(Bloomberg) -- Axis Capital Holdings Ltd. will cut about 100jobs and scale back operations in Australia after the reinsurerlost a bidding war for PartnerRe Ltd.

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Costs tied to the reorganization reduced third-quarter earningsby about $51 million before taxes, including expenses for severanceand lease cancellation, the Bermuda-based company said Wednesday ina statement. The cuts represent 8 percent of the 1,250 jobs thatthe company had when it filed its annual report in February.Reductions will be focused in the corporate and select-insuranceoperations.

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Axis is among reinsurers that have been pressured by fallingrates amid increased competition from Wall Street money managersseeking weather-related bets. Chief Executive Officer AlbertBenchimol was outbid this year by Italy’s Exor SpA, the investmentvehicle for the billionaire Agnelli family, for PartnerRe.

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“The refinements announced today are about strengthening thecompany’s focus, and moving resources to where they can provide thegreatest value to brokers and clients -- ultimately drivingprofitable book-value-per-share growth over the longer term,”Benchimol said in the statement.

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Axis said it would wind down its retail insurance operations inAustralia while still serving that market through its internationalwholesale insurance and global reinsurance businesses. Thereorganization is expected to save about $30 million annuallybefore taxes, according to the statement.

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Benchimol intends to boost the firm’s value through accessing a“broad range of capital” to complement its balance sheet, he saidin the statement. Axis will also continue to work with thirdparties and generate fee income from providing tailored products toinvesting firms, he said.

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“The company is looking at different avenues where it cangenerate alpha in a very difficult business, that may get moredifficult in this hurricane season, and as the level of excesscapital continues to build,” Amit Kumar, an analyst at MacquarieGroup Ltd., said by phone. He said in a note to clients Tuesdaythat staff layoffs are “not necessarily a path to valuecreation.”

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The reinsurer gained 4.4 percent this year through Tuesday. Thecompany said its $300 million share repurchase program is expectedto be completed by the end of the year and the board will reviewthe stock buybacks and dividend policy at a December meeting. Axisis scheduled to report third-quarter results on Oct. 27.

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