Top Stock Picks for H2, 2014: A Wall Street Transcript Interview with Meyer Shields, Managing Director, Covering the Insurance Brokers and Small and Midcap Property and Casualty Insurers for Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc.

Wall Street Transcript

67 WALL STREET, New York - June 11, 2014 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published its Insurance Report offering a timely review of the sector to serious investors and industry executives. This special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs, Equity Analysts and Money Managers. The full issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

Topics covered: Low Profitability and Low Interest Rates - Commercial Line Brokers and Underwriters - Consolidation Trends - Emerging Market Expansion - Analysis Of Personal, Commercial & Reinsurance Subsectors

Companies include: Progressive Corp. (PGR), The Travelers Companies, Inc. (TRV), American International Group, (AIG), Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK-A), XL Capital Ltd. (XL), Brown & Brown Inc. (BRO) and many others.

In the following excerpt from the Insurance Report, an expert analyst discusses the outlook for the sector for investors:

TWST: Broadly, which segment within insurance are you most positive about at this point and why?

Mr. Shields: The insurance brokers, and the reason is that we seem to be seeing signs of widespread growth in the economy, both domestically and in a number of countries internationally. And that is good news for the insurance brokers, because it basically means there will be more things to insure, more occurrence of risk, and they tend to get paid on the basis of premium volumes, and if there is more gross domestic product available then there will be more premium dollars, and therefore more commission dollars and more earnings.

TWST: Conversely, which segment would you advise investors to either avoid or take a wait-and-see approach to investing?

Mr. Shields: I want to be careful when I answer this. Certainly I think it's well-understood that pricing in the reinsurance realm in general, and property and casualty reinsurance in particular, is under sustained pressure, but I think people understand that. So what I would say is that probably the personal auto sector is the area where we're most cautious relative to investor expectations.

TWST: You just mentioned pricing for reinsurance. What's happening in the pricing environments for the other segments, and what's your outlook for pricing in the second half of 2014?

For more of this interview and many others visit the Wall Street Transcript - a unique service for investors and industry researchers - providing fresh commentary and insight through verbatim interviews with CEOs, portfolio managers and research analysts. This special issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

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