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Conyers Dill & Pearman advised on the licensing by the Bermuda Monetary Authority of Watford Re Ltd. (“Watford”), a multi-line Bermuda reinsurance company that launched with US$1.133 billion of capital, as a Class 4 insurer. Arch Underwriters Ltd., a subsidiary of Arch Capital Group Limited (“AGCL”), will act as Watford’s reinsurance manager, and Highbridge Principal Strategies, a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co., will manage Watford’s investment assets, each under a long term services agreement. Watford has received an “A-” (Excellent) financial strength rating from A.M. Best. Watford’s strategy is to combine a diversified reinsurance business with a disciplined investment strategy comprised primarily of non-investment grade credit fixed income assets.
Watford was capitalised by way of a private offering by Watford’s parent, Watford Holdings Ltd. which issued US$907 million common shares, including a $100 million investment by a subsidiary of AGCL, and US$226 million preference shares.
Graham Collis, Chris Garrod and Mary Ward of Conyers’ Bermuda office advised on the matter, working alongside Clifford Chance LLP and Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP.