A diversified underwriting portfolio might seem like a good strategy for riding out the ebbs and flows of property and casualty insurance cycles, but it turns out that carriers ranking among the best cycle managers actually have the least diversified books of business, according to a rating agency analyst.

Jennifer Marshall, a senior financial analyst for Oldwick, N.J.-based A.M. Best Company, presented what she characterized as an unexpected conclusion from a 2008 study during a panel discussion at a special meeting here of the Casualty Actuarial Society last week.

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