Chubb Chairman and CEO Evan Greenberg has criticized recent efforts by new U.S. President Donald Trump to restrict immigration, and also expressed concern for nationalist and protectionist sentiment sweeping the world.
His comments came in the early portion of Chubb’s 2016 fourth-quarter earnings call on Feb. 1, without mentioning Trump specifically by name.
“We’re a country of immigrants. Our country’s openness to immigration is fundamental to our identity and history as a nation, and vital to our future prosperity,” Greenberg said. “I am 100 percent for the security of our citizens, but at the same time, America is the land of the free, and we are a beacon and place of refuge for those seeking a better and safer life for themselves and their families.
“Shutting our doors to immigration is a mistake.”
Greenberg’s comments refer to Trump’s signing of an executive order in late January designed to prevent some immigration from Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Iran, Iraq and Libya for about 90 days. The order also stops the U.S.’s refugee program for four months, and immediately stops the admission of Syrian refugees. An uproar both in the U.S. and around the world quickly followed, and multiple lawsuits have been filed in an effort to reverse the action.
Speaking broadly, Greenberg also noted recent U.S. and global trends that have created economic and geopolitical uncertainty, but also opportunity.
“On the one hand, the world is a tense place, marked by growing nationalism and populism that are feeding protectionist sentiment. This is a global phenomenon. I might add, while [it is early], I am concerned about our own country’s potential trade and security posture,” Greenberg said.
Greenberg added that at the same time, however, he is hopeful about expected U.S. changes in monetary and fiscal policy now that Trump is in charge.
Without mentioning Trump or Congressional Republications specifically, Greenberg said that “in the U.S., the monetary and fiscal changes afoot around tax, regulation of business, infrastructure and higher interest rates are real positives for business, jobs and the economy, if implemented in a way that doesn’t exacerbate budget deficits.”
Chubb’s First Full Year Since ACE/CHUBB Merger
As for Chubb it’s been a little over a year since the nearly $30 billion ACE/Chubb merger that created today’s Chubb, and Greenberg touted the company’s 2016 financial results as reflecting the merger’s benefits.
For Q4, Chubb booked $1.6 billion in net income, or $3.41 per share. That compares to $683 million, or $2.08 share for the legacy ACE business.
Chubb’s P/C combined ratio was 87.8 for the quarter, and 88.7 for the year. If the ACE/Chubb combined results from the first 14 days of January 2016 are factored in (prior to the merger closing), those numbers are 87.6 and 88, respectively, versus 87.3 for the 2015 fourth quarter and 87.5 for all of 2015.
“The combined ratios for the quarter and year were simply excellent,” Greenberg said during the call. He added that the results reflect $100 million in additional cat losses compared to the prior year, plus “slightly-less positive prior year period reserve development.”
Chubb said that consolidated net premiums for Q4 hit $6.9 billion. For all of 2016, they reached $28.1 billion. Those numbers are 67.4 percent higher and 58.9 percent higher, respectively, than the previous year. Meanwhile, P/C net premiums written were $6.4 billion for the quarter and $26 billion for the year, reflecting jumps of 76.1 percent and 65.6 percent, respectively, over 2015.
Adjusted net investment income, excluding a purchase accounting adjustment of $101 million, was $845 million for the quarter. For the year, the number was $3.3 billion, including a $393 million purchase accounting adjustment.
For the year, Chubb’s net income was $4.1 billion or $8.87 per share, versus $2.8 billion in legacy ACE net income in 2015, or $8.62 per share.