trouble. For example, when he spoke too soon about the "Whale" trade debacle and called it a "tempest in a teapot". I wouldn't call a multi-billion dollar loss a minor blemish, even for JPM. Moreover, it certainly didn't speak to having a terrific control environment that is the company's call to fame. In any event, anyone who heads a firm that is in everyone's crosshairs had better watch their "Ps & Qs".
It is nice to observe someone who apparently knows what he is talking about. I don't disagree with anything you've written. However, this current turmoil in the insurance marketplace presents WRB with many opportunities to garner outstanding human resources, and the p-c business is, after all, a people business. I, too, am a long-term bull on Berkley stock even if the price goes nowhere for the short run.
As someone who maintains close ties to the p-c insurance industry, I find it very troubling that I am constantly hearing disturbing things about AIG. People are telling me things like the place is in chaos or that it is increasingly difficult to do business with the company. Moreover, the fallout of human resources from the company appears to be a torrent. Almost everyday in the financial press I am reading about the departure or hire of a senior "former" AIG executive. I can't see how the loss of so much institutional knowledge is a good thing for this insurer. Most of these folks are going to AIG competitors in one firm or another, and they will attempt to utilize their relationships and industry knowledge to move business away from their former employer. Anyone who believes that this company can pull off its restructuring strategy without any bumps in the road is likely being overly optimistic, IMO.