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Markel Corporation's 2013 Letter to Shareholders

March 25, 2014 | About:

2013

To Our Business Partners

Here is our annual report for 2013. Each year we write this letter to update you on the financial performance of your company and to qualitatively describe what went on at Markel. This is your company. We as managers are stewards of your capital. You’ve entrusted us with the authority to run this business, and this annual report functions as our report card to you. As John Cheever said about a kiss, “You can’t do it alone.” We thank you for your partnership and the opportunity to do this because among other things ... it’s fun.

Part of what makes it fun stems from the fact that 2013 was a year of fabulous financial performance. Financial results are a scorecard that measures one dimension of how good we are at doing our jobs. We like to think we are good at what we do, and it is pleasant to be able to report outstanding financial results and good marks.

Here are the headlines for 2013. Total revenues increased 44% to $4.3 billion, we earned comprehensive income of $459 million, and book value per share grew 18% to $477.16. We transformed the company by almost doubling the size of our insurance operations with the acquisition of Alterra on May 1st and we are pleased with the pace of our integration efforts.

When we announced the Alterra acquisition, we emphasized the idea of “scale enhanced, business as usual.” We said this to give comfort to our insurance customers while we addressed the integration of the two companies, but we also think it is an equally compelling message for our investors.

This is a long letter. It takes a bit of time to update you on how things progress each year. If you just want the Twitter version of less than 140 characters, here it is ...

2013 a great year. Doubled insurance business with Alterra acquisition. Rest of Markel grew by double digits. Expect more over time.

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