internationally recognised as a highly successful general insurance and reinsurance group; a builder of shareholders' wealth; a developer of "can do" people; and an organisation that excels in the continuous delivery of new and proven quality products and services. Our Values
increasing the long-term wealth of shareholders; customer satisfaction and retention; employee satisfaction; and integrity.
From our humble beginnings as the North Queensland Insurance company we have grown into a sophisticated provider of general insurance products. Our strength is our diversity. We provide over nine broad categories of general insurance. We provide comprehensive protection for peoples' homes, their lifestyles, their work environments. As a group, QBE works together to improve our customer service, our technology and our products.
QBE Asia Pacific:
We aim to be recognised within the Asia Pacific markets as:
For Asia Pacific companies to thrive in today's challenging business environment, they must be smarter, quicker and more entrepreneurial. They constantly face new business exposures and challenges arising from government regulation and common law.
The margin for error has been squeezed in business today, and managers are confronted by the global trend of increasing accountability and litigation.
They need specialist insurance solutions, backed by technical expertise. Equally as important, they need risk management experts with specialist knowledge who can translate the global into practical solutions at the local level - and then provide the on-the-ground resources when they are needed most.
QBE Asia Pacific Operations has developed considerable strengths to best serve clients. Our history of commitment to the Asia Pacific markets means that we've developed a wealth of knowledge and experience.
Five of our operations were established in the late 1880s, and four more were established in the early 1890s. Building on this strong foundation, we entered four additional markets in the 1970s and 80s, and five more in the 1990s. We now have over 18 QBE operations in various markets throughout the Asia Pacific region.
Each market features different characteristics and dynamics, and local market knowledge can make all the difference for clients. For example, QBE operates in:
In each of these markets, local knowledge is invaluable. And with the internationalisation of trade and business practice, businesses also need an underwriter with specialist insurance expertise, vast global experience and solid financial strength.
Ours is a complex business, and we thrive on that challenge. It is also a dynamic one, with growth driven by an acquisition strategy and a commitment to the professional development of our local teams.
We are a grass roots company that is international in every sense of the word. The combination of local knowledge and specialist expertise provides important benefits to clients and intermediaries. In Asia Pacific, it's the QBE difference!
QBE Insurance Group Limited, is an insurance and reinsurance company publicly traded on the Australian Stock Exchange. Its history dates back over 116 years when the Company was founded in Australia. Since then the Company has grown to have operations in 47 countries with over $2 billion dollars of capital writing in excess of $3 billion dollars in premium.
QBE the Americas operations commenced in 1986 when the QBE Insurance Group established a presence in the U.S. QBE the Americas now conducts business through its five companies, QBE Reinsurance Corporation, QBE Insurance Corporation, QBE Aseguradora de Riesgos del Trabajo S.A.,Argentina, QBE Del Istmo, Panama and QBE Brasil Seguros S.A.
The Lloyd's division comprises QBE's share of the Lloyd's syndicates managed by Limit. The 2001 results are the first to contain a full year of activity from the acquisition of Limit in August 2000. Gross written premium for the Lloyd's division was $2,182 million, compared with $547 million last year. Net earned premium was up 273% to $1,365 million.
Significant progress was made during 2001 towards achieving the objectives set out in last year's annual report. The rationalisation of the structure of the Lloyd's division continued with the merger of syndicates 79 and 2999, the closure of the under-performing syndicate 456 and the disposal of the property and aviation syndicate 318. This resulted in a significant reallocation of QBE's capital towards its best performing Lloyd's syndicates. Our exposure to poor performing US liability business was significantly reduced.
QBE is now the sole capital provider to each of Limit's syndicates, other than syndicate 386 where our share has increased to over 40%. For the 2002 underwriting year, QBE provides 78% of Limit's aggregate capacity compared with 72% in 2001.
The tragic events of 11 September overshadowed the year and the World Trade Center (WTC) loss had a significant impact on performance. In addition, upgrades were made to prior year outstanding claims provisions, principally to reflect adverse development on US liability business seen across the market. These upgrades have been substantially mitigated by reinsurance protections and provisions established on acquisition to allow for deterioration. Consequently, the result for the year largely reflects the performance of the 2001 underwriting year. The claims ratio was 72.9%, compared with 59.4% for last year. The combined operating ratio was 108.6%, compared with 101.1% last year. Excluding the WTC loss, the combined operating ratio would have been 101.0%.
The movement in the commission ratio from 27.3% to 24.6% reflects the change in the mix of business during 2001. The decrease in the expense ratio from 14.4% to 11.1% reflects the synergies and savings delivered by the integration of QBE's former Lloyd's operations with Limit, partly offset by residual post acquisition integration costs during the year.
2001 was a transitional year in the market cycle with the rate increases anticipated at the start of the year not materialising until at least the middle of the year and, in some cases, not until after the impact of 11 September. We are now seeing substantial increases in premium rates across all classes of business underwritten within the Lloyd's division. These rate increases, together with a high level of business retention, new business opportunities and the reallocation of QBE's capital, should ensure profitability for the 2002 underwriting year.
Our objectives for 2002 are to:
take advantage of the dramatically improved rating environment and return all areas of underwriting to strong profitability; seek further rationalisation of the underwriting and operating structure in order to improve capital efficiency and our expense ratio; acquire further capacity on syndicate 386 as it becomes available; and be actively involved in the reforms proposed for the Lloyd's market. Our business at Lloyd's remains highly dependent upon the quality and commitment of our underwriters and their business franchise. I thank them for their efforts and achievements, which have ensured that QBE's Lloyd's division is now ideally positioned to take advantage of the hard market conditions now prevailing at Lloyd's.
Steven Burns, Managing director, Lloyd's division
QBE's Trade Credit underwrites $30bn of domestic and export trade credit from units in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Europe having extensive experience in assessing risks in over 150 markets. We are a Standard and Poors A+ rated company.
Supported by a product range of tailored solutions to your credit needs, QBE is uniquely placed to offer our clients the opportunity to conduct business in a secure environment. Established in 1962, we have in the last four decades risen to become the largest Australian Insurer offering both Domestic and Export trade credit insurance and have expanded offshore to service our clients locally around the world.
QBE Re is a leading global reinsurer providing treaty and facultative reinsurance, direct insurance, and other financial products to its varied clients. QBE Re conducts business through three Divisions: Australia, Europe, and the Americas.
As a global reinsurer, QBE Re underwrites traditional and financial products covering all major lines and classes of business. Through its divisional network of companies, QBE Re excels in providing regional expertise and service tailored to local-market needs. For additional solutions from QBE Re, please visit our local teams: