Zurich Sells Stake in Endurance Specialty

Zurich Financial Services (ZFS) announced that it has sold its direct interest in Endurance Specialty Insurance Ltd. to the company’s Bermuda-based holding company for $100 million.

ZFS and Aon Corp. founded Endurance late last year in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, with an original capital of $1.2 billion from the two companies and a number of outside investors. It’s headed by Ken LeStrange, one of the most respected figures in the reinsurance industry.

Although ZFS will retain an indirect investment in the holding company though an investment fund, its withdrawal underlines its new commitment to reestablish its capital base, after posting a huge $2 billion loss for the first half of 2002.

The company plans to raise $5 billion, half of it through a rights issue, and the rest from the sale of non-core assets.