AM Best has revised the outlooks to negative from stable and affirmed the Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) and the Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of 'a-' (Excellent) of Sigurd Ruck AG (Sigurd) (Switzerland).
The Credit Ratings (ratings) reflect Sigurd's balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its strong operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate enterprise risk management (ERM). The ratings also factor in Sigurd's association with its parent company, Saipem S.p.A. (Saipem).
Sigurd is the captive reinsurer of Saipem, a leading company in engineering, drilling and construction of major projects in the energy and infrastructure sectors that has a presence in over 60 countries. The captive is a key element of its parent's risk management framework.
The revision of the outlooks to negative reflects a deterioration in the creditworthiness of Saipem, and the potential for this to have a negative impact on Sigurd.
Sigurd's balance sheet strength assessment is underpinned by its risk-adjusted capitalisation at the strongest level, as measured by Best's Capital Adequacy Ratio (BCAR). AM Best expects Sigurd's risk-adjusted capitalisation to remain comfortably in excess of the minimum required for the strongest assessment, supported by its low underwriting leverage, conservative investment policy, moderate exposure to catastrophe losses, and comprehensive retrocession programme with a well-rated panel of retrocessionaires. A partially offsetting factor in the balance sheet strength assessment is Sigurd's elevated concentration and credit risk stemming from the cash pooling agreement that the captive has in place with the Saipem group. Receivables from the Saipem group accounted for 70.0% of Sigurd's capital at the end of 2020.
Sigurd has a track record of strong operating performance, evidenced by a five-year (2016-2020) weighted average return-on-equity and combined ratio of 13.6% and 57.8%, respectively. Profitability has been supported by a low and stable expense ratio and a good, albeit volatile, loss ratio. AM Best expects Sigurd's operating performance to remain supportive of a strong assessment prospectively.
AM Best remains the leading rating agency of alternative risk transfer entities, with more than 200 such vehicles rated throughout the world. For current Best's Credit Ratings and independent data on the captive and alternative risk transfer insurance market, please visit www.ambest.com/captive.
This press release relates to Credit Ratings that have been published on AM Best's website. For all rating information relating to the release and pertinent disclosures, including details of the office responsible for issuing each of the individual ratings referenced in this release, please see AM Best's Recent Rating Activity web page. For additional information regarding the use and limitations of Credit Rating opinions, please view Guide to Best's Credit Ratings. For information on the proper use of Best's Credit Ratings, Best's Preliminary Credit Assessments and AM Best press releases, please view Guide to Proper Use of Best's Ratings & Assessments.
AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specialising in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City.