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In response to unprecedented, world-wide market demand for a wide number of insurance coverages, Bermuda-based Allied World Assurance Holdings, Ltd is pleased to announce that they have been granted a license to operate in Ireland and have commenced business with the opening of a new office in Dublin, Ireland. The location will be the European head office of Allied World Assurance Holdings (Ireland) Ltd and will operate through its wholly owned subsidiary, Allied World Assurance Company (Europe) Limited. Allied World Assurance Holdings (Ireland) Ltd is a subsidiary of Allied World Assurance Holdings, Ltd which, through its wholly-owned Bermuda incorporated subsidiary, Allied World Assurance Company, Ltd (AWAC) underwrites property and casualty insurance and reinsurance business world-wide.

AWAC commenced business on November 13, 2001with approximately US$1.5 billion in equity capital with investments led by American International Group, Inc. (AIG), Chubb Corporation and GS Capital Partners 2000, L.P., an investment fund managed by Goldman Sachs & Co. It currently employs 57 staff based in Bermuda and, through a subsidiary maintains a contact office with seven staff members in London.

AWAC received an A.M. Best rating of A+ (Superior) at launch and is pleased to have been awarded the same A+ rating for AWAC (Europe) Limited. A. M. Best awards the A+ ‘Superior' rating only to those companies with superior balance sheet strength, operating performance and business profile under the standards established by the rating company. To quote A. M. Best, “These companies, in our opinion, have a strong ability to meet their ongoing obligations to policyholders”. Such recognition is vital to clients in these uncertain economic climes where both clients and insurers alike are negatively impacted by the weight of such adversities as asbestos and environmental problems, World Trade Centre losses, financial misstatements by major corporations and worrisome investment portfolio losses.

In July of 2002, Allied World Assurance Holdings, Ltd completed the acquisition from Swiss Reinsurance America Corporation of two US-based insurance companies authorised to write Excess and Surplus lines insurance in 48 states. The combination of these acquired companies and the opening of the new Irish company will establish Allied World ‘on the ground' in the United States and the European Union, the world's two largest insurance markets.

Michael Morrison, President and C.E.O. of Allied World Assurance Holdings, Ltd announced that John Redmond has been elected President of AWAC (Europe) Limited. Prior to joining Allied World Assurance Company (Europe) Limited, John spent twenty-three years with the Chubb Corporation. During this period he held various senior underwriting and administrative positions in Ireland, Belgium, Scandinavia and the U.K. Most recently he was responsible for Chubb's Commercial Insurance Division in Southern Europe. Mr Redmond was elected a senior vice president of Chubb Insurance Company of Europe in 1997.

In the June/July issue of Reinsurance Magazine, Dublin is called, ‘one of Europe's fastest-growing economies' and this success complements AWAC's overall philosophy. Since late 2001, Allied World has successfully been seeking out opportunities in niche markets. John Redmond commented, “Continuing AWAC's strategy for evolving into a leading, geographically-diverse multi-line insurer, we will be providing a product and specialty base for moderate to high hazard risk exposures. Our client base is expected to be the larger E.U. companies seeking to add or replace capacity in the current hard market environment. The same criteria will apply for indigenous Irish business.”John said the company has the ability and desire to provide capacity where it is most needed. As CEO Michael Morrison has previously pointed out, one of the features that distinguishes AWAC among its competitors is that AWAC will write on lower layers of an account. John anticipates that initial emphasis will be on broad-ranging property, casualty and financial lines coverage. Property will primarily deal with Commercial Real Estate accounts, Communication Risks, heavy Industrial Risks and Municipal/Institutional exposures. Casualty will emphasise Energy Liability, Excess General Liability, Professional Liability and Products Liability. However, he pointed out that the long-term strategy is to remain flexible and cover a growing number of speciality lines as need and business demand develops.

Mr. Morrison added, “With John Redmond at the helm, backed by our Dublin underwriting staff, we see great opportunities to write European Union business through the fast-evolving Irish market”.

For further information Contact:

Michael Morrison
Allied World Assurance Holdings, Ltd
Tel: +1-441-278-5406

Susan V. Attride-Stirling
AAC Saatchi & Saatchi
Tel: +-441-295-2626

Or in Europe
John Redmond
Allied World Assurance Company (Europe) Limited
+353-1- 636-0360