New Mexico Insurance Superintendent Eric Serna has been put on administrative leave at the recommendation of the state attorney general, who is investigating his office, officials said. Deputy Superintendent Tom Rushton will take over the duties on an interim basis, said a spokeswoman for Daniel Mayfield, chief of staff of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission.
UNISYS TO END DB PLANS
Unisys Corp. is phasing out its defined-benefit pension plan while sweetening its 401(k) plan. Current employees will not earn new benefits in the pension plan after Dec. 31, 2006. Starting on Jan. 1, 2007, new and current employees will earn benefits through an enriched 401(k) plan. The plan redesign, Unisys estimates, will reduce retirement plan expenses by about $700 million over the next decade.
FORMER EXECS SETTLE
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has accused three former officers of the New England Financial unit of MetLife Inc. of fraud for scheming to hide more than $100 million of expenses, and said two agreed to settle. In a lawsuit filed in Massachusetts, the SEC said Thom Faria, Stephen McLaughlin and William Stickney improperly reclassified noncommission expenses as insurance commissions.
Standard & Poor's Corp. has revised its outlook on the global reinsurance industry to stable from negative. The agency said that reinsurers were in a strong financial position despite the hurricane losses in 2005. At Jan. 1, 2006, renewals, loss-affected property catastrophe reinsurance business saw rate hikes of 50 percent or more. Some retrocessional rates, however, increased by 200 percent or more, said Laline Carvalho, a credit analyst at S&P in New York.
FRAUD STILL ROBUST
A new survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers finds that corporate fraud remains a problem for most companies. According to PwC's Global Economic Crime Survey 2005, 45 percent of the 3,634 companies polled around the world said they were affected by fraud between 2003 and 2005. The results represent an 8 percent increase from PwC's 2003 survey. Two-thirds of the respondents cited asset misappropriation as the most common form of fraud committed last year.
MODEL WILL SPARK HIKES
The newest catastrophe models from Risk Management Solutions Inc., based on increased storm frequency, should result in premium hikes of 40 percent to 50 percent, said John Kapitan, RMS consulting vice president. The model changes were released in May.
--Compiled by staff from news and wire reports.
June 1, 2006
Copyright 2006© LRP Publications