UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
|☒||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2020
|☐||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the transition period from _________ to _________
Commission File Number: 001-34042
MAIDEN HOLDINGS, LTD.
(Exact Name of Registrant As Specified in Its Charter)
|(State or Other Jurisdiction of Incorporation or Organization)||(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)|
94 Pitts Bay Road
Pembroke HM 08, Bermuda
(Address of Principal Executive Offices and Zip Code)
(Registrant’s Telephone Number, Including Area Code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of Each Class||Trading symbol(s)||Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered|
|Common Shares, par value $0.01 per share||MHLD||NASDAQ Capital Market|
|Series A Preference Shares, par value $0.01 per share||MH.PA||New York Stock Exchange|
|Series C Preference Shares, par value $0.01 per share||MH.PC||New York Stock Exchange|
|Series D Preference Shares, par value $0.01 per share||MH.PD||New York Stock Exchange|
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ☐ No ☒
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes ☐ No ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☒ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company” and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
|Large Accelerated Filer||☐||Accelerated Filer||☒|
|Non-Accelerated Filer||☐||Smaller Reporting Company||☒|
|Emerging growth company||☐|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes ☐ No ☒
Aggregate market value of voting and non-voting common shares held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2020 (the last business day of the registrant’s most recently completed second fiscal quarter) was approximately $85.9 million based on the closing sale price of the registrant’s common shares on the NASDAQ Capital Market on that date. As of March 9, 2021, 86,132,060 common shares were outstanding.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant's definitive proxy statement to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to Regulation 14A with respect to the annual general meeting of the shareholders of the registrant scheduled to be held on May 6, 2021 are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
MAIDEN HOLDINGS, LTD.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Special Note About Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, other than purely historical information, including estimates, projections, statements relating to our business plans, objectives and expected operating results and the assumptions upon which those statements are based are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements include general statements both with respect to us and the insurance industry and generally are identified with the words "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "predict", "estimate", "intend", "plan", "project", "seek", "potential", "possible", "could", "might", "may", "should", "will", "would", "will be", "will continue", "will likely result" and similar expressions. In light of the risks and uncertainties inherent in all forward-looking statements, the inclusion of such statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K should not be considered as a representation by us or any other person that our objectives or plans or other matters described in any forward-looking statement will be achieved. These statements are based on current plans, estimates, assumptions and expectations. Actual results may differ materially from those projected in such forward-looking statements and therefore, you should not place undue reliance on them. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements are set forth in Item 1A "Risk Factors" in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
We caution that the list of important risk factors is not intended to be and is not exhaustive. We undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by law, and all subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to us or individuals acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by this paragraph. If one or more risks or uncertainties materialize, or if our underlying assumptions prove to be incorrect, our actual results may vary materially from what we projected. Any forward-looking statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K reflect our current view with respect to future events and are subject to these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to our operations, results of operations, growth, strategy and liquidity. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements which speak only as of the dates of the documents in which such statements were made.
References in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to the terms "we","us","our","the Company" or other similar terms mean the consolidated operations of Maiden Holdings, Ltd. and our consolidated subsidiaries, unless the context requires otherwise. References in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to the term "Maiden Holdings" means Maiden Holdings, Ltd. only. References in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to $ are to the lawful currency of the United States, unless otherwise indicated. Any discrepancies in the tables included herein between the amounts listed and the totals thereof are due to rounding.
Risk Factor Summary
We are subject to various risks that could have a material adverse impact on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows. The following is a summary of the principal factors that make investing in our securities risky and may cause our actual results to differ materially from forward-looking statements included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. The following is only a summary of the principal risks that may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and should be read in conjunction with the more complete discussion of the risk factors we face, which are set forth in the section entitled “Risk Factors” in Part I, Item 1A. in this report:
• we have incurred volatile operating results in recent years and there can be no assurance that we will return to active underwriting or maintain operating profitability;
• there can be no assurance that our shareholders’ equity will improve;
• management may not successfully implement its business strategy which could result in a decline of capital or adversely affect our financial condition or results of operations;
• our actual losses may be greater than our reserve for loss and loss adjustment expenses ("loss and LAE");
• our internal control and reporting systems might not be effective in the future, which could increase the risk that we would become subject to restatements of our financial results or to regulatory action or litigation;
• our reinsurers may not pay losses in a timely fashion, or at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition;
• the failure of any of the loss limitation methods we have employed or could employ in the future could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition;
• our efforts to develop products, expand in targeted markets or modify our business and strategic plans may not be successful and may create enhanced risks;
• we depend on the policies, procedures and expertise of ceding companies for the business we have written in the past; these companies may have failed to accurately assess and price the risks they have underwritten, which may lead us to inaccurately assess and price the risks we assumed;
• the inherent uncertainty of models and the use of such models as a tool to evaluate risk in our underwriting process may have an adverse impact on our financial results;
• the failure of our underwriting process could have an adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition;
• failure of our information technology systems or breaches to our technology systems as a result of cyber-attacks could disrupt our business and adversely impact our profitability;
• we may not have sufficient unrestricted liquidity to meet our obligations and favorable terms to obtain additional capital may not be available;
• a significant amount of our invested assets are subject to changes in interest rates and market volatility. If we are unable to realize our investment objectives, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected;
• the determination of the fair values of our investments and whether a decline in the fair value of an investment is other-than-temporary are based on management’s judgment and may prove to be incorrect;
• our investments in alternative investments and our investments in joint ventures and/or entities accounted for using the equity method may be illiquid and volatile in terms of value and returns, which could negatively affect our investment income and liquidity;
• we do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our common shares for the foreseeable future and there can be no assurance that dividends on the preference shares will resume;
• we may not be able to comply with restrictive covenants contained in the documents governing our Senior Notes or any future credit facility which could trigger prepayment obligations;
• if we are unable to maintain appropriate regulatory capital ratios, it could lead to regulatory restrictions;
• our industry is highly regulated, the regulatory requirements are expensive and we are subject to significant legal restrictions and these restrictions may have a material adverse effect on us;
• our holding company structure and certain regulatory and other constraints affect our ability to pay dividends and make other payments;
• we have risks related to our Preference Shares and Senior Notes;
• a few significant shareholders may influence or control the direction of our business. If the ownership of our common shares continues to be highly concentrated, it may limit your ability and the ability of other shareholders to influence significant corporate decisions;
• the market price for our ordinary shares has been and may continue to be highly volatile, and if there is a further sustained decline in our share price there could be limited liquidity for our ordinary shares;
• provisions in our bye-laws could change voting rights of our shares, impede an attempt to replace or remove our directors, and/or make it difficult for a third party to acquire us which could diminish the value of our common shares;
• significant changes in our reinsurance relationship with AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. ("AmTrust") have reduced our current and future revenues and create significant uncertainty for sources of future liquidity;
• our initial arrangements with AmTrust were negotiated while we were its affiliate and as such the arrangements could be challenged as not reflecting terms that we would agree to in arm’s-length negotiations with an independent third party;
• our non-executive Chairman of the Board of Directors (the "Board") currently holds the positions of Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of AmTrust. These dual positions may present, and make us vulnerable to, difficult conflicts of interest and related legal challenges;
• we may not be able to attract and retain key employees or successfully implement our newly formulated business strategy; and
• our employee attrition recently has been high and may affect our ability to adequately manage our business.
Item 1. Business.
Maiden Holdings is a Bermuda-based holding company, previously focused on serving the needs of regional and specialty insurers in the United States ("U.S."), Europe and select other global markets. As a result of a series of actions we have taken in recent years discussed below under "Recent Developments", we now create shareholder value by actively managing and allocating our assets and capital, including through ownership and management of businesses and assets mostly in the insurance and related financial services industries where we can leverage our deep knowledge of those markets. We also provide a full range of legacy services to small insurance companies, particularly those in run-off or with blocks of reserves that are no longer core, working with clients to develop and implement finality solutions including acquiring entire companies. We expect our legacy solutions business to contribute to our active asset and capital management strategies.
Short-term income protection business is written on a primary basis by our wholly owned subsidiaries Maiden Life Försäkrings AB ("Maiden LF") and Maiden General Försäkrings AB ("Maiden GF") in the Scandinavian and Northern European markets. Insurance support services are provided to Maiden LF and Maiden GF by our United Kingdom ("U.K.") services company, Maiden Global Holdings Ltd. (“Maiden Global”) which is also a licensed intermediary in the U.K. Maiden Global had previously operated internationally by providing branded auto and credit life insurance products through insurer partners, particularly those in the European Union ("EU") and other global markets. These products also produced reinsurance programs which were underwritten by our indirect wholly owned subsidiary Maiden Reinsurance Ltd. ("Maiden Reinsurance").
We are not actively underwriting reinsurance business but have some historic reinsurance programs underwritten by Maiden Reinsurance which are in run-off. We continue to run-off the liabilities associated with AmTrust contracts, which we terminated in early 2019 as discussed below. We have also entered into a retroactive reinsurance agreement and a commutation agreement that further reduces our exposure to and limits the potential volatility related to these AmTrust liabilities, which are discussed in "Note 8 — Reinsurance" of the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II Item 8. "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data".
As discussed below, the sale of our indirect wholly owned subsidiary Maiden Reinsurance North America, Inc. ("Maiden US") and the termination of our two quota share contracts with AmTrust materially reduced our gross and net premiums written since 2018. We have significantly reduced our operating expenses and continue to take steps to reduce these costs further.
Since the third quarter of 2018, we have engaged in a series of transactions that dramatically reduced the regulatory capital required to operate our business, materially strengthened our solvency ratios, and ceased active reinsurance underwriting. During that time, we significantly increased our estimate of ultimate losses and loss reserves while purchasing reinsurance protection against further loss reserve volatility, and as a result, have improved the ultimate economic value of the Company.
The measures we have taken were initiated in early 2018, when our Board initiated a review of strategic alternatives ("Strategic Review") to evaluate ways to increase shareholder value after a period of continuing higher than targeted combined ratios and lower returns on equity than expected. Details of the transactions completed under the Strategic Review and other capital transactions are also discussed in the "Recent Developments" section of Item 7 "Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" as well as the related discussion in our Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements specifically "Note 10 — Related Party Transactions" and "Note 13 — Shareholders’ Equity" included under Item 8 "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data" of this Annual Report on Form 10–K.
Our future results, and our ability to generate an improved risk-adjusted return on capital, may be impacted by risks and trends set forth in Item 1A, "Risk Factors", and elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
We continued to re–evaluate our operating strategy during 2020 while leveraging the significant assets and capital we retain. In addition to restoring operating profitability, our strategic focus centers on creating the greatest risk-adjusted shareholder returns, whether via asset and capital management or active reinsurance underwriting of new risks, or a combination of both. Further details are discussed in the "Business Strategy" section of Item 7 "Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Overview" of this Annual Report on Form 10–K.
Our Principal Operating Subsidiaries
Maiden Reinsurance, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Maiden Holdings, is an affiliated reinsurance company licensed in the State of Vermont in the U.S. which commenced operations in June 2007. Effective March 16, 2020, the re-domestication of Maiden Reinsurance from Bermuda to the U.S. was completed. Maiden Reinsurance is now subject to the statutes and regulations of Vermont in the ordinary course of business. The re-domestication did not apply to Maiden Holdings which remains a Bermuda-based holding company.
Maiden Holdings North America, Ltd. ("Maiden NA") is our wholly owned U.S. holding company and is domiciled in the State of Delaware.
Maiden Global, a wholly owned subsidiary of Maiden Holdings, operates an insurance services company. Maiden Global is organized under the laws of England and Wales. Maiden LF and Maiden GF, both wholly owned subsidiaries of Maiden Holdings, are insurance companies organized under the laws of Sweden and write income protection insurance on a primary basis in the Scandinavian and Northern European market.
Our Reportable Segments
Our business currently consists of two reportable segments: Diversified Reinsurance and AmTrust Reinsurance. As a result of the strategic decision to divest all our U.S. treaty reinsurance operations in 2018, we revised the composition of our reportable segments in the fourth quarter of 2018. Our Diversified Reinsurance segment consists of a portfolio of predominantly property and casualty reinsurance business focusing on regional and specialty property and casualty insurance companies located primarily in Europe. Our AmTrust Reinsurance segment includes all business ceded to Maiden Reinsurance by AmTrust, primarily the quota share reinsurance agreement (“AmTrust Quota Share”) between Maiden Reinsurance and AmTrust’s wholly owned subsidiary, AmTrust International Insurance, Ltd. (“AII”) and the European hospital liability quota share reinsurance contract ("European Hospital Liability Quota Share") with AmTrust’s wholly owned subsidiaries AmTrust Europe Limited ("AEL") and AmTrust International Underwriters DAC ("AIU DAC"), which are both in run-off effective January 1, 2019.
Financial data relating to our two reportable segments is included in Item 7. "Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and in "Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements - Note 3. Segment Information" included under Item 8 "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data" of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
The table below compares net premiums earned, by reportable segment, reconciled to the total consolidated net premiums earned for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019:
|For the Year Ended December 31,||2020||2019|
|($ in thousands)||Net Premiums |
|% of Total||Net Premiums |
|% of Total|
|$||47,847 ||45.1 ||%||$||83,691 ||18.7 ||%|
|58,234 ||54.9 ||%||364,071 ||81.3 ||%|
|$||106,081 ||100.0 ||%||$||447,762 ||100.0 ||%|
Financial data relating to the geographical areas in which we operate and relating to our principal products by line of business may be found in "Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements - Note 3. Segment Information" included under Item 8 "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data" of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Diversified Reinsurance Segment
In this segment, Maiden Reinsurance wrote treaties on both a quota share basis and excess of loss basis outside the U.S. whereas Maiden LF and Maiden GF write business within Europe on a primary basis. Maiden Reinsurance has a limited number of in-force reinsurance contracts that are renewals of existing contracts. Net premiums written by our Diversified Reinsurance segment's operating subsidiaries, after intercompany reinsurance, for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 included:
|For the Year Ended December 31,||2020||2019|
|($ in thousands)||Net Premiums |
|% of Total||Net Premiums |
|% of Total|
|$||21,073 ||56.6 ||%||$||36,074 ||73.4 ||%|
|9,421 ||25.3 ||%||7,412 ||15.1 ||%|
|6,764 ||18.1 ||%||5,665 ||11.5 ||%|
|$||37,258 ||100.0 ||%||$||49,151 ||100.0 ||%|
Please refer to Item 7. "Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" for a discussion on the performance of our Diversified Reinsurance segment for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019.
Maiden Reinsurance was previously focused on developing a portfolio of assumed reinsurance within Europe and globally since the advent of Solvency II (referred to as "European Capital Solutions"). As a result of our A.M. Best rating being downgraded to B++ (Good) with negative outlook and implications in November 2018, the European Capital Solutions business was adversely affected and a significant amount of this business was either non–renewed at January 1, 2019 or terminated pursuant to contractual provisions in the underlying reinsurance contracts. The net premiums written in European Capital Solutions for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 were as follows:
|For the Year Ended December 31,||2020||2019|
|($ in thousands)|| || |
Net premiums written
Additionally, Maiden Global’s business development teams partner with automobile manufacturers, dealer associations and local primary insurers to design and implement point of sale insurance programs which generate revenue for the auto manufacturer and insurance premiums for the primary insurer ("IIS business"). Typically, the primary insurer agrees to reinsure an agreed upon percentage of the underlying business to Maiden Reinsurance as part of the overall arrangement. Maiden Reinsurance is generally not obligated to underwrite the original equipment automobile manufacturers' (the "OEMs") programs that Maiden Global designs.
The IIS premiums by line of business for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019 included:
|For the Year Ended December 31,||2020||2019|
|($ in thousands)||Net |
|% of Total||Net |
|% of Total|
|Personal Auto - Quota Share Reinsurance||$||20,596 ||55.3 ||%||$||31,081 ||61.3 ||%|
|Credit Life - Insurance||16,630 ||44.7 ||%||19,631 ||38.7 ||%|
|$||37,226 ||100.0 ||%||$||50,712 ||100.0 ||%|
For the years ended December 31, 2020, the Company's net written premiums for Personal Auto on a quota share reinsurance basis decreased compared to 2019 primarily due to a lower quota share cession percentage which declined from 65% in 2018 to 50% in 2019 and 35% in 2020 in the German Auto programs.
We previously generated fee income when Maiden Global participated in transactions and collected a fee for designing and facilitating the sale of insurance programs; prior to 2019, a significant portion of our fee income was generated by AVS Automotive VersicherungsService GmbH ("AVS") and its subsidiaries in Germany and Austria through its point of sale producers in select OEMs dealerships. On January 10, 2019, we completed the sale of AVS and related European subsidiaries to Allianz Partners ("Allianz"). In addition to a fee for the sale of AVS, we entered into a three–year quota share reinsurance agreement with Allianz for certain German automobile policies that we have historically reinsured. In 2021, the parties have agreed not to renew the reinsurance contracts for the third year. For the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, this fee income was earned within the following locations:
|For the Year Ended December 31,||2020||2019|
|($ in thousands)||Fee Income||% of Total||Fee Income||% of Total|
|$||913 ||79.7 ||%||$||952 ||56.9 ||%|
|232 ||20.3 ||%||721 ||43.1 ||%|
|$||1,145 ||100.0 ||%||$||1,673 ||100.0 ||%|
AmTrust Reinsurance Segment
AmTrust is a multinational specialty property and casualty insurance holding company with operations in the U.S., Europe and Bermuda. Effective January 1, 2019 (a) the AmTrust Quota Share, and (b) the European Hospital Liability Quota Share were terminated on a run-off basis. These transactions are broadly referred to herein as the "Final AmTrust QS Terminations". Apart from certain unearned premiums in the AmTrust Quota Share and the European Hospital Liability Quota Share that were earned subsequent to December 31, 2018, there was no new premium written within this segment during 2020 and 2019.
