Endurance Assigned 'A-Minus' S&P Rating

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NU Online News Service, June 6, 3:40 p.m.EDT?Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has assigned"A-Minus" ratings for operating subsidiaries of the Bermuda-basedEndurance Specialty Holdings.

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The New York-based S&P indicated in its ratings report thatthe decision was based on the company's "extremely strong capitaladequacy, good market acceptance, experienced management and cleaninfrastructure, which supports a focused underwriting strategy withestablished exposure limits."

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And since the company was founded less than two years ago, itremoves any risk of loss reserve development relating to claimsthat predate its formation, S&P added. "Similarly, it has nolegacy systems that need to be maintained or transitioned. Both ofthese platforms will enable Endurance to continue its riskdiversification by geography and product line."

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Endurance offers a variety of property-casualty coverage throughits subsidiaries in Bermuda, the U.K. and the United States, withan emphasis on catastrophe policies.

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The company's primary lines include property individual risk andcasualty individual risk, while reinsurance lines include propertyper risk treaty reinsurance and property catastrophe reinsurance,as well as casualty treaty reinsurance. Chicago-based AonCorporation owned 26 percent of Endurance before its initial publicoffering in March.

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Based on its 64.6 million shares outstanding, Endurance's marketcapitalization is currently about $1.5 billion. Founded in 2001 inthe wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the company posted anet income of $102.1 million in 2002, from $421.5 million in sales.For the 2003 first quarter, Endurance reported $51 million in netincome.

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