Ace Up The Sleeve

Dirty Dealing By The Insurance Companies


Sightings from The Catbird Seat

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September 29, 2006

9/11 and the Greenberg Familia

By Jerry Mazza, Online Journal

Democratic Underground Demopedia reports in Who Killed John ONeill that at the time of 9/11, AIG, the world’s largest insurance company, and subsidiaries Marsh McLennan, ACE and Kroll, were run by the Greenberg family. With Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) member Maurice “Hank” Greenberg as the AIG godfather, the Familia’s tentacles curled around the heart of the tragedy.

Hank’s son Jeffrey, a CFR member as well, was chairman of Marsh & McLennan, situated on floors throughout the North Tower of the World Trade Center as well as the top floors of the South Tower. Marsh also had ties to the CIA. Son Evan Greenberg, a CFR member, was CEO of ACE Limited, situated in Tower 7, which also contained AIG subsidiary Kroll, closely related to the CIA, also with an office in Tower 7.

Tower 7 also contained offices of the FBI, Department of Defense, IRS (which contained prodigious amounts of corporate tax fraud, including Enron’s), US Secret Service, Securities & Exchange Commission (with more stock fraud records), and Citibank’s Salomon Smith Barney, the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management and many other financial institutions.

Greenberg’s cousin, Alan “Ace” Greenberg, was former CEO of Bear Sterns, where the Bush family, Cheney family George Schultz, James Baker, et al, did business. It is the leading brokerage firm of the great and all-powerful Bush Familia.

Also reported by Democratic Underground, AIG’s Kroll “provided protection services,” among other things, to high level Americans at home and abroad. Kroll had military teams in their company and merged with Armor Holdings on August 23, 2001, adding Defence Systems Limited, another private military corporation, to their operation, and an ex-KGB team called Alpha Firm earlier acquired by Defense Systems Limited. These four teams could have been used on 9/11, part of a “corporatizing” of black ops in tandem with military teams.

According to whistleblower Richard Grove, who worked as a senior manager for SilverStream Software on Marsh and AIG accounts, Kroll also managed the Enron fraud once Kenneth Lay stepped down.

Marsh, immediately after 9/11, established a specialized terrorism team called Marsh Crisis Consultancy (led by L. Paul Bremer III), adding the teams Control Risks Group, a British ex-SAS team and Versar, bio-terrorism and homeland defense team. These players could have known each other from 9/11, bringing in new assignments and profits.

Democratic Underground also reports, AIG allegedly was laundering drug money, and was involved in the Afghanistan oil and gas pipelines. Greenberg and the Adnan Khasshogi family allegedly benefited from the Afghanistan narcotics trade and interests in the oil and gas pipelines, as well.

Greenberg’s Law Firm Connections to Bush

According to, the Greenbergs were and are connected to the Bush Familia via their Miami-based law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP, a 1,350-lawyer, full-service international firm. Here are a few connects . . .

1) G-T represented George W. Bush in the Bush-Gore 2000 Florida election vote recount.

2) They personally represent Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

3) They hired son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Election Day 2000 — after which Justice Scalia cast one of the 5 to 4 deciding votes that placed Bush in the White House.

4) They partially funded/sponsored a delegation to Israel by House-Senate Armed Services Committee members and government contractors to witness and be briefed on interrogations resistance procedures and torture techniques.

5) The firm has prominent administrative positions in Massachusetts 9/11 Fund, which also involves Bush family banking house Brown Brothers Harriman (the same BBH involved with Prescott Bush’s bankrolling the Nazis in World War II).

6) Traurig Greenberg works with 9-11 victims on planning their US government “hushmail/bribery estates.” That is, to receive the money, the victim’s family must sign an agreement never to sue the government for any reason. Victim-wife Ellen Mariani is currently being legally harassed for not signing and for holding the Bush government’s feet to the fire.

7) Bush still owes the Greenberg Traurig firm nearly $1 million for work done by dozens of lawyers and paralegals, leaving questions why a Republican candidate would hire a Democratic lawyer from a Democratic firm. See Greenberg Traurig link above for more scandals.

Greenberg’s Relationship to Larry Silverstein

On July 24, 2001, six weeks before 9/11, Larry Silverstein took control of the lease of all the WTC buildings. This followed the Port Authority decision on April 26.

According to, the three companies who originally insured the WTC were AIG, Marsh and ACE, all run as mentioned by the Greenbergs at the time. They then sold stakes of the original contract to their competition, a technique called reinsuring.

Once the Towers came down, the reinsurers got caught holding the bag. This would inextricably tie the Greenbergs to Silverstein and the larger conspiracy of 9/11. If they had no foreknowledge of events to occur, why would the Greenbergs have unloaded so many stakes in their contract?

According to Michel Chossudovsky in Financial Bonanza behind the 9/11 Tragedy, “On October 17, 2000, eleven months before 9/11, Blackstone Real Estate Advisors, of The Blackstone Group, L.P, purchased, from Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, the participating mortgage secured by World Trade Center, Building 7.1.” [Blackstone in 2000 also purchased a 50 percent stake in Universal Studios, producers of the myth-perpetuating Flight 93.]

“April 26, 2001 the Port Authority leased the WTC for 99 years to Silverstein Properties and Westfield America Inc.

“The transaction was authorised by Port Authority Chairman Lewis M. Eisenberg. This transfer from the New York and New Jersey Port Authority was tantamount to the privatisation of the WTC Complex. The official press release described it as ‘the richest real estate prize in New York City history.’ The retail space underneath the complex was leased to Westfield America Inc.

“On 24 July 2001, 6 weeks prior to 9/11 Silverstein took control of the lease of the WTC following the Port Authority decision on April 26.

Silverstein and Frank Lowy, CEO of Westefield Inc. took control of the 10.6 million-square-foot WTC complex.

“Lowy leased the shopping concourse called the Mall at the WTC, which comprised about 427,000 square feet of retail space.”

“Explicitly included in the agreement was that Silverstein and Westfield ‘were given the right to rebuild the structures if they were destroyed.’’

