Gen Re Invited to Apply for Reinsurance License in China; CEO Receives Marco Polo Award

November 18, 2003

General Re, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., announced that the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) has invited the company to apply for a national reinsurance license to conduct both life and property/casualty business throughout China.

It also announced that Chairman and CEO Joseph P. Brandon, has been “presented with the prestigious Marco Polo Award, which is given to those individuals and organizations who have made contributions to the Sino-U.S. exchange of talent and expertise.” He received the honor from Mr. Wan Xueyuan, Director of State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The announcement noted that Gen Re “has been active throughout Asia for many years, with offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Taipei, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo.” It has also been doing business in China as an offshore reinsurer working with all of the leading Chinese insurers. “However, once Gen Re has a national reinsurance license in China, the Company will be able to accept premiums in Renminbi, which will enable more efficient and convenient transactions for clients throughout the region,” said the bulletin.

It went on to describe the Marco Polo Award as recognizing “the most visionary corporate friends of China,” according to its sponsor, the U.S.-China Foundation for International Exchanges of San Francisco. The Chinese government established the award in 1987 to foster cooperation between the two countries. Recipients are chosen from “those who play a significant role in China’s economic development and who demonstrate a humanitarian commitment to improving Chinese society. It remains the highest honor given to a foreign business leader.”

Past recipients include President George H. W. Bush; Raymond Gilmartin, Chairman and CEO of Merck, Inc.; Ralph S. Larson, former Chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson; and Alex Trotman, former Chairman and CEO of Ford Motor Company.

“I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of General Re and all of our associates worldwide. We are truly honored to be recognized by such an esteemed organization,” Brandon stated. “I am very excited to celebrate our progress in the region with a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People and look forward to building stronger relationships throughout China now that we will be filing for a national reinsurance license.”

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