Information relating to our founding shareholders that are affiliated with AmTrust may be found in "Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements - Note 10. Related Party Transactions" included under Item 8 "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data" of this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Through our reinsurance agreements with AmTrust, we reinsured specific lines of business within the following AmTrust business segments:
•Small commercial business insurance, which includes U.S. workers’ compensation, commercial package and other low-hazard property and casualty insurance products;
•Specialty risk and extended warranty coverage for consumer and commercial goods and custom designed coverages, such as accidental damage plans and payment protection plans offered in connection with the sale of consumer and commercial goods, in the U.S., U.K. and certain other global markets and European hospital liability; and
•Specialty program which includes package products, general liability, commercial auto liability, excess and surplus lines programs and other specialty commercial property and casualty insurance to a narrowly defined, homogeneous group of small and middle market companies.
AmTrust Quota Share
Under the AmTrust Quota Share with AII, effective July 1, 2007 and through 2018, we reinsured 40% of AmTrust’s premium written, net of reinsurance with unaffiliated reinsurers, relating to all lines of business that existed on the effective date. We also had the option to reinsure additional programs, in addition to the original lines of business entered into by AmTrust since the effective date of the AmTrust Quota Share. As AmTrust expanded into new lines of business, pursuant to the terms of the AmTrust Quota Share, we had selectively added some of those lines and opted not to participate in others. Consequently our share of AmTrust's overall gross premiums written declined below 40% over time.
As a result of the Final AmTrust QS Terminations described above, our active reinsurance contracts with AmTrust were terminated effective January 1, 2019. Also, effective July 31, 2019, Maiden Reinsurance and AII entered into a Commutation and Release Agreement (which is broadly referred to herein as the "AmTrust WC Commutation") effective July 31, 2019, which provided for AII to assume all reserves ceded by AII to Maiden Reinsurance with respect to its proportional 40% share of the ultimate net loss under the AmTrust Quota Share related to: (a) all losses incurred in Accident Year 2017 and Accident Year 2018 under California workers' compensation policies and as defined in the AmTrust Quota Share ("Commuted California
Business"); and (b) all losses incurred in Accident Year 2018 under New York workers' compensation policies ("Commuted New York Business" and together with the Commuted California Business, "Commuted Business") in exchange for the release and full discharge of Maiden Reinsurance of all of its obligations to AII with respect to the Commuted Business. The Commuted Business did not include any business classified by AII as Specialty Program or Specialty Risk business.
European Hospital Liability Quota Share
On April 1, 2011, Maiden Reinsurance entered into the European Hospital Liability Quota Share with AEL and AIU DAC to cover those entities' medical liability business within Europe, primarily in Italy and France. These contracts were terminated on a run-off basis effective January 1, 2019 as part of the Final AmTrust QS Terminations.
For more information, please refer to "Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements - Note 10. Related Party Transactions" included under Item 8 "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data" of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Our Enterprise Risk Management ("ERM") framework reflects the ‘three lines of defense’ approach to risk management, which involves (1) individual functions having responsibility for identifying and managing risks; (2) the ERM Committee providing oversight and guidance to individual functions; and (3) internal audit performing independent reviews. Our Board has overall responsibility for oversight of the ERM program and has delegated this oversight to its Audit Committee.
Our ERM Committee monitors and oversees the risk environment and provides direction to mitigate, to an acceptable level, the most significant and material risks that may adversely affect our ability to achieve our goals. The ERM Committee continually reviews factors that may impact our organizational risk and develops and implements strategies and action plans to mitigate key risks.
Our ERM program is designed to achieve the following:
•Establish a process to assess strategies and business decisions on a risk/reward basis;
•Establish a risk governance structure with clearly defined roles and responsibilities;
•Identify and assess all material risks from internal and external sources;
•Manage risks within our risk appetite; and
•Effective review and reporting of major loss events.
The first line of defense assists with the identification of risks, creation of appropriate responses to risks, and maintains them within the risk appetite and tolerances that the ERM Committee believes are necessary to achieve our business strategies and objectives. The mitigation of risks is achieved through the application and operation of controls, transferring of risk or tolerating risks within risk appetite.
Our internal audit department assesses the adequacy and effectiveness of our risk management framework and mitigating controls and coordinates risk-based audits to evaluate and address risk within targeted areas of our business. The core functions of this department are to (1) assess the adequacy and effectiveness of our internal control systems; (2) coordinate risk-based audits and compliance reviews; and (3) carry out other initiatives to evaluate and address risk within targeted areas of our business. Internal audit integrates testing of the risk management framework into its annual test plans.
Our Audit Committee, comprised solely of independent directors, meets at least quarterly to assess whether management is addressing risk issues in a timely and appropriate manner. The Audit Committee receives a quarterly update on capital and risk management. Our risk appetite and tolerances have been formally approved by the Audit Committee.
As a property and casualty holding company, our insurance subsidiaries are in the business of assuming risk, although we are not currently actively underwriting new risks. Our primary risks are categorized as follows:
•Strategic risk – the risk that strategic decisions have an unexpected or adverse impact on future earnings or capital adequacy. This includes the ability to deploy capital in order to maximize risk adjusted returns in the most efficient way, without adversely impacting the adequacy of our capital position;
•Insurance risk - the risk that insured losses are higher than our expectations. This includes losses arising from inadequate loss reserves, losses from larger than expected non-catastrophe current accident year losses, and catastrophe losses that exceed our expectation or our reinsurance limits. Maiden Reinsurance is not engaged in active reinsurance underwriting and as a result our insurance risk from premiums is immaterial;
•Investment risk - the risk of loss in our investment portfolio potentially caused by fluctuations in interest rates, credit spreads, foreign exchange rates and inflation on both assets and liabilities;
•Liquidity risk - the risk that the group does not have sufficient unrestricted or liquid funds to pay losses or meet contractual obligations as they become due; and
•Operational risk - the risk of loss from inadequate or failed internal processes, people, systems and/or external events, which also includes legal risks.
Our Financial Strength Ratings
A.M. Best has developed a rating system to provide an opinion of an insurer’s or reinsurer’s financial strength and ability to meet ongoing obligations to its policyholders. Each rating reflects that rating agency’s independent opinion of the capitalization, management and sponsorship of the entity to which it relates, and is neither an evaluation directed to investors in
our common shares nor a recommendation to buy, sell or hold our common shares. A.M. Best maintains a letter scale rating system ranging from "A++" (Superior) to "F" (In Liquidation).
In February 2019, we requested A.M. Best to withdraw our financial strength rating. On February 28, 2019, A.M. Best approved the withdrawal with a final rating as "B++" (Good) with negative outlook and implications. As a result, we do not have a financial strength rating from any of the major rating agencies that cover our industry.
As presently constituted, we believe that our current business operations neither require a financial strength rating nor inhibit us from pursuing or achieving our strategic objectives. However, as we continue to evaluate our ongoing business strategy, the lack of a financial strength rating from one of the major rating agencies may limit or negatively impact our ability to market and sell our products in the future. It may also require us to use collateral more frequently to secure client relationships, which could impact our unrestricted liquidity. Both of these factors would be key considerations as to whether and when we would resume active underwriting.
Reserve for Loss and Loss Adjustment Expenses
We are required by applicable insurance laws and regulations in the U.S. and Sweden and by U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("U.S. GAAP") to establish loss reserves to cover our estimated liability for the payment of all loss and LAE incurred with respect to premiums earned on the policies and treaties that we write. These reserves are balance sheet liabilities presenting estimates of loss and LAE which we are ultimately required to pay for insured or reinsured claims that have occurred as of or before the balance sheet date. The loss and LAE reserves on our balance sheet represent management’s best estimate of the outstanding liabilities associated with our premium earned. In developing this estimate, management considers the results of internal and external actuarial analyses, trends in those analyses as well as industry trends. Our opining independent actuary certifies that the reserves established by management make a reasonable provision for our unpaid loss and LAE obligations.
These amounts include case reserves and provisions for Incurred But Not Reported ("IBNR") reserves. Case reserves are established for losses that have been reported to us, and not yet paid. IBNR reserves represent the estimated cost of losses that have occurred but have not been reported to us and include a provision for additional development on case reserves. We establish case reserves based on information from the ceding company, reinsurance intermediaries, and when appropriate, consultations with independent legal counsel. The IBNR reserves are established by management based on reported loss and LAE and actuarially determined estimates of ultimate loss and LAE.
A variety of standard actuarial methods are calculated to estimate ultimate loss and LAE. The majority of our business is reserved individually by cedant and line of business, with the remainder reserved in homogeneous groupings. Ultimate loss selections are accumulated across the reserve segments, and appropriate actuarial judgment is applied to determine the final selection of estimated ultimate losses. Ultimate losses are converted to IBNR reserves by subtracting inception to date paid losses and case reserves from those amounts. The combined total of case and IBNR results in indicated reserves which are the basis for the carried reserves for financial statements. Ultimate losses are also used to estimate premium and commission accruals for accounts with adjustable features.
Loss reserves do not represent an exact calculation of liability; rather, loss reserves are estimates of what we expect the ultimate resolution and administration of claims will cost. These estimates are based on actuarial and statistical projections and on our assessment of currently available data, as well as estimates of trends in claims severity and frequency, judicial theories of liability and other factors. Loss reserve estimates are refined as experience develops and as claims are reported and resolved. Establishing an appropriate level of loss reserves is an inherently uncertain process. In addition, the relatively long reporting periods between when a loss occurs and when it may be reported to our claims department for our casualty lines of business also increase the uncertainties of our reserve estimates in such lines. To assist us in establishing appropriate reserves for loss and LAE, we analyze a significant amount of internal data and external insurance industry information with respect to the pricing environment and loss settlement patterns. In combination with our individual account pricing analyses and our internal loss settlement patterns, this industry information is used to guide our loss and LAE estimates. These estimates are reviewed quarterly, at a high level of detail, and any adjustments are reflected in earnings in the periods in which they are determined.
For additional information concerning our reserves, see Item 7,"Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations — Critical Accounting Policies — Reserve for Loss and Loss Adjustment Expenses" and "Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements - Note 9 — Reserve for Loss and Loss Adjustment Expenses" included under Item 8 "Financial Statement and Supplementary Data", for further information regarding the specific actuarial models we utilize and the uncertainties in establishing the reserve for loss and LAE.
On March 9, 2021, we had approximately 52 full-time and part-time employees who are located in Bermuda, the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Ireland and Sweden. We believe that our employee relations are good. None of our employees are subject to collective bargaining agreements.
The insurance and reinsurance industry are subject to regulatory and legislative oversight and regulation in various markets in which we operate.
U.S. Insurance Regulation
Until its re-domestication to Vermont, Maiden Reinsurance was regulated as a registered Class 3B general business insurer under the Insurance Act 1978 of Bermuda, as amended, and related regulations. As of March 16, 2020, Maiden Reinsurance is an affiliated reinsurer organized under the laws of the state of Vermont. Regulatory, supervisory and administrative authority over insurance companies is primarily delegated to the states with the exception of federal authority over boycott, coercion and intimidation, federal antitrust laws and where federal law is enacted specifically to regulate the business of insurance. Among other things, state insurance departments regulate insurer solvency standards, insurer and agent licensing, authorized investments, loss and loss expense reserves and provisions for unearned premiums, and deposits of securities for the benefit of policyholders. Maiden Reinsurance is required to file detailed financial statements and other reports with the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation ("Vermont DFR"). These financial statements are subject to the supervision, regulation and periodic examination by the Vermont DFR.
State Insurance Department Examinations
Maiden Reinsurance is subject to the financial supervision and regulation of the Vermont DFR. As part of their regulatory oversight process, state insurance departments conduct periodic detailed examinations of the financial reporting of insurance companies domiciled in their states, not less frequently than once every five years. Examinations may be carried out in cooperation with the insurance departments of other states under guidelines promulgated by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners ("NAIC").
Statutory Accounting Principles
Statutory accounting principles ("SAP") are a basis of accounting developed to assist insurance regulators in monitoring and regulating the solvency of insurance companies. SAP is primarily concerned with measuring an insurer's surplus to policyholders. Accordingly, statutory accounting focuses on valuing assets and liabilities of insurers at financial reporting dates in accordance with appropriate insurance law and regulatory provisions applicable in each insurer's domiciliary state.
U.S. GAAP is concerned with a company's solvency, but is also concerned with other financial measurements, principally income and cash flows. Accordingly, U.S. GAAP gives more consideration to appropriate matching of revenue and expenses and accounting for management's stewardship of assets than does SAP. As a direct result, different assets and liabilities and different amounts of assets and liabilities will be reflected in financial statements prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP compared to SAP. Statutory accounting practices established by the NAIC and adopted in part by Vermont will determine, among other things, the amount of statutory surplus and statutory net income of Maiden Reinsurance, and thus determine, in part, the amount of funds that could be available to pay as dividends.
Holding Company Regulation
Maiden Reinsurance is subject to the U.S. statutory holding company laws of Vermont. The insurance holding company laws and regulations apply directly to individual insurers, indirectly to non-insurance entities, and provide regulators the ability to look at any entity within an insurance holding company system. State regulations generally provide that each insurance company in an insurance holding company system must register with the insurance department of its state of domicile. These laws vary from state to state, but each state has enacted legislation which requires licensed insurers that are subsidiaries of insurance holding companies to register and file with state regulatory authorities certain reports including information concerning their capital structure, ownership, financial condition and general business operations. All transactions involving the insurers in a holding company system and their affiliates must be fair and reasonable and, if material, require prior notice and non-disapproval by the state insurance department of their domicile. Further, state insurance holding company laws typically place limitations on the amounts of dividends or other distributions payable by insurers. Any capital distribution of any kind out of Maiden Reinsurance would be done consistent with Vermont regulations or as required, with the prior approval of the Vermont DFR.
State insurance holding company laws also require prior notice and state insurance department approval of changes in control of an insurer or its holding company. "Control" is generally defined as the possession, direct or indirect, of the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of the company, whether through the ownership of voting securities, by contract (except a commercial contract for goods or non-management services) or otherwise. Maiden Reinsurance is domiciled in Vermont where any beneficial owner of 10% or more of the outstanding voting securities of an insurance company or its holding company is presumed to have acquired control, unless this presumption is rebutted. Therefore, an investor who intends to acquire beneficial ownership of 10% or more of our outstanding voting securities may need to comply with these laws and would be required to file notices and reports with the Vermont DFR and receive approval from the Vermont DFR or rebut the presumption of control before such acquisition.
Additionally, the Model Holding Company Act and Model Holding Company Regulation address “enterprise” risk - the risk that an activity, circumstance, event, or series of events involving one or more affiliates of an insurer that, if not remedied promptly, is likely to have a material adverse effect upon the financial condition or liquidity of the insurer or its insurance holding company system as a whole. The Vermont DFR adopted the requirement for a holding company to annually submit an Enterprise Risk Report with the state commissioner.
In 2012, the NAIC adopted the Risk Management and Own Risk and Solvency Assessment (“ORSA”) Model Act (the “ORSA Model Act”), which requires domestic insurers to maintain a risk management framework and establishes a legal requirement for domestic insures to conduct an ORSA in accordance with NAIC’s ORSA Guidance Manual. The ORSA Model Act provides that domestic insurers, or their insurance group, must regularly conduct an ORSA consistent with a process comparable to the ORSA Guidance Manual process. The ORSA Model Act also provides that, no more than once a year, an insurer's domiciliary regulator may request that an insurer submit an ORSA summary report, or any combination of reports that together contain the information described in the ORSA Guidance Manual, with respect to the insurer and/or the insurance
group of which it is a member. Vermont has adopted its version of the ORSA Model Act and the Company believes that a Vermont statutory exemption (8 V.S.A. Section 3586) presently exempts the Company from the requirements of Vermont’s version of the ORSA Model Act.
U.S. insurers are also subject to risk-based capital ("RBC") guidelines that provide a method to measure the total adjusted capital (statutory capital and surplus plus other adjustments) of insurance companies taking into account the risk characteristics of a company's investments and products. The RBC formulas establish capital requirements for four categories of risk: asset risk, insurance risk, interest rate risk and business risk. For each category, the capital requirement is determined by applying factors to asset, premium and reserve items, with higher factors applied to items with greater underlying risk and lower factors for less risky items. Insurers that have less statutory capital than the RBC calculation required are considered to have inadequate capital and are subject to varying degrees of regulatory action depending upon the level of capital inadequacy. Maiden Reinsurance filed its first RBC reports in March 2021 for the 2020 calendar year, and the reported RBC levels exceed Vermont's RBC requirements and believes that these ratios should further improve as the amount of capital required to operate Maiden Reinsurance continues to decline based on our current expected business strategy.
The ability of an insurer to take credit for the reinsurance purchased from reinsurance companies is a significant component of reinsurance regulation. Typically, an insurer will only enter into a reinsurance agreement if it can obtain credit to its reserves on its statutory financial statements for the reinsurance ceded to the reinsurer. With respect to U.S. domiciled reinsurers that reinsure U.S. insurers, credit is usually granted when the reinsurer is licensed, certified or accredited in a state where the primary insurer is domiciled or, in some instances, in a state in which the primary insurer is licensed. States also generally permit primary insurers to take credit for reinsurance if the reinsurer is (i) domiciled in a state with a credit for reinsurance law that is substantially similar to the standards in the primary insurer's state of domicile, and (ii) meets certain financial requirements. Credit for reinsurance purchased from a reinsurer that does not meet the foregoing conditions is generally allowed to the extent that such reinsurer secures its obligations with qualified collateral. We are able to take credit for all reinsurance purchased and all cedants are able to take credit for reinsurance they purchase from us.
