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Co-CEO: In E&S space, Berkshire just another competitor for American Financial Group

Written by Jasir Jawaid

News that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. hired a number of American International Group Inc. executives in an apparent excess-and-surplus lines push has been a topic of interest lately, garnering questions during insurers' earnings call.

American Financial Group Inc.'s quarterly call was no different.

During a May 9 earnings conference call, management was asked to share thoughts on Berkshire entering the space and if that would overlap with American Financial's business. In response, Co-President and Co-CEO Carl Lindner III said that since the company targets small to medium-sized businesses, there wouldn't be much of an overlap.

"We're used to competitors coming and going. Berkshire, with their resources, clearly is in a position to have more meaningful impact on the market. … I think there are others that they'll overlap more with that will have bigger impact than them with us," Lindner remarked.

American Financial Group direct excess-and-surplus lines premiums written in the U.S., as of year-end 2012, were$314.2 million, up 30.40% year over year. It was the 22nd-largest E&S writer in the U.S.

Companies including CNA Financial Corp., Argo Group International Holdings Ltd. and AIG were recently quizzed on the same topic.

This article was published by S&P Global Market Intelligence on the S&P Capital IQ Pro platform.


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