W. R. Berkley Corp. Begins Public Offering

February 9, 2001

Greenwich, Conn.-based W. R. Berkley Corporation announced the commencement of a public offering of 2,700,000 shares of its common stock, proceeds from which are to be used to provide additional capital for its insurance subsidiaries and for general corporate purposes. The company reported that the offering is being lead-managed by Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation and is being co-managed by Merrill Lynch & Co. and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter.

In addition, the W.R. Berkley granted underwriters an option to purchase up to 405,000 additional shares to cover over-allotments. A shelf registration statement relating to these securities has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and has become effective.

W.R. Berkley indicated that the announcement was not an offer to sell the securities Furthermore, the company stated it is not soliciting an offer to buy the securities in any state where the offer or sale is not permitted.

For management purposes, the operating units of holding company W. R. Berkley are grouped into five segments according to market served: Regional Property Casualty Insurance; Reinsurance; Specialty Insurance; Alternative Markets; and International.

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