By now you should have all received our 2013 annual report containing the audited financial results. As we stated therein, our continued success in working together produced another fine year for the company. Our bottom-line measure of financial success is policyholder surplus growth, and we grew surplus by $56 million, to $1.156 billion, a new high for AEGIS. Since the 2008 financial crisis, we have grown surplus by close to $400 million, thanks to strong support from our members and brokers at renewals and a contribution of $210 million from the efforts of our AEGIS London operations.
Our unaudited first quarter 2014 results continued the favorable trends with surplus growing by an additional $22 million. Written premiums displayed strong growth at $218 million, $18 million ahead of the same period in 2013, particularly in our excess liability and London businesses. This is an outstanding performance in what is universally accepted as being a challenging soft market, particularly in the London and property lines. Our overall losses for the first quarter were slightly better than expected by $5 million, which is another positive trend. Lastly, the 1.1% total investment return before expenses was 50 basis points ahead of plan, thanks in part to strong equity markets in the first quarter.