“In this transaction, Silverstein signed a rental contract for the WTC over 99 years amounting to 3.2 billion dollars in installments to be made to the Port Authority: 800 million covered fees including a down payment of the order of 100 million dollars. Of this amount, Silverstein put in 14 million dollars of his own money. The annual payment on the lease was of the order of 115 million dollars.

“In the wake of the WTC attacks, Silverstein is suing for some $7.1 billion in insurance money, double the amount of the value of the 99 year lease.” In fact, some $5 billion was actually returned, given the multiple court-case protests of the insurers.

“The mortgaging of the WTC was handled by The Blackstone Group, headed by Peter J. Peterson, current head of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The Blackstone Group also bought a piece of Kroll in 1993 at the very same time AIG took over majority control. Henry Kissinger sits on the board of the Blackstone Group.”

By his own admission Silverstein had Tower 7 pulled by controlled internal demolition eight hours after the first two hits. No plane hit Tower 7. There were two small fires in it that were under control. In fact, it takes weeks, months to set up a building to be pulled. So his order to “pull it” catches him in a huge lie.

Tower 7 may have been the nexus of the operations. That may have been the real reason to pull it. In fact, it may have been set up weeks in advance with Towers 1 and 2 for demolition. Ironically, Tower 7 is the only tower that has been rebuilt, and more opulently than its predecessor, although tenancy is about 18 percent.

Towers Taken Down for Profit and to Blame Muslims

Given the involvement of the Greenbergs and Silverstein, and other commercial entities that stood to profit hugely, it is difficult to believe 9/11 occurred at the hands of 19 rag-tag Muslims with box-cutters and the help of their leader, Osama bin Laden, sitting in a cave somewhere in Afghanistan with his laptop and dialysis equipment.

The real reasons behind 9/11 were financial greed and the willingness to demonize Muslims for the “Pearl Harbor-type” act that would instigate America to wage a war on terror, pursuing PNAC’s (Project for a New American Century) goal of World Hegemony.

The latest documentary on the WTC, The 911 Mysteries from, provides highly convincing proof that the buildings were taken down in six fatal steps. They involved the use of high-powered explosives, including thermite and/or thermate, with techniques more advanced than those of traditional controlled-demolition companies, most likely the military’s, given their bunker buster technology. The six steps are . . .

1.       Pre-collapse sub-basement explosions

2.       Pre-collapse interior blasts

3.       Pre-collapse ground level explosions

4.       Top level collapse initiation

5.       Mid Collapse Squibs (explosions)

6.       Final time-delayed rolls (explosions)

Without all these steps, the Towers could never have free-fallen in 10 seconds, the speed of gravity. Any obstacles or pancaking had to be eliminated otherwise the number of seconds of fall would increase dramatically. The documentary also reminds us that on February 13, 1975 there was a major fire on the 11th floor of the North Tower that did not topple it, though the loss was estimated at over $2 million, no mean event. Check it out.

It is possible that in 1996, when Securacom took over WTC security and installed a new $8.3 million security system, that the explosives and charges were also put in place. Sitting on the board of Securacom was the director Marvin Bush, George Bush’s younger brother.

In any case, this is patently the confluence of the military/industrial complex with a healthy dose of Wall Street, earning millions if not billions in put and call options on companies involved with the catastrophe, including airlines on the down (put) side and military suppliers on the up (call) side. In addition, there is the missing gold from the basement of Tower 4, $200 million of which was retrieved, and an untold amount stolen.

The real bottom line was that the Towers were two financial white elephants. And both Silverstein and Greenberg had to know that. The tenancy was dropping. They were out of date. And most dangerously, they were asbestos bombs, loaded with the dangerous building material when they were completed in 1972-73.

By law the buildings could not be taken down by internal demolition. And since it would cost a billion dollars or more to take the towers down beam by beam, it would be at great loss to the Port of Authority or its leaseholder. Thus the reasons are obvious to take WTC down in act of terror also a false-flag operation.

Remember, the concept for the WTC Towers originated with the Nelson and David Rockefeller, members of the Council on Foreign Relations and among the world’s elites. A “New Pearl Harbor” would serve those interests well.

Additional Connections to Greenberg

John ONeill, mentioned in the first paragraph, was the FBI anti-terror chief who spent years trying to track down bin Laden and “al Qaeda” members. At every point, he was stopped or frustrated by his superiors. Finally, O’Neill parted company with the FBI. Jerome Hauer, who formerly worked for Kroll, got him the job as chief of security at the WTC. On 9/11, O’Neill lost his life in the North Tower.

Mr. Hauer’s job as Kroll chief was also held by Michael Cherkasky, who came out of the New York County District Attorney’s Office, which also brought us Rudy Giuliani, Elliot Spitzer and Patrick Fitzgerald. Mr. Cherkasky also brought Mr. Spitzer into the NYC County DA’s office. Today Cherkasky is a substantial contributor to Spitzer’s campaign for New York State Governor. Cherkasky was bumped up to head Marsh McLennan in 2004.

As an aside, there were about 200 electrical engineers working in the World Trade Center around the time. Additionally, AMEC and Tully Construction played a major role in the clean up of Ground Zero and both have specialized controlled demolition companies.

Lastly, can you believe that one of the Council on Foreign Relations members who engaged President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran in a debate about the holocaust at CFR’s reception last week was none other than Hank Greenberg, who said he witnessed the Dachau camp as Germany fell? Could it all possibly be payback and then some?


April 26, 2006

Spitzer: Ace Settles Insurance Probe

By Michael Gormley, AP, Forbes

Insurance company Ace Ltd. on Wednesday settled a bid-rigging investigation by New York, Illinois and Connecticut for $80 million in restitution and penalties, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said.

Ace, a holding company based in Bermuda, and its subsidiaries were accused of bid rigging and improper transactions in so-called finite insurance and reinsurance contracts. Reinsurance is taken out by insurance companies to protect them from the risk they assume when they write traditional insurance polices such as those for homeowners and business owners. Finite-risk insurance is a type of reinsurance.

Ace agreed to reform its practices and issued an apology, Spitzer said….

“We continue to clean up the insurance industry,” Spitzer said. “Ace is also adopting reforms designed to address the problems created by the use of contingent commissions and finite insurance.” Contingent commissions, also known as incentive fees, are fees that are above ordinary commissions which brokers legally receive from insurance companies.

