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Berkshire Hathaway, Swiss Re

Berkshire Hathaway has acquired a 3 percent stake in Swiss Re. Swiss Re has also entered into a reinsurance contract with Berkshire Hathaway which will give it a share of Swiss Re’s property/casualty business.

Swiss Re said that the capital released as a result of this reinsurance contract will be used to buy back shares.

Berkshire Hathaway reported that it holds 3.03 percent of the voting rights of Swiss Re, which it acquired through its subsidiary Columbia Insurance Co.

Under a proportional reinsurance contract, Berkshire Hathaway will assume a 20 percent share of all Swiss Re’s property/casualty business for the next five years effective as of Jan. 1, 2008. This will lead to a reduction in the capital deployed in Swiss Re’s P/C business.

USI, Webster Bank

USI Holdings Corp. has acquired Webster Insurance, Inc., from Webster Financial Corp., the holding company for Webster Bank, N.A. The parties also signed marketing agreement to provide expanded products and services to their respective clients.

Webster Insurance, based in Meriden, Conn., is expected to contribute approximately $26 million in revenues to USI on an annual basis.

Webster Financial Corp. will retain Webster Risk Services, a third-party workers’ compensation administrator.

Webster Insurance is one of the largest middle-market insurance brokerage firms in New England with offices in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

USI is headquartered in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. and operates in 18 states.

Donegal Mutual, Atlantic States

Donegal Group Inc., based in Marietta, Pa., is moving to amend the inter-company pooling agreement between Donegal Mutual and Atlantic States Insurance Co., its largest insurance subsidiary. Subject to approval by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, the proposed amendment will increase Atlantic States’ share of the inter-company pool from 70 percent to 80 percent effective March 1, 2008.

Brown & Brown, LDP Consulting

Florida-based insurance agency Brown & Brown has acquired LDP Consulting Group, Inc., of New Jersey. LDP, with annualized revenues of approximately $12.8 million, specializes in selling employee benefits, with a target market of school districts.

NSM Insurance, Clean Streets

NSM Insurance Group in Conshohocken, Pa. has acquired the Pavement Maintenance Insurance Agency, program administrator for the Clean Streets Program. The Clean Streets Program, based in Brewster, N.Y., targets power sweeping, line striping, seal coating, catch basin services and paving/pavement resurfacing.

J.C. Flowers, Direct Response Corp.

Connecticut has approved a deal that makes private equity firm J.C. Flowers & Co the largest investor in Meriden-based Direct Response Corp. DRC is the holding company for The Response Insurance Group, a direct-to-consumer auto insurer with customers in 42 states and Washington D.C.


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