Travelers 1Q13 Earnings Call Notes

This post is part of a series of posts called “Company Notes.” These posts contain quotes and exhibits from earnings calls, conference presentations, analyst days and SEC filings. The quotes are generally pieces of information that I find interesting or helpful to understanding the company, industry or economy and are not meant to provide summaries of the full content of the call. Other posts in this series can be found by clicking here. Full transcripts can be found at Seeking Alpha.

” I can’t speak to the industry or any other company. I can tell you what we’re doing. We’re going to continue, and it’s driven by 2 factors: First, the weather remains unpredictable and just more uncertain than it has in many years, and that’s been the case for the last several years and that’s been driving much of our action. But the other part is that as our investment portfolio continues to mature, the effect of reduced interest rates will continue to push the fixed portion of net investment income down over the next several years. We’ve provided those projections to you previously with — or actually they’re more than projections, they’re almost the actual numbers, such as that bonds as they mature will be reinvested. So we will — I would refer you back to that schedule to get some sense of that impact. So that net investment income will continue to decline for the next several years at least, unless interest rates change. The weather remains very unpredictable and uncertain, so we’re going to keep going.”

“The slide is clear, it says mid-teens ROE over time. And I said several quarters ago that, that was not achievable in this environment. And on an accident year basis, I still don’t believe that it really is. And as a consequence, we were going to leave it in place as an aspirational goal,”

“Some observers in the — of the industry spend a lot of time commenting about reserve development from hard years, hard cycles or soft years or soft cycles, and people who embrace that thinking can come to view that particular years will be more productive than others. We just — we don’t agree with — at least for us, I’ll speak about Travelers. We just don’t believe that, we don’t do it. We make our best estimates all the time. They are estimates for loss — for loss estimates are not driven by the revenue straight [ph] of that business. They’re just not. And so we don’t look at any years necessarily as being more potentially productive than others. And as an old year rolls off, new year comes on, and it just keeps going. So it’s — we just don’t spend a lot of time obsessing about individual accident years and what they’re producing.”

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