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When RenaissanceRe decided to enter the specialty-program business early in the last decade, and then the crop-insurance segment years later, such diversification strategies were not popular among Bermuda peers in the property-catastrophe reinsurance market.

Now, after a line of Bermuda companies followed similar paths, RenRe is abandoning the two specialty markets—selling its U.S. operations to QBE in a $275 million deal announced late last year.

Hours before the company released its official statement that the deal was completed on March 4, RenRe CEO Neill Currie provided NU with some historical perspective, shared his thoughts on why now is the right time for RenRe to make the sale, and revealed his vision for the company and industry in 2011.

Q: When and why did RenRe enter the U.S. specialty insurance market?

Mr. Currie: Going way back, RenRe always had a very small insurance operation, which made use of the same underwriting skills that we have on the reinsurance side—skills to underwrite complex commercial property risks that might have a catastrophic element.

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