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January 2010/1

  • AXA Investment Managers (IM) has launched its first public catastrophe fund, the $100mn Gaia, underlining investor interest in insurance-linked assets.
  • US primary insurer The Hartford has launched $100mn Foundation Re III - its third transaction in the Foundation series and the first ILS of 2010, Trading Risk can reveal.
  • Dutch conglomerate ING has completed an $825mn Regulation XXX life transaction, backed by a new collateral facility from Bermudian firm Karson Management.
  • Aon Benfield-backed catastrophe investment manager Juniperus Capital Ltd (JCL) has secured a $30-40mn equity investment from Japanese conglomerate Itochu Corporation of Tokyo - a move that will boost marketing efforts in Asia.
  • Risk Management Solutions (RMS) has launched its third natural catastrophe index under the Paradex banner - Paradex US Earthquake (PUE) -after it was stalled by the market disruption in 2009.
  • Cat bond market conditions are expected to be "very favourable" in 2010, leading to around $5bn of new issuance, according to industry experts.
  • A record $1.7bn ILS issuance in Q4 fuelled by 30-40 percent falls in cat bond pricing took total 2009 ILS issuance to $3.5bn in the form of 19 transactions (see table).
  • Three deals closed in late December with a combined capacity of $875mn -demonstrating strong investor demand for the ILS product.
  • Goldman Sachs Group has ceased to run its life settlement longevity index QxX due to poor take-up, Trading Risk can reveal.
  • Longevity specialist Centurion Fund Managers has formally launched its fourth open-ended longevity fund - and the first in the market to combine macro and micro longevity, according to the firm.
  • Reinsurers gave in to a controlled reduction of prices at the 1 January renewal, with prospects for any generalised upturn unlikely in 2010, according to leading reinsurance brokers' reports.
  • The ILS market produced a total return of 10.97 percent in 2009, driven mainly by mark-to-market gains from tightening cat bond spreads, according to Aon Benfield Securities.
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