The NAIC Insurance Regulatory Information System ("IRIS") was developed to help state regulators identify companies that may require special attention. IRIS is comprised of statistical and analytical phases consisting of key financial ratios whereby financial examiners review annual statutory basis statements and financial ratios. Each ratio has an established "usual range" of results and assists state insurance departments in executing their statutory mandate to oversee the financial condition of insurance companies. A ratio result falling outside the usual range of IRIS ratios is not considered a failing result; rather unusual values are viewed as part of the regulatory early monitoring system. Furthermore, in some years, it may not be unusual for financially sound companies to have several ratios with results outside the usual ranges. An insurance company may fall out of the usual range for one or more ratios because of specific transactions that are in themselves immaterial. Generally, an insurance company will become subject to regulatory scrutiny and may be subject to regulatory action if it falls outside the usual ranges of four or more of the ratios. Because Maiden Reinsurance recently completed its re-domestication to Vermont in 2020, it is possible that it may produce unusual ratios outside the usual ranges for more than four tests, principally due to the lack of prior year statutory data which is required for many of the ratios to be computed.
State Legislative and Regulatory Changes
From time to time, various regulatory and legislative changes are proposed in the insurance industry. Among the proposals that have in the past been or are at present being considered are proposals in various state legislatures (some of which proposals have been enacted) to conform portions of their insurance laws and regulations to various model acts adopted by the NAIC.
While we are not actively underwriting reinsurance business, our insurance subsidiaries are required to comply with a wide variety of laws and regulations applicable to insurance or reinsurance companies, both in the jurisdictions in which they are organized and where they may sell insurance and reinsurance products. The insurance and regulatory environment, in particular for offshore insurance and reinsurance companies, has become subject to increased scrutiny in many jurisdictions, including the U.S., various states within the U.S. and the EU. In the past, there have been Congressional and other initiatives in the U.S. regarding increased supervision and regulation of the insurance industry. It is not possible to predict the future impact of changes in laws and regulations on our operations. The cost of complying with any new legal requirements affecting our subsidiaries could have a material adverse effect on our business.
In addition, our subsidiaries may not always be able to obtain or maintain necessary licenses, permits, authorizations or accreditations. They also may not be able to fully comply with, or to obtain appropriate exemptions from, the laws and regulations applicable to them. Any failure to comply with applicable law or to obtain appropriate exemptions could result in restrictions on either the ability of the company in question, as well as potentially its affiliates, to do business in one or more of the jurisdictions in which they operate or on brokers on which we rely to produce business for us. In addition, any such failure to comply with applicable laws or to obtain appropriate exemptions could result in the imposition of fines or other sanctions. Any of these sanctions could have a material adverse effect on our business. To date, no material fine, penalty or restriction has been imposed on us for failure to comply with any insurance law or regulation.
U.S. federal and state regulators have committed in principle to adopting international standards with respect to basic regulatory issues such as accounting, risk management and corporate governance. International regulatory considerations are increasingly being deliberated by the NAIC and could increase regulatory burdens for Maiden Reinsurance and have the potential to negatively impact all U.S. insurers, regardless of size. Various trade associations and industry participants are
aggressively working to impact the NAIC adoption of these standards. However, the final outcome of these deliberations is unknown at this time.
Although the regulation of the business of insurance and reinsurance is predominantly performed by the states, federal initiatives, such as the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ("Dodd-Frank"), often have an impact on the insurance industry. From time to time, various federal regulatory and legislative changes have been proposed in the insurance and reinsurance industry. While we cannot predict the exact nature, timing or scope of possible governmental initiatives, there may be increased regulatory intervention in our industry in the future.
On January 13, 2017, the U.S. Department of the Treasury ("U.S. Treasury Department") and the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, ("USTR"), announced the successful completion of negotiations for a "covered agreement" in the meaning of the Dodd-Frank Act for the U.S. and an Agreement under Article 218 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union for the EU ("Covered Agreement"). The agreement covers three areas of prudential oversight: (1) reinsurance; (2) group supervision; and (3) the exchange of information between insurance supervisors.
On September 22, 2017, the U.S. Treasury Department, USTR, and the EU formally signed the Covered Agreement. The agreement requires states to eliminate reinsurance collateral within 5 years or risk preemption. In exchange, the EU will not impose local presence requirements on U.S. firms operating in the EU, and effectively must defer to U.S. group capital regulation for U.S. entities of EU-based firms. The U.S. Treasury Department and USTR also released a U.S. policy statement clarifying their interpretation of the Covered Agreement in several key areas including capital, group supervision and reinsurance. Over the coming months, state regulators working through the NAIC will make key decisions on whether and how to modify state laws and regulations to comport with the provisions of the Covered Agreement. Bermuda is not covered under this agreement.
Sweden Insurance Regulation
Maiden LF and Maiden GF are subject to regulation and supervision by Finansinpektionen, the Swedish financial supervisory authority (the “Swedish FSA”). As Sweden is a member of the EU, the Swedish FSA supervision is recognized across all locations within the EU. Generally, the Swedish FSA has broad supervisory and administrative powers over such matters as licenses, standards of solvency, investments, methods of accounting, form and content of financial statements, minimum capital and surplus requirements, passporting permissions, approval of directors and officers, and annual and other report filings. In general, such regulation is for the protection of policyholders rather than shareholders. The Company believes that it is in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations pertaining to its business that would have a material effect on its financial position in the event of non-compliance.
Certain Bermuda Law Considerations
Maiden Holdings has been designated as non-resident for exchange control purposes by the Bermuda Monetary Authority ("BMA") and is required to obtain the permission of the BMA for the issue and transfer of all of its shares. The BMA has given its consent for: (a) the issue and transfer of Maiden Holdings' common shares, up to the amount of its authorized capital from time to time, to and among persons that are non-residents of Bermuda for exchange control purposes; and (b) the issue and transfer of up to 20% of Maiden Holdings' common shares in issue from time to time to and among persons resident in Bermuda for exchange control purposes.
Transfers and issues of Maiden Holdings' common shares to any resident in Bermuda for exchange control purposes may require specific prior approval under the Exchange Control Act 1972. Because we are designated as non-resident for Bermuda exchange control purposes, we are allowed to engage in transactions, and to pay dividends to Bermuda non-residents who are holders of our common shares, in currencies other than the Bermuda Dollar.
The Economic Substance Act 2018, as amended (“ESA”) came into force in Bermuda on January 1, 2019 and impacts every Bermuda registered entity engaged in a “relevant activity” to maintain a substantial economic presence in Bermuda and to satisfy economic substance requirements. Under the ESA, holding entity activities (as defined in the ESA and the Economic Substance Regulations 2018, as amended) are deemed a relevant activity. To the extent that the ESA applies to Maiden Holdings, we are required to demonstrate compliance with economic substance requirements that we have “adequate” economic substance in Bermuda, and we must file an annual economic substance declaration with the Bermuda Registrar of Companies. Any entity that must satisfy economic substance requirements but fails to do so could face penalties, restriction or regulation of its business activities and may be struck off as a registered entity in Bermuda for failure to satisfy economic substance requirements.
The Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015
Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002 ("TRIA"), which was previously amended and extended in 2005, 2007, 2015 and again in 2019 by the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019 ("TRIPRA"), was enacted to ensure the availability of insurance coverage for terrorist acts in the U.S. This law renewed the prior federal terrorism risk insurance program. It was extended through December 31, 2027 with certain modifications in the provisions of the expiring program.
TRIA does not apply to reinsurers directly but does apply directly to insurers and to excess and surplus lines insurers. The TRIPRA has had some impact on our reinsurance clients, but not all due to the lines of business covered by TRIA. Also, in general, our reinsurance contracts contain inuring language regarding any potential recoveries from TRIA. Additional material addressing TRIA and TRIPRA, including U.S. Treasury Department issued interpretive letters, are contained on the U.S. Treasury Department’s website.
Taxation of the Company and its Subsidiaries
The following summary of certain taxation matters is based upon current law. Legislative, judicial or administrative changes may be forthcoming that could affect this summary. Certain subsidiaries are subject to taxation related to operations in Australia, Germany, Sweden, the U.K. and the U.S. The discussion below covers only the principal locations in which the Company or its subsidiaries are subject to taxation.
Maiden Holdings has received from the Minister of Finance an assurance under The Exempted Undertakings Tax Protection Act, 1966 to the effect that in the event that there is any legislation enacted in Bermuda imposing tax computed on profits or income, or computed on any capital asset, gain or appreciation, or any tax in the nature of estate duty or inheritance tax, then the imposition of any such tax shall not be applicable to Maiden Holdings or to any of its operations or the shares, debentures or other obligations of Maiden Holdings until March 31, 2035. These assurances are subject to the proviso that they are not construed to prevent the application of any tax or duty to such persons as are ordinarily resident in Bermuda (Maiden Holdings is not currently so designated) or to prevent the application of any tax payable in accordance with the provisions of The Land Tax Act, 1967 of Bermuda or otherwise payable in relation to the property leased to us.
Maiden LF and Maiden GF are subject to Swedish taxation on net profits irrespective of whether the profits are generated through business in general or capital. To the extent that net profits are generated, profits are taxed at a rate of 21.4%. Foreign entities are subject to tax in Sweden only to the extent they have a permanent establishment in Sweden or if the income is related to certain types of assets, typically real estate, or partnership income. Dividends paid to foreign shareholders may be subject to withholding tax with a maximum of 30% although in many cases tax is reduced as a result of a tax treaty or under domestic legislation. A foreign entity is deemed to have a permanent establishment in Sweden under the rules very similar to those applied by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ("OECD"). Other than Maiden LF and Maiden GF, we believe that the Company has operated and will continue to operate its business in a manner that will not cause it to be treated as having a permanent establishment in Sweden. There is no withholding tax on interest paid by a Swedish borrower to a foreign lender.
Maiden Global is tax resident in the U.K. and is currently subject to corporation tax in the U.K. on its trading and other taxable profits. The main rate of U.K. corporation tax is currently 19%. Non-U.K. resident corporations are within the scope of corporation tax in the U.K. if they carry on a trade in the U.K. through a permanent establishment. Reinsurance business developed by Maiden Global is underwritten by Maiden Reinsurance. Other than in respect of Maiden Global, we believe that the Company has operated and will continue to operate its business in a manner that will not cause it to be treated as carrying on a trade within the U.K. Any U.K. source income of non-U.K. resident corporations may be subject to U.K. withholding tax, subject to the availability of treaty relief or any other applicable exemptions. Dividends paid by Maiden Global are not subject to U.K. withholding tax. Interest paid by Maiden Global may be subject to U.K. withholding tax at a rate of up to 20%, subject to the availability of treaty relief or any other applicable exemptions.
United States of America
Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "2017 Act"), which was signed into law on December 22, 2017, the corporate U.S. tax rate is 21%, the alternative minimum tax was eliminated and the deductibility of interest expense was limited, among other things. In the context of the taxation of U.S. property/casualty insurance companies such as the Company, the 2017 Act also modified the loss reserve discounting rules and the proration rules that apply to reduce reserve deductions to reflect the lower corporate income tax rate. In addition, the 2017 Act included certain provisions intended to eliminate certain perceived tax advantages of companies (including insurance companies) that have legal domiciles outside the U.S. but have certain U.S. connections and U.S. persons investing in such companies. For example, the 2017 Act includes a base erosion anti-avoidance tax (the "BEAT") that could make affiliate reinsurance between U.S. and non-U.S. members of our group economically unfeasible. As discussed in more detail below, the 2017 Act also revised the rules applicable to passive foreign investment companies ("PFICs") and controlled foreign corporations ("CFCs"). We are currently unable to predict the ultimate impact of the 2017 Act on our business, shareholders and results of operations. Further, it is possible that other legislation could be introduced and enacted by the current Congress or future Congresses that could have an adverse impact on us. Additionally, tax laws and interpretations regarding whether a company is engaged in a U.S. trade or business or whether a company is a CFC or a PFIC or has related person insurance income ("RPII") are subject to change, possibly on a retroactive basis. New regulations or pronouncements interpreting or clarifying such rules may be forthcoming. The Company cannot be certain if, when or in what form such regulations or pronouncements may be provided and whether such guidance will have a retroactive effect.
Maiden NA and its subsidiaries (collectively, the "Maiden NA Companies") transact business in and are subject to taxation in the U.S., and Maiden Reinsurance is subject to taxation in the U.S. since the effective date of its re-domestication. Other than the Maiden NA Companies, and Maiden Reinsurance following its re-domestication, we believe that we have operated and will continue to operate our business in a manner that will not cause us to be treated as engaged in a trade or business within the U.S. On this basis, other than the Maiden NA Companies, and Maiden Reinsurance following its re-domestication, we do not expect to be required to pay U.S. corporate income taxes (other than withholding and excise taxes as described below). The maximum federal corporate income tax rate has been reduced by the 2017 Act to 21% for a foreign corporation’s income that is effectively connected with a trade or business in the U.S. In addition, U.S. branches of foreign corporations may be subject to the branch profits tax, which imposes a tax on U.S. branch after-tax earnings that are deemed repatriated out of the U.S., for a potential maximum effective federal tax rate of approximately 44% on the net income connected with a U.S. trade or business.
Foreign corporations not engaged in a trade or business in the U.S. are subject to U.S. income tax, effected through withholding by the payer, on certain fixed or determinable annual or periodic gains, profits and income derived from sources within the U.S. as enumerated in Section 881(a) of the Internal Revenue Code, such as dividends and interest on certain investments. The U.S. also imposes an excise tax on insurance and reinsurance premiums paid to foreign insurers or reinsurers with respect to risks of a U.S. person located wholly or partly within the U.S. or risks of a foreign person engaged in the conduct of a U.S. trade or business located in the U.S. The rate of tax applicable to reinsurance premiums paid to Maiden Reinsurance by U.S. insurance companies was 1% of gross premiums.
Where You Can Find More Information
We maintain our principal website at www.maiden.bm. The information on our websites is not incorporated by reference in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. We make available, free of charge through our principal website, our financial information, including the information contained in our Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"), as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish such material to, the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). We also make available, free of charge through our principal website, our Audit Committee Charter, Compensation Committee Charter, Nominating & Corporate Governance Committee Charter, and Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. Such information is also available in print for any shareholder who sends a request to Maiden Holdings, Ltd., Ideation House, 94 Pitts Bay Road, Pembroke HM 08, Bermuda, Attention: Secretary. Reports and other information we file with the SEC may also be viewed at the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov or viewed or obtained at the SEC Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20549.
Information on the operation of the SEC Public Reference Room may be obtained by calling the SEC at 800-SEC-0330. Any shareholder or other interested party who desires to contact any member of the Board (or our Board as a group) may do so in writing to the following address: Maiden Holdings, Ltd., Ideation House, 94 Pitts Bay Road, Pembroke HM 08, Bermuda, Attention: Secretary. Communications are distributed to the Board, or to any individual directors as appropriate, depending on the facts and circumstances outlined in the communication.
Item 1A. Risk Factors.
Investing in our securities carries risk. Managing risk effectively is critical to our success, and our organization is built around intelligent risk assumptions and prudent risk management. We have identified what we believe reflect key significant risks to the organization, and in turn to our shareholders, which are outlined below. Any of the risks described below could result in a significant or material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition. In addition to these enumerated risks, we face numerous other strategic, operational and emerging risks that could in the aggregate lead to shortfalls to our long-term goals or add to short-term volatility in our earnings. The following review of important risk factors should not be construed as exhaustive and should be read in conjunction with other cautionary statements that are included herein or elsewhere. The words or phrases believe, anticipate, estimate, project, plan, expect, intend, hope, forecast, evaluate, will likely result or will continue or words or phrases of similar import generally involve forward-looking statements. All of the risks that may affect our financial or operating performance may not be material at this time but may become material in the future. As used in these Risk Factors, the terms "we", "our" or "us" may, depending upon the context, refer to the Company, to one or more of the Company’s consolidated subsidiaries or to all of them taken as a whole.
We have incurred volatile operating results in recent years. There can be no assurance that we will return to active underwriting or maintain operating profitability.
We produced net income of $41.8 million in 2020, which improved from a net loss of $131.9 million during 2019 which was the result of loss reserve strengthening and adverse prior year loss development of loss reserves. We have taken significant actions since the second half of 2018 to strengthen our loss reserve and capital position, and restructure our business by disposing of unprofitable operations and terminating reinsurance agreements in both of our reporting segments while significantly reducing headcount and overhead expenses. We have also purchased additional reinsurance protection to eliminate potential volatility of loss reserves from this legacy business. While we believe these actions will help restore operating profitability, there can be no assurance that these actions will achieve their intended effects or that such reinsurance will be sufficient to protect us against further adverse loss reserve development. Further, as our insurance liabilities continue to run-off, our investment income will continue to decrease which may adversely affect our profitability. While we continue to reduce our operating expenses and make additional investments which we believe will produce enhanced investment returns, there can be no assurance that these measures will overcome the expected decline in investment income. Finally, we have not as yet determined if and when we may resume active underwriting of risks which would result in increased revenue.
Our shareholders’ equity has improved in the most recent year, however, there can be no assurance these improvements will continue.
Due to our return to profitable results of operations in 2020, our shareholders' equity increased by 4.0% during 2020. We have taken significant actions since the second half of 2018 to improve our capital position, and restructure our business by disposing of unprofitable operations and terminating reinsurance agreements while significantly reducing headcount and overhead expenses. While we believe these actions will continue to increase shareholders' equity, there can be no assurance that these actions will achieve their intended effects. We have also purchased additional reinsurance protection to eliminate potential volatility of loss reserves from this legacy business. There can be no assurance that this reinsurance or that the timing and accounting recognition of recoveries under that reinsurance agreement will be sufficient to protect us against further declines in shareholders’ equity. While we continue to believe we will operate as a going concern, there can be no assurance that this will continue to be the case if future significant declines in our shareholders’ equity occur.
The inability of management to successfully implement its business strategy could result in a further decline of capital or materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Management continues to evaluate various operating strategies that are likely to be significantly different than our prior strategic business focus. In 2020, this included expanded investment activities and the formation of a business dedicated to "legacy" insurance transactions that involve acquiring business or reinsuring transactions that are in run-off. This may involve changes to our approaches to asset and capital management and we may or may not resume active reinsurance underwriting in the future. Further, as part of its re-domestication to the State of Vermont in the U.S., Maiden Reinsurance would closely consult with the Vermont DFR before it considers resuming active reinsurance underwriting and on any matters related to capital management and business strategy. There can be no assurance that the implementation of the new business plan will succeed or will be satisfactory to the Vermont DFR which could have a material adverse effect on our business, operations and financial condition.
