Liberty Mutual pursuing Quinn

You’ll recall Quinn is the property-casualty arm of the rags-to-riches Irish industrialist Sean Quinn that regulators took over when it learned the insurer had guaranteed €1.2 billion in debts elsewhere in the conglomerate. [The guarantees meant those assets couldn’t support insurance liabilities at the same time.] The company apparently undercharged in some lines, and had a nontrivial deficiency. Background, including more links, here.

More than 40 companies have taken a sniff, but Liberty is the first I’ve seen to make a public announcement.

Liberty is one of the biggest p/c insurers in the United States – profits last year of $315 million out of $8.2 billion revenues, meaning that it should be able to absorb any of the mop-up work. And I’ve always thought of it as a strong actuarial shop, so finding people to set the right rate shouldn’t be a problem.

Quinn is a significant player in the UK markets and Liberty has minimal activity in that area. That’s important to the 1,500 or so people who remain at the insurer, who would be less likely to lose their jobs as a result.

Details are all over the internet; here’s the search I did if you want to poke around more.

Irish Times points out that Liberty’s chairman, Ted Kelly, was born in Armagh. He wouldn’t be the first executive I’ve heard of to feel the auld sod tug on his heartstrings.

(h/t Reinsurancemag on twitter)

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