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February 19, 2016

Preliminary 2015 AEGIS unaudited financial results

We are pleased to report that AEGIS had another successful year in 2015. Member and broker support of all of our operations was terrific. Thank you! As of year-end, surplus grew by $68 million to $1,290 million, a new high for AEGIS. We’ve now grown surplus by $532 million since 2008.

Our overall combined ratio of 81% is by far the best we’ve had in the past 20 years. This was comprised of a U.S. operations combined ratio of 86% and a London combined ratio of 76%. Relatively benign current year losses as well as favorable prior year reserve runoff contributed to these low ratios. Most importantly, our three-year policy year combined ratio for excess liability appears to be trending favorably with an initial evaluation of 93%. We should note, however, that this is a long tail line which will take several years to fully develop.
Gross written premiums for the year were $1,251 million, which is $93 million below Plan. This was largely due to the overall competitiveness of the market in the U.S. and London resulting in pricing pressure and lack of opportunity for responsible growth. We believe bottom line profitability is more important than premium growth.
Total gross investment return for the year was negative 61 basis points, which was 3.9% worse than our planned return for the overall portfolio. This shortfall is mainly attributed to our equity portfolio which generated a negative 8.2% return.
Given the difficult investment environment we are presently in, the Board of Directors and I are very pleased with these overall results and we hope you are too. We’re still in the process of finalizing our year-end audit and we look forward to sharing our final audited financial statements with you when we publish our annual report in April. 

RIMS 2016 Conference – San Diego – April 10 to 13

Please join us at the RIMS 2016 Conference which will be held at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California from Sunday, April 10 to Wednesday, April 13.

AEGIS staff, including our excess liability, D&O, property, cyber and London underwriters, will be available to meet with you at the AEGIS and AEGIS London booth (#1625) during exhibit hall hours, or you may schedule a meeting at our meeting room at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego in advance of the conference. Please contact George Keefe by e-mail or by phone at 201.508.2797 to schedule a meeting with any of the underwriters attending RIMS.

We also invite you to join us and your industry colleagues for drinks and hors d'oeuvres on Monday and Tuesday, April 11 and April 12, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm, at our hospitality suite at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego.

PHC 2016 in Boston – save the date

As you make your summer plans, please save the date for the 2016 AEGIS Policyholders’ Conference, which will be held Monday, July 25 to Thursday, July 28, at The Westin Boston Waterfront, located in the up-and-coming Seaport District overlooking Boston Harbor. Our annual conference is an opportunity for us to share information about AEGIS and the insurance and energy industries – and for you to share your needs, concerns and suggestions with us. We look forward to seeing you, your family and guests in Boston!

AEGIS Claims Roundtable – Demystifying the Workers' Compensation Claim – March 10 – register now

Please register now for the next AEGIS Claims Roundtable seminar – Demystifying the Workers' Compensation Claim – which will be held on Thursday, March 10, in East Rutherford, NJ and offered as a concurrent, real-time webinar on March 10.

Utility companies are frequently faced with litigation and claims arising from catastrophic injuries suffered by company employees. These injuries often result from electrical contacts, gas explosions and/or exposure to toxic substances such as asbestos. The workers’ compensation claim requires a unique and sometimes complex approach. This panel of experienced counsel and workers’ compensation professionals will take the audience, step-by-step, through a workers’ compensation matter. Traumatic brain injury and asbestos-related claims will be addressed. A jurisdictional analysis of workers’ compensation benefits will be presented as will a discussion surrounding the most easily recognizable indicators of fraud. By the end of the seminar, workers’ compensation claims will be demystified.

As always, Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits are offered.

If you register for the webinar, you will receive instructions for participating one week prior. If you have any questions about the webinar in the meantime, please contact Sharon Sarch by e-mail or by phone at 201.508.2654. For more information about the AEGIS Claims Roundtable program, please contact Jeff Schupack, Senior Vice President – Claims, by e-mail or by phone at 201.508.2658.

2016 AEGIS Claims Seminar – save the date

Please save the date for the 2016 AEGIS Claims Seminar which will be held Monday, October 17 through Wednesday, October 19, at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona.

In 2014, the AEGIS Claims Seminar attracted more than 175 claims and litigation professionals from around the country who gathered to share their experiences and learn more about the important issues facing AEGIS members in the defense of their claims. In addition to the always popular gas and electric case studies, an impressive group of industry litigators and experts will share their insights on a wide variety of topics, including:

• The mechanics of brain injuries
• Combating the “reptile theory”
• Directional drilling incidents
• Drafting and enforcing indemnification provisions
• Termination of service exposure
• Effective use of structured settlements
• Emerging industry risks

The seminar will be eligible for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits.

AEGIS will sponsor a reception for all attendees on Tuesday evening at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale and The AEGIS Structured Settlements Company (TASSC), in conjunction with its partners at EPS Settlements and Mesirow Financial, will sponsor a golf outing on Wednesday afternoon.

Surrounded by the beautiful and dramatic Sonoran Desert, the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch is conveniently located just 18 miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Please do not contact the hotel to make room reservations. We are holding a block of rooms for all seminar attendees and they can be reserved as part of the seminar registration process that will begin in early August. Registration will be limited to AEGIS members, members’ dedicated outside counsel and members’ brokers. The registration fee for the 2016 AEGIS Claims Seminar is $250.

For more information, please contact Mark Bluestein, Vice President/Counsel, by e-mail or by phone at 201.508.2635.

Monthly webinar – Transformer Lifecycle and Risk Management – March 2

Please register now for the next in the series of monthly webinars conducted by AEGIS Loss Control – Transformer Lifecycle and Risk Management – which will be held on Wednesday, March 2, from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time.

Have you ever wished you had x-ray vision that let you look through the tank wall of a transformer and see a fault before it grew into a major failure? Well, now you can with the right combination of technologies, including infrared thermography, ultrasonic noise analysis, partial discharge detection, dissolved gas analysis and vibration analysis. These technologies are great stand-alone tools; however when used properly and the data combined, you can identify an incipient fault long before it degrades the insulation and results in a failure.

This webinar will help you set up a complete predictive maintenance program that provides owners of large oil-filled power transformers with a complete health report and condition assessment of these critical and ancillary substation components. The testing described in this webinar is conducted on energized, fully loaded transformers. No clearance or blocking is needed to accomplish these tasks; all tests are completely non-intrusive.

The webinar will be presented by Jon L. Giesecke, President and CEO of JLG Associates, LLC. Mr. Giesecke is one of the world’s leading experts in combining technologies used in the in-service inspection of high-voltage, oil-filled power transformers and substation diagnostics. He has been training personnel worldwide in these methods for more than 20 years with great success.

On the morning of the webinar, you will receive a reminder and instructions for participating. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact Michelle Battagliese by e-mail or by phone at 201.508.2855.

If you have any questions about the monthly AEGIS Loss Control webinars, please contact Scot Macomber, Vice President – Loss Control Utility Operations, by e-mail or by phone at 201.508.2739.

AEGIS Loss Control publishes Energy Industry Issues & Trends

AEGIS Loss Control recently published a whitepaper entitled Energy Industry Issues & Trends which highlights current topics of interest including physical security, natural hazards, geomagnetic disturbances, electromagnetic threats to the power grid, water utility infrastructure, vegetation management, pipeline safety, aging infrastructure, sewer lateral crossings, mature combustion turbine technology, transformer issues, renewable energy and EPA standards. The publication is available online in the password-protected section of the AEGIS website. For more information, please contact Howard Somers, Vice President and Loss Control Division Head, by e-mail or by phone at 201.508.2734.