Our actual losses may be greater than our reserve for loss and LAE, which would negatively impact our financial condition and results of operations.
Our success depends upon our ability to assess accurately the risks associated with the businesses that we will reinsure. Significant periods of time often elapse between the occurrence of an insured loss, the reporting of the loss to an insurer and the reporting of the loss by the insurer to its reinsurer and the ultimate disposition of that loss. The reserves we establish represent estimates of amounts needed to pay reported losses and unreported losses and the related loss adjustment expense. Loss reserves are only an estimate of what an insurer or reinsurer anticipates the ultimate costs of claims to be and do not represent an exact calculation of liability. Estimating loss reserves is a difficult and complex process involving many variables, inherent uncertainty, statistical modeling, and subjective judgments. As part of our reserving process, we review historical data as well as perform actuarial and statistical projections using proprietary models and consider the impact of various factors such as: trends in claim frequency and severity; changes in operations; emerging economic and social trends; inflation; and changes in the regulatory and litigation environments.
This process assumes that past experience, adjusted for the effects of current developments and anticipated trends, is an appropriate basis for predicting future events. In addition, reserving models that are capable of estimating reserves using a variety of methodologies are utilized during the reserving process. There is no precise method, however, for evaluating the impact of any specific factor on the adequacy of reserves, and actual results are likely to differ from original estimates. Reserve models can introduce further process and parameter risk when data and methodologies are interpreted or utilized in a manner which is inconsistent with the actual underlying characteristics of the reinsured exposure. These risks could arise due to incorrect use of the models, or the use of a model or methodology that is inappropriate. In addition, unforeseen losses, the type or magnitude of which we cannot predict, may emerge in the future. Given the inherent uncertainty in the reserving process and models used for reserve estimation, we may not accurately react to the reporting and payment of loss in the projection of our reserve for loss and LAE.
We will establish or adjust reserves for our insurance subsidiaries in part based upon loss data received from the ceding companies with which we do business. There is a time delay that elapses between the receipt and recording of claims results by the ceding insurance companies and the receipt and recording of those results by us. Accordingly, establishment and adjustment of reserves for our insurance subsidiaries is dependent upon timely and accurate estimate reporting from cedants and agents.
In addition, during 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted established claims adjudication and settlement processes. These disruptions could impact the consistency of data received from our cedants and agents. While we do not believe these disruptions have materially impacted our ability to appropriately evaluate the exposures, it could potentially impact the judgments we make in setting reserves.
While we have established our reserves to a level we believe to be sufficient to cover losses assumed by us when we recognize prior period development, there can be no assurance that losses will not deviate from our reserves, possibly by material amounts. We have experienced significant adverse development of our loss reserves in prior years. Further, the additional reinsurance protection we have purchased to protect against further adverse development in loss reserves may be insufficient compared to the actual losses that emerge and we may need to recognize adverse development which would reduce our results of operations and shareholders' equity, possibly materially. To the extent our actual reported losses exceed expected losses, the carried estimate of the ultimate losses will be increased, which would represent unfavorable reserve development, and in turn could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition.
Our internal control and reporting systems might not be effective in the future, which could increase the risk that we would become subject to restatements of our financial results or to regulatory action or litigation or other developments that could adversely affect our business.
Our ability to produce accurate financial statements and comply with applicable laws, rules and regulations is largely dependent on our maintenance of internal control and reporting systems, as well as on our ability to attract and retain qualified management and accounting and actuarial personnel to further develop our internal accounting function and control policies. If we fail to effectively establish and maintain such reporting and accounting systems or fail to attract and retain personnel who are capable of designing and operating such systems, these failures will increase the likelihood that we may be required to restate our financial results to correct errors or that we will become subject to legal and regulatory infractions, which may entail civil litigation and investigations by regulatory agencies including the SEC. In addition, if our management team were to conclude that our internal control over financial reporting was not effective, investors could lose confidence in our reported financial information, and our financial flexibility and the value of our common shares could be adversely impacted.
The effects of emerging claim and coverage issues on our business are uncertain.
As industry practices and legal, judicial, social and other environmental conditions change, unexpected issues related to claims and coverage may emerge. These issues may adversely affect our business by either extending coverage beyond our underwriting intent or by increasing the number or size of claims. In some instances, these changes may not become apparent until sometime after we have issued insurance or reinsurance contracts that are affected by the changes. As a result, the full extent of liability under our reinsurance contracts may not be known for many years after a contract is issued. Our exposure to these uncertainties could be exacerbated by an increase in insurance and reinsurance contract disputes, arbitration and litigation.
Our business is subject to risks related to litigation. Losses from legal and regulatory actions may have a material adverse effect on our reputation, operating results, cash flows, financial condition and prospects.
We may from time to time be subject to litigation or other legal or regulatory actions in the ordinary course of business relating to our current and past business operations, including, but not limited to, disputes over coverage or claims adjudication, including claims alleging that we have acted in bad faith in the administration of claims by our policyholders, disputes with our agents, producers and termination of contracts and related claims and disputes with former employees. We also cannot determine with any certainty what new theories of recovery may evolve or what their impact may be on our business.
We also may be subject to litigation from security holders due to the diminution in value of our securities as a result of our operating results and financial condition. Defending against these actions may require us to utilize significant resources in our defense as well as result in a significant amount of time by our senior management.
An adverse resolution of one or more lawsuits or arbitration could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations in a particular fiscal quarter or year.
Our reinsurers may not pay losses in a timely fashion, or at all, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.
At December 31, 2020, we had a net balance due to us from one reinsurer, Cavello Bay Reinsurance Limited ("Cavello"), of $587.9 million, consisting of losses due from Cavello under the retrocession agreement of $68.0 million and reinsurance recoverable on unpaid losses under the retroactive reinsurance agreement of $519.9 million. Cavello has provided collateral in the form of a letter of credit in the amount of $445.0 million to AmTrust under the loss portfolio and adverse development
cover agreement ("LPT/ADC Agreement') with Enstar Group Limited ("Enstar") on July 31, 2019, pursuant to which Cavello assumed the loss reserves as of December 31, 2018 associated with the AmTrust Quota Share subject to additional collateral funding requirements.
We may or may not use retrocessional and reinsurance coverage to limit our exposure to risks. Any retrocessional or reinsurance coverage that we obtain may be limited, and credit and other risks associated with our retrocessional and reinsurance arrangements may result in losses which could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
We have provided reinsurance to our clients and in turn we may or may not retrocede reinsurance we have assumed to other insurers and reinsurers. If we do not use retrocessional coverage or reinsurance, our exposure to losses will be greater than if we did obtain such coverage. If we do obtain retrocessional or reinsurance coverage, some of the insurers or reinsurers to whom we may retrocede coverage or reinsure with may be domiciled in Bermuda or other non-U.S. locations. We would be subject to credit and other risks that depend upon the financial strength of these reinsurers. Further, we will be subject to credit risk with respect to any retrocessional or reinsurance arrangements because the ceding of risk to reinsurers and retrocessionaires would not relieve us of our liability to the clients or companies we insure or reinsure. Our failure to establish adequate reinsurance or retrocessional arrangements or the failure of any retrocessional arrangements to protect us from overly concentrated risk exposure could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operation. We may attempt to mitigate such risks by retaining collateral or trust accounts for premium and claims receivables, but nevertheless we cannot be assured that reinsurance will be fully collectable in the case of all potential claims outcomes.
The failure of any of the loss limitation methods we have employed or could employ in the future could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.
We seek to limit loss exposure through loss limitation provisions in policies we write, such as limitations on the amount of losses that can be claimed under a policy, limitations or exclusions from coverage and provisions relating to choice of forum, which are intended to assure that our policies are legally interpreted as intended. There can be no assurance that these contractual provisions will be enforceable in the manner expected or that disputes relating to coverage will be resolved in our favor. If the loss limitation provisions in the policies are not enforceable or disputes arise concerning the application of such provisions, the losses we incur could be materially higher than expected and our financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
Our efforts to develop products, expand in targeted markets or modify our business and strategic plans may not be successful and may create enhanced risks.
As noted, we are not presently actively underwriting reinsurance business. However, any new business initiatives involving the development of new products or expanding existing products in new or historically targeted markets may involve substantial capital and operating expenditures, which may negatively impact our results of operations and shareholders' equity. In addition, the demand for new products or in new markets may not meet our expectations. To the extent we are able to market new products or expand in new markets, our risk exposures may change and the data and models we use to manage such exposures may not be as sophisticated as those we use in existing markets or with existing products. This, in turn, could lead to losses in excess of expectations. Additionally, the re-domestication of Maiden Reinsurance to the U.S. may limit our ability to reinsure risk outside of the U.S. and may have an adverse effect on our capital and ability to write new business.
As part of our ongoing efforts to continually improve our performance, we regularly evaluate our business plans and strategies, which may result in changes to our business plans and initiatives, some of which may be material. We are subject to increasing risks related to our ability to successfully implement our evolving plans and strategies. Changing plans and strategies requires significant management of time and effort, and may divert management’s attention from our core operations and competencies, and our efforts to improve our capital position and solvency. Moreover, modifications we undertake to our operations may not immediately result in improved financial performance. In November 2020, we formed Genesis Legacy Solutions (“GLS”) which specializes in providing a full range of legacy services to small insurance entities, particularly those in run-off or with blocks of reserves that are no longer core, working with clients to develop and implement finality solutions including acquiring entire companies. We believe the formation of GLS is highly complementary to our overall longer-term strategy. However, it may take some time for GLS to gain sufficient scale to achieve its objectives, and its results may not reach the objectives we expect to establish for it over time.
Therefore, risks associated with implementing or changing our business strategies and initiatives, including risks related to developing or enhancing the operations, controls and other infrastructure required for these strategies and initiatives, may not have a positive impact on our publicly reported results until many years after implementation. The risk that we may fail to have the ability to carry out our business plans may have an adverse effect on our long-term results of operations and financial condition.
We depend on the policies, procedures and expertise of ceding companies for the business we have written in the past; these companies may have failed to accurately assess and price the risks they have underwritten, which may lead us to inaccurately assess and price the risks we assumed.
While we are not presently engaged in active reinsurance underwriting, our participation in property and casualty reinsurance markets means the success of our prior underwriting efforts depends, in part, upon the policies, procedures and expertise of the ceding companies making the original underwriting decisions. As common among reinsurers, we do not separately evaluate each of the individual risks assumed under reinsurance treaties. We face the risk that these ceding companies may have failed to accurately assess the risks that they assumed initially, which, in turn, may lead us to inaccurately assess the risks we assumed.
If we have failed to establish and receive appropriate pricing or failed to contractually limit our exposure to such risks, we could face significant losses on these contracts, which could have a material adverse impact on our financial results.
The inherent uncertainty of models and the use of such models as a tool to evaluate risk may have an adverse impact on our financial results.
We use our own proprietary models to provide us with an objective risk assessment relating to risks in our reinsurance portfolio. These models help us to inform management and other stakeholders of capital requirements and to improve the risk/return profile or minimize the amount of capital required to cover the risks in each reinsurance contract in our overall portfolio of reinsurance contracts. However, given the inherent uncertainty of modeling techniques and the application of such techniques, these models and databases may not accurately address the emergence of a variety of matters which might be deemed to impact certain of our coverages. Accordingly, these models may understate the exposures we are assuming and our financial results may be adversely impacted, perhaps significantly.
The failure of our underwriting process could have an adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition.
As noted, we are not presently engaged in active reinsurance underwriting. Previously, we sought to manage our loss exposure by maintaining a disciplined underwriting process throughout our (re)insurance operations. Underwriting is a matter of judgment, involving important assumptions about matters that are inherently unpredictable and beyond our control, and for which historical experience and probability analysis may not provide sufficient guidance. The failure of any of the underwriting risk management strategies that we employ could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.
Prior to ceasing active reinsurance underwriting, we relied on internal controls and underwriting guidelines to limit our risk exposure within prescribed parameters. However, our controls and monitoring efforts may have been ineffective, permitting one or more underwriters to exceed underwriting authority and causing us to (re)insure risks outside the agreed upon guidelines. To the extent that our underwriters exceeded their authorities, agreed to inappropriate contract terms and conditions or were influenced by broker incentives, or if there was inaccurate underwriting data captured and reported leading to licensing and sanction breaches, our financial condition or results of operations could be materially adversely affected.
We may be required to accelerate the amortization of deferred acquisition costs or establish premium deficiency reserves.
Deferred acquisition costs represent incremental direct costs related to the successful acquisition of new or renewal insurance contracts. The balances of such costs are capitalized as an asset and amortized into income over the expected lives of the underlying insurance contracts. On an ongoing basis, we test these assets recorded on our balance sheet to determine whether the amounts are recoverable under current assumptions. To date, we have concluded that no such premium deficiency exists. If facts and circumstances change, these tests and reviews could lead to the establishment of a premium deficiency reserve which would require a write down in the carried value of our deferred acquisition costs. Such results could have an adverse effect on the results of our operations and our financial condition.
Failure of our information technology systems could disrupt our business and adversely impact our profitability.
We believe our information technology and application systems are critical to our business and reputation. We have licensed certain systems and data from third parties. We cannot be certain that we will have access to these, or comparable service providers, or that our technology or applications will continue to operate as intended. A major defect or failure in our internal controls or information technology and application systems could result in management distraction, harm to our reputation, a loss or delay of revenues or increased expense.
Technology breaches or failures, including, but not limited to, those resulting from cyber-attacks on us or our business partners and service providers, could disrupt or otherwise negatively impact our business.
Information technology and application systems can streamline many business processes and ultimately reduce the cost of operations, however, technology initiatives present certain risks. Our business is dependent upon our employees and outsources ability to perform, in an efficient and uninterrupted fashion, necessary business functions. Like all companies, our information technology systems are vulnerable to data breaches, interruptions or failures due to events that may be beyond our control, including, but not limited to, natural disasters, theft, terrorist attacks, computer viruses, hackers and general technology failures. Our information technology systems include the Internet and third-party hosted services. We use information systems to process financial information and results of operations for internal reporting purposes and for regulatory financial reporting, legal and tax requirements. We also use information systems for electronic communications with customers and our various locations.
A shutdown or inability to access one or more of our facilities, a power outage, a security breach, or a failure of one or more of our information technology, telecommunications or other systems could significantly impair our ability to perform such functions on a timely basis. These incidents could be caused by malicious or disruptive software, computer hackers, rogue employees, cyber-attacks, failures of telecommunications systems or other catastrophic events. If sustained or repeated, such a business interruption, system failure or service denial could result in a deterioration of our ability to write and process business, provide customer service, pay claims in a timely manner or perform other necessary business functions. Furthermore, a significant portion of the communications between our employees and our business, banking and investment partners depends on information technology and electronic information exchange. In addition, we may suffer financial and reputational damage because of lost or misappropriated confidential information belonging to us, and may become subject to legal action and increased regulatory oversight. We could also be required to spend significant financial and other resources to remedy any damage caused to repair or replace information systems.
We believe that we have established and implemented appropriate security measures, controls and procedures to safeguard our information technology systems and to prevent unauthorized access to such systems and any data processed and/or stored in
such systems, and we periodically employ third parties to evaluate and test the adequacy of such systems, controls and procedures. In addition, we have established a business continuity plan which is designed to ensure that we are able to maintain all aspects of our key business processes functioning in the midst of certain disruptive events, including any disruptions to or breaches of our information technology systems. We continue to make investments in technologies, cyber-insurance and training. Our business continuity plans are tested and evaluated for adequacy. Despite these safeguards, disruptions to and breaches of our information technology systems are possible and may negatively impact our business.
Like most major corporations, the Company’s information systems are a target of attacks. Although we have experienced no known material or threatened cases involving unauthorized access to our information technology systems and data or unauthorized appropriation of such data to date, we have no assurance that such technology breaches will not occur in the future.
Ongoing economic uncertainty could materially and adversely affect our business, our liquidity and financial condition.
Global economies and financial markets have, from time to time, experienced significant disruption or deterioration and likely will experience periods of disruption or deterioration in the future. In addition, U.S. federal and state governments continue to experience significant structural fiscal deficits, creating uncertainty as to levels of taxation, inflation, regulation and other economic fundamentals that may impact future growth prospects. Significantly greater economic, fiscal and monetary uncertainty remains in Europe, due to the combination of poor economic growth, high unemployment and significant sovereign deficits which have called into question the future of the common currency used across most of Europe. European economic activity appears likely to remain volatile in the near future and to potentially have a continuing impact on the U.S. economy. The spread of COVID-19 around the world has created significant economic uncertainty which may have a material effect on the global economy and financial markets. Continuation of these conditions may potentially affect (among other aspects of our business) the demand for and claims made under our products, the ability of clients, counterparties and others to establish or maintain their relationships with us, our ability to access and efficiently use internal and external capital resources and our investment performance.
Our agency mortgage-backed securities ("Agency MBS") constitute 23.2% of our fixed maturity investments at December 31, 2020. As with other fixed income investments, the fair value of these securities fluctuates depending on market and other general economic conditions and the interest rate environment. Changes in interest rates can expose us to changes in the prepayment rate on these investments. In periods of declining interest rates, mortgage prepayments generally increase and mortgage-backed securities ("MBS") are prepaid more quickly, requiring us to reinvest the proceeds at lower market rates. Conversely, in periods of rising rates, mortgage prepayments generally fall, preventing us from taking full advantage of the higher level of rates. However, economic conditions may curtail prepayment activity on the underlying mortgages if refinancing is difficult, thus limiting prepayments on the MBS portfolio. In the event that these conditions persist and result in a prolonged period of economic uncertainty, our results of operations, our financial condition and/or liquidity, and our prospects could be materially and adversely affected.