Half the settlement will go to policy holders who were victims, said Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. The other half will go the states in penalties.

“Because of this illegal conduct, policyholders did not get the impartial recommendations they deserved to get and they ended up paying more for their insurance,” Madigan said.

The Ace case stems from a massive regulatory settlement in the industry. In January 2005, Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. paid $850 million to settle Spitzer’s case into claims of bid rigging, price fixing and the use of hidden incentive fees. In its latest earnings report released in February, Marsh showed improved profits, but the nation’s largest insurance brokerage was still struggling after the massive regulatory settlement.

Spitzer had accused Ace of being “a full participant in a scheme to fix insurance prices,” according to spokesman Marc Violette. The case included an e-mail from a senior Ace executive that said Ace would provide an intentionally losing bid on a business-insurance contract offer in order to create the appearance of a competitive bidding process. Spitzer offered it as evidence there was collusion that hurt the business client seeking the insurance policy.

Seventeen executives in five companies – including eight former Marsh employees – pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the insurance investigation.

Shares of Ace Ltd. rose 56 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $53.56 in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.


April 20, 2005

Insurance Companies Eyed
By Global Watchdogs


The United States promoted the formation of the Financial Action Task Force during the 1989 G-7 Summit, motivated by the global range of the money-laundering problem and the competitive disadvantage its own anti-money-laundering regime imposed on its financial sector.

The FATF has helped develop a coordinated international response to money-laundering, which is defined as taking illicit proceeds and moving them into the legitimate economy. The FATF initially put forth 40 recommendations intended to help national governments implement effective anti-money-laundering regimes; these were first revised in 1996 and then further updated in 2003….

The FATF promotes policies at the national and international levels to combat money-laundering and terrorist-financing….

In October 2001 the FATF expanded its remit beyond its original mandate of traditional money-laundering to cover terrorist finance, which has been describes as “reverse money-laundering,” in that it takes legitimate sources of funds and turns them toward illicit ends….

The FATF currently consists of 33 full member, including 31 countries and territories, and two regional organisations. Members are mainly drawn from advanced countries but also include the European Commission and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – Dahrain, Kuwait, Omar, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates….

The FATF has become increasingly concerned that some money-laundering activities are migrating from banks to other parts of the formal financial sector. Therefore, the FATF is currently working on a report, scheduled to appear in June, which analyzes the role of the insurance sector in money-laundering. This exercise could lead to additional recommendations concerning the “best practices” to discourage money-laundering within this sector.

However, any additional scrutiny of problematic practices in the insurance sector comes at a difficult time as, in the United States, insurance firms such as Marsh & McLennan (nyse: MMC), Ace (nyse: ACE), AIG (nyse: AIG) and Berkshire Hathaway’s (nyse: BRKA) General RE unit are facing significant scrutiny by various state and federal regulators for various transgressions, including fraud, bid-rigging and improper transactions….

The FATF remains the principal international policy-making body dedicated to coordinating efforts to counter money-laundering and shut down terrorist finance. … Later this year, the FATF will probable extend its sectoral reach by making new recommendations covering the insurance sector….

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March 16, 2005

Ace Ltd. Slammed
by 43 Subpoenas

Associated Press, Forbes

Ace Ltd., the property and casualty insurer recently implicated in a probe of insurance industry practices, on Wednesday said it received 43 subpoenas and legal inquiries regarding its involvement in bid rigging and price fixing.

The Bermuda-based company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission it received subpoenas and other inquiries from 9 state attorneys general and one from Washington, D.C. Further, insurance commissioners and other regulators from 10 states also launched some form of legal action.

In addition, Ace said the SEC and New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer have issued subpoenas for information relating to “non-traditional or loss mitigating insurance products.” The insurer said it will continue to cooperate with such requests, and is also conducting its own internal investigation.

Ace was one of four insurers implicated, but not formally charged, in an investigation of brokerage Marsh & McLennan Co. launched in October by Spitzer. Spitzer filed a lawsuit against the nation’s largest insurance broker accusing it of bid rigging, price fixing, and demanding incentive fees from insurance companies in exchange for sending more business their way.

The internal investigation launched by Ace has resulted in the termination of two employees, on of whom already pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. Three other employees were suspended as part of the probe, which is being led by former U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White.

ACE said Chief Executive Evan Greenberg received a $1 million salary in 2004, with a $2.7 million bonus. He is scheduled to get a raise of $25,000 this year, according to the SEC filing.

Greenberg is the son of Maurice Greenberg, who stepped down this week as CEO of American International Group Inc. Greenberg’s older brother, Jeffrey, was CEO of Marsh & McLennan before being ousted in the wake of Spitzer’s investigation.

The insurer said it has received legal inquiries from attorneys general in Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia.

Insurance commissioners and other regulators from California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas have also contacted Ace….

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June 2, 1998

Vesta shares take a beating

CNN Financial News

Shares of Vesta Insurance Group Inc. headed into a freefall Tuesday after trading in the company’s stock resumed, plummeting more than 43% on news of reported accounting problems and the resignation of Vesta’s top executive.

Trading in Vesta shares was halted yesterday on the Big Board after the company confirmed it was conducting an internal probe into accounting irregularities that could affect previously reported earnings for the past six months by up to $15.25 million.

Adding to its woes, the company said its board had accepted the resignation of President and CEO Robert Huffman. The news sent Vesta stock down sharply Tuesday. It also caused several rating organizations to place Vesta under closer scrutiny. A.M. Best Co., an agency that rates the financial health of insurance companies, placed Vesta’s “A” rating “under review” with negative implications. (CNNfn)

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June 2, 1998

Hawaii insurer’s parent
pounded on Wall St.

Vesta Group, which owns Hawaiian Insurance & Guaranty,
reports ‘accounting irregularities’

Honolulu Star-Bulletin

NEW YORK — Vesta Insurance Group Inc., which owns a major Hawaii insurer, saw it shares plunge 47 percent today, a day after the parent company said “possible accounting irregularities” will force it to restate earnings for the last two quarters.

