Everest Re Group Ltd. (NYSE:RE) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 06, 2018 • 10:30 am ET

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Everest Re Group Ltd. (NYSE:RE) Q4 2017 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Operator
Operator

Good day, everyone. Welcome to the Fourth Quarter 2017 Earnings Call of Everest Re Group. Today's conference is being recorded. And at this time for opening remarks and introductions, I would like to turn the conference over to Ms. Beth Farrell, Vice President of Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Executive
Elizabeth B. Farrell

Thank you, Derek. Good morning, and welcome to Everest Re Group's fourth quarter and full-year 2017 earnings conference call. On the call with me today are Dom Addesso, the company's President and Chief Executive Officer; Craig Howie, Chief Financial Officer; John Doucette, President and CEO of Reinsurance Operations; and Jon Zaffino, President and CEO of the Insurance Operations.

Before we begin, I will preface our comments by noting that our SEC filings include extensive disclosures with respect to forward-looking statements. In that regard, I note that statements made during today's call, which are forward-looking in nature, such as statements about projections, estimates, expectations and the like, are subject to various risks. As you know, actual results could differ materially from current projections or expectations. Our SEC filings have a full listing of the risks that investors should consider in connection with such statements.

Now, let me turn the call over to Dom.

Executive
Dominic J. Addesso

Thanks, Beth. Good morning, and welcome to the meeting this morning. We are pleased that we're able to report to you today an excellent fourth quarter result. This of course comes during the year that experienced a record level of catastrophe losses for the industry. It is noteworthy that despite this level of losses, we were able to report a profit for the full year and an ROE of 6% on the strength of the fourth quarter. This level of performance for the year demonstrates the ability of our platform to sustain periodic events and yet maintain an above average industry return through the cycle.

Our value proposition and risk management has positioned us to succeed. No doubt there'll be questions today and beyond about rates, competition, return of capital, and acquisitions. And while we've readily admit these are certainly the issues of the day, our value proposition is such we continue to build diversification and scale that allows us take advantage of market dynamics. If you've heard from us in the past and will continue to hear from my colleagues today is the success we're having in achieving profitable growth, both the new products and existing ones. We reached a record revenue with over $7 billion in total gross premium written for 2017.

In 2017, our reinsurance portfolio grew 20% with much of that growth in lines other than US property cap. Crop, casualty, non US property, mortgage and other credit related business, all exhibited meaningful growth during the year. The US cap business grew in part due to reinstatement premiums and back up coverage, and true growth is offset by sessions to cat bonds and Mt. Logan. Therefore, there was no material change to speak of in our PML exposure relative to cap.

All this points to a