Berkshire invests millions in Torus
Looking to fund its ongoing expansion efforts, Torus Insurance Holdings Ltd received a capital infusion of $100 million from Berkshire Hathaway Inc. The specialty insurer says that it has received funding from National Indemnity Co., a commercial insurance unit of Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway, according to Businessinsurance.com.
The Berkshire outlay coincided with an additional round of funding provided by existing shareholders and private equity firms, First Reserve Corp. and Corsair Capital LLC, a Torus spokeswoman says. While terms of the transaction were not released, sources confirmed that the Berkshire infusion ranged from $80 million to $100 million. Torus began operations in 2008 with $720 million in equity funding from First Reserve.
“We are delighted that Berkshire Hathaway has invested in Torus,”
Group CEO Clive Tobin said in a statement. “This is part of an expanding relationship with one of the most respected companies in our industry.” He adds the investment affirmed the specialty insurer and reinsurer’s global development goal.
Torus has substantially repositioned its business in the past two years. In September 2011, Torus said it would acquire Lloyd’s of London syndicate 1301, which underwrites direct and facultative property, accident and health business. In December 2011, Torus acquired the renewal rights to CV Starr & Co.’s continental European business. Torus also sold its renewal rights of its property catastrophe reinsurance book of business and entered the US surety market during 2011.
US CEO confidence lowest in three years
Finance24 reports that US chief executives’ view of the economy deteriorated sharply in the third quarter and is now as bleak as it was in the immediate aftermath of the last recession, with more planning to cut jobs over the next six months, according to a survey released by the Business Roundtable.
The group’s CEO Economic Outlook Index tumbled to 66 per cent in the third quarter from 89.1 per cent in the second, in the sharpest drop recorded in the survey’s decade-long history. Confidence fell to its lowest point since the third quarter of 2009, when the US had just emerged from its worst recession in 80 years, but remained above the 50 mark, separating growth from decline.
Among US CEOs, 34 per cent expect to cut jobs in the United States over the next six months, up from 20 per cent a quarter ago. Thirty per cent plan to raise capital spending, down from 43 per cent. Over that time period, 58 per cent expect their sales to rise 34 per cent, down from the previous survey’s 75 per cent.
The weak economy and stubbornly high unemployment are shaping up to be key elements in voters’ choice between incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Thehe survey comes less than twowo months ahead of the US presidentialresidential election, in which the weakeak economy and stubbornly high unemploymentnemployment are shaping up to bee key elements in voters’ choice betweenetween incumbent Democratic Presidentresident Barack Obama and Republicanepublican challenger Mitt Romney.
Investorsvestors will get a more detailed lookok at corporate confidence next monthonth when top US companies includingcluding Alcoa, JPMorgan Chase andnd General Electric report quarterlyuarterly results. The survey of 13838 CEOs was conducted from 30 Augustugust to 14 September.