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First this was only a brain teaser for me but I will get the annual accounts of AHL and some captives and dig a little deeper. The captives do receive premiums but the losses provisions and claims are way higher then the premiums. Equalization reserves are reduced. I only took the most important captives but GI is partially probably right. The holding ACHL booked mm losses on its acquisition costs over and and was recapitalized by contributions in kind for an amount of mm Hi John, Interesting responses from both the company and management today - Stepping back from the nitty gritty of the reinsurance accounting issues, there are a few big questions I have which I'd love your insight on.

How then does the parent company then benefit from acquiring and utilizing these technical reserves allowed only under Luxembourgian GAAP? I can understand if they are using these reserves as a tax shield for profit flowing through Luxembourg, but that doesn't quite seem to be what they are saying I just really don't understand the benefit of these transactions, given that they are far and away the company's most significant acquisitions Really liked the analysis, I'm not super familiar personally with insurance company financials so this was an interesting read.

Is there something more to this? I am surprised you say you had respect for GeoInvesting. GeoInvesting repeatedly pumped Chinese frauds for years. They only jumped on shorting late in the game after it was obvious to almost everyone that these chinese companies were frauds. GeoInvesting record is spotty at best, but basically they have been wrong much more than right. I certainly didn't have any respect for them.

I sent them complaints about pumping chinese frauds and they gave me some b. I wouldn't trust them at all ever. There are other strange things going on in the accounting at AFSI that shows very aggressive accounting to boost current year earnings at expense of future years' adverse development and higher amortization of DAC. You can repeat this exercise each year from , and compare AFSI to peers.

When you look at peers over the same time period, their paid percentage development of original estimated net reserve is falling, not rising. Is there any other explanations for these anomalies? I would love to hear them. Are you at least going to write a mea culpa? You provided poor and not well thought out advise in area where you have little expertise.

Everyone that has dealt with even 1 FDA drug review could have seen the rejection coming a mile away. Yet, you still continue to pretend like you had a fart's clue as to what you were doing. Truth Seeker. Look at the letter to clients. I was long and disagreeing with the FDA. Just so you know someone with integrity - this was a piece published before your slimey comment Any comment on the acquisition of Tower by a private company controlled by Karfunkels?

I am wondering why the acquisition was handled via a privately held company rather than through AFSI. Would seem that the purchase of Tower at a good price as a "corporate opportunity" that should have been given to AFSI rather than a privately held company. Post a Comment. The content contained in this blog represents the opinions of Mr. You should assume Mr. Hempton and his affiliates have positions in the securities discussed in this blog, and such beneficial ownership can create a conflict of interest regarding the objectivity of this blog.

Statements in the blog are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and other factors. Certain information in this blog concerning economic trends and performance is based on or derived from information provided by third-party sources. Hempton does not guarantee the accuracy of such information and has not independently verified the accuracy or completeness of such information or the assumptions on which such information is based.

Such information may change after it is posted and Mr. Hempton is not obligated to, and may not, update it. The commentary in this blog in no way constitutes a solicitation of business, an offer of a security or a solicitation to purchase a security, or investment advice.

In fact, it should not be relied upon in making investment decisions, ever. It is intended solely for the entertainment of the reader, and the author. In particular this blog is not directed for investment purposes at US Persons. Saturday, December 14, The Amtrust "hit-piece": amateur hour short-selling from the once respectable Geoinvesting. Geoinvesting is a bunch of short-sellers who I grew to respect during the great era of picking off Chinese reverse merger scams.

They got several right and the ones that they got wrong notably on Zhongpin they were I believe right on most of the analysis. This is a complicated, high growth, multi-jurisdictional insurance company. For most people a black box. For me it is home turf. Most my career I was a bank and insurance analyst and the first or so posts on this blog are about financial institutions.

Several of the executives have colourful backgrounds and it is in a bunch of difficult, even problematic businesses. The first problem is identified by Geoinvesting. The second not so much. One business that they are in - and one responsible for a large proportion of the growth - is California Workers Compensation, sometimes written and any insurance junky will tell you this is problematic through Managing General Agents.

