SEPTEMBER 19, 2014 09:59 AM (EDT)

A.M. Best Affirms Ratings of Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company


CONTACTS:
 
Joel Silverthorn
Senior Financial Analyst
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5120
joel.silverthorn@ambest.com

Greg Williams
Assistant Vice President
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5815
greg.williams@ambest.com


Christopher Sharkey
Manager, Public Relations
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5159
christopher.sharkey@ambest.com

Jim Peavy
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
(908) 439-2200, ext. 5644
james.peavy@ambest.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OLDWICK - SEPTEMBER 19, 2014 09:59 AM (EDT)
A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and the issuer credit rating (ICR) of "a-" of Trisura Guarantee Insurance Company (Trisura), (Toronto, Ontario, Canada). The outlook for both ratings remains stable.

These rating affirmations are based on the company's continued levels of solid risk-adjusted capitalization, favorable underwriting and operating profitability, the support of their ultimate parent, Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) [NYSE: BAM], and strong brand recognition through its consistent business strategy. Partially offsetting these positive rating factors are competitive market pressures, a slightly elevated underwriting expense ratio, macro-economic pressures currently existing in Canada and continued soft market conditions.

The positive rating factors are derived from the company's consistent operating profitability, driven by positive underwriting results and strong investment income. As a result, pre-tax operating returns on revenue and equity remain favorable and overall risk-adjusted capitalization continues to improve. These favorable results, along with positive operating cash flows, have continued through 2014, and have helped the company maintain good overall liquidity. Trisura remains committed to the broker distribution channel in Canada to help promote its focus on small- to medium-size market risks. Although Trisura is relatively new to the market, its management team continues to demonstrate their industry expertise and depth of knowledge in their product base.

Partially offsetting these positive factors are competitive market pressures that continue to reflect the soft market conditions in the liability and fidelity lines, and the impact of a weak economy on the surety lines. Additionally, the company has ramped up its personnel to support future business, and as a result, remains affected by an elevated underwriting expense ratio as it grows into its support structure. While the company's equity continues to support premium and liability exposures, A.M. Best believes reductions in government spending under challenging economic conditions, along with existing soft market conditions, will continue to require management to balance strong operating results with a measured risk appetite over the midterm.

A.M. Best does not expect any revision to the stable outlook on the ratings of Trisura in the near to intermediate term. However, negative ratings actions could occur if the group were to incur material losses in its capitalization; have a severe reduction in the profitability of its core book of business; be unable to contain the group's exposure to premium growth with the current set of preventative measures; or have substantial adverse reserve development relative to its peers, as well as the industry average.

Concurrently, A.M. Best has withdrawn the ICR of "bbb-" of 6436978 Canada Limited (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), Trisura's immediate holding company, as it is no longer applicable in the rating process.

The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best's Credit Rating Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best's rating process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating process. Best's Credit Rating Methodology can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology.

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