Vesta’s president and chief executive officer, Robert Y. Huffman, also has resigned.

However, the company’s Hawaii operation, Hawaiian Insurance & Guaranty Co., said it has not been affected by the changes at the Birmingham, Ala.-based parent.

“I expect no impact whatsoever on HIG’s operations,” said Pete Grimes, HIG general manager. HIG had been declared insolvent in 1992 after Hurricane Iniki losses. It was later rehabilitated by the state insurance division and was sold to Vesta in 1995 for $35 million.

Vesta’s stock closed today at $27.75 on the New York Stock Exchange, down $24.94 from its Friday close of $52.69. The stock did not open for trading yesterday….

Vesta is the holding company for the property and casualty insurance subsidiaries of Torchmark Corp., also based in Birmingham.

Torchmark, Vesta’s largest shareholder with 28 percent of the company’s outstanding shares as of Dec. 31, declined to comment.

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July 18, 2001


Item 2. Acquisition and Disposition of Assets.

On July 10, 2001, Vesta Fire Insurance Corporation, an Illinois corporation (“Vesta Fire”) and a wholly owned subsidiary of Vesta Insurance Group, Inc. completed its acquisition of 100% of the outstanding shares of capital stock of Florida Select Insurance Holdings, Inc. for approximately $64.5 million in cash. Vesta Fire acquired the stock of FSIH from FSIH’s four stockholders – Centre Solutions (Bermuda) Limited, Mynd Corporation, Orienta Point Group, L.L.C., and Kamehameha Schools Bernice Pauahi Bishop Estate.

The purchase price resulted from arms’ length negotiation which took into consideration various factors, including Florida Select’s book value at December 31, 2000 of approximately $31.5 million and net income for the twelve months ended December 31, 2001 of approximately $6.6 million.

Vesta funded the acquisition with the proceeds of its recently completed supplemental stock offering, which raised net proceeds of approximately $64.7 million before offering expenses.

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March 31, 2001 – December 31, 2001

Vesta Insurance Group, Inc.
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements
(amounts in thousands except per share amounts)

Securities Litigation

Subsequent to the filing of our quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended March 31, 1998 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”), we commenced an internal investigation to determine the exact scope and amount of certain reductions of reserves and overstatement of premium income in our reinsurance assumed business that had been recorded in the fourth quarter of 1997 and the first quarter of 1998. This investigation concluded that inappropriate amounts had, in fact, been recorded and we determined that we should restate our previously issued 1997 financial statements and first quarter 1998 Form 10-Q. Additionally, during our internal investigation we were advised by our then outside auditors that there was an error in the accounting methodology used to recognize earned premium income in our reinsurance business. We had historically reported certain assumed reinsurance premiums as earned in the year in which the related reinsurance contracts were entered even though the terms of those contracts frequently bridged two years. We determined that reinsurance premiums should be recognized as earned over the contract period and corrected the error in our accounting methodology by restating previously issued financial statements. On June 1, 1998 and June 29, 1998, we issued press releases, which were filed with the Commission, regarding the matters addressed in this section.

We restated our previously issued financial statements for 1995, 1996, and 1997 and our first quarter 1998 Form 10-Q for the above items by issuance of a current report on Form 8-K dated August 19, 1998. These restatements resulted in a cumulative decrease to stockholders’ equity of approximately $75.2 million through March 31, 1998. Commencing in June 1998, we and several of our current and former officers and directors were named as defendants in several purported class action lawsuits filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. Several of our officers and directors also have been named in a derivative action lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama, in which Vesta is a nominal defendant. In addition, we received various inquiries and requests for information from various state departments of insurance and other regulatory authorities, including a subpoena issued to Vesta on August 24, 1998 by the 34 Commission as part of a formal, non-public order of investigation. We fully responded to such requests in 1998, and no further requests for information from Vesta have been made by the Commission.

In March 1999, the actions filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama were consolidated into a single action in that district and certified as a class action. Torchmark Corporation and KPMG Peat Marwick LLP, our outside auditor at the time, were added as additional defendants in the consolidated class action. The consolidated amended complaint alleges violations of certain federal securities laws and seeks unspecified but potentially substantial damages. The court has denied all motions to dismiss and the class action is presently in discovery, with a trial date set for November 5, 2001. We are vigorously defending this litigation but there is no assurance of its outcome. The parties have conducted settlement discussions, but have not been successful in reaching any resolution. The derivative case has been stayed and placed on the administrative docket.

We have several layers of directors’ and officers’ liability insurance coverage (“D&O insurance”), the terms of which may cover all or a portion of the damages or settlement costs of the class action. These policies provide up to $100 million in D&O insurance to cover damages or settlement costs and an additional policy provides another layer of $10 million D&O insurance to cover any damages awarded by a court in these actions. Cincinnati Insurance Company (“Cincinnati”) issued the primary policy that provides the first $25 million of D&O insurance.

Federal Insurance Company (The Chubb Group of Insurance Companies) issued an excess D&O insurance policy which provides coverage for the second $25 million in losses, if necessary. The balance of the coverage is provided by a group of insurers and was purchased after the class actions comprising the consolidated class action were filed.

In September 1998, after these actions were filed, Cincinnati, which provides the primary insurance policy, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama seeking to rescind the policy and avoid the coverage. That action was dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and we then filed an action against Cincinnati in the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama, to enforce the policy and to recover damages arising out of Cincinnati’s actions. Cincinnati filed an answer and counterclaim in that action, seeking to rescind the policy and avoid the coverage. This action is in the discovery stage and the outcome is uncertain. There is no assurance that the primary insurance coverage will ultimately be available for any damages or settlement costs incurred.

The outcome of this litigation may also materially affect the availability of the excess policy issued by The Chubb Group. The damages sought by stockholder plaintiffs in the consolidated class action, either at trial or through settlement, may be substantial. If the damages or settlement costs incurred in connection with the consolidated class action and derivative action are ultimately determined not to be covered by our D&O insurance policies for any reason, we may incur a significant and material loss which could have a material and adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operation….

