Gen Re puts two execs on leave amid finite probe

Reinsurer contacted by German regulator in finite probe

By Alistair Barr
MarketWatch
May 13, 2005


SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- General Re, the giant reinsurer owned by Berkshire Hathaway, put two executives on administrative leave amid investigations into the company's sale of finite reinsurance, according to a regulatory filing late Friday.

The German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority recently requested information on finite reinsurance from Cologne Re, the German subsidiary of General Re, Berkshire added in its Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

Berkshire (BRKA)(BRKB) said the two General Re employees, who were not identified, will be paid while on leave.

One of the employees is the target of a Justice Department investigation, according to Berkshire.

The other person is chief executive of Faraday Group, a Lloyd's of London insurer owned by General Re, and used to run General Re's international finite reinsurance division, Berkshire said.

According to Faraday's Web site, Milan Vukelic is the firm's chief executive.

Both employees' leave is subject to their continuing cooperation with all government inquiries, Berkshire added.

General Re is at the center of widening investigations by the SEC, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and other regulators into whether companies used finite reinsurance to manipulate their financial statements.

Three General Re current and former executives -- John Houldsworth, Richard Napier and Elizabeth Monrad -- received so-called Wells notices from the SEC in recent weeks, informing them that the agency is mulling legal action against them for breaking securities laws.


Copyright 2005 MarketWatch, Inc.



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