Platinum Underwriters Holdings, Ltd.’s first full quarter of independent operation since its initial public offering last October got off to a good start. The company reported net income of $30.6 million, or $0.71 per common share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2003. It also announced that Gregory E.A. Morrison will take over from Jerome T. Fadden as CEO, effective June 1.
The St. Paul companies formed Platinum last year in a spin-off of the company’s reinsurance operations. It operates independently from headquarters in Bermuda, and has joined the growing list of the island’s companies reporting positive earnings results. Platinum reported that first-quarter net premiums written were $360.1 million and net premiums earned were $238.1 million, while it earned $14.2 million from investments.
Board Chairman Steven H. Newman commented: “We are very pleased with Platinum’s financial performance during its first full quarter of operations. Our underwriting results were driven by our property segment, which benefited from the absence of major catastrophes. We also achieved a modest underwriting profit in our casualty segment where market conditions continue to improve. The overall performance of our diversified underwriting portfolio was outstanding.”
Platinum’s first-quarter GAAP combined ratio was 87.2%, “reflecting losses and loss adjustment expenses of $138.8 million, or 58.3% of net premiums earned; acquisition expenses of $51.7 million, or 21.7% of net premiums earned and underwriting expenses of $17.2 million, or 7.2% of net premiums earned, said the bulletin. “Net premiums written for Platinum’s property, casualty and finite risk segments were $117.8 million, $113.7 million and $128.6 million, respectively. Combined ratios for these segments were 75.2%, 99.8% and 88.7%, respectively.”
Platinum also announced that Gregory E.A. Morrison will take over as President and CEO effective June 1, 2003. He replaces Jerome T. Fadden, who as President and CEO of Platinum’s predecessor, St. Paul Re, was one of the leaders of the formation of Platinum. He joined St. Paul Re in March 2002 and “played a critical role in Platinum’s initial public offering,” said the announcement. Fadden, who intends to “pursue private equity investment opportunities in the financial services sector,” has agreed to provide consulting services to the Company through the end of 2003.
The announcement noted that Morrison joins Platinum from London Reinsurance Group Inc. (LRG), a Canadian reinsurance company that he founded in 1989. He served as President and CEO, and as Chairman of operating subsidiaries in the United States, Barbados and Ireland. He has also been named President and CEO of Platinum’s Bermuda subsidiary.
Newman stated, “I am very pleased to welcome Greg Morrison as Platinum’s new Chief Executive Officer. Greg is a distinguished reinsurance executive who has compiled an outstanding record at London Reinsurance. His considerable talents are a great fit with our needs at this time.”
He also thanked “Fadden for the important role he played in the formation of Platinum, its initial public offering and in establishing our company as a leading property and casualty reinsurer. Through his efforts and dedication we are now well positioned to capitalize on the attractive underwriting opportunities available in today’s market. We wish him every success in the future.”
Morrison stated: “I am honored to be given the opportunity to lead Platinum at this exciting time in its development and in our industry. The Company has accomplished a great deal in its short history and has a leading position in several market segments. I look forward to working with Steve Newman, Michael Price and the entire Platinum team to achieve our shared objectives.”
In a separate action the company announced that Neill A. Currie has been appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors. Platinum said that Currie “was nominated to serve on the Board by RenaissanceRe Holdings, Ltd.” which owns 9.2% of Platinum’s outstanding common shares. He served as a Sr. VP at RenRe from 1993 to 1997, and is a former Chairman of the Bermuda Independent Underwriters Association. He is currently CEO of The Currie Company, a private investment and reinsurance consulting firm.
Newman added: “Neill Currie is an outstanding addition to Platinum’s Board of Directors. He brings to Platinum experience, integrity and a vision for the future of our business. We look forward to the contributions he will make to our company.”
Platinum also announced that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.08 per common share, payable June 30, 2003 to shareholders of record on June 2, 2003.
The company noted that it has posted a financial supplement that provides additional detail regarding Platinum’s financial performance and that of its various business segments on its website at: www.platinumre.com. It will also hold a teleconference today at 8:30 am Eastern time to discuss its earnings. The teleconference is accessible on the site in “listen only” mode, or by calling 800-289-0436 (US callers) or 913-981-5507 (international callers).
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