Monday, 8 September 2008

Notes from the John Street Club Luncheon - New York, Sept 5th

Talking about the soft market:

John Keogh, head of ACE Overseas pointed out that beyond continued overcapacity, rates won’t change while carriers are cash flow positive in a soft market. But that when cash dries up they will have a panic and topping up balance sheets now will not be as easy as in 2005. John thought we’re probably 2 years away from the bottom.

Greg Flood, head of IronPro, echoed those thoughts and noted that the soft market will be strengthened after the end of the releasing of reserves but also pointed out that subprime is percolating and is major, even beyond the D&O market for financial institutions.

Talking about industry M&A activity:

Bill Malloy of Private Equity firm Aquiline Capital talking about actively looking for new investments but finding the challenge in valuations, focused on “distribution space” saying that 1-2% growth doesn’t sustain their desired valuations of 8-10x EBITDA.

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