Montpelier Re Holdings Ltd., the Bermuda-based reinsurer founded by White Mountains, announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a policy of quarterly cash dividends to shareholders.
The first quarterly dividend of $0.34 per common share will be payable on January 15th, 2004, to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 31, 2003.
President and CEO Anthony Taylor commented: “In the registration statement for our initial public offering we said that we would aim to maximize sustainable long-term growth in shareholder value. One of our key strategies for doing so is to manage capital prudently. Since our inception, our business model has produced published returns well above the consensus estimates. Our decision to initiate a dividend policy reflects our confidence in Montpelier’s continuing ability to generate strong earnings and cash flow to support the planned growth in our core lines of business in 2004.
“The business model and our other strategies remain unchanged,” he continued. “We will continue our disciplined underwriting in the attractive short tail property and specialty lines. We will also continue to operate from a single seat of operations here in Bermuda and focus on bottom line returns, and will not pursue growth for growth’s sake.”
CFO Tom Kemp noted: “Today’s announcement confirms Montpelier’s previously announced commitment to maximize shareholders’ total sustainable return through prudent capital management as well as through disciplined underwriting. Our first dividend represents a considerable cash yield to our shareholders, and we intend to continue to enhance the return to our shareholders while growing our business.”
He added that the company “intends to undertake a further review of its capital requirements once a clearer picture of the January renewal season emerges. This is expected to take place early in 2004.”
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