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Greenlight Capital Re - Conference Call

February 20, 2014 | About:
bernhardf

bernhardf

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Thank you for joining the Greenlight Capital Re conference call for Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2013 Earnings. Joining us on the call this morning are David Einhorn (Trades, Portfolio), Chairman; Bart Hedges, Chief Executive Officer; Tim Courtis, Chief Financial Officer; Brendan Barry, Chief Underwriting Officer and Claude Wagner, Chief Actuarial Officer.

The company reminds you that forward-looking statements that may be made in this call are intended to be covered by the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The forward-looking statements are not statements of historical facts, but rather reflect the Company’s current expectations, estimates and predictions about future results and events and are subject to risks, uncertainties and assumptions, including those enumerated in the Company’s Form 10-K dated February 18, 2014, and other documents filed by the company with the SEC.

If one or more risks or uncertainties materialize or if the company’s underlying assumptions prove to be incorrect, actual results may vary materially from what the company projects. The Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Please note the event is being recorded and I will now like to turn the conference over to Bart Hedges. Please go ahead sir.

Bart Hedges

Good morning. Thank you for taking the time to join us today. Reinsurance market remained challenging during 2013. In general the market remained overcapitalized during the high degree of competition especially from new business. The investment environment was more appraisable in 2013 as the equity markets reflected reduced concerns about economic uncertainties despite lack luster corporate earnings.

In the fourth quarter of 2013, Greenlight Re generated profits in both our underwriting and investment portfolios. Overall our fully diluted adjusted book value per share increased by 8.6% in the quarter and increased by 26.8% for the year. Our 2013 underwriting result improved significantly from 2012, our combined ratio for the full year of 2013 was 97.1% compared to 112.9% for the prior year. The return from underwriting continues to be driven by profitable performance in each of our four core areas of concentration, Florida homeowners, non-standard auto liability and employer stop-loss and catastrophe retro.

The composite ratio which is the loss ratio plus the acquisition cost ratio for these four core areas for the fourth quarter and full year 2013 was 95.7% and 89.4% respectively. These four areas represent approximately 92% of our 2013 net earned premium. We continue to find this business attractive and believe we have strong relationships with our partners continue producing profitable returns in 2014.

We continue to monitor run-off of our commercial automobile and general liability book to business. These accounts are developing as expected based on our current estimates of ultimate losses. Recently several other companies reported material development of past reserves related to business similar to ours. By our performance on this business was poor, we believe we spotted the trends quickly and by recognizing losses in 2012 and litigating further exposure we were and are ahead of the curve in recognizing our ultimately liabilities.

While the reinsurance market remains challenging, our gross premiums written for 2013 increased by 25.2% over 2012 and net premiums earned increased by 17.4% over 2012. This growth was mainly attributable to the growth in our non-standard automobile liability business. We did not add any new non-standard automobile accounts during 2013 but our existing partners grew significantly. However we do not expect this growth to continue into 2014. Our property catastrophe retro account continues to benefit from the light [ph] year for catastrophes. The market for this business is competitive with a great deal of new capital from investors looking to increase their returns through investments in CAT bonds, IOS funds, sidecars and other alternative vehicles. We remain disciplined in our approach for this business and we will reduce our writings if we cannot find transactions worth attractive risk adjusted returns.

With respect to our property catastrophe aggregates our maximum exposure to a single event is currently $106.4 million and our maximum exposure to all events is $177.4 million. As a reminder we measure our aggregate as the maximum amount of limit available less the amount of reinstatement premiums due. We do not knew that the probable maximum loss to PM [ph] approach.

At January 1, 2014 we had mixed experience with our renewals and new business. We decided to not renew one significant non-standard automobile contract to a highly competitive reinsurance pricing and uncertainty about the company’s abilities to continue producing profitable business. We renewed several other catastrophe retro accounts. This continued one long standing retro account and added two new retro accounts. Our underwriting team is focused on finding new opportunities where we can use our differentiated client centric approach to underwriting to develop long term partnerships. We continue to focus on only accepting well priced rates [ph] and we believe even in a difficult market we can produce underwriting profits.

Now I would like to turn the call over to our Chairman, David Einhorn (Trades, Portfolio) to discuss our investment results and the progress in Greenlight Re’s overall strategy.

David Einhorn (Trades, Portfolio)

Thanks Bart. Good morning everyone. The Greenlight Re investment portfolio returned 6.6% in the fourth quarter and 19.6% in 2013. During the quarter our longs outperformed the S&P 500, our shorts went up less than the market and macro-positions led by Yen, were a slight contributor. This is also the case for the full year as we generated alpha in both our long and short portfolios and had gains in our macro-positions. During the quarter the largest contributors to our results were long positions in Apple, Marvell and Micron Technologies.

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