We may face substantial exposure to losses from terrorism, acts of war and political instability.
We may have exposure to losses resulting from acts of terrorism, acts of war and political instability as a reinsurer of U.S. domiciled insurers. U.S. insurers are required by state and federal law to offer coverage for terrorism in certain commercial lines. These risks are inherently unpredictable, although recent events may lead to increased frequency and severity. It is difficult to predict the occurrence of these perils with statistical certainty or to estimate the amount of loss an occurrence will generate. We closely monitor the amount and types of coverage we provide for terrorism risk under insurance policies and reinsurance treaties. We often seek to exclude or limit terrorism when we cannot reasonably evaluate the risk of loss or charge an appropriate premium for such risk. Even in cases where we have deliberately sought to exclude coverage, we may not be able to eliminate our exposure to terrorist acts, and thus it is possible that these acts could have a material adverse effect on us.
Liquidity, Capital Resources and Investments
We may not have sufficient unrestricted liquidity to meet our obligations.
Maiden Holdings is a holding company. As a result, we do not have, and will not have, any significant operations or assets other than our ownership of the shares of our subsidiaries. Dividends and other permitted payments from our operating subsidiaries are expected to be our sole source of funds to meet ongoing cash requirements at Maiden Holdings, including debt service payments and other expenses. As of December 31, 2020 and as of the date hereof, our insurance subsidiaries' ability to make distributions are limited by regulatory restrictions. Maiden Holdings may need to borrow funds from its subsidiaries if funds from dividends are not available to meet ongoing cash requirements. The impact of applicable regulatory capital requirements such as risk based capital ratios under U.S. law could impact the ability of Maiden Reinsurance to pay future cash dividends.
Maiden Reinsurance uses trust accounts, loan to related party, funds withheld and letters of credit to meet collateral requirements. Consequently, cash and cash equivalents and investments are pledged in favor of ceding companies in order to comply with relevant insurance regulations or contractual requirements. At December 31, 2020, restricted cash and cash equivalents and fixed maturity investments used as collateral were $1.1 billion and represents 80.0% of the fair value of our total fixed maturity investments and cash and cash equivalents (including restricted cash and cash equivalents) at that date. At December 31, 2020, Maiden Reinsurance had $205.6 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents and fixed maturity investments. On a consolidated basis, the Company had $269.2 million in unrestricted cash and cash equivalents and fixed maturity investments at December 31, 2020.
Based on our current estimate of 2021 financial projections, we believe we will have sufficient liquidity to meet and fulfill our obligations including payments due under our 2013 Senior Notes issued by Maiden NA in the principal amount of $152.5 million, all of which is currently outstanding and is subject to a guarantee by Maiden Holdings, and the 2016 Senior Notes in the principal amount of $110.0 million, all of which is currently outstanding (the 2016 Senior Notes collectively with the 2013
Senior Notes, the "Senior Notes"). However, should our operating results deteriorate, or should additional collateral be required under our contractual arrangements with reinsureds prior to the receipt of recoveries under reinsurance agreements we have entered into, we cannot assure that we will maintain sufficient unrestricted liquidity to meet those obligations.
A significant amount of our invested assets are subject to changes in interest rates and market volatility. If we are unable to realize our investment objectives, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely affected.
Investment income is an important component of our consolidated net income. At December 31, 2020, total investments of $1.3 billion represented 90.7% of our total cash and investments. Total investments included other investments of $67.0 million or 5.1% comprised of a combination of investments in limited partnerships, private equity, hedge funds and investments made by special purpose vehicles ("SPV") related to lending activities. As a result of market conditions prevailing at a particular time, the allocation of our portfolio to various asset types may vary. The fair market value of these assets and the investment income from these assets will fluctuate depending on general economic and market conditions. We classify our fixed maturity investments as available-for-sale ("AFS") and therefore changes in the market value are reflected in our shareholders’ equity through accumulated other comprehensive income ("AOCI").
Our Board has established our investment policies, including the purchase of affiliated securities, approved by the Vermont DFR, and our executive management is implementing our investment strategy with the assistance of our investment managers. Although these guidelines stress diversification and capital preservation, our investment results will be subject to a variety of risks, including risks related to changes in the business, financial condition or results of operations of the entities in which we invest, as well as changes in general economic conditions and overall market conditions, interest rate fluctuations and market volatility. Given our reliance on external investment managers, we are also exposed to operational risks, which may include, but are not limited to, a failure of these managers to follow our investment policy guidelines, a failure to maintain proper internal controls, technological and staffing deficiencies and inadequate disaster recovery plans.
Our investment portfolio consists of substantially all interest rate-sensitive instruments, such as bonds, which may be adversely affected by changes in interest rates. Interest rates are highly sensitive to many factors, including governmental monetary policies and domestic and international economic and political conditions and other factors beyond our control. Changes in interest rates could have an adverse effect on the value of our fixed maturity investment portfolio and future investment income. For example, changes in interest rates can expose us to prepayment risks on U.S. Government Agency MBS included in our investment portfolio (all Agency MBS are currently "AA+" rated by S&P). Increases in interest rates will decrease the fair market value of our investments in fixed-income securities. If increases in interest rates occur during periods when we sell investments to satisfy liquidity needs, we may experience investment losses. In addition, a declining interest rate environment can result in reductions in our investment yield as new funds and proceeds from sales and maturities of fixed income securities are reinvested at lower rates which reduces our overall profitability.
Interest rates are highly sensitive to many factors, including governmental monetary policies, inflation, domestic and international economic and political conditions and other factors beyond our control. To limit our exposure to unexpected interest rate increases which would reduce the value of our fixed income securities and reduce our shareholders' equity, we attempt to maintain the duration of our fixed maturity investment portfolio combined with our cash and cash equivalents, both restricted and unrestricted, within a reasonable range of the duration of our loss reserves. As a result of the LPT/ADC Agreement, our liability duration will be materially shortened and if we do not correspondingly shorten the duration of the investments in our fixed maturity investment portfolio, our risk of exposure to unexpected changes in interest rates could adversely affect our operations and financial condition.
At December 31, 2020 and 2019, these respective durations in years were as follows:
|At December 31,||2020||2019|
|Fixed maturities and cash and cash equivalents||2.1||3.0|
Reserve for loss and LAE(1)
(1) The duration regarding our reserve for loss and LAE at December 31, 2020 and 2019 is gross of LPT/ADC Agreement reserves. On a net basis, the duration of our reserve for loss and LAE is 0.9 years at December 31, 2020 (2019 - 1.7 years).
The differential in duration between these assets and liabilities may fluctuate over time and in the case of fixed maturities, is affected by factors such as market conditions, asset allocations and prepayment speeds in the case of Agency MBS.
We believe we have historically mitigated our exposure to liquidity risk through prudent duration management and strong operating cash flow. Our business has undergone significant changes in the last year. As previously noted, the Strategic Review resulted in a series of transactions that have transformed our operations and materially reduced the risk on our balance sheet. As a result of the transactions that transpired from the Strategic Review, our gross and net premiums written will continue to be materially lower going forward and investment income will continue to be a significantly larger portion of our revenues. We believe this will significantly reduce our operating cash flow.
However, we generally expect negative operating cash flows to be met or exceeded by positive investing cash flows. Overall, we expect our cash flows, together with our existing capital base and unrestricted cash and investments to be sufficient to meet cash requirements and to operate our business. The LPT/ADC Agreement has shortened the duration of our liabilities which in turn may require us to adjust the duration of our fixed maturities which could lower our investment income. We also have very limited property catastrophe exposures which could cause an immediate need for cash. However, if we do not structure our investment portfolio so that it is appropriately matched with our reinsurance liabilities or our operating cash flow declines, we may be forced to liquidate investments prior to maturity at a significant loss to cover such liabilities. For this or any of the other reasons discussed above, investment losses could significantly decrease our asset base, which would adversely
affect our ability to conduct business. Any significant decline in our investment income would adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The determination of the fair values of our investments and whether a decline in the fair value of an investment is other-than-temporary are based on management’s judgment and may prove to be incorrect.
We hold a significant amount of assets without readily available, active, quoted market prices or for which fair value cannot be measured from actively quoted prices. These assets are generally deemed to require a higher degree of judgment used in measuring fair value. The assumptions used by management to measure fair values could turn out to be inaccurate and the actual amounts that may be realized in an orderly transaction with a willing market participant could be either lower or higher than our estimates of fair value. We review our investment portfolio for factors that may indicate that a decline in the fair value of an investment is other-than-temporary. This evaluation is based on subjective factors, assumptions and estimates and may prove to be materially incorrect, which may result in us recognizing additional losses in the future as new information emerges or recognizing losses in the current period that may never materialize in the future in an orderly transaction with a willing market participant.
Our investments in alternative investments and our investments in joint ventures and/or entities accounted for using the equity method may be illiquid and volatile in terms of value and returns, which could negatively affect our investment income and liquidity.
In addition to fixed maturity securities, we have invested, and may from time to time continue to invest, in alternative investments such as hedge funds, fixed income funds, equity funds, privately held investments, private equity and private credit funds and co-investments, real estate funds and co-investments and other alternative investments. During 2020, we increased the amount allocated to such investments, and as of December 31, 2020, 7.3% of our total Cash and Investments were categorized as "Other Investments" and "Equity Method Investments" compared to 1.6% as of December 31, 2019. We expect to continue to increase this allocation over future periods. These and other similar investments may be illiquid due to restrictions on sales, transfers and redemption terms, may have different, more significant risk characteristics than our investments in fixed maturity securities and may also have more volatile values and returns, all of which could negatively affect our investment income and overall portfolio liquidity.
We have also invested, and from time to time may continue to make investments in joint ventures and in other entities that we do not control. In these investments, many of which are accounted for using the equity method, we may lack management and operational control over the entities in which we are invested, which may limit our ability to take actions that could protect or increase the value of our investment. In addition, these investments may be illiquid due to contractual provisions, and our lack of operational control may prevent us from obtaining liquidity through distributions from these investments in a timely manner or on favorable terms.
Alternative or "other" investments may not meet regulatory admissibility requirements or may result in increased regulatory capital charges to our insurance subsidiaries that hold these investments, which could limit those subsidiaries’ ability to make capital distributions to us and, consequently, negatively impact our liquidity. For more information on our alternative investments, please see Item 7. "Management's Discussion & Analysis: Liquidity and Capital Resources - Cash & Investments".
We may require additional capital in the future, which may not be available on favorable terms or at all.
Our future capital requirements will depend on many factors. We also may not be able to grow significantly without additional capital. Our future business needs are uncertain and we may need to raise additional funds to further capitalize Maiden Reinsurance or our IIS business. We anticipate that any such additional funds would be raised through equity, debt, hybrid financings or entering into reinsurance agreements. While we currently have no commitment from any lender with respect to a credit facility or a loan facility, we may enter into an unsecured revolving credit facility or a term loan facility with one or more syndicates of lenders. Any equity, debt or hybrid financing, if available at all, may be on terms that are not favorable to us. Recent turbulence in the financial markets due to the spread of COVID-19 may limit our ability to access the credit or equity markets. If we are able to raise capital through equity financings, the interest of shareholders in our Company would be diluted, and the securities we issue may have rights, preferences and privileges that are senior to those of our common shares.
We no longer have an S&P rating or A.M. Best rating. The absence of credit ratings on our outstanding securities could impact our ability to obtain additional debt or hybrid capital at reasonable terms or at all. Credit ratings are an opinion by third parties of our financial strength and ability to meet ongoing obligations to our future policyholders. The lack of a credit rating may make it difficult for investors to evaluate an investment in our securities and for us to raise additional capital in the future on acceptable terms or at all. Similarly, our access to funds may be impaired if regulatory authorities take negative actions against us. Finally, our operating results in the last several years may make investors reluctant to commit capital to us at reasonable valuations and/or pricing. Our internal sources of liquidity may prove to be insufficient, and in such case, we may not be able to successfully obtain additional financing on favorable terms, or at all.
The availability of additional financing will also depend on a variety of other factors such as market conditions, the general availability of capital, the volume of trading activities and the overall availability of capital to the financial services industry. As such, we may be forced to delay raising capital, issue shorter maturity securities than we prefer, or bear an unattractive cost of capital which could decrease our profitability and significantly reduce our financial flexibility. If we cannot obtain adequate capital, our business prospects, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected.
We do not anticipate paying any cash dividends on our common shares for the foreseeable future and there can be no assurance that dividends on the preference shares will resume.
We currently intend to retain our future earnings, if any, to strengthen our regulatory capital and solvency ratios, improve our liquidity and working capital and for other general corporate purposes. The insurance laws and regulations of our insurance
subsidiaries generally contain restrictions on the ability to pay dividends or distributions to Maiden Holdings, which may restrict our ability to pay dividends on common or preferred shares. Any capital distribution of any kind out of Maiden Reinsurance would be done consistent with Vermont regulation or as may be required, with the prior approval of the Vermont DFR. Any future determination to pay dividends on our common shares will be at the discretion of our Board, subject to applicable laws, and will depend on our financial condition, results of operations, capital requirements, general business conditions, and other factors that our Board considers relevant.
Maiden Holdings has issued a total of $630.0 million in Preference Shares since 2012, of which $465.0 million remains outstanding at December 31, 2020. Excluding the preference shares held by Maiden Reinsurance, $394.3 million are held by non-affiliates as at December 31, 2020. Holders of our Preference Shares may receive dividends on a non-cumulative basis and are required to be paid before common shareholders are eligible for dividend payments. Our Board has not declared dividends on the Preference Shares since the fourth quarter of 2018 and there can be no assurance that the authorization and declaration of dividends on the Preference Shares will resume.
As part of the capital management pillar of our strategy, on March 15, 2021, Maiden Reinsurance accepted for purchase via private negotiation with certain security holders, (i) 2,561,636 shares of the Company's 8.25% Non-Cumulative Preference Shares Series A at an average price of $14.88 per share, (ii) 2,003,204 shares of the Company's 7.125% Non-Cumulative Preference Shares Series C at an average price of $14.66 per share, and (iii) 2,017,103 shares of the Company's 6.7% Non-Cumulative Preference Shares Series D at an average price of $14.60 per share. There can be no assurance that our insurance liabilities will run-off at levels that will permit future capital management activities, which we expect to continually review as part of our strategy.
Our failure to comply with restrictive covenants contained in the documents governing our Senior Notes or any future credit facility could trigger prepayment obligations, which could adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations.
The indentures governing our Senior Notes contain covenants that impose restrictions on us and certain of our subsidiaries with respect to, among other things, the incurrence of liens and the disposition of capital stock of these subsidiaries. In addition, any future credit facility may require us and/or certain of our subsidiaries to comply with certain covenants, which may include the maintenance of a minimum consolidated net tangible worth and restrictions on the payment of dividends. Our failure to comply with these covenants could result in an event of default under the indentures or any future credit facility, which, if not cured or waived, could result in us being required to repay the notes or any amounts outstanding under such credit facility prior to maturity. We believe we are in compliance with all of the covenants in the Indentures governing the Senior Notes. However, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected if we were found to be in default of these covenants.
For more details on our indebtedness, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" included under Item 7 and "Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements - "Note 7 — Long-Term Debt" included under Item 8 "Financial Statements and Supplementary Data" of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
We may be adversely impacted by claims inflation.
Our operations, like those of other property and casualty insurers and reinsurers, are susceptible to the effects of claims inflation because premiums are established before the ultimate amounts of loss and LAE are known. Although we consider the potential effects of claims inflation when setting premium rates, our premiums may not fully offset the effects of inflation and essentially result in our underpricing the risks we insure and reinsure. Our reserve for loss and LAE includes assumptions about future payments for settlement of claims and claims handling expenses, such as the value of replacing property and associated labor costs for the property business we write, the value of medical treatments and litigation costs. To the extent claims inflation causes these costs to increase above reserves established for these claims, we will be required to increase our loss reserves with a corresponding reduction in our net income in the period in which the deficiency is identified, which may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition or results of operations.
A decrease in the fair value of our subsidiaries may result in future impairments.
The determination of impairments taken on our investments and loans varies by type of asset and is based upon our periodic evaluation and assessment of known and inherent risks associated with the respective asset class. Such evaluations and assessments are revised as conditions change and new information becomes available. Management updates its evaluations regularly and reflects impairments in operations as such evaluations are revised. There can be no assurance that our management has accurately assessed the level of impairments taken in our financial statements. Furthermore, additional impairments may need to be taken in the future, which could materially impact our financial position or results of operations. Historical trends may not be indicative of future impairments.
Our capital ratios continued to significantly improve in 2020; however if we are unable to sustain this improvement, it could lead to regulatory restrictions.
Prior to the re-domestication of Maiden Reinsurance from Bermuda to Vermont, the Company cured a breach of the enhanced capital requirements ("ECR") (based on the Bermuda regulations applicable at that time) on both a group basis and for Maiden Reinsurance by significantly reducing the amount of required capital necessary to operate our business through a series of measures and by purchasing additional reinsurance protection for our loss reserves via the LPT/ADC Agreement with Enstar during 2019. However, while the Company has and expects to continue to maintain satisfactory capital ratios as proscribed by the Vermont DFR for both the Group and Maiden Reinsurance, there can be no assurance that the actions we have taken to improve our capital position can be maintained or will be considered satisfactory by the Vermont DFR, which may have a material adverse effect on our business.
There can also be no assurance that the re-formulation of our longer-term business plan will produce sufficient operating profitability to sustain the recent improvements in our capital position that we have achieved. This could lead to imposition of regulatory restrictions by the Vermont DFR if such circumstances were to occur.
Compliance by our insurance subsidiaries with the legal and regulatory requirements to which they are subject is expensive. Any failure to comply could have a material adverse effect on our business.
