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[阅读] 经济学人中英双语阅读Eggs and baskets 鸡蛋和篮子

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发表于 2009-6-30 14:24 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Lloyd's of London
伦敦劳埃德商船协会


Eggs and baskets
鸡蛋和篮子


May 28th 2009
From The Economist
print edition


After AIG, firms buying insurance are keener to spread their risk. But how?
AIG之后,多数买保险的公司更加热衷扩大他们的风险。而他们又是怎么做的呢


Rex Features Spelling is not the only improvement
拼写并不是唯一改进的地方

WHEN American International Group (AIG), the world’s biggest, meanest and supposedly safest insurer, collapsed into the government’s arms in September 2008, there must have been a few cheers from its rivals. Many hoped to win its customers, particularly large firms paranoid about having high exposure to one (dodgy) counterparty. It also seemed possible that the model for insuring companies’ big risks—buildings or a mine, for example—might change. Instead of placing them with a few insurers, it might be better to syndicate out those risks to many, not least through Lloyd’s, the insurance market founded in a London coffee house in 1688.

世界上最大的、最吝啬的、据认为最安全的保险公司——美国国际集团于2008年9月倒闭,变成了美国政府的兵器,它的竞争对手肯定发出了一些欢呼声。许多 人希望赢得它的客户,特别是一些大公司,他们妄想着与他们地位相当的公司会高度曝光。保险公司的大风险投保模式,像建筑和矿井,也有可能改变。与其让少数 保险公司向这些建筑业和矿井业发出订单,也许把这些风险出售给更多公司会更稳妥些,不仅仅通过劳埃德商船协会,该保险市场于1688年在伦敦的一个咖啡馆 建立。

Eight months on, the revolution has yet to arrive. There has been no stampede of corporate customers from AIG, says Andrew Rear of Oliver Wyman, a consultancy. Loyalists reckon this reflects the fact that its insurance operations were safely ringfenced from its kamikaze derivatives adventures. Sceptics point out that since the bail-out it has the backing of a government that (for now) retains a AAA credit rating. Yet despite AIG’s refusal to die, the instinct of customers to diversify is still alive. Sally Bramall of Willis, an insurance broker, says that big insurers are no longer assumed to be safest or best, and that clients are prepared to put their eggs in more baskets.

大概8个月左右,重大变革还未开始。奥纬咨询公司的一位顾问Andrew Rear说,美国国际集团的客户没有被惊跑。公司的忠诚分子认为这反映了一个事实,保险业部分的营运仍然安全,避免了它的敢死队引发的冒险。持怀疑态度的 人指出,自从保释法案得到了政府的支持,保持3A级信贷率。尽管美国国际集团拒绝破产,但客户们的直觉告诉他们自己多样化还是有可能继续维持得下去的。伟 莱集团的保险经纪人Sally Bramall说,大的保险公司不再被认为是最安全或者最好的,而且客户也希望将他们的投资投放到更多的篮子里去。

How they do this is, however, less clear. One possibility is that traditional subscription markets do better, most noticeably Lloyd’s. There, the end customer enlists a broker to place his risk among multiple syndicates (which are, in turn, often dominated by outside insurance firms). The customer gets a single contract, but the potential losses are spread. And because the market is partly mutually owned, the customers have the security of both syndicate members’ capital and, as a last resort, a shared cash pool funded by all members.

投资者该怎么做呢?然而,他们当中很少人清楚该怎么做。也许传统的期约市场会是比较好的选择,最著名的就是劳埃德商船协会。那么,客户雇用一个经纪人来将 自己的风险放到多个企业集团去(这些企业集团通常由外部的保险公司主导)。即使客户得到一个合约,但潜在的损失已经被分散转移了。因为市场在一定程度上时 共同拥有的,客户作为最后贷款者,同时拥有企业集团成员的资金和由所有成员建立的共享现金池的有价证券。

Mark Gregory, chief executive of Bowring Marsh, a unit of insurance broker Marsh, says clients particularly admire the skill of Lloyd’s underwriters at dealing with unusual and complex risks (try Ugly Betty’s smile). Most observers note its improved risk management too, which should prevent individual syndicates from losing their discipline, or falling victim to the “herd mentality” that one industry veteran says is Lloyd’s’ historical weakness.

Bowring Marsh是一个保险经纪人美世公司的一个单位,其首席执行官马克•格雷戈里称,客户尤其赞赏劳埃德商船协会的保险公司在处理不同寻常且复杂的风险时的技 巧(尝试让丑女贝蒂微笑)。大多数观察者注意到它也在改善风险管理,这样应该能防止私人集团不受规矩约束,或者变成“一哄而起”的受害者,一个业界经验丰 富的人士说“一哄而起”是劳埃德商船协会历史上的弱点。

Furthermore, even by the relatively hygienic standards of most insurers, the asset side of Lloyd’s’ balance-sheet is squeaky clean, while the toxic claims that brought it to its knees in the 1990s are now parcelled off to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. And, for the customer, the benefits of having a single contract with one set of wording and terms should not be underestimated. After the September 11th terrorist attacks, some insurance companies, which had written slightly different contracts, disputed whether one or two events had occurred, says Chris Hitchings, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.

此外,大多数保险公司相关的清洁标准,劳埃德商船协会资产负债表的资产方非常干净,然而对有毒资产的索赔于20世纪末把协会推到了崩溃的边缘,现在被分成 了若干部分给沃伦•巴菲特的伯克希尔哈撒韦公司。对于客户来说,用一套措辞和术语来订立一份单独的合约,这好处是不可低估的。在911恐怖袭击之后,一些 保险公司,已经立下了内容略有不同的合约,这不同之处引发了一两件事情是否发生的争辩,一位Keefe,Bruyette & Woods的分析家Chris Hitchings说道。

Yet for all that, a big shift towards subscription markets does not seem imminent. In part that reflects the relative lack of scale of Lloyd’s. Europe’s leading insurance companies rival it in terms of non-life premiums written and balance-sheet oomph. Such firms’ big books of business should allow their customers to benefit from diversification. And just in case they “do an AIG”, there are other ways to spread risk. Brokers already take big bits of business and split them between individual companies, Lloyd’s and other markets such as Bermuda (where rather than using a subscription model, the lead insurer often subcontracts risk to peers). In future many clients may just instruct their brokers to divide up the business even more—and sort out the resulting complexity.

尽管如此,向期约市场大幅度转移似乎还不会马上实现。在某种程度上反映了劳埃德商船协会的规模相对缺乏。欧洲首席保险公司就非人身保险金的文书和负债资产 表魅力可以与之匹敌。这样公司的商业巨作应该允许他们的客户从多样化中受益。万一他们制造一个“美国国际集团”。就还有其他方法转移风险。经纪人已经拿到 了大单的生意,并且在私人公司当中分散开来,劳埃德商船协会和其他市场,比如百慕大(这不仅用期约模型,而且还经常将保险公司的分包合同风险转移给同行公 司)。以后,许多客户可能只指示他们的经纪人分割业务甚至解决整理复杂事务。
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