According to today's edition of Trading Risk, 2007 Catastrophe Bond issuance was 49% above 2006 issuance and 251% above 2005 issuance.
Also in the news today, Lehman Brothers, which reports (here) 70% market share in issuance of US Life Insurance, Reg XXX/AXXX/Embedded Value insurance linked securities and claims to be the "leading trader of catastrophe bonds in the secondary market", hired Stephen Matanle from Marsh.
Steve was very senior at Marsh and had a long and distinguished career of 32 years with Marsh including (from the press release) "the role of Global Placement Leader. He had previously been Chairman and CEO of Marsh Global Broking."
Last fall Lehman launched Libero Ventures which markets itself as leading the charge in "Reinsurance Financing" which it defines here. The main points of differentiation are in the structure (cedants can opt for multi-year deals and take an equity stake in the Notes created by Lehman) and the origination (Lehman Re acting as principal to speed the process).
As Michael Spencer, ICAP's founder and CEO, pointed out in Trading Risk, the secondary market for these instruments must become more liquid, but tapping Matanle and his proven deal-making ability is big news for Lehman and the whole new issue market of insurance-linked securities.