Markel (MKL) Q2 2016 Earnings Call

Markel (MKL) Co-CEO Tom Gayner on the macroeconomic environment being perplexing as a result of low interest rates

“There are no practical long-term historical precedence to study and use as guides for what comes next. As such, our number one objective is to remain agile and flexible, so that we can adapt to different circumstances as they develop.”

Markel (MKL) Co-CEO Tom Gayner said they’re focused on building one of the world’s great companies

“We’ve got some good short-term news from the first half of 2016 to report to you this morning, and that’s always fun. More importantly though, this call was a check-in and an update on the long-term story of building the Markel Corporation. Building one of the world’s great companies is what motivates us and we’re excited to share with you the details of how that’s going.”

Markel (MKL) CFO Anne Waleski said they are remaining disciplined when writing new insurance

“Market conditions remained very competitive. Consistent with our historical practices, we will not write business, when we believe prevailing market rates will not support our underwriting profit targets.”

Markel (MKL) President Michael Crowley said they’re continuing to enhance their online capabilities

“We continue to make strides with our client facing technology, as evidenced by the successful rollout of our new express renewal program. And each quarter, we’re enhancing our Markel online portal with greater functionality and additional products.”

Insurance market pricing may be bottoming

“Just a few other items regarding competition. Market conditions remain particularly challenging in London and in the large accounts segments. Competition also remained strong in the reinsurance market. However, as I think I stated last quarter the rates have declined and slowed and even in a few cases we’ve seen some stabilization.”