LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AM Best has assigned a Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and a Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a” to Group Ark Insurance Limited (GAIL) (Bermuda). GAIL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ark Insurance Holdings Limited (Ark), the non-operating holding company of the Ark group. The outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.
The ratings reflect Ark’s consolidated balance sheet strength, which AM Best categorises as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM), and are based on the group’s five-year business plan. In addition, the ratings reflect GAIL’s strategic importance to Ark. GAIL is the group’s Bermuda-based reinsurer, which provides reinsurance of the group’s Lloyd’s corporate member and will write third-party reinsurance business over the business plan period.
The Ark group is a property, casualty and specialty (re)insurance group, operating through an established Lloyd’s platform. Ark is seeking to scale up its existing platform at Lloyd’s and commence the underwriting of third-party reinsurance business from Bermuda through GAIL.
The very strong balance sheet strength assessment reflects Ark’s consolidated risk-adjusted capitalisation, which is projected to be above the minimum required for the strongest assessment over the five-year business plan, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). Capitalisation is supported by a USD 605 million capital injection from White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. (WTM), completed on 1 January 2021. WTM also has committed to contribute up to an additional USD 200 million of equity capital to Ark over 2021. The Ark group will have material exposure to catastrophe risk, which is considered a partially offsetting factor, although AM Best expects this risk to be managed through the appropriate use of reinsurance and robust exposure management.
The adequate operating performance assessment considers the group’s five-year business plan, and Ark’s robust underwriting performance track record at Lloyd’s. AM Best expects Ark to maintain good technical return metrics over the underwriting cycle, notwithstanding the execution risk associated with its planned scale up.
Ark’s neutral business profile assessment is reflective of its profile at Lloyd’s, and its current and projected diversified underwriting portfolio. Ark benefits from experienced and stable management and underwriting teams, which serve to mitigate partially the execution risk associated with the material scale up of current operations.
AM Best expects Ark to appropriately leverage its established ERM framework within its current platform to support business plan execution over the coming years.
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