Other businesses are also difficult, eg life settlements or buying of in-force life-insurance policies, in this case originally written by marginally problematic insurance companies. They are also in the slimey business of offering warranty extensions on electronic goods sold through second tier retailers.

This is a total misunderstanding of what is meant by "ceding losses". To explain I need to explain reinsurance a little though in this case with some help from the very well written Wikipedia article : When an insurance policy is written the insurance company "writer" will recognize as an asset the premium received. They will also recognize a "loss reserve" an amount being the amount they will expect to pay out on the policy over time.

This "loss reserve" is not a loss. Its simply a reserve for future payments. Whether the policy makes a profit or loss will be determined as the decades roll on. This means that the reinsurer will receive that stated percentage of the premiums and will pay the same percentage of claims. In an accounting sense this is called "ceding the loss" and "ceding the premium" to the reinsurer. In addition, the reinsurer will allow a "ceding commission" to the insurer to cover the costs incurred by the insurer marketing, underwriting, claims etc.

This is profoundly amateurish. It must be galling for the management of Amtrust to be accused of reinsurance fraud by someone who does not appear to be able to comprehend the basic Wikipedia article on reinsurance. Life settlements Life settlements are a business with a reputation for scumminess. It is the business of buying life insurance policies for more than their surrender value but less than their face value.

There are legitimate reasons for life settlements. Insurance companies are parsimonious slime-balls on the surrender value of a life insurance policy. They consider surrender a significant source of profit. And some people might want to cash their life insurance policy - for example someone with terminal cancer and big medical bills may wish to cash their life policy so that they have money to pay their bills before they die.

And the insurance company won't offer anything like fair value for a policy which is about to be claimed on. But the reputation for scumminess is also deserved. There were viatical companies who encouraged these men to buy policies which they immediately purchased from them at a premium. Bronte Capital appeared to criticize our report 's content regarding life settlements relating to 1 life expectancies LEs , 2 the discount rate, and 3 Phoenix-issued policies.

Below, we will counter those criticisms in detail. First, we thought it would be helpful to discuss life settlements generally. Bronte said "Surely some of them have died. So far they have not had any trouble collecting - the idea that these policies should be held by AmTrust at pennies on the dollar is ludicrous. The question is not whether AFSI has collected on mortality events to-date it has. When the underlying insured dies early, the life settlement investor gets a windfall.

That doesn't mean that the remaining policies are worth much or anything. The real question to ask in evaluating any company's life settlements is:. What is the probability-adjusted PV of the death benefit, net of the probability-adjusted PV of the premiums the policyholder will have to pay to receive the death benefit? As long as the insurance company issuing the policy hopes to make a profit, the answer to that question should always be less than zero because the insurance company embeds a margin think house advantage at a casino.

In other words, buying an insurance policy is a negative NPV proposition. If someone's health deteriorates gambler gets a hot hand , that policy becomes more valuable and the policyholder could sell it for something in excess of the cash surrender value that the issuer would pay. Now consider a policy issued by an insurance company on a 74 year old person in approximately what AFSI owns see footnote 1.

First, the insurance company is still going to embed a margin to issue the policy. Second, the insurance company is going to think long and hard about the risk of issuing a policy to a 74 year old because that person's life expectancy is obviously short.

As important, the risk of adverse selection is incredibly acute. This is in contrast to the more familiar example of a young family buying a policy on the breadwinner because the risk of losing that person's income would put them at unacceptable risk. In other words, the young family is much less likely to be attempting to "pick off" the insurance company. In addition, an insurance company presented with a wealthy see footnote 2 74 year old is likely going to say:. They're already retired, paid for their kids' college, and can live comfortably should the insured pass-away.

Perhaps, this is a premium-financed policy. If that's the case, I need to lower my lapse assumption because investors are much less likely to voluntarily lapse the policy. Lastly, it's worth noting that AFSI's premium-finance loans almost universally disclosures are vague defaulted.