Our insurance subsidiaries are required to comply with a wide variety of laws and regulations applicable to insurance or reinsurance companies, both in the jurisdictions in which they are organized and where they sell their insurance and reinsurance products. The insurance and regulatory environment has become subject to increased scrutiny in many jurisdictions, including the U.S., various states within the U.S. and the EU. In the past, there have been Congressional and other initiatives in the U.S. regarding increased supervision and regulation of the insurance industry. It is not possible to predict the future impact of changes in laws and regulations on our operations. The cost of complying with any new legal requirements affecting our subsidiaries could have a material adverse effect on our business.
In addition, our subsidiaries may not always be able to obtain or maintain necessary licenses, permits, authorizations or accreditations. They also may not be able to fully comply with, or to obtain appropriate exemptions from, the laws and regulations applicable to them. Any failure to comply with applicable law or to obtain appropriate exemptions could result in restrictions on either the ability of the company in question, as well as potentially its affiliates, to do business in one or more of the jurisdictions in which they operate or on brokers on which we rely to produce business for us. In addition, any such failure to comply with applicable laws or to obtain appropriate exemptions could result in the imposition of fines or other sanctions. Any of these sanctions could have a material adverse effect on our business. To date, no fine, penalty or restriction has been imposed on us for failure to comply with any insurance law or regulation.
Our industry is highly regulated and we are subject to significant legal restrictions and these restrictions may have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, liquidity, cash flows and prospects.
The financial services industry is the focus of increased regulatory scrutiny as various state and federal governmental agencies and self-regulatory organizations conduct inquiries and investigations into the products and practices of the companies within this industry. Governmental authorities in the U.S. and worldwide have become increasingly interested in potential risks posed by the insurance industry as a whole, and to commercial and financial systems in general. Among the proposals that are being considered is the possible introduction of global regulatory standards for the amount of capital that insurance groups must maintain across the group, such as the development of the risk-based global insurance capital standard for internationally active insurance groups being developed by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors as well as the U.S. group capital calculation being developed by the NAIC. Please see Item 1. "Business - Regulatory Matters" for further discussion. While we cannot predict the exact nature, timing or scope of possible governmental initiatives, there may be increased regulatory intervention in the insurance and financial services industry in the future.
Under EU Freedom of Services, a firm authorized in a European Economic Area ("EEA"), state can offer certain products or services in other EEA states if it has the relevant passport. Maiden LF and Maiden GF are established in an EEA state (Sweden) and have passports for a number of EEA states. Maiden LF is licensed by the Swedish financial regulator (Finansinspektionen) to write insurance and reinsurance of short-term life insurance (Class 1a) and supplementary insurance to Class 1a (Class 1b). Maiden GF is licensed by Finansinspektionen to write insurance and reinsurance of other miscellaneous financial losses (Class 16). We cannot predict the impact laws and regulations adopted in the EU or other non-U.S. jurisdictions may have on the financial markets generally or on our businesses, results of operations or cash flows. It is possible that changes in such laws and regulations may alter our business practices. They may also limit our ability to engage in capital or liability management, require us to raise additional capital, and impose burdensome requirements and additional costs. It is possible that the laws and regulations adopted in foreign jurisdictions will differ from one another, and that they could be inconsistent with the laws and regulations of other jurisdictions including the U.S.
Our U.S. subsidiaries are subject to a complex and extensive array of laws and regulations that are administered and enforced by state insurance regulators, state securities administrators, state banking authorities, the SEC, FINRA, the DOL, the IRS and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. See Item 1. “Business - Regulatory Matters” for a summary of certain U.S. state and federal laws and regulations applicable to our business. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations could subject us to administrative penalties imposed by a particular governmental or self-regulatory authority, unanticipated costs associated with remedying such failure or other claims, harm to our reputation, or interruption of our operations, any of which could have a material and adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
In addition, these statutes and regulations may, in effect, restrict the ability of our subsidiaries to write new business or, as indicated below, distribute funds to Maiden Holdings. In recent years, some U.S. state legislatures have considered or enacted laws that may alter or increase state authority to regulate insurance companies and insurance holding companies. Moreover, the NAIC and state insurance regulators regularly re-examine existing laws and regulations and interpretations of existing laws and develop new laws. The new interpretations or laws may be more restrictive or may result in higher costs to us than current statutory requirements.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ("Dodd-Frank") impacts the reinsurance industry in several areas, including tort reform, corporate governance and the taxation of reinsurance companies. Dodd-Frank prohibits a state from denying credit for reinsurance if the state of domicile of the insurer purchasing the reinsurance recognizes credit for reinsurance.
Changes in accounting principles and financial reporting requirements could result in material changes to our reported results of operations and financial condition.
U.S. GAAP and related financial reporting requirements are complex, continually evolving and may be subject to varied interpretation by the relevant authoritative bodies. Such varied interpretations could result from differing views related to specific facts and circumstances. Changes in U.S. GAAP and financial reporting requirements, or in the interpretation of U.S. GAAP or those requirements, could result in material changes to our reported results and financial condition.
Legislation enacted in Bermuda in response to the EU’s review of harmful tax competition could adversely affect our operations.
During 2017, the EU Economic and Financial Affairs Council released a list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. The stated aim of this list, and accompanying report, was to promote good governance worldwide in order to maximize efforts to prevent tax fraud and tax evasion. Bermuda was not on the list of non-cooperative jurisdictions but did feature in the report (along with approximately 40 other jurisdictions) as having committed to address concerns relating to economic substance by December 31, 2018. In accordance with that commitment, Bermuda enacted the Economic Substance Act 2018 (as amended) of Bermuda (the “ESA”) that came into force on January 1, 2019. As noted above under “Regulatory Matters – Certain Bermuda Law Regulations” the ESA requires an in-scope registered entity (other than an entity which is resident for tax purposes in certain jurisdictions outside Bermuda) that carries on as a business any one or more of the “relevant activities” referred to in the ESA, to comply with economic substance requirements.
Under the ESA, holding entity activities (as defined in the ESA and the Economic Substance Regulations 2018, as amended) satisfy the requirement of undertaking a “relevant activity”. To the extent that the ESA applies to Maiden Holdings, we will be required to demonstrate compliance with the ESA that we have “adequate” economic substance in Bermuda.
The ESA may require in-scope Bermuda entities which are engaged in such “relevant activities” to be directed and managed in Bermuda, have an adequate level of qualified employees in Bermuda, incur an adequate level of annual expenditure in Bermuda, maintain adequate physical presence in Bermuda or perform core income-generating activities in Bermuda.
However, the meaning of “adequate” in this context remains unclear. Further, given that the legislation is new and remains subject to further clarification and interpretation, it is not currently possible to ascertain the steps required to ensure our continued compliance with the ESA and makes it difficult to predict its future impact. Any entity that must satisfy economic substance requirements but fails to do so could face financial penalties or could be ordered by a court to take action to remedy such failure. It may also be faced with a restriction of its business activities, automatic reporting by the Bermuda authorities to competent authorities in the EU on an entity's non-compliance or may be struck off as a registered entity in Bermuda. If any one of the foregoing were to occur it may adversely impact the business operations of Maiden Holdings.
Corporate Governance and Risks Related to an Investment in our Securities
Our holding company structure and certain regulatory and other constraints affect our ability to pay dividends and make other payments.
Maiden Holdings is a holding company. As a result, we do not have, and will not have, any significant operations or assets other than our ownership of the shares of our subsidiaries. We expect that dividends and other permitted distributions from Maiden Reinsurance, Maiden Global (and its subsidiaries), Maiden LF, Maiden GF and Maiden NA (and its subsidiaries) will be our sole source of funds to pay any dividends to common and preference shareholders and meet ongoing cash requirements, including debt service payments, if any, and other expenses. The inability of our subsidiaries to pay dividends in an amount sufficient to enable us to meet our cash requirements at the holding company level could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Any capital distribution of any kind out of Maiden Reinsurance would be done consistent with Vermont regulation or as may be required, with the prior approval of the Vermont DFR.
The timing and amount of any cash dividends on our common and preference shares are at the discretion of the Board and will depend upon the results of operations and cash flows, our financial position and capital requirements, and any other factors that our Board deems relevant. Our Board has not declared dividends on the Preference Shares since the fourth quarter of 2018 and there can be no assurance that the authorization and declaration of dividends on the Preference Shares will resume.
Our common shares may be at risk for delisting from the NASDAQ Capital Market in the future. Delisting could adversely affect the liquidity of our common shares and the market price of our common shares could decrease.
On October 25, 2019, Maiden Holdings transferred the listing of its common shares from the NASDAQ Global Select Market to the NASDAQ Capital Market. NASDAQ Capital Market is a continuous trading market that operates in substantially the same manner as the NASDAQ Global Select Market and listed companies must meet certain financial requirements and comply with the NASDAQ corporate governance requirements. The Company’s common shares continue to trade under the symbol “MHLD”. There can be no assurance that the bid price of the common shares of Maiden Holdings will remain above the applicable listing standards in the future.
If our common shares were to be delisted, the liquidity of our common shares would be adversely affected and the market price of our common shares could decrease further. Our failure to be listed on NASDAQ or another established securities market could have a material adverse effect on the value of your investment in our Company.
The Preference Shares are equity and are subordinate to our existing and future indebtedness and other liabilities.
The Preference Shares are equity interests and do not constitute indebtedness. As such, the Preference Shares will rank junior to all of our indebtedness and other non-equity claims of our creditors with respect to assets available to satisfy the claims during liquidation. At December 31, 2020, our total consolidated principal amount of debt was $262.5 million and our total consolidated liabilities were $2.4 billion. We may incur additional debt and liabilities in the future. Our existing and future indebtedness may restrict payments of dividends on the Preference Shares. Additionally, unlike indebtedness, where principal
and interest would customarily be payable on specified due dates, in the case of preference shares, dividends are payable only if declared by our Board (or a duly authorized committee of the Board). Our Board has not declared dividends on the Preference Shares since the fourth quarter of 2018 and there can be no assurance that the authorization and declaration of dividends on the Preference Shares will resume.
We have risks related to the Company’s Senior Notes.
Maiden NA issued the 2013 Senior Notes and Maiden Holdings issued the 2016 Senior Notes, both of which are currently outstanding. If we are unable to maintain a level of cash flows from operating and investment activities, our ability to pay our obligations on our Senior Notes could be adversely affected.
We may also incur additional indebtedness in the future. The level of debt outstanding could adversely affect our financial flexibility. Our indebtedness could have adverse consequences, including:
•limiting our ability to pay dividends to our common and preference shareholders;
•limiting our subsidiaries’ ability to pay dividends;
•increasing our vulnerability to changing economic, regulatory and industry conditions;
•limiting our ability to compete and our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the industry;
•limiting our ability to borrow additional funds;
•requiring us to dedicate a substantial portion of our cash flow from operations to payments on our debt, thereby, reducing funds available for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and other purposes; and
•impacting regulators assessment of our capital position, adequacy and flexibility and therefore, the financial strength ratings of rating agencies and regulators' assessment of our solvency.
A few significant shareholders may influence or control the direction of our business. If the ownership of our common shares continues to be highly concentrated, it may limit your ability and the ability of other shareholders to influence significant corporate decisions.
The interests of our significant shareholders may not be fully aligned with our interests, and this may lead to a strategy that is not in our best interest. Although they do not have any voting agreements or arrangements, our Founding Shareholders or other significant shareholders could exercise significant influence over matters requiring shareholder approval, and their concentrated holdings may delay or deter possible changes in control of Maiden Holdings, which may reduce the market price of our common shares.
Dividends on the Series A, Series C and Series D Preference Shares are non-cumulative.
Dividends on the Series A, Series C and Series D Preference Shares are non-cumulative and payable only out of lawfully available funds of the Company under Bermuda law. Consequently, if our Board (or a duly authorized committee of the Board) does not authorize and declare a dividend for any dividend period with respect to the Series A, Series C and Series D Preference Shares, holders of the Series A, Series C and Series D Preference Shares would not be entitled to receive any such dividend, and such unpaid dividend will not accumulate and will never be payable. We will have no obligation to pay dividends for a dividend period on or after the dividend payment date for such period if the Board (or a duly authorized committee of the Board) has not declared such dividend before the related dividend payment date. If dividends on the Series A, Series C and Series D Preference Shares are authorized and declared with respect to any subsequent dividend period, we will be free to pay dividends on any other series of preference shares and/or our common shares. Under Bermuda law, we will not be permitted to pay dividends on the Preference Shares (even if such dividends have been previously declared) if there are reasonable grounds for believing that we are, or would after the payment be, unable to pay our liabilities as they become due; or the realizable value of our assets would thereby be less than our liabilities.
Voting Rights for Shareholders of Series A, Series C and Series D Preference Shares have been invoked.
Whenever dividends on any Series A, Series C and Series D Preference Shares have not been declared and paid for the equivalent of six or more dividend periods, whether or not for consecutive dividend periods (a “nonpayment event”), the holders of the Series A, Series C and Series D Preference Shares will be entitled to vote for the election of a total of two additional members of the Board of Maiden Holdings, provided that the election of any such directors shall not cause us to violate the corporate governance requirement of any exchange, on which our securities may be listed or quoted, that listed or quoted companies must have a majority of independent directors.
Our Board has not authorized or declared a dividend since the dividend period starting on December 1, 2018 with respect to the Series A, Series C and Series D Preference Shares. At March 15, 2020, because preference share dividends were not declared and paid for six quarterly dividend periods, holders of record with at least 20% of voting power of any of the Preference Shares Series A, C and D were collectively entitled to vote for the election of a total of two additional members of the Company's Board. On December 15, 2020, holders of the Company's Preference Share Series A, C and D collectively elected two additional members to the Company's Board. There can be no assurance as to the impact on our operations due to the recent election of such additional board members.
Our revenues and results of operations may fluctuate as a result of factors beyond our control, which may cause the price of our shares to be volatile.
The revenues and results of operations of reinsurance companies historically have been subject to significant fluctuations and uncertainties. In addition, we are not in engaged in active reinsurance underwriting currently and may not do so for the
foreseeable future. This has resulted in a significant reduction in our revenues. Our profitability can also be affected significantly by:
•fluctuations in interest rates, inflationary pressures and other changes in the investment environment that impact returns on invested assets;
•changes in the frequency or severity of claims;
•volatile and unpredictable developments, including man-made, weather-related and other natural catastrophes, terrorist attacks or pandemics, such as the spread of the COVID-19 virus;
•inadequate loss and LAE reserves;
•cyclical nature of the property and casualty insurance market; and
•negative developments in the specialty property and casualty reinsurance sectors in which we operate.
These factors may cause the price of the Company's shares to be volatile.
The market price for our ordinary shares has been and may continue to be highly volatile, and if there is a further sustained decline in our share price there could be limited liquidity for our ordinary shares.
The market price for our ordinary shares has fluctuated significantly. Future sales of our common shares by our shareholders or us, or the perception that such sales may occur, could adversely affect the market price of our common shares. As of March 9, 2021, 86,132,060 common shares were outstanding. In addition, we have reserved 9,348,183 common shares for issuance under our 2019 Omnibus Incentive Plan. As of March 9, 2021, the total options outstanding was 264,500 and the total restricted shares outstanding was 1,470,982. Sales of substantial amounts of our shares, or the perception that such sales could occur, could adversely affect the prevailing price of the shares and may make it more difficult for us to sell our equity securities in the future, or for shareholders to sell their shares, at a time and price that they deem appropriate.
Provisions in our bye-laws may reduce or increase the voting rights of our shares.
In general, and except as provided under our bye-laws and as provided below, the common shareholders have one vote for each common share held by them and are entitled to vote, on a non-cumulative basis, at all meetings of shareholders. However, if, and so long as, the shares of a shareholder are treated as "controlled shares" (as determined pursuant to Sections 957 and 958 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "IRS Code")) of any U.S. Person (as that term is defined in the risk factors under the section captioned "Taxation" within this Item that owns shares directly or indirectly through non-U.S. entities) and such controlled shares constitute 9.5% or more of the votes conferred by our issued shares, the voting rights with respect to the controlled shares owned by such U.S. Person will be limited, in the aggregate, to a voting power of less than 9.5%, under a formula specified in our bye-laws. The formula is applied repeatedly until the voting power of all 9.5% U.S. Shareholders has been reduced to less than 9.5%. In addition, our Board may limit a shareholder’s voting rights when it deems it appropriate to do so to (i) avoid the existence of any 9.5% U.S. Shareholder; and (ii) avoid certain material adverse tax, legal or regulatory consequences to us, to any of our subsidiaries or any direct or indirect shareholder or its affiliates. "Controlled shares" include, among other things, all shares that a U.S. Person is deemed to own directly, indirectly or constructively (within the meaning of section 958 of the IRS Code). The amount of any reduction of votes that occurs by operation of the above limitations will generally be reallocated proportionately among our other shareholders whose shares were not "controlled shares" of the 9.5% U.S. Shareholder so long as such reallocation does not cause any person to become a 9.5% U.S. Shareholder.
Under these provisions, certain shareholders may have their voting rights limited, while other shareholders may have voting rights in excess of one vote per share. Moreover, these provisions could have the effect of reducing the votes of certain shareholders who would not otherwise be subject to the 9.5% limitation by virtue of their direct share ownership.
We are authorized under our bye-laws to request information from any shareholder for the purpose of determining whether a shareholder’s voting rights are to be reallocated under the bye-laws. If any holder fails to respond to this request or submits incomplete or inaccurate information, we may, in our sole discretion, eliminate or adjust the shareholder’s voting rights.
Anti-takeover provisions in our bye-laws could impede an attempt to replace or remove our directors, which could diminish the value of our common shares.
Our bye-laws contain provisions that may entrench directors and make it more difficult for shareholders to replace directors even if the shareholders consider it beneficial to do so. In addition, these provisions could delay or prevent a change of control that a shareholder might consider favorable. For example, these provisions may prevent a shareholder from receiving the benefit from any premium over the market price of our common shares offered by a bidder in a potential takeover. Even in the absence of an attempt to effect a change in management or a takeover attempt, these provisions may adversely affect the prevailing market price of our common shares if they are viewed as discouraging changes in management and takeover attempts in the future.
