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Great minds think alike

Dear Friend,

Ask and you shall receive! Air an idea in this business and someone usually runs with it.

So, well done to Validus for taking up my idea of boosting capacity for excess wind cover in the Gulf of Mexico to take advantage of the storming deals you can do down there right now. I assume the cheque’s in the post?

Actually, when I say my idea, that would perhaps be stretching the truth a little.

Okay — it would be stretching the truth a lot.

My inspiration came from a one-to-one interview with Chris Clark, CEO of Willis Re speciality. I had been transcribing the interview tape recording when the business opportunity emerged.

Mr Clark’s suggestion was to start up in Lloyd’s to take advantage of its full ‘A’ rating and great distribution network as well as avoid the potential stigma that the ‘minus’ suffix can bring the start-up community.

He also mentioned that of the class of 2005 it was Validus that had probably made the biggest impact in his market. The full piece will be in the June magazine, so make sure you look out for it then — what Chris Clark doesn’t know about the marine reinsurance market is probably not worth knowing.

Still, hats off to Validus for getting tooled up with a $200m sidecar. What is really interesting here is that the backers, First Reserve Corporation, are not high-octane hedge fund managers, who might be into reinsurance one minute and coffee futures the next, but global energy venture capitalists of long standing.

These guys can spot an opportunity because they’re on the inside from the oil and gas exploration buyers’ perspective.

Still — $200m is a drop in the ocean — at the rate Validus has been doing business, this capacity could probably be fully deployed before the end of the month — so roll up for more!

Come on Brit — you’ve kept us waiting long enough, it’s time to get back in — (the water’s lovely and warm, too!)

But don’t let that put you off

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