Had there been any adverse developments in the insured's health, the seemingly wealthy see footnote 3 insured would use their considerable resources to pay off the loan and keep the suddenly very valuable policy instead of allowing AFSI to benefit from the windfall. Bronte contends that AFSI's LE assumptions are not "inherently implausibly low" because the company assumes the average insured will live to an average age of Bronte goes on to say that the company lengthened the average life expectancy which lowers the expected value of the policies, and cited the increase in estimated average age at death of This statement, along with subsequent comments about life settlements, demonstrates Bronte's lack of familiarity with the subject.

According to the VBT table see footnote 4 , if a 77 year old male female assumptions in parentheses with standard life expectancy has an LE of 8. If he she lives for two years, his her LE is not 6. It is approximately 7. Additionally, Bronte appears to have ignored our report's reference to 21st Service's January increase in LEs.

For some assets and liabilities, observable market transactions or market information might be available. For other assets and liabilities, observable market transactions and market information might not be available. However, the objective of a fair value measurement in both cases is the same-to estimate the price at which an orderly transaction to sell the asset or to transfer the liability would take place between market participants at the measurement date under current market conditions that is, an exit price at the measurement date from the perspective of a market participant that holds the asset or owes the liability.

Bronte also countered our concerns about AFSI's Phoenix-issued policies by stating that Phoenix "looks like it will survive". As proof, Bronte said the "regulator is even allowing the insurance company to pay almost sic 30 million in dividends to the parent company" and cited a press release noting PLIC paid a dividend to the holding company.

It's almost hard to imagine the Bronte we thought we knew points to 1 the wrong subsidiary and 2 the action of regulators regarding a sister company as confirmation that PHL Variable issued policies are money-good. Regulators do their best, but they are not all-knowing.

That's not an entity to which we would pay premiums for the next 12 years in the hope that we realize a 7. The Fortress complaint cited in the report noted "anti-competitive and exclusionary conduct" has "destroyed the value of Phoenix policies and robbed policyholders of the once-precious ability to sell their policies in a competitive market. Our original report linked to a copy of the complaint. Additionally, Phoenix has been willing to fight paying death benefits in a myriad of circumstances and contest the insurable interest of various parties well beyond the standard two year contestability period -- often with success.

As such, owners of Phoenix-issued policies are likely to pay higher premiums than initially expected, face higher litigation costs and uncertainty of outcomes even when the things go their way, and face the risk of getting paid less than expected due to insolvency risk at PHL Variable. We appreciate a healthy debate and open discourse on investment ideas. As such, we will let the analysis presented herein speak for itself and merely say we respectfully disagree with Bronte's view. On the subject of life settlements, we continue to question the company's valuation.

In particular:. Part 1: An empirical example of reinsurance accounting. Part 2: Simplified example to demonstrate the accounting. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

If you are looking to broaden your knowledge of investing, GeoInvesting can help with actionable insights on a wide array of stocks. Maj Soueidan is a full-time investor of 30 years. He co-founded GeoInvesting to bring institutional quality investment research to the individual investor and help broaden the awareness of the opportunities that exist in the inefficient micro-cap universe.

In addition to educating investors on winning equity strategies, Mr. Soueidan has been on a mission to protect investors from fraud and pump and dump schemes. An information arbitrage exists when a disconnect between stock prices and available public information on a company is noticeable, and monetarily worth pursuing.

GeoInvesting has partnered with Bill Langbein of Sanacurrents to explore biotech opportunities through the publication of sentiment reports.

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Citizens Property Insurance: Improving Operational Efficiency with GIS

AFSI is a multinational insurance company headquartered in New York City that provides specialty property and casualty insurance to small and. When an insurance policy is written, the insurance company “writer” will recognize an asset on the balance sheet (cash or premium receivable). The “wheels are about to come off” the New York insurance company, GeoInvesting's Dan David told The Post. Shares of AmTrust, founded by New.