Examples of provisions in our bye-laws that could have such an effect include the following:
•our Board may reduce the total voting power of any shareholder to avoid adverse tax, legal or regulatory consequences to us or any direct or indirect holder of our shares or its affiliates; and
•our Board may, in their discretion, decline to record the transfer of any common shares on our share register, if they are not satisfied that all required regulatory approvals for such transfer have been obtained or if they determine such transfer may result in a non-de minimis adverse tax, legal or regulatory consequence to us or any direct or indirect holder of shares or its affiliates.
It may be difficult for a third party to acquire us.
Provisions of our organizational documents may discourage, delay or prevent a merger, amalgamation, tender offer or other change of control that holders of our shares may consider favorable. These provisions impose various procedural and other requirements that could make it more difficult for shareholders to effect various corporate actions. These provisions could:
•have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control of us;
•discourage bids for our securities at a premium over the market price;
•adversely affect the price of, and the voting and other rights of the holders of our securities; or
•impede the ability of the holders of our securities to change our management.
U.S. persons who own our shares may have more difficulty in protecting their interests than U.S. persons who are shareholders of a U.S. corporation.
The Companies Act, which applies to us, differs in certain material respects from laws generally applicable to U.S. corporations and their shareholders. As a result of these differences, U.S. persons who own our shares may have more difficulty protecting their interests than U.S. persons who own shares of a U.S. corporation. Set forth below is a summary of certain significant provisions of the Companies Act, including modifications adopted pursuant to our bye-laws, applicable to us which differ in certain respects from provisions of Delaware corporate law. Because the following statements are summaries, they do not discuss all aspects of Bermuda law that may be relevant to us and our shareholders.
Interested Directors. Bermuda law provides that if a director has a personal interest in a transaction to which the company is also a party and if the director discloses the nature of this personal interest at the first opportunity, either at a meeting of directors or in writing to the directors, then the company will not be able to declare the transaction void solely due to the existence of that personal interest and the director will not be liable to the company for any profit realized from the transaction. In addition, Bermuda law and our bye-laws provide that, after a director has made the declaration of interest referred to above, he is allowed to be counted for purposes of determining whether a quorum is present and to vote on a transaction in which he has an interest, unless disqualified from doing so by the chairman of the relevant board meeting.
Under Delaware law, such transaction would not be voidable if:
•the material facts as to such interested director’s relationship or interests are disclosed or are known to the board of directors and the board in good faith authorizes the transaction by the affirmative vote of a majority of the disinterested directors;
•such material facts are disclosed or are known to the shareholders entitled;
•to vote on such transaction and the transaction is specifically approved in good faith by vote of the majority of shares entitled to vote thereon; or
•the transaction is fair as to the corporation as of the time it is authorized, approved or ratified.
Under Delaware law, such interested director could be held liable for a transaction in which such director derived an improper personal benefit.
Mergers and Similar Arrangements. The amalgamation or merger of a Bermuda company with another company or corporation (other than certain affiliated companies) requires the amalgamation agreement to be approved by the company’s board of directors and by its shareholders. Under our bye-laws, we may, with the approval of a majority of votes cast at a general meeting of our shareholders at which a quorum is present, amalgamate or merge with another Bermuda company or with a body incorporated outside Bermuda. In the case of an amalgamation or merger, a shareholder that did not vote in favor of the amalgamation or merger may apply to a Bermuda court for a proper valuation of such shareholder’s shares if such shareholder is not satisfied that fair value has been paid for such shares. Under Delaware law, with certain exceptions, a merger, consolidation or sale of all or substantially all the assets of a corporation must be approved by the board of directors and a majority of the outstanding shares entitled to vote thereon. Under Delaware law, a shareholder of a corporation participating in certain major corporate transactions may, under certain circumstances, be entitled to appraisal rights pursuant to which such shareholder may receive cash in the amount of the fair value of the shares held by such shareholder (as determined by a court) in lieu of the consideration such shareholder would otherwise receive in the transaction.
Shareholders’ Suit. The rights of shareholders under Bermuda law are not as extensive as the rights of shareholders under legislation or judicial precedent in many U.S. jurisdictions. Class actions and derivative actions are generally not available to shareholders under the laws of Bermuda. However, the Bermuda courts ordinarily would be expected to follow English case law precedent, which would permit a shareholder to commence an action in the name of the company to remedy a wrong done to the company where the act complained of is alleged to be beyond the corporate power of the company, is illegal or would result in the violation of our memorandum of association or bye-laws. Furthermore, consideration would be given by the court to acts that are alleged to constitute a fraud against the minority shareholders or where an act requires the approval of a greater percentage of our shareholders than actually approved it. The winning party in such an action generally would be able to recover a portion of attorneys’ fees incurred in connection with such action. Our bye-laws provide that shareholders waive all claims or rights of action that they might have, individually or in the right of the company, against any director or officer for any act or failure to act in the performance of such director’s or officer’s duties, except with respect to any fraud or dishonesty of such director or officer. Class actions and derivative actions generally are available to shareholders under Delaware law for, among other things, breach of fiduciary duty, corporate waste and actions not taken in accordance with applicable law. In such actions, the court has discretion to permit the winning party to recover attorneys’ fees incurred in connection with such action.
Indemnification of Directors. We may indemnify our directors or officers in their capacity as directors or officers of any loss arising or liability attaching to them by virtue of any rule of law in respect of any negligence, default, breach of duty or breach of trust of which a director or officer may be guilty in relation to the company other than in respect of his or her own fraud or dishonesty. Under Delaware law, a corporation may indemnify a director or officer of the corporation against expenses (including attorneys’ fees), judgments, fines and amounts paid in settlement actually and reasonably incurred in defense of an action, suit or proceeding by reason of such position if such director or officer acted in good faith and in a manner he or she reasonably believed to be in or not opposed to the best interests of the corporation and, with respect to any criminal action or proceeding, such director or officer had no reasonable cause to believe his or her conduct was unlawful. In addition, we have entered into indemnification agreements with our directors and officers.
We are a Bermuda company and it may be difficult for you to enforce judgments against us or our directors and executive officers.
We are incorporated under the laws of Bermuda and our holding company is based in Bermuda. In addition, all of our directors and officers reside outside Bermuda and a substantial portion of our assets will be and the assets of these persons are, and will continue to be, located in jurisdictions outside Bermuda. As such, it may be difficult or impossible to effect service of process within the U.S. upon us or those persons or to recover against us or them on judgments of U.S. courts, including judgments predicated upon civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal securities laws. Further, no claim may be brought in Bermuda against us or our directors and officers in the first instance for violation of U.S. federal securities laws because these laws have no extraterritorial jurisdiction under Bermuda law and do not have force of law in Bermuda. A Bermuda court may, however, impose civil liability, including the possibility of monetary damages, on us or our directors and officers if the facts alleged in a complaint constitute or give rise to a cause of action under Bermuda law.
We have been previously advised by Conyers Dill & Pearman Limited, our Bermuda counsel, that there is doubt as to whether the courts of Bermuda would enforce judgments of U.S. courts obtained in actions against us or our directors and officers, as well as the experts named in this Report, predicated upon the civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal securities laws or original actions brought in Bermuda against us or these persons predicated solely upon U.S. federal securities laws. Further, we have been advised by Conyers Dill & Pearman Limited that there is no treaty in effect between the U.S. and Bermuda providing for the enforcement of judgments of U.S. courts, and there are grounds upon which Bermuda courts may not enforce judgments of U.S. courts. Some remedies available under the laws of U.S. jurisdictions, including some remedies available under the U.S. federal securities laws, may not be allowed in Bermuda courts as contrary to that jurisdiction’s public policy. Because judgments of U.S. courts are not automatically enforceable in Bermuda, it may be difficult for you to recover against us based upon such judgments.
Relationship with AmTrust
Significant changes in our reinsurance relationship with AmTrust have reduced our current and future revenues and create significant uncertainty for sources of future liquidity.
During 2019, we, through our subsidiary Maiden Reinsurance, executed the partial termination amendment ("Partial Termination Amendment") effective January 1, 2019 which amended the AmTrust Quota Share, the Final AmTrust QS Termination, the WC Commutation and several post-termination endorsements. These transactions served to eliminate all new premium revenues from AmTrust, return certain unearned premiums to AmTrust, commuted and returned certain workers’ compensation loss reserves to AmTrust, capped the loss corridor on certain program business reinsured from AmTrust and increased the levels of collateral provided to AmTrust as security against the obligations Maiden has assumed under the reinsurance contracts with AmTrust.
While these transactions have contributed significantly to the reduction in required regulatory capital needed to operate our business and the subsequent strengthening of our capital ratios, these transactions have resulted in a significant reduction in revenues which is likely to continue for the foreseeable future as we are not presently engaged in active reinsurance underwriting. As a result, our financial condition could be adversely affected by these actions. As a result of this loss of revenue, we will need to rely on unrestricted cash from operations and returns on our investments to fund our operations, maintain liquidity and meet our financial obligations and capital allocation priorities. While we believe we have sufficient sources to meet these obligations, deterioration in our results of operations or other adverse financial events could impact our ability to continue meeting these obligations.
Our initial arrangements with AmTrust were negotiated while we were its affiliate. The arrangements could be challenged as not reflecting terms that we would agree to in arm’s-length negotiations with an independent third party; moreover, our business relationship with AmTrust and its subsidiaries may present, and may make us vulnerable to, possible adverse tax consequences, difficult conflicts of interest, and legal claims that we have not acted in the best interest of our shareholders.
We entered into a quota share agreement with AII, which reinsures AmTrust’s insurance company subsidiaries, and a Master Agreement with AmTrust, pursuant to which Maiden Reinsurance entered into the quota share agreement. Because (i) Leah Karfunkel (wife of the late Michael Karfunkel), George Karfunkel and Barry Zyskind (the Company's non-executive chairman) collectively own or control approximately 53.2% of the outstanding common shares of Evergreen Parent GP, LLC, the ultimate parent of AmTrust, (ii) our Founding Shareholders sponsored our formation, and (iii) based on each individual's most recent public filing as of December 31, 2020, Leah Karfunkel owns or controls approximately 7.9% of the outstanding shares of the Company and Barry Zyskind owns or controls approximately 7.4% of the outstanding shares of the Company, we may be deemed to be an affiliate of AmTrust. George Karfunkel now owns or controls less than 5.0% of the outstanding shares of the Company based on his most recent public filings. Due to our close business relationship with AmTrust, we may be presented with situations involving conflicts of interest with respect to the agreements and other arrangements we will enter into with AmTrust and its subsidiaries, exposing us to possible claims that we have not acted in the best interest of our shareholders. The arrangements between us and AmTrust were modified after they were originally entered into and there could be future modifications.
Our non-executive Chairman of the Board currently holds the positions of Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of AmTrust. These dual positions may present, and make us vulnerable to, difficult conflicts of interest and related legal challenges.
Barry Zyskind, our non-executive Chairman of the Board, is the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of AmTrust and, as such, he does not serve our Company on a full-time basis. Mr. Zyskind is expected to continue in both of his positions for the foreseeable future. Conflicts of interest could arise with respect to business opportunities that could be advantageous to AmTrust or its subsidiaries, on the one hand, and us or our subsidiary, on the other hand. In addition, potential conflicts of interest may arise should the interests of the Company and AmTrust diverge. However, the Audit Committee of our Board, which consists entirely of independent directors, does exclusively review and approve all related party transactions.
The amount of collateral we provide to AmTrust could limit our unrestricted liquidity and impact our ability to fulfill our obligations in certain circumstances.
As a result of our use of trust accounts, funds withheld, letters of credit and a loan, a substantial portion of our assets will not be available to us for other uses, which could reduce our financial flexibility and could impact our ability to fulfill our obligations in certain circumstances. If further collateral is required to be provided to any other AmTrust subsidiaries under applicable law or regulatory requirements, Maiden Reinsurance will provide collateral to the extent required.
At December 31, 2020, we provided $1.8 billion of collateral to AmTrust, AII and AEL in the form of trusts, letters of credit, funds withheld and a loan. This collateral includes the transfer of cash and investments totaling $575.0 million to AmTrust from existing trust accounts used for collateral on the AmTrust Quota Share to a funds withheld arrangement during January 2019, which initially bore an annual interest rate of 3.5%, subject to annual adjustment. The annual interest rate was adjusted to 2.65% during the first quarter of 2020.
Maiden Reinsurance is not a party to the reinsurance agreements between AII and AmTrust’s U.S. insurance subsidiaries or the related reinsurance trust agreements and has no rights thereunder. If one or more of these AmTrust subsidiaries withdraws Maiden Reinsurance’s assets from their trust account or misapplies withheld funds that are due to Maiden Reinsurance and that subsidiary is or becomes insolvent, we believe it may be more difficult for Maiden Reinsurance to recover any such amounts to which we are entitled than it would be if Maiden Reinsurance had entered into reinsurance and trust agreements with these AmTrust subsidiaries directly. AII has agreed to immediately return to Maiden Reinsurance any collateral provided by Maiden Reinsurance that one of those subsidiaries improperly utilizes or retains, and AmTrust has agreed to guarantee AII’s repayment obligation and AII’s payment obligations under its loan agreement with Maiden Reinsurance. We are subject to the risk that AII and/or AmTrust may be unable or unwilling to discharge these obligations.
We are dependent on our key executives. We may not be able to attract and retain key employees or successfully implement our newly formulated business strategy.
Our success depends largely on our senior management, which includes, among others, Lawrence F. Metz, our President and Co-Chief Executive Officer, and Patrick J. Haveron, Co-Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer (Messrs. Metz and Haveron are referred to as the "Co-CEOs"). We have entered into employment agreements with both of these executive officers.
In addition to the officers listed above, we require key staff with actuarial, legal, reinsurance, accounting and administrative skills. As a result of the Strategic Review, we have a significantly smaller staff and given our current business circumstances, it may be difficult for us to retain staff and recruit competent new executives and staff. Our inability to attract and retain additional personnel or the loss of the services of any of our senior executives or key employees could delay or prevent us from fully implementing our business strategy and could significantly and negatively affect our business.
Our employee attrition recently has been high and may affect our ability to adequately manage our business.
We sold Maiden US in 2018 as well as terminated and sold certain lines of business. As we are not currently engaged in active reinsurance underwriting and our portfolio of loss reserves continues to reduce, we have continued to reduce headcount commensurately. This elevated attrition may affect our ability to manage our business as we train these new employees and integrate them into our company. In addition, if we decide to resume active reinsurance underwriting, our present employee base may be insufficient in the requisite skills or quantity to commence such activities and there can be no assurance that we can recruit or attract the requisite personnel to implement such strategy on a timely basis if such a decision is made.
Our business in Bermuda could be adversely affected by Bermuda employment restrictions.
Currently, Maiden Holdings employs seven non-Bermudians in our Bermuda office including our Co-CEOs. Under Bermuda law, non-Bermudians (other than spouses of Bermudians, holders of permanent residents’ certificates and holders of working residents’ certificates) may not engage in any gainful occupation in Bermuda without a valid government work permit. A work permit may be granted or renewed upon showing that, after proper public advertisement, no Bermudian, spouse of a Bermudian, or holder of a permanent resident’s or working resident’s certificate who meets the minimum standards reasonably required by the employer has applied for the job. Work permits are issued with expiry dates that range from one, three, five, six or, in certain circumstances for key executives, ten years. We may not be able to use the services of one or more of our non-Bermudian employees if we are not able to obtain work permits for them, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our offices that operate in jurisdictions outside Bermuda and the U.S. are subject to certain limitations and risks that are unique to foreign operations.
Our international operations are regulated in various jurisdictions with respect to licensing requirements, currency, reserves, employees and other matters. International operations may be harmed by political developments in foreign countries, which may be hard to predict in advance. Regulations governing technical reserves and remittance balances in some countries may hinder remittance of profits and repatriation of assets.
The U.K.'s vote in favor of leaving the EU could adversely affect us.
The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. There was a transition period during which the UK remained part of the Single market and Customs Union to allow for negotiations on the future relations. Following intense negotiations, an agreement on future EU-UK relations was concluded at the end of December 2020 but it does not cover financial services.
Both Maiden LF and Maiden GF have been accepted into the UK’s temporary permissions regime which allows EEA firms who were formerly using a passport to operate for a limited period while they seek authorization from the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA). This means they can continue to underwrite in the UK despite Brexit.
The risks associated with the potential consequences that may follow Brexit, including volatility in financial markets, exchange rates and interest rates, remain uncertain. These uncertainties could increase the volatility of, or adversely affect, our investment results in particular periods or over time. Brexit could adversely affect European or worldwide political, regulatory, economic or market conditions and could contribute to instability in global political institutions and regulatory agencies which, in turn, could adversely affect our business, results of our operations and our financial condition.
Foreign currency fluctuations may reduce our net income and our capital levels adversely affecting our financial condition.
We conduct business in a variety of non-U.S. currencies, the principal exposures being the euro and the British pound. Assets and liabilities denominated in foreign currencies are exposed to changes in currency exchange rates. Our reporting currency is the U.S. dollar, and exchange rate fluctuations relative to the U.S. dollar may materially impact our results of operations and financial position. Our principal exposure to foreign currency risk is our obligation to settle claims in foreign currencies. In addition, we maintain and expect to continue to maintain a portion of our investment portfolio in investments denominated in currencies other than the U.S. dollar. While the Company may be able to match its foreign currency denominated assets against its net reinsurance liabilities both by currency and duration to protect the Company against foreign exchange and interest rate risks, a natural offset does not exist for all currencies.
We may employ various strategies (including hedging) to manage our exposure to foreign currency exchange risk. To the extent that these exposures are not fully hedged or the hedges are ineffective, our results or equity may be reduced by fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates that could materially adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. At December 31, 2020, no such hedges or hedging strategies were in force or had been entered into.
Insurance and Reinsurance Markets
The property and casualty insurance and reinsurance industry is cyclical in nature, which may affect our overall financial performance.
