2011 Annual Report - s1.q4cdn.com Report 2011 Final_v001_ Information ..... 208. 2011 Annual Report…

  • Published on

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)


2011 Annual Report


Five Year Financial Highlights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Corporate Profile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Chairmans Letter to Shareholders . . . . . . . . . . . 4

Managements Responsibility for the Financial

Statements and Managements Report on

Internal Control over Financial Reporting . . . 20

Independent Auditors Report to the

Shareholders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Valuation Actuarys Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Fairfax Consolidated Financial Statements . . . . 24

Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements . . 31

Managements Discussion and Analysis of

Financial Condition and Results of

Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118

Appendix Fairfax Guiding Principles . . . . . . . . 206

Consolidated Financial Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . 207

Corporate Information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208

2011 Annual Report

Five Year Financial Highlights(1)

(in US$ millions except share and per share data or as otherwise indicated)

2011 2010 2009 2008 2007

Revenue 7,475.0 5,967.3 6,635.6 7,825.6 7,510.2

Net earnings 45.1 335.8 856.8 1,473.8 1,095.8

Total assets 33,406.9 31,448.1 28,452.0 27,305.4 27,941.8

Common shareholdersequity 7,427.9 7,697.9 7,391.8 4,866.3 4,063.5

Common sharesoutstanding year-end (millions) 20.4 20.5 20.0 17.5 17.7

Increase (decrease) inbook valueper share (3.1)% 1.8% 32.9% 21.0% 53.2%

Per share

Net earnings (loss)per diluted share (0.31) 14.82 43.75 79.53 58.38

Commonshareholders equity 364.55 376.33 369.80 278.28 230.01

Dividends paid 10.00 10.00 8.00 5.00 2.75

Market prices(TSX Cdn$)

High 442.00 425.25 417.35 390.00 311.87

Low 346.00 356.25 272.38 221.94 195.25

Close 437.01 408.99 410.00 390.00 287.00

(1) IFRS basis for 2011 and 2010; Canadian GAAP basis for 2009 and prior.

Please see the Consolidated Financial Summary on page 207, which showsFairfaxs financial highlights since inception in 1985.



Corporate Profile

Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited is a financial services holding company whose corporate objective is tobuild long term shareholder value by achieving a high rate of compound growth in book value per share over thelong term. The company has been under present management since September 1985.

Canadian insurance

Northbridge Financial, based in Toronto, provides property and casualty insurance products through itsNorthbridge Insurance and Federated subsidiaries, primarily in the Canadian market (Northbridge Insurance is thecombination of the former Commonwealth, Lombard and Markel subsidiaries). It is one of the largest commercialproperty and casualty insurers in Canada based on gross premiums written. In 2011, Northbridges net premiumswritten were Cdn$1,085.9 million. At year-end, the company had statutory equity of Cdn $1,158.9 million andthere were 1,504 employees.

U.S. insurance

Crum & Forster (C&F), based in Morristown, New Jersey, is a national commercial property and casualtyinsurance company in the United States writing a broad range of commercial coverages. Its subsidiary SenecaInsurance provides property and casualty insurance to small businesses and certain specialty coverages. SinceJanuary 1, 2006, the specialty niche property and casualty and accident and health insurance business formerlycarried on by Fairmont Insurance is being carried on as the Fairmont Specialty division of C&F. In February 2011,C&F acquired First Mercury, which offers insurance products and services primarily related to specialty commer-cial insurance markets, focusing on niche and underserved segments. In 2011, C&Fs net premiums written wereUS$1,076.9 million. At year-end, the company had statutory surplus of US$1,245.3 million and there were1,575 employees.

Zenith National, based in Woodland Hills, California, is primarily engaged in the workers compensationinsurance business in the United States. In 2011, Zenith Nationals net premiums written were US$524.2 million.At year-end, the company had statutory surplus of US$620.4 million and there were 1,428 employees.

Asian insurance

First Capital, based in Singapore, writes property and casualty insurance primarily in Singapore markets. In2011, First Capitals net premiums written were SGD 157.0 million (approximately SGD 1.3 = US$1). At year-end,the company had shareholders equity of SGD 327.7 million and there were 116 employees.

Falcon Insurance, based in Hong Kong, writes property and casualty insurance in niche markets in Hong Kong.In 2011, Falcons net premiums written were HK$419.4 million (approximately HK$7.8 = US$1). At year-end, thecompany had shareholders equity of HK$448.9 million and there were 79 employees.

