Press Release - NOVEMBER 10, 2017

A.M. Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Axéria Prévoyance and Axeria Re Limited


CONTACTS:
 Alex Rafferty, ACA
Senior Financial Analyst
+44 20 7397 0285
alex.rafferty@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

Jim Peavy
Director, Public Relations
+1 908 439 2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LONDON - NOVEMBER 10, 2017
A.M. Best has affirmed the Financial Strength Ratings of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Ratings of “a-” of Axéria Prévoyance (AxP) (France) and Axeria Re Limited (Axeria Re) (Malta). The outlook of these Credit Ratings (ratings) remains stable.

The ratings of AxP reflect the company’s very strong balance sheet, adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM).

AxP’s balance sheet strength assessment is underpinned by the company’s strongest risk-adjusted capitalisation, its good quality of assets, liquid investment portfolio and history of prudent reserving. A.M. Best expects risk-adjusted capitalisation to remain more than sufficient to absorb higher net underwriting risks emanating from the company’s strategic development plan. In recent years, AxP’s capital base has been strengthened through good earnings retention, with a dividend pay-out ratio typically around 50% of net income. Partially offsetting the balance sheet assessment is AxP’s high dependence on reinsurance support.

AxP’s business profile benefits from the strong market position of April S.A. (April), the holding company of the April group, a leader in France’s wholesale insurance brokerage sector. AxP underwrites the group’s core business lines of corporate health and protection, individual health and credit insurance and is able to leverage April’s excellent distribution capabilities. Despite regulatory changes increasing competitive pressures within the health and loan insurance segments in France, AxP has demonstrated its resilience by maintaining its technical margin through market segmentation and disciplined risk selection.

AxP has a track record of solid operating performance, with a five-year average (2012-2016) return on equity of 9.9%. AxP’s technical performance has strengthened since 2014, following a period of volatile underwriting results. A.M. Best expects the company’s operating performance to remain adequate supported by stable technical performance and solid investment returns.

The ratings of Axeria Re reflect the company’s very strong balance sheet, strong operating performance, limited business profile and appropriate ERM. The ratings also reflect its strategic importance to AxP and the wider April group, as an internal reinsurer, providing reinsurance capacity and support to the group’s principal risk carriers, and in particular as a pivotal reinsurance partner for AxP. Additionally, since 2015, Axeria Re has been providing stop loss retrocession protection to AxP’s external reinsurers, reinforcing its importance to the group, with the company benefiting from rating enhancement from AxP as a result.

This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on A.M. 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 A.M. Best’s Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Understanding Best’s Credit Ratings. For information on the proper media use of Best’s Credit Ratings and A.M. Best press releases, please view Guide for Media - Proper Use of Best’s Credit Ratings and A.M. Best Rating Action Press Releases.

A.M. Best is the world’s oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source.


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AMB# Company Name
052043 April S.A.
090190 Axeria Re Limited
083186 Axéria Prévoyance