Aon Corp. and Zurich Financial Services will sponsor and partially fund, Endurance Specialty Insurance Ltd., a new Bermuda-based insurance capacity vehicle with an initial capitalization of $1.2 billion.
Each of the sponsors has committed $200 million to the venture and they expect “several other parties” to join them. Endurance is the latest entry in the race to fill an expected capacity shortage after the attacks of Sept. 11. it will specialize in commercial property and casualty insurance and reinsurance.
Aon, which had already announced that it would augment its property/casualty activities through the spin-off of Combined Specialty Corporation, has now taken a further step into underwriting. CEO Patrick Ryan indicated that Combined Specialty will become a minority shareholder in Endurance; he also tapped Ken LeStrange, who will move from his post at Combined Specialty, to become the new CEO of Endurance.
Endurance joins a number of new Bermuda-based insurance companies, including the most recent entry by White Mountains (See IJ Website, Nov.11); Arch Re (See IJ Website, Oct.25), RenRe and State Farm’s Da Vinci Re (See IJ Website, Oct.10), and the first one following Sept. 11, MarshMac’s AXIS Specialty.