Indemnification Agreements and Liability Insurance

Pursuant to Delaware law and our Bylaws, we are obligated to indemnify our current and former officers and directors for certain liabilities arising from their employment with or services to Vesta, provided that their conduct complied with certain requirements. Pursuant to these obligations, we have agreed to advance costs of defense and other expenses on behalf of certain current and former officers and directors, subject to an undertaking from such individuals to repay any amounts advanced in the event a court determines that they are not entitled to indemnification.


As discussed above, we corrected our accounting for assumed reinsurance business through restatement of our previously issued financial statements. Similar corrections were made on a statutory accounting basis by recording cumulative adjustments in Vesta Fire’s 1997 statutory financial statements….

NRMA Insurance, Ltd. (“NRMA”), one of the participants in the 20% whole account quota share treaty, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama contesting our billings. NRMA sought rescission of the treaty and a temporary restraining order preventing us from drawing down approximately $34.5 million of collateral. We filed a demand for arbitration as provided for in the treaty and also filed a motion to compel arbitration which was granted in the United States District Court action. Vesta has entered into a $25 million letter of credit in favor of NRMA to fund any amounts NRMA may recover as a result of the arbitration. We filed for arbitration against the other two participants in the treaty and all of these arbitrations are in their early stages. While management believes its interpretation of the treaty’s terms and computations based thereon are correct, these matters are in their early stages and their ultimate outcome cannot be determined at this time.

During 1999, F&G Re (on behalf of USF&G), filed for arbitration under two aggregate stop loss reinsurance treaties whereby F&G Re assumed certain risk from us. F&G Re is seeking to rescind the treaties and avoid its obligation. Under the terms of the two treaties, we believe we will be entitled to recoveries of approximately $28.2 million as losses mature from prior accident years. Vesta has recorded a reinsurance recoverable of approximately $28.2 million as of March 31, 2001 and December 31, 2000 related to these two treaties. This arbitration is in its early stage and the ultimate outcome cannot be determined at this time.

A dispute has also arisen with CIGNA Property and Casualty Insurance Company (“CIGNA”) (now ACE USA) under a personal lines insurance quota share reinsurance agreement, whereby we assumed certain risks from CIGNA. During September 2000, CIGNA filed for arbitration under the reinsurance agreement, seeking payment of the balances that CIGNA claims are due under the terms of the treaty. In addition, during the fourth quarter, the treaty was terminated on a cut-off basis. Vesta is seeking recoupment of all improper claims payments and excessive expense allocations and charges from CIGNA. This arbitration is in its early stages and the ultimate outcome cannot be determined at this time.  

If the amounts recoverable under the relevant treaties are ultimately determined to be materially less than the amounts that we have reported as recoverable, we may incur a significant, material, and adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.

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August 21, 2000

Vesta Creates Office of the Chairman

Insurance Journal

Vesta Insurance Group, Inc. announced today that the company has created an Office of the Chairman and promoted William Perry Cronin to the position of Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Vesta Insurance Group.

Mr. Cronin was previously Senior Vice President, Controller and Treasurer of Vesta Insurance Group. The newly created Office of the Chairman will be charged with setting and executing the strategic direction of the Company and will include the Chairman, James E. Tait and the President, Norman W. Gayle, III.

“Perry’s promotion is an acknowledgement of his instrumental role in the success of Vesta’s turnaround,” said Norman W. Gayle, President of Vesta Insurance Group….

Cronin has served Vesta Insurance Group in an executive capacity since January 1999, and has been responsible for all accounting and financial operations at the subsidiary level, as well as Securities and Exchange Commission reporting for Vesta Insurance Group.

Cronin moves into his new role with seventeen years of finance experience. Prior to joining Vesta, he worked at several accounting firms, including Ernst and Young L.L.P. and Coopers and Lybrand.

Hopson B. Nance joins Vesta Insurance Group as Vice President and Controller.

Nance previously worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers….

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October 22, 2002

CFO Resigns Over Alleged Conflict

by Stephen Taub,

Vesta Insurance Group, Inc. said Monday Chief Financial Officer, W. Perry Cronin resigned, effective immediately.

Hopson B. Nance, vice president and controller, has been named Interim Chief Financial Officer. Nance, who had formerly worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers, joined Vesta in July 2000.

“These relationships do not impact the accuracy of our financial statements and we intend to certify our financial statements for the third quarter,” said Norman W. Gayle III, President and CEO.

He added the company is looking to name a permanent CFO by the end of the year….

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January 8, 2005


By Diane Levick, The Hartford Courant

The St. Paul Cos. – now part of The St. Paul Travelers Cos. – was among the insurers that benefited from alleged bid-rigging by broker Marsh Inc., the New York attorney general’s office said.

A court document released Thursday on the guilty plea of a Marsh senior vice president draws St. Paul Travelers into the controversy, but does not make clear whether the insurer intentionally participated in any wrongdoing….

Robert Stearns, an executive in Marsh’s excess casualty business, pleaded guilty in a New York court Thursday to the felony of scheming to defraud in the first degree. It was the sixth guilty plea in a far-reaching probe of the insurance industry by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

Stearns asked various insurers to submit bids that were less favorable than others, so Marsh could steer business to maximize its profits and protect incumbent insurers on certain accounts that were up for renewal, the felony complaint says.

The sham bids were sometimes called “B Quotes” or simply “B”.

In one example in March 2003, Stearns asked a Marsh broker in an e-mail to get a B quote from insurer Zurich on an account that would be renewing insurance with St. Paul, the complaint says. Stearns suggested “325,000 should work” because St. Paul’s price was $270,000, the complaint says.

Later that day, Stearns repeated the request, and the next day, a Zurich underwriter provided a $360,000 quote to Marsh, the document says.

In another March 2003 example, Stearns was asked by another Marsh executive to get B quotes on an account that was up for renewal with American International Group. “Further e-mails reflect that Zurich, ACE, and St. Paul subsequently offered losing quotes on this account,” the complaint states.

The document does not say whether St. Paul knew its quote for the account would be used in bid-rigging.

However, a Marsh broker’s e-mail that was cited in the document strongly implies he considered the B quotes laughable, as the broker told an ACE underwriter: “need a B for [expletive] and giggles.”

The client renewed insurance with American International Group.

