Trenwick in Deal with Berkshire Hathaway for Lloyd’s Support

November 5, 2002

Bermuda-based Trenwick Group Ltd. announced that it has concluded an agreement with National Indemnity Company, a member of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway group, to provide Trenwick’s Lloyd’s Syndicate 839 with £100 million ($156 million) for the 2003 year of account.

National provided £62.5 million ($97.5 million) to Syndicate 839 last year. Trenwick also said that Berkshire Hathaway has agreed to provide a qualifying quota share reinsurance facility of £30 million ($46.8 million) to Syndicate 839 for the 2003 year of account. “The capital shall be applied to the aviation insurance segment of Syndicate 839’s business,” said the bulletin.

Michael Watson, Chairman of Trenwick Managing Agents, stated that he was “delighted that Berkshire Hathaway has again agreed to be our business partner for 2003. We believe that market conditions in Syndicate 839’s lines of business will continue to be favorable next year and Berkshire Hathaway’s capacity ensures that we can offer continuity for our clients in 2003.”

In September National’s parent agreed to provide an additional $93 million to increase the capacity of Syndicate 839, and an additional $119 million through a quota share treaty.

Berkshire’s continued support should be welcome news for Trenwick, which has undertaken a review of its reserves and is restructuring. It also faces deadlines to renew and extend some $230 million in letters of credit later this month. The company recently announced an arrangement with Chubb Corp. for its reinsurance business (See IJ Website October 28), and announced that it would cease writing U.S. program business (See IJ Website Nov.1)

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