OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A.M. Best has commented that the financial strength rating (FSR) of A++ (Superior) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) of “aa+” of the North American property/casualty subsidiaries of ACE Limited (ACE) (Zurich, Switzerland) [NYSE: ACE], are unchanged following the announcement that ACE is expanding its presence in the U.S. high net worth personal insurance market by acquiring the Fireman's Fund Insurance Companies’ personal lines business from Allianz SE for $365 million. The closing is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2015, and is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. ACE’s ICR and senior debt ratings of “a+” are expected to remain unchanged, as is its favorable financial leverage position.
ACE’s high net worth business is currently written by members of the ACE American Group; the acquired business is expected to be written by the same entities. The potential to more than double its current book of high net worth business affords ACE the opportunity for sizable savings given the scale the transaction provides and the overlap with ACE’s existing operations. With this acquisition, ACE will solidify their rank among the top writers of this niche of high net worth personal lines business and benefit from further diversifying their geographic footprint.
The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best's Credit Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best's rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. Best's Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.
Key insurance criteria reports utilized:
• Catastrophe Analysis in A.M. Best Ratings
• Insurance Holding Company and Debt Ratings
• Rating Members of Insurance Groups
• Risk Management and the Rating Process for Insurance Companies
• The Treatment of Terrorism Risk in the Rating Evaluation
• Understanding BCAR for Property/Casualty Insurers
• Understanding Universal BCAR
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