St. Paul Travelers was not named in Spitzer’s bid-rigging lawsuit against Marsh in October, though the suit implicated several insurers including The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. without naming them defendants.

However, Spitzer’s office has subpoenaed information from St. Paul and dozens of other companies.

Meanwhile Friday, Spitzer said he expects the guilty pleas he has gotten so far will lead to more charges.

“We are laying the foundation with these criminal cases that permit us to make criminal cases and bring criminal actions against those more senior within the companies,” Spitzer said after a state assemble hearing in New York, according to Bloomberg News.

In addition to Stearns, guilty pleas have come from two executives at AIG, two from Zurich American Insurance Co. and one from ACE.

In another development, Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. said Friday it has named E. Scott Gilbert to the new post of senior vice president and chief compliance officer effective Jan. 24. He was chief compliance counsel for the General Electric Co.

For more, GO TO > > > Claims By Harmon; Claims By Harmon: The St. Paul Travelers

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White House Press Release

January 5, 2005

Legal Reform: The High Costs of Lawsuit Abuse

Presidential Action

        President Bush on January 5, 2005, highlighted the need for common-sense medical liability reform to protect patients, to stop the sky-rocketing costs associated with frivolous lawsuits, to make health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans, and to keep necessary services in communities that need them most….

        The President also stressed the need for class action lawsuit reform and asbestos litigation reform, and he urged Congress to enact proposed reforms. Class action lawsuits are an important part of the U.S. legal system. However when the ability to bring a class action lawsuit is abused, it truly harms injured parties and undermines the American judicial system. The growing problem of asbestos litigation is similarly hurting workers, bankrupting businesses, and delaying relief for the truly sick claimants….

        Aiding Asbestos Victims with a Fair System and Long-Term Solution

Victims of asbestos-related diseases deserve a fair system and a long-term solution. The current system may leave little or no funds to pay current and future asbestos victims; is costly to administer (future transaction costs are estimated at between $145 and $210 billion); will impose large, indirect costs on the economy; and has driven exposed defendants, including small businesses, into bankruptcy. Asbestos, as the longest-running mass tort litigation in U.S. history, has led to the bankruptcies of at least 74 companies.

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One day later…

January 6, 2005


By Alistair Barr, CBS Marketwatch

Ace Ltd., one of the largest U.S. property and casualty insurers, boosted its asbestos reserves and gave a 2005 forecast that disappointed some analysts.

The Bermuda-based firm said late Wednesday that it will take a $298 million, or $1.05 per share, after-tax charge in its fiscal fourth quarter to strengthen its asbestos, environmental and other runoff reserves….

“Ace’s news is bad, but not horrible,” Paul Newsome, an analyst at A.G. Edwards said in a note to clients.

After initially dipping, Ace shares climbed 54 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $42.73 in morning trading Thursday.

The asbestos charge was about $100 million higher than Newsome expected. However, the analyst said that the charge is manageable and means the firm will have made a profit in the fourth quarter of 2004.

Ace also announce that is has agreed to sell three asbestos-related units – Ace American Reinsurance Co., Brandywine Reinsurance Co. Ltd, and Brandywine Reinsurance Co., S.A.-N.V. – to international insurance firm Randall & Quiter Investment Holdings Ltd. The move will reduce the amount of capital the firm has to put aside to cover future liabilities….

Jay Gelb, an analyst at Prudential Equity Group, calculated that Ace’s new forecasts suggest 2005 earnings of $4.95 to $5.75 per share….

Head of U.S. unit replaced

Ace also said late Wednesday that Susan Rivera, chief executive of its U.S.-based property and casualty retail brokerage division Ace USA, resigned. Brian Dowd replaces her.

According to a Wall Street Journal report in October, Rivera and another Ace executive Geoffrey Gregory knew about potentially anti-competitive practices months before New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer accused the firm and other insurers and brokers of bid-rigging.

“Ace cleaned the house,” Newsome said. “We consider the loss of Ms. Rivera a loss to Ace, as we believed her to be a very able executive.”

Topping off asbestos reserves…

Based on studies by the company, an independent actuary and the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance, Ace had been expected to unveil an after-tax charge of about $500 million to bolster its current $2.7 billion of asbestos reserves, Prudential Equity’s Gelb estimated Wednesday….

A.M. Best reckons U.S. property and casualty insurers had $14 billion worth of unfunded asbestos liabilities at the end of 2003. The insurance rating agency expects the industry to ultimately lose $65 billion from asbestos claims.

Ace inherited most of the asbestos liabilities from its 1999 acquisition of Cigna’s property and casualty business.

In a move approved by the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner in 1995, Cigna chopped its P&C operations into two companies: one that kept accepting new policies and another, Brandywine, which housed most of its asbestos liabilities and didn’t write new business.

Most of the cash and investments held by Brandywine to pay asbestos claims have been used up, according to A.G. Edward’s Newsome.

When Ace acquired the Cigna business, it bought $2.5 billion worth of reinsurance coverage from Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary National Indemnity.

That protection was exhausted when Ace took about $2 billion in asbestos charges in 2002.

Before Thursday, claims had eaten up more than half of a $800 million reinsurance contract between Brandywine and parent Ace USA – a requirement of regulators in Pennsylvania.

That left about $344 million of protection before Ace would have to decide whether to pump more money into Brandywine, something the firm’s management has repeatedly said it wouldn’t do, Newsome wrote in a note to clients Wednesday.

The charges announced late Wednesday meant Ace exceeded this internal reinsurance coverage and ended up having to pump $100 million of new capital into Brandywine, Newsome explained Thursday….

< < < FLASHBACK < < <

April 25, 2003

Tort Deform

How big business turned the Texas House into a puppet show. And can we cut the strings?

Payoff is a Bitch

By Jessica Chapman and Dave Mann, The Texas Observer

During the lengthy House floor debate on the omnibus civil justice legislation last month, Democrats referred to the House gallery – where the three amigos of tort reform, Dick Weekley, Leo Linbeck, and Dick Trabulsi were perched (along with the Speaker’s wife) – as the “owner’s box.”

