AM Best Removes From Under Review With Negative Implications and Affirms Credit Ratings of Sigurd Rück AG

·4 min read

LONDON, August 18, 2022--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AM Best has removed from under review with negative implications and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of B++ (Good) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of "bbb+" (Good) of Sigurd Rück AG (Sigurd) (Switzerland). The outlook assigned to these Credit Ratings (ratings) is stable.

The ratings reflect Sigurd’s balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management. The ratings also factor, in the form of drag, Sigurd’s association with its parent company, Saipem S.p.A. (Saipem). Sigurd is a captive reinsurer of Saipem and a key element of the group’s risk management framework.

The rating action reflects the improvement in Saipem’s credit profile, following the completion of a capital injection in the form of a rights issue in July 2022.

Sigurd has significant exposure to the credit risk associated with Saipem, notably through a cash-pooling agreement with the group. As at 31 December 2021, Sigurd’s funds allocated to the cash-pooling with Saipem represented 59.8% and 78.6% of the company’s total assets and capital and surplus, respectively. AM Best expects these ratios to decrease in the second half of 2022 as Sigurd rebalances its investment portfolio in an effort to actively reduce its credit exposure to Saipem. The cash-pooling agreement is considered a partially offsetting factor to Sigurd’s very strong balance sheet strength assessment. The company’s balance sheet strength remains underpinned by its risk-adjusted capitalisation, which is comfortably above the minimum required for the strongest assessment, as measured by Best’s Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR).

Sigurd has a track record of strong operating performance, evidenced by a five-year (2017-2021) weighted average return-on-equity and combined ratio of 13.0% and 44.9%, respectively (as calculated by AM Best). Profitability has been supported by a low and stable expense ratio and a good, albeit volatile, loss ratio. Operating profitability is expected to decline in 2022 as a result of a large claim incurred in the first half of the year. However, AM Best expects Sigurd’s operating performance to remain supportive of a strong assessment prospectively.

Sigurd’s business profile, which AM Best assesses as neutral, benefits from geographic and product diversification derived from Saipem’s wide-ranging commercial activities.

AM Best remains the leading rating agency of alternative risk transfer entities, with more than 200 such vehicles rated throughout the world. For current Best’s Credit Ratings and independent data on the captive and alternative risk transfer insurance market, please visit www.ambest.com/captive.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best’s website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper use of Best’s Credit Ratings, Best’s Performance Assessments, Best’s Preliminary Credit Assessments and AM Best press releases, please view Guide to Proper Use of Best’s Ratings & Assessments.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specialising in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Copyright © 2022 by A.M. Best Rating Services, Inc. and/or its affiliates. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Contacts

Romeo Berti, ACA, CMA
Financial Analyst
+44 20 7397 0267

romeo.berti@ambest.com

Ghislain Le Cam, CFA, FRM
Director, Analytics
+44 20 7397 0268

ghislain.lecam@ambest.com

Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5159

christopher.sharkey@ambest.com

Jeff Mango
Managing Director,
Strategy & Communications
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5204

jeffrey.mango@ambest.com