WCMA: Record Number of Cat Bond Deals in 2013; Annual Issuance of $7.1 Billion

NEW YORK, Jan. 29, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Last year saw a record number of 29 catastrophe bond deals, according to Willis Capital Markets & Advisory (WCMA), the capital markets division of Willis Group Holdings (NYSE:WSH), the global risk advisor, insurance and reinsurance broker.

Total issuance over the year of $7.1 billion was very close to the 2007 record of $7.2 billion, with non-investment grade and unrated issuance also recording a new high, according to WCMA's latest ILS market report.

Overall outstanding capacity at year-end reached $18 billion and has now grown at a compounded growth rate of 18% since 2000. The fourth quarter of 2013 saw $1.8 billion of non-life catastrophe bond capacity raised in seven deals, whereas the fourth quarter of 2012 saw $1.9 billion issued in seven deals.

All but one of the 2013 fourth quarter issuances were sponsored by repeat sponsors, with Queen City Re, sponsored by newcomer American Modern Insurance, being the sole exception.

Bill Dubinsky, Head of ILS at WCMA, said: "2013 may prove to be a pivotal year for the cat bond and sidecar markets. On the one hand, 2013 was a banner year for cat bonds, sidecars, and collateralized reinsurance with $7.1 billion in non-life cat bond issuance and considerable sidecar activity despite the softening market conditions. On the other hand, traditional reinsurers are reacting aggressively to maintain market share by launching preemptive quotes to defend previously unassailable positions on the programs of favored clients."

Tony Ursano, CEO of WCMA, commented: "The reinsurance industry is in the midst of a gradual transformation as the inflows of third party capital continue to increase. We expect that 2014 will be marked by innovation, seeing new sponsors, new perils and new structures come to market in an effort to meet investors demand for risk."

The full report also features an interview with Peter Nakada, Managing Director of Risk Markets of Risk Management Solutions, Inc.

About Willis

Willis Group Holdings plc is a leading global risk advisor, insurance and reinsurance broker. With roots dating to 1828, Willis operates today on every continent with more than 17,500 employees in over 400 offices. Willis offers its clients superior expertise, teamwork, innovation and market-leading products and professional services in risk management and transfer. Our experts rank among the world's leading authorities on analytics, modelling and mitigation strategies at the intersection of global commerce and extreme events. Find more information at our website, www.willis.com, our leadership journal, Resilience, or our up-to-the-minute blog on breaking news, WillisWire. Across geographies, industries and specialisms, Willis provides its local and multinational clients with resilience for a risky world.

About Willis Capital Markets & Advisory

Willis Capital Markets & Advisory, with offices in New York, London and Hong Kong, provides advice to companies involved in the insurance and reinsurance industry on a broad array of mergers and acquisition transactions as well as capital markets products, including acting as underwriter or agent for primary issuances, operating a secondary insurance-linked securities trading desk and engaging in general capital markets and strategic advisory work. Willis Capital Markets & Advisory is a trade name used by Willis Securities, Inc., a licensed broker dealer authorized and regulated by FINRA and a member of SIPC, and Willis Capital Markets & Advisory Limited, an investment business authorized and regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority.

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CONTACT: Media: Richard Mackillican + 44 2031 246 450 Email: Richard. Mackillican@willis.com Investors: Peter Poillon +1 212 915 8084 Email: Peter.Poillon@willis.comSource:Willis Group Holdings