It struck many at the Capitol as an accurate assessment of who really ran the Texas House while it passed House Bill 4 and its companion constitutional amendment, House Bill 3. Together, the two bills will cap non-economic jury awards in medical malpractice suits at $250,000, pave the way for future caps, and impose a host of other restrictions on civil liability cases.

The folks in the owner’s box represent Texans for Lawsuit Reform (TLR) and its top donors. They helped engineer the Republican takeover of the House last fall that handed Rep. Tom Craddick (R-Midland) his long-sought speakership. In return, Craddick and the House leadership went to extraordinary lengths to pass the tort reformers’ dream leadership package almost untouched.

As the three founders of Texans for Lawsuit Reform watched from the gallery, Craddick overruled one point of order after another, and 88 Republicans robotically scuttled nearly 70 Democratic amendments in an impressive display of legislative force and heavy-handed politics. The true beneficiaries of all this legislative turmoil will be TLR and its supporters, not coincidentally, the very people who wrote the bill, and the heaviest hitters in some of the state’s most lawsuit-prone industries.

Beginning with the 1996 elections, the Houston-based TLR PAC spent millions in highly organized attempts to overthrow former Speaker Pete Laney (D-Hale Center) and install Craddick. In 2002, it finally succeeded, joining with Tom DeLay-spawned Texans for a Republican Majority and the Texas Association of Business to help elect 27 Republican freshmen….

Buying the Texas House didn’t come cheap, unless one factors in future business savings. According to campaign contribution records, TLR’s political action committee gave more than $1.8 million to candidates in 2002. Its top donors separately contributed several million more….

A number of major corporations as well stand to benefit directly from provisions of HB 4 and its constitutional amendment HJR 3. The most blatant example is the so-called “Dick Cheney” amendment, which would make it easier for companies to elude asbestos lawsuits.

The amendment, a collaboration between Rep. Will Harnett (R-Dallas) and Rep. Joe Nixon (R-Houston), seems drafted specifically for Cheney’s former employer, Houston-based Halliburton.

One of Halliburton’s main subsidiaries, Dresser Industries, has already paid millions in asbestos liability it absorbed from a company it bought in 1967. The Cheney amendment would limit successor liability so that the maximum Halliburton and Dresser would be forced the pay in asbestos claims would equal the value of the company Dresser bought back in 1967. Dresser has already paid that amount in settlements, effectively ending its asbestos liability.

Last November, Halliburton indicated it was ready to settle nearly 300,000 current and future asbestos suits for a payout of $4 billion. But a month later, Halliburton backed away from the settlement offer.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys believe the company is awaiting the outcome of tort reform at the Lege. If the Chaney amendment is enacted, Halliburton wouldn’t have to pay the $4 billion settlement, or any other asbestos damages, and victims would be flat out of luck.

Honeywell is another company with significant asbestos liability and likely to save billions from HB4. Many of these companies purchased smaller firms on the cheap, discounted because of liability concerns.

Now, if that liability is lifted, the buyers will reap a major windfall….

> > > FAST FORWARD > > >

January 21, 2005

Connecticut AG Sues Marsh, Ace Financial in
Broker Commission Case

Insurance Journal

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on Friday sued insurance broker Marsh & McLennan Inc., and insurance provider ACE Financial Solutions Inc., for a scheme in which ACE reportedly paid Marsh a secret $50,000 commission to steer an $80 million state contract to the company.

Blumenthal’s office is investigating whether ACE may have paid additional illegal commissions to Marsh in the deal.

Marsh reportedly never told the Department of Administrative Services (DAS), which paid the company $100,000 to act as its advisor on the contract, about the $50,000 or any additional payments. Marsh reportedly solicited and accepted the $50,000 commission, even though the DAS clearly expected the company to accept no additional fees.

It was also reported that Marsh failed to inform the DAS that ACE was in serious financial difficulty at the time it sought the contract.

The lawsuit is the first of a series of legal actions that Blumenthal expects to bring soon in his ongoing investigation into insurance industry abuses.

“As offensive as this specific scheme is the outrageously common pattern and practice of illegal commissions and kickbacks that it reflects,” Blumenthal said.

“This lawsuit – the first of a series anticipated against insurance abuses – shows particular arrogance and avarice in victimizing the state and its taxpayers. Whatever name they are called – bonuses, commissions, overrides – the effect of these concealed kickbacks is to steer contracts, corrupt competitive bidding, inflate costs and deceive customers. The resources raided by Marsh and ACE were a public trust to be used for compensating workers. Our investigation is active and ongoing, and additional legal action will be forthcoming shortly involving other companies and consumer victims.”

In April 2001, the DAS sought an insurance company to administer 678 workman’s compensation cases. The cases involved state workers with serious injuries, many of them requiring long-term care, and were therefore unusually expensive….

Two brokers, Marsh and Hagedorn & Company, responded to the state’s request for qualification (RFQ). As required by the RFQ, Marsh named its “preferred” companies, including ACE.

The DAS eventually selected both Marsh and Hagedorn. In its contract, Marsh agreed to limit its commission to a $100,000 fee from the state.

Despite that express limit, Marsh reportedly demanded that ACE pay Marsh a commission on the DAS contract if it wanted to continue receiving similar contracts. On Dec. 3, 2001, less than two weeks after the deal was finalized, a Marsh executive informed the company’s New York office that ACE had agreed to pay a $50,000 commission on the DAS contract. The two companies then reportedly signed a confidentiality agreement preventing ACE from revealing the terms of the deal.

In selecting ACE, Marsh also reportedly failed to inform the DAS of the company’s dire financial condition resulting from claims stemming from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The DAS awarded ACE the contract in November 2001, paying the firm $80 million to take over the portfolio of cases.

Blumenthal’s suit accuses Marsh of violating Connecticut consumer protection laws by accepting a commission other than the $100,000 paid by the state, falsely claiming that it considered only the state’s best financial interests in arranging the contract, and falsely claiming that it recommended ACE sole on ACE’s qualifications.

The attorney general’s action seeks actual and punitive damages, information allowing determination of how much Marsh was falsely paid and reimbursement for legal and investigative expenses.