Pacific Insurance, based in Malaysia, writes all classes of general insurance and medical insurance in Malaysia.In 2011, Pacific Insurances net premiums written were MYR 106.8 million (approximately MYR 3.1 = US$1). Atyear-end, the company had shareholders equity of MYR 213.2 million and there were 217 employees.

Other insurance

Fairfax Brasil, based in So Paulo, commenced writing insurance in March 2010 in all lines of business in Bra-zil. In 2011, Fairfax Brasils net premiums written were BRL 37.2 million (approximately BRL 1.7 = US$1). At year-end, the company had shareholders equity of BRL 60.4 million and there were 44 employees.


OdysseyRe, based in Stamford, Connecticut, underwrites treaty and facultative reinsurance as well as specialtyinsurance business, with principal locations in the United States, Toronto, London, Paris, Singapore and LatinAmerica. In 2011, OdysseyRes net premiums written were US$2,089.7 million. At year-end, the company hadshareholders equity of US$3,453.6 million and there were 761 employees.


Advent, based in the U.K., is a reinsurance and insurance company, operating through Syndicates 780 and 3330at Lloyds, focused on specialty property reinsurance and insurance risks. In 2011, Advents net premiums writtenwere US$193.9 million. At year-end, the company had shareholders equity of US$142.0 million and there were73 employees.

Polish Re, based in Warsaw, Poland, writes reinsurance business in the Central and Eastern European regions. In2011, Polish Res net premiums written were PLN 258.5 million (approximately PLN 2.9 = US$1). At year-end, thecompany had shareholders equity of PLN 251.6 million and there were 45 employees.

Group Re primarily constitutes the participation by CRC Re (now based in Barbados, formerly based in Bermu-da) and Wentworth (based in Barbados) in the reinsurance of Fairfaxs subsidiaries by quota share or through par-ticipation in those subsidiaries third party reinsurance programs on the same terms and pricing as the third partyreinsurers. Group Re also writes third party business. In 2011, Group Res net premiums written wereUS$180.7 million. At year-end, the Group Re companies had combined shareholders equity of US$337.5 million.


The runoff business comprises the U.S. and the European runoff groups. At year-end, the runoff group had com-bined shareholders equity (including amounts related to nSpire Res financing of Fairfaxs U.S. insurance andreinsurance companies) of US$2,591.1 million.

The Resolution Group (TRG) and the RiverStone Group (run by TRG management) manage runoff underthe RiverStone name. At year-end, TRG/RiverStone had 166 employees in the U.S., located primarily in Man-chester, New Hampshire, and 71 employees in its offices in the United Kingdom.


Hamblin Watsa Investment Counsel, founded in 1984 and based in Toronto, provides investment manage-ment to the insurance, reinsurance and runoff subsidiaries of Fairfax.


(1) All of the above companies are wholly owned (except for 98%-owned First Capital).

(2) The foregoing lists all of Fairfaxs operating subsidiaries. The Fairfax corporate structure also includes a41.4% interest in Gulf Insurance (a Kuwait insurance company), a 26.0% interest in ICICI Lombard (anIndian property and casualty insurance company), a 15.0% interest in Alltrust (a Chinese property andcasualty insurance company), a 26.8% interest in Singapore Re, an approximate 20.0% interest inAlliance Insurance (a Dubai, U. A. E. company), a 40.5% interest in Falcon Thailand, and investments inCunningham Lindsey (43.2%), The Brick (33.8%), Fibrek (25.8%), MEGA Brands (19.9%), ImvescorRestaurant Group (13.6%), Prime Restaurants (81.7%, acquired in January 2012), Ridley (73.6%),William Ashley (100.0%) and Sporting Life (75.0%). The other companies in the Fairfax corporatestructure, principally investment or intermediate holding companies (including companies located invarious jurisdictions outside North America), are not part of these operating groups; these other companieshave no insurance, reinsurance, runoff or other operations.



