White Mountains Earnings Highlight BAM's Growing Claims-Paying Resources
NEW YORK, February 15, 2015
White Mountains Insurance Group, which provided the initial capital to support the launch of Build America Mutual, today released its full- year 2014 results, including a discussion of BAM’s performance. The release, which can be viewed here, noted that BAM’s claims-paying resources increased to $581 million during the year. BAM insured $7.8 billion of municipal bonds in 2014, up 66% from 2014, and guaranteed more than half of all insured primary-market transactions.
White Mountains reports on BAM in its GAAP earnings statements because it is the holder of approximately $500 million of surplus notes issued by the company as part of its initial capitalization. As a mutual company, BAM itself files financial statements that follow statutory accounting principles, which are designed to focus on the company’s financial strength for policyholders and beneficiaries. BAM will release its own earnings report, including a complete Operating Supplement with details on its insured portfolio, later in February.
In the release, Seán McCarthy, Chief Executive Officer of BAM, discussed industry business conditions in 2014: “The fourth quarter was BAM's most productive to date, capping a year of strong growth for the company and increasing investor demand for municipal bond insurance. Although the overall volume of new-issue municipal bonds was essentially unchanged from 2013, the volume of insured municipal bonds increased more than 60% and BAM's share of the market rose as well, to 40% of the insured par and more than half of all insured transactions. Rising volume in the overall market in the fourth quarter helped stabilize pricing, which improved slightly despite the continuing challenges posed by the low interest-rate environment.”
McCarthy continued, “The use of bond insurance was particularly strong in BAM's core market of small- and mid-sized issuers with ratings in the single-A and triple-B ratings categories, who benefit most from the additional disclosure and transparency offered by BAM's ODB credit-summary reports. More than 60% of bonds sold in that target market carried insurance, and BAM's market share among these was 54%.”
About Build America Mutual
BAM is a mutual bond insurance company operated for the benefit of its members – the cities, states and other municipal entities that use BAM’s financial guaranty to lower their cost of borrowing. BAM is sponsored by the National League of Cities. Learn more at http://buildamerica.com/mission
For more information, please contact:
Michael Stanton, Head of Corporate Strategy and Communications 212-235-2575; firstname.lastname@example.org