By now you should have received our 2014 annual report which describes the audited financial results for one of our best years ever. Our bottom-line measure of financial success is policyholder surplus growth, and we grew surplus by $66 million, to $1.222 billion, a new high for AEGIS. Since the 2008 financial crisis, we have grown surplus by $464 million, thanks to strong support from our members and brokers at renewals and a contribution of $262 million from our successful AEGIS London operations. The theme of this year’s annual report is “renewed, refreshed and ready” which will become clear when you read about our better balanced excess liability business, new underwriting products, strong financial results, the positive A.M. Best report, and new members of our Board, RMAC, Task Forces and AEGIS staff. The 2014 annual report is posted to our website and you can request printed copies at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our unaudited first quarter 2015 results continued these favorable trends with surplus growing by an additional $20 million. Gross written premiums of $197 million were below expectations as the result of some renewals that were delayed until the second quarter as well as ongoing soft market conditions. Our overall losses for the first quarter were $5 million below expectations as loss activity remained quiet. Finally, the 0.6% total investment return before expenses was 20 basis points behind plan but, in a development that’s typical of this challenging investment market, the shortfall was more than made up by the end of April with a preliminary year-to-date total investment return of 1.35%.