To Our Shareholders:

We marked time in 2011 as our book value per share was essentially flat (including the $101 per common sharedividend paid in 2011), mainly because of a record level of catastrophe claims. Book value ended the year at $365per share, down from $376 per share at the end of 2010. Common shareholders equity was $7.4 billion, downfrom $7.7 billion. We ended the year with approximately $1 billion in cash and marketable securities at the hold-ing company level. Our results have always been lumpy but our long term results, measured by the increase in ourbook value per share, have been excellent, as shown in the table below:

As of December 31, 2011

5 years 10 years 15 years 20 yearsFrom


Compound Annual Growth in Book Value 19.4% 12.0% 12.4% 16.1% 23.5%

In 2011, our operating companies coped with losses from unprecedented natural disasters and continuing softmarket conditions. Catastrophe claims for the industry exceeded $105 billion, the most ever with the exceptionof 2005 when Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma struck the United States. The year began with floods inAustralia ($2.3 billion) and a devastating earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand ($12 billion). It continued inMarch with the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan ($35 billion), followed in the spring with a series ofdeadly tornadoes in the south and midwest regions of the United States ($14 billion). Hurricane Irene ($5 billion)hit the eastern seaboard at the end of the summer, and finally, near year-end, unprecedented flooding ravagedThailand ($15 billion). All told, these events cost Fairfax approximately $1 billion, our largest catastrophe lossyear ever.

We have always sought to manage our exposure to catastrophe loss so that we dont lose more than our expectedincome for the year. Fortunately, in spite of the frequency and severity of the major natural disaster losses in2011, we achieved that result, both at the individual companies and on a consolidated basis. We continue tomonitor our catastrophe exposure very carefully.

In our industry, catastrophes happen, they are unpredictable and they can destroy companies. Years ago (in our2005 Annual Report), we discussed the plight of 20th Century Insurance which, in the Northridge earthquake,basically lost the capital it had accumulated over 30 years. In 2011, Thai Re, which had had an outstanding trackrecord for over 20 years, suffered the same fate with the Thai floods (more on this later).

Our major catastrophe losses in 2011 are shown in the table below:

Japan Tohoku earthquake and tsunami 470Thailand floods 202U.S. tornadoes 70New Zealand earthquake 63Hurricane Irene 31Australian floods 27Other 158

Total 1,021

The $1 billion in catastrophe claims in 2011 cost us 19.3 percentage points on our combined ratio versus ananticipated cost of approximately six percentage points in an average year. In 2005, Hurricanes Katrina, Rita andWilma cost us 15.3 combined ratio points. So why, you may ask, do we take on this business? Well, here is the

1 Amounts in this letter are in U.S. dollars unless specified otherwise. Numbers in the tables in this letter are inU.S. dollars and $ millions except as otherwise indicated.


track record at OdysseyRe, the largest source of our catastrophe exposure, for all of its property business writtensince 2000. This table shows the results for each underwriting year since 2000, and in total for all twelve years.

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 TotalGross premiums written 136 353 491 580 629 716 584 616 637 662 755 798 6,957Combined ratio 78.9% 103.4% 75.3% 70.0% 101.5% 151.4% 63.1% 81.7% 90.5% 87.2% 127.5% 97.5% 96.7%

As you can see, over the past twelve years OdysseyRe has written approximately $7 billion of property premium ata cumulative combined ratio of 96.7%, notwithstanding the losses from the World Trade Center in 2001, theFlorida hurricanes in 2004, Hurrricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma in 2005, Hurricanes Ike and Gustav in 2009, theChilean earthquake in 2010 and, of course, the string of disasters in 2011.

OdysseyRe is continually fine tuning its underwriting of this business, and is poised to benefit handsomely from amuch improved pricing environment for catastrophe risk. Nevertheless, be aware that whenever a major disasterstrikes, Fairfax will likely be affected.

Out of adversity, opportunity arises. In addition to the benefits of a rising rate environment, we have made animportant investment in the aforementioned Thai Re. From 1991 to 2010, Thai Re was run admirably by SurachaiSirivallop. Over those years, Surachai averaged a combined ratio in the mid 80s. Following the 2011 flood lossessuffered by Thai Re, we have participated in a recapitalization, investing $70 million at 3 baht per share for a 25%stake in the company. With two Board seats and an ability to help in the investment area, we are excited to beSurachais partner for the long term.

We are very pleased that the Fairfax team throughout the organization continued to work very well together in2011, with several smooth internal transitions and operational evolutions. Under Silvy Wright, a 16-year veteranwho became CEO of our Canadian operations after many years of excellent leadership by Mark Ram, NorthbridgeInsurance was formed from the merger of our Canadian insurance companies, under the established Northbridgename, to better serve our clients and brokers. Stanley Zax, with an outstanding record over more than 30 years,moved to Chairman of Zenith National and passed the CEO title to Jack Miller, who has worked with Stanley for14 years. At Crum & Forster, Doug Libby, along with Marc Adee, Richard Smith and Steve Strange Sr., successfullyintegrated the operations of First Mercury and its AMC subsidiary. Jim Migliorini, who helped build HudsonInsurance and was critical to...


View more >