week commencing 09/05/21:

This week nobody fell off their chair with surprise as it was announced that Gallagher was acquiring the Willis Towers Watson assets that will open the regulatory door to their merger with Aon.  Elsewhere there was a batch of strong results, giving the sense that insurers have at last put coronavirus behind them, and are beginning to recover financially.

Aon agrees sale of WTW assets to Gallagher

Aon has won in principle agreement from the EU to sell Willis Re, plus other notable WTW assets to AJ Gallagher, in exchange for approval of its merger with Willis Towers Watson. External-link. [Slipcase] The move led to subsequent reports that the US DoJ was likely to fall in line with the EU and also approve the deal. External-link. [The Insurer] Fitch Ratings also gave tacit approval by maintaining its ratings for both Aon and WTW once the deal was announced. External-link. [Reinsurance News]

AIG reports strong results

AIG reported an improvement in COR and profits in its results this week. External-link. [Intelligent Insurer] Its CEO, Peter Zaffino, also commented that he expects to see margins improve through the next eighteen months. External-link. [Reinsurance News]

Cyber hackers shut US oil pipeline

Corporate cyber security made global headlines this week, as one of the biggest oil pipelines in the US was closed by hackers. External-link. [BBC]

Lemonade leakage

Investment firm Muddy Waters Research LLC has claimed that insurtech firm Lemonade has a security flaw that could end in costly legal and regulatory breaches. If true, the allegations mean that Lemonade would likely be in violation of European GDPR rules, as well as various cyber security requirements in the US. External-link [Reinsurance News]

Florida renewals look subdued

Reinsurance renewals firm order terms are coming in slightly under expectations this week, with rates settling down slightly after the coronavirus-driven increases of last year. External-link. [Insurance Insider]

Virtual BIBA struggles with technology

MP John Glen was the headline speaker at the virtual BIBA event this week which had to be extended by a day after technology glitches limited broker access to networking spaces. External-link. [Post Online]

Beazley announces strong Q1 results

Beazley announced premium rates increased 16% in Q1 and is celebrating renewal rates “well ahead of expectations”, as it underwrote gross premium of $971m. External-link. [Insurance Day]

ABI signs up for UN sustainability principles

The Association of British Insurers has become a signatory to the Environment Programme’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative, described as the biggest collaboration between the United Nations and the insurance industry. It aims to strengthen the industry’s contribution as risk managers, insurers, and investors to building resilient, inclusive, and sustainable communities and economies. External-link. [Insurance Business]

200 years of typos

Famous for its typos, the Guardian has published a celebration of some its best, a must-read for anyone who spends time proofreading. External-link. [The Guardian]

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