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(Catbird Note: For an earlier case of alleged corruption, collusion, kick-backs, racketeering, bid rigging and price fixing involving Marsh & McLennan, ACE, The Chubb Group, and other birds of a feather, GO TO > > > Harmon’s Letter to the Hawaii Attorney General; Harmon’s Claim Letter to John Sinnott; Harmon’s Letter to the FBI; Harmon’s Letter to the IRS; Harmon’s Letters to Insurance Commissioners; RICO in Paradise; Claims By Harmon)

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February 23, 2005

Lawsuit Accuses Insurers of
Rigging Bids, Fixing Prices

Two small businesses allege that insurers paid
independent agents a second commission

By Rene Stutzman, Orlando Sentinel

SANFORD – Two small Seminole County businesses are suing some of the insurance industry’s most prominent players, including the Chubb Corp. and Prudential Financial Inc., accusing them of rigging bids and fixing prices.

The suit, which seeks class-action status, names two-dozen insurance companies or insurance brokerages that do business in Florida.

It accuses the insurers of paying independent agents a second commission, or “contingent commissions,” to lock up more business.

Independent agents are supposed to work strictly for their clients, according to the suit, selling the insurance policy that best fits their needs.

The second commission though, skews that, causing agents to push the insurance line that pays them what amounts to a “kickback,” according to the suit. It accuses the insurers and brokers of racketeering, bid rigging and anti-competitive behavior.

As a consequence, customers – all of them businesses – have been cheated out of “hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars” since 1994, according to the suit.

The suit makes the same allegations that New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer did four months ago, when he launched an investigation that, so far, has won guilty pleas from nine insurance company or insurance brokerage executives, including those associated with two of the companies named in the Seminole County suit.

Those two companies are American International Group, also known as AIG, and ACE Insurance.

Shortly after Spitzer announced his investigation, Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist began one of his own. Crist has issued subpoenas to nearly two-dozen insurance companies and brokers, according to Bob Sparks, a spokesman in Crist’s office.

The Seminole County suit was filed Feb. 16 in state Circuit Court here by Palm Tree Computer Systems Inc., a small Oviedo company that sells and services computers and provides Web page design and hosting; and Delta Research Institute Inc., a Longwood financial-research company.

Officers with neither company would discuss the suit. Each, though, is represented by Longwood lawyer Mark Nation….

A tiny, independent insurance agency in Winter Park, First Market International Inc., is one of the defendants. It sold insurance from The Hartford to Palm Tree.

First Market President Tom Rossello called the allegations “ridiculous.”

“No, we don’t get contingent commissions,” he said.

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October 15, 2004

Insurance Scheme
Rigged Bids

By Gregory Bull, AP, USA Today

ALBANY, N.Y. – New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer on Thursday sued No. 1 insurance brokerage Marsh & McLennan and arrested two American International Group executives in his first prosecution of the insurance industry.

Spitzer alleged that Marsh & McLennan took “lucrative payoffs” for steering unsuspecting clients to certain insurers. Spitzer also said American International (AIG), Hartford Financial Services Group, Ace, and Munich Re participated in steering and bid rigging.”

“Where is the ethical compass of this industry?” Spitzer said in a news conference, calling it “thoroughly corrupt.”

The victims were mostly large corporations who were deceived into buying property and casualty coverage that may have cost more, but also included small and midsize businesses, municipal governments, school districts and individuals, Spitzer said….

In some cases, Spitzer said, companies provided false and inflated quotes to help another in the scheme win a bid, with the idea that a subsequent bid would be steered to them.

A 2001 internal memo from a regional manager at Munich to a senior vice president said: “This idea of ‘throwing the quote’ by quoting artificially high numbers in some predetermined arrangement for us to lose is repugnant to me, not so much because I hate to lose, but because it is basically dishonest. And I basically agree with the comments of others that it comes awfully close to collusion or price fixing.”…

“If the practices identified in our suit are as widespread as they appear to be, then the industry’s fundamental business model needs major corrective action and reform,” said Spitzer, who has forced Wall Street to adopt measures against conflicts of interest among stock analysts….

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(Catbird Note: For an earlier alleged case of steering and bid rigging involving Marsh & McLennan and the Chubb Group, GO TO > > > Harmon’s Claim Letter to John Sinnott; RICO in Paradise; Claims By Harmon )

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October 27, 2004

Ace in the Hole?

By Rick Aristotle Munarriz, The Motley Fool

Does the apple fall far from the tree when the orchard is ripe for resignation?

With Marsh & McLennan (NYSE: MMC) CEO Jeffrey Greenberg stepping down over the weekend after New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer accused the insurance broker of faking bids, will Evan Greenberg be the next Greenberg to go?

Evan, Jeffrey’s brother, heads up ACE Limited (NYSE: ACE), one of the insurance providers being singled out by Spitzer for supposedly being funneled business inappropriately in exchange for contingent commissions.

Keeping it in the family, another of the companies implicated in the tangled Marsh & McLennan web of accusations is American International (NYSE: AIG) – run by Evan and Jeffrey’s father. Yep, that’s going to be one uneasy family reunion.

Each party is jockeying for position as the market begins to tally the potential implications, but it’s business as usual as ACE posted disappointing third-quarter results last night. Hurricanes and typhoons cost the company dearly as it posted a loss of $0.05 a share after generating a profit of $1.22 per share a year earlier. While one may be tempted to back out the $1.42-per-share hit that the company is taking to account for the $409 in catastrophe losses, why would you? It’s that very perception of risk that keeps the company — and the industry — in business….

Naturally, Spitzer’s vigilant eye will keep the company in check until matters are resolved. Allegations are just that — allegations — and the best and worst case scenarios are so wide in scope that just about the only assurance here is that there will be a bit of volatility in the shares in the near term.

Yet you only need to look as far as Berkshire Hathaway’s (NYSE: BRK.A) Warren Buffett to know that the insurance field can be a great industry if you have a financially sturdy company taking all the right risks.

If ACE’s hands do come up dirty, then all bets are off in the muddy playing field.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz thinks that Spitzer’s next watchdog assignment may come with good news — if he switches to GEICO. Rick does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story.

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Last Update October 4, 2006, by The Catbird