Best Affirms Validus Re Swiss, Bermuda & Holdings Ratings; Outlook Stable

February 25, 2014

A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of ‘A’ (Excellent) and issuer credit rating (ICR) of “a” of Validus Reinsurance, Ltd., (Validus Re – Bermuda) and Validus Reinsurance (Switzerland) Ltd. (VRS), as well as the ICR of “bbb” and debt ratings of the parent company, Bermuda-based Validus Holdings, Ltd. The outlook for all of the ratings is stable.

The ratings reflect “Validus Re’s strong risk-adjusted capitalization, solid historical operating performance through a variety of market conditions, experienced management team, excellent enterprise risk management program and prudent operating strategies,” Best explained.

“The company’s consistent positive operating results demonstrate the capability of providing results that are at the high end of its peer group. Validus Re has the expertise and capacity to write diverse books of business globally. Further supporting the ratings is the support of Validus Holdings, which provides financial flexibility as a publicly traded company on the New York Stock Exchange.”

As partial offsetting factors Best cited “Validus Re’s exposure to high severity events as a property catastrophe-focused reinsurer and the increased competition from capital markets in this space.” The report added, however, that the “company’s risk-adjusted capital remains at levels that have been stress tested to absorb significant catastrophe losses mitigating this concern.”

In addition Best pointed out that “Validus Re has enhanced the business profile of the group by diversifying its revenues to include other lines of business, spreading risk exposures geographically and expanding distribution channels, which has increased its client base and scale.”

Best said the stable outlook reflects its “expectation that the group will continue to produce favorable long-term operating results and maintain excellent risk-adjusted capitalization, which remains supportive of its current rating level.

“Rating factors that could lead to an upgrading of the ratings and/or a positive outlook would be the continuation of long-term, consistently strong operating profitability relative to Validus Re’s peer group and maintaining a strong risk-adjusted capital level.

“Rating factors that could lead to a downgrading of the ratings and/or a revision of the outlook to negative include outsized catastrophe or investment losses relative to its peer group, unfavorable operating profitability trends and a significant decline in risk-adjusted capital that would not be supportive of the current rating level.”

The following debt rating has been affirmed:

Validus Holdings, Ltd.—

– “bbb” on $250 million 8.875% senior unsecured notes, due January 2040

The following indicative ratings for securities available under the shelf registration have been affirmed:

Validus Holdings, Ltd.—

– “bbb” on senior unsecured debt

– “bbb-” on subordinated debt

– “bb+” on preferred stock

Source: A.M. Best

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