Historically, the financial performance of the property and casualty insurance and reinsurance industry has tended to fluctuate in cyclical periods of price competition and excess capacity (known as a soft market) followed by periods of high premium rates and shortages of underwriting capacity (known as a hard market). Although the financial performance of an individual insurance or reinsurance company is dependent on its own specific business characteristics, the profitability of most property and casualty insurance and reinsurance companies tends to follow this cyclical market pattern.
In recent years, the market has been in a competitive environment in which underwriting capacity has expanded, risk selection became less disciplined and price competition increased sharply. During that period, market participants' capital levels have continued to improve due to positive earnings and improved values of risk assets over that time. In addition, an influx of new market participants with different operating models than traditional reinsurers such as us have entered the market place. While many of these new market participants specialize in property catastrophe oriented business and do not directly compete with us, they are influencing competitive conditions in the broader reinsurance market. This additional underwriting capacity resulted in increased competition from other insurance and reinsurance companies expanding the types or amounts of business they write, or from companies seeking to maintain or increase market share at the expense of underwriting discipline.
Because this cyclicality is due in large part to the actions of our competitors and general economic factors beyond our control, we cannot predict with certainty the timing or duration of changes in the market cycle. These cyclical patterns, the actions of our competitors, and general economic factors could cause our revenues and net income to fluctuate, which may cause the price of our common shares to be volatile. The ultimate outcome of these events and their market impact is not known at this time.
Negative developments in the U.S. workers’ compensation insurance industry could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Approximately 35.1% of our AmTrust Reinsurance segment's reserve for loss and LAE at December 31, 2020 was related to the reinsurance of U.S. workers' compensation risks which is our largest exposure to a particular line of business. Our AmTrust Reinsurance segment includes all business ceded by AmTrust to Maiden Reinsurance, primarily the AmTrust Quota Share and the European Hospital Liability Quota Share. Both contracts in this segment have been terminated effective January 1, 2019. Negative developments in the economic, competitive or regulatory conditions affecting the U.S. workers’ compensation insurance industry could have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. For example, if legislators
in our larger markets were to enact legislation to increase the scope or amount of benefits for employees under U.S. workers’ compensation insurance policies without related loss control measures, or if regulators made other changes to the regulatory system governing U.S. workers’ compensation insurance, this could negatively affect the U.S. workers’ compensation insurance industry in the affected markets.
Reinsurance is a highly competitive industry.
The reinsurance industry is highly competitive. While we are not currently engaged in active reinsurance underwriting, if and when we were to resume such activity we would compete with major U.S. and non-U.S. reinsurers, including other Bermuda-based reinsurers, on an international and regional basis. Many of these entities have significantly larger amounts of capital, higher ratings from rating agencies and more resources than us. We currently do not have a financial strength or credit rating from S&P or A.M. Best and the lack of such ratings will likely limit the opportunities we have to write new reinsurance business if we resume active underwriting. Historically, periods of increased capacity levels in our industry have led to increased competition which puts pressure on reinsurance pricing.
In recent years, significant increases in the use of risk-linked securities and derivative and other non-traditional risk transfer mechanisms and vehicles are being developed and offered by other parties, including entities other than insurance and reinsurance companies. The availability of both these non-traditional products and sources of capital could reduce the demand for traditional insurance and reinsurance and if we were to resume active reinsurance underwriting it may result in fewer contracts written, lower premium rates, increased expenses for customer acquisition and retention and less favorable policy terms and conditions, which could have a material adverse impact on our growth and profitability.
Consolidation in the insurance and reinsurance industry and increased competition on premium rates could lead to lower margins for us and less demand for our products and services if and when we resume active reinsurance underwriting.
The insurance and reinsurance industry continues to undergo a process of consolidation as industry participants seek to enhance their product and geographic reach, client base, operating efficiency and general market power through merger and acquisition activities. It is possible that the larger combined entities resulting from these mergers and acquisition activities may seek to use the benefits of consolidation, including improved efficiencies and economies of scale, to, among other things, implement price reductions for their products and services to increase their market shares. Consolidation among primary insurance companies may also lead to reduced use of reinsurance as the resulting larger companies may be able to retain more risk and may also have bargaining power in negotiations with reinsurers.
We are not presently engaged in active reinsurance underwriting. If and when we do decide to resume active reinsurance underwriting, these competitive pressures could compel us to write business at unprofitable operating margins.
As the insurance and reinsurance industry consolidates, competition may become more intense and the importance of acquiring and properly servicing each customer will become greater. If and when we do decide to resume active reinsurance underwriting, we could incur greater expenses relating to customer acquisition and retention, which could reduce our operating margins. When the property-casualty insurance industry has exhibited a greater degree of competition, premium rates have come under downward pressure as a result.
Clients, Brokers and Financial Institutions
Our business was historically dependent upon reinsurance brokers and other producers, including third party administrators and financial institutions, and the failure to develop or maintain these relationships could materially adversely affect our ability to market our products and services should we begin to pursue active reinsurance underwriting.
While we are not presently engaged in active reinsurance underwriting, our failure to further develop or maintain relationships with brokers and other producers, including third party administrators and financial institutions, from whom we expect to receive our business could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our reliance on brokers subjects us to their credit risk.
In accordance with industry practice, we anticipate that we will frequently pay amounts owed on claims under our reinsurance contracts to brokers, and these brokers in turn are required to pay and will pay these amounts over to the clients that have purchased reinsurance from us. If a broker fails to make such a payment, it is highly likely that we will be liable to the client for the deficiency under local laws or contractual obligations, notwithstanding the broker’s obligation to make such payment. Likewise, when the client pays premiums for these policies to brokers for payment over to us, these premiums are considered to have been paid and, in most cases, the client will no longer be liable to us for those amounts, whether or not we actually receive the premiums from the brokers. Consequently, we will assume a degree of credit risk associated with brokers with whom we work with respect to some of our reinsurance business.
We could incur substantial losses and reduced liquidity if one of the financial institutions we use in our operations fails.
We have exposure to counterparties in many different industries and routinely execute transactions with counterparties in the financial services industry, including brokers and dealers, commercial banks, and other institutions. Many of these transactions expose us to credit risk in the event of default of our counterparty. In addition, with respect to secured transactions, our credit risk may be exacerbated when the collateral held by us cannot be realized or is liquidated at prices not sufficient to recover the full amount of the obligation.
We maintain cash balances, including restricted cash held in trust accounts, significantly in excess of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insurance limits at various depository institutions. We also maintain cash balances in foreign banks and institutions. If one or more of these financial institutions were to fail, our ability to access cash balances may be temporarily or permanently limited, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition or cash flows.
We may become subject to taxes in Bermuda after 2035, which may have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and operating results and on an investment in our shares.
The Bermuda Minister of Finance, under the Exempted Undertakings Tax Protection Act 1966, as amended, of Bermuda, has given Maiden Holdings an assurance that if any legislation is enacted in Bermuda that would impose tax computed on profits or income, or computed on any capital asset, gain or appreciation, or any tax in the nature of estate duty or inheritance tax, then the imposition of any such tax will not be applicable to Maiden Holdings, or any of its respective operations or its respective shares, debentures or other obligations (except insofar as such tax applies to persons ordinarily resident in Bermuda or to any taxes payable by them in respect of real property or leasehold interests in Bermuda held by it) until March 31, 2035. Given the limited duration of the Minister of Finance’s expected assurance, we cannot be certain that we will not be subject to any Bermuda tax after March 31, 2035. Since Maiden Holdings is incorporated in Bermuda, we will be subject to changes in law or regulation in Bermuda that may have an adverse impact on our operations, including imposition of tax liability.
The financial results of our operations may be affected by measures taken in relation to Bermuda in response to the OECD Base Erosion and Profit Shifting ("BEPS") project.
The OECD has published reports and launched a global dialog among member and non-member countries on measures to limit harmful tax competition. These measures are largely directed at counteracting the effects of jurisdictions perceived by the OECD to be tax havens or offering preferential tax regimes. The OECD has not listed Bermuda as an uncooperative tax haven jurisdiction because Bermuda has committed to eliminating harmful tax practices and to embracing international tax standards for transparency, exchange of information and the elimination of any aspects of the regimes for financial and other services that attract business with no substantial domestic activity. We are not able to predict what changes will arise from the commitment or whether such changes will subject us to additional taxes. In addition, in 2015, the OECD published its final series of BEPS reports related to its attempt to coordinate multilateral action on international tax rules. The proposed actions include an examination of the definition of a “permanent establishment” and the rules for attributing profit to a permanent establishment. One of these reports covers “country-by-country” reporting, which calls for the provision, at a country-specific level, of information such as affiliate and non-affiliate revenues, profit or loss before tax, income taxes paid and accrued, capital, number of employees and tangible assets. It is expected that some countries, including some EU countries, would deem a failure to implement country-by-country reporting to be sufficient rationale to place another country on a “black-list”, thus potentially restricting in some way business between the two countries. Bermuda has agreed to implement country-by-country reporting in 2016 for 2017 reporting. The implementation and ongoing requirements of country-by-country reporting will require significant management, time and resources. Although we believe Bermuda’s agreement to implement country-by-country reporting has reduced the likelihood that Bermuda would appear on a “black-list”, some uncertainty remains. Any changes in the tax law of an OECD member state in response to the BEPS reports and recommendations could subject us to additional taxes and adversely affect our financial position and results of operations.
Our operations may be affected by the introduction of an EU financial transaction tax ("FTT").
On February 14, 2013, the EU Commission published a proposal for a Directive for a common FTT in those EU Member States which choose to participate (''the FTT Zone"), currently Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia and Slovakia.
The FTT proposed at that time had a broad scope and would apply to financial transactions where at least one party to the transaction is established in the FTT Zone and either that party or another party is a financial institution established in the FTT Zone. "Financial institution" covers a wide range of entities, including insurance and reinsurance undertakings. "Financial transaction" includes the sale and purchase of a financial instrument, a transfer of risk associated with a financial instrument and the conclusion or modification of a derivative. A financial institution could be deemed to be "established" in the FTT Zone even if it has no business presence there, if the underlying financial instrument is issued in the FTT Zone.
On December 9, 2019, the German finance minister issued a revised proposal for a FTT to the FTT Zone members. The revised proposal has a more limited scope than previously envisaged, applying to financial transactions that mainly involve the acquisition of shares issued by listed companies located in a participating member state with a market capitalization above €1 billion. The minimum standard rate would be 0.2%. However, there would be exclusions for some transactions (initial public offerings, market making activities, intra-group transactions, repurchase agreements and reverse repurchase agreements, securities lending and securities borrowing buy-sell back and sell-buy back agreements) and an exemption for pension funds.
The FTT proposal remains subject to negotiation between the participating EU Member States and there is not yet an agreement as to the form it should take. It may, therefore, be altered prior to any implementation, the timing of which remains unclear. The introduction of FTT could have an adverse effect on the Company's economic performance.
OECD proposals on the taxation of the digital economy may apply to our activities.
On May 31, 2019, the OECD published a “Programme of Work” designed to address the tax challenges created by an increasing digitalized economy which was divided into two pillars. Pillar One addresses the broader challenge of a digitalized economy and focuses on the allocation of group profits among taxing jurisdictions based on a market based concept rather than historical “permanent establishment” concepts. Pillar Two addresses the remaining BEPS risk of profit shifting to entities in low tax jurisdictions by introducing a global minimum tax and a proposed tax on base eroding payments, which would operate through a denial of a deduction or imposition of source-based taxation (including withholding tax) on certain payments.
In January 2020, the OECD released a statement excluding most financial services activities, including insurance activities, from the scope of the profit reallocation mechanism in Pillar I. The OECD statement cited the presence of commercial (rather than consumer) customers as grounds for the carve-out, but also acknowledged that a “compelling case” could be made that the consumer-facing business lines of insurance companies should be excluded from the scope of Pillar One given the impact of regulations and licensing requirements that typically ensure that residual profits are largely realized in local customer markets.
However, the OECD noted that the proper scope for Pillar One as applied to “unregulated elements of the financial services sector” may require further consideration. To date, the proposal has been written broadly enough to potentially apply to our activities, and we are unable to determine at this time when such measures would be implemented and if so, whether they will be in a form that whether it would have a material adverse impact on our operations and results.
The OECD published detailed blueprints of its proposals on October 14, 2020 and public consultations and a meeting of the Inclusive Framework have been held virtually in January 2021. The OECD's stated aim is to bring the process to a successful conclusion by mid-2021. The proposal to date has been written broadly enough to potentially apply to our activities, and we are unable to determine at this time whether it would have a material adverse impact on our operations and results.
We may be subject to U.S. federal income tax, which would have an adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations and on an investment in our shares.
If either Maiden Holdings or Maiden Reinsurance prior to its re-domestication were considered to be engaged in a trade or business in the U.S., it could be subject to U.S. federal income and additional branch profits taxes on the portion of its earnings that are effectively connected to such U.S. business or in the case of Maiden Reinsurance, if it is entitled to benefits under the U.S. income tax treaty with Bermuda and if Maiden Reinsurance were considered engaged in a trade or business in the U.S. through a permanent establishment. Maiden Reinsurance could be subject to U.S. federal income tax on the portion of its earnings that are attributable to its permanent establishment in the U.S., in which case its results of operations could be materially adversely affected. Maiden Holdings is a Bermuda-based holding company. We intend to manage our business so that Maiden Holdings should operate and Maiden Reinsurance operated prior to its re-domestication in such a manner that neither of these companies should be treated as engaged in a U.S. trade or business and, thus, should not be subject to U.S. federal taxation (other than the U.S. federal excise tax on insurance and reinsurance premium income attributable to insuring or reinsuring U.S. risks and U.S. federal withholding tax on certain U.S. source investment income). Maiden Reinsurance is currently subject to U.S. taxation as a domestic corporation from the effective date of its re-domestication to the State of Vermont on March 16, 2020.
However, because (i) there is considerable uncertainty as to which activities constitute being engaged in a trade or business within the U.S.; (ii) a significant portion of Maiden Reinsurance’s business was reinsurance of AmTrust’s insurance subsidiaries; (iii) our non-executive Chairman of the Board is AmTrust’s Chief Executive Officer, and one of our directors is related to a significant shareholder of AmTrust; and (iv) we have an asset management agreement with a subsidiary of AmTrust and may also have additional contractual relationships with AmTrust and its subsidiaries in the future, we cannot be certain that the IRS will not contend successfully that we are engaged in a trade or business in the U.S.
Net operating losses ("NOL") (and certain other tax attributes or tax benefits of the Maiden NA tax group) may be subject to limitation under Section 382 of the Tax Code.
Maiden NA has significant tax NOL carryforwards as of December 31, 2020. As a result of the Maiden NA NOL and other tax attributes, the Company presently has a net deferred tax asset with a full valuation allowance against it which may be recognized in future periods. It is possible that certain ownership changes of Maiden NA, if they were to occur, could result in an “ownership change” of Maiden NA for purposes of Section 382 of the Tax Code. If such an ownership change (as defined) were to occur, the value and amount of the Maiden NA NOL would be substantially impaired, increasing the U.S. federal income tax liability of Maiden NA and materially reducing the value of Maiden NA. Should the NOL be limited in any way, it could also limit or eliminate the Company's ability to recognize and realize that asset in the future.
U.S. Persons who hold our shares may be subject to U.S. federal income taxation at ordinary income rates on their proportionate share of Maiden Reinsurance’s related person insurance income ("RPII").
If U.S. persons are treated as owning 25% or more of Maiden Reinsurance’s shares (by vote or by value) (as is expected to be the case) and the RPII of Maiden Reinsurance (determined on a gross basis) were to equal or exceed 20% of Maiden Reinsurance’s gross insurance income in any taxable year and direct or indirect insureds (and persons related to those insureds) own directly or indirectly through entities 20% or more of the voting power or value of our shares, then a U.S. Person who owns any shares of Maiden Reinsurance (directly or indirectly through non-U.S. entities) on the last day of the taxable year (including the last day of 2020 on which Maiden Reinsurance was treated as a non-U.S. corporation) would be required to include in its income for U.S. federal income tax purposes such person’s pro rata share of Maiden Reinsurance’s RPII for the entire taxable year, determined as if such RPII were distributed proportionately only to U.S. Persons at that date, regardless of whether such income is distributed. In addition, any RPII that is includible in the income of a U.S. tax-exempt organization generally will be treated as unrelated business taxable income. The amount of RPII earned by Maiden Reinsurance (generally, premium and related investment income from the direct or indirect insurance or reinsurance of any direct or indirect U.S. holder of shares or any person related to such holder) will depend on a number of factors, including the identity of persons directly or indirectly insured or reinsured by Maiden Reinsurance.
At the effective date of the re-domestication, we believe that either (i) the direct or indirect insureds of Maiden Reinsurance (and related persons) should not directly or indirectly own 20% or more of either the voting power or value of our shares or (ii) the RPII (determined on a gross basis) of Maiden Reinsurance should not equal or exceed 20% of Maiden Reinsurance’s gross insurance income for the taxable year ended on the effective date of the re-domestication. However, we cannot be certain that this will be the case because some of the factors which determine the extent of RPII may be beyond our control.
U.S. Persons who dispose of our shares may be subject to U.S. federal income taxation at the rates applicable to dividends on a portion of their gains if any.
The RPII rules provide that if a U.S. Person disposes of shares in a non-U.S. insurance corporation in which U.S. Persons own 25% or more of the shares (even if the amount of gross RPII is less than 20% of the corporation’s gross insurance income or the ownership of its shares by direct or indirect insureds and related persons is less than the 20% threshold), any gain from the disposition will generally be treated as a dividend to the extent of the holder’s share of the corporation’s undistributed
earnings and profits that were accumulated during the period that the holder owned the shares (whether or not such earnings and profits are attributable to RPII). In addition, such a holder will be required to comply with certain reporting requirements, regardless of the amount of shares owned by the holder. These RPII rules should not apply to dispositions of our shares because Maiden Holdings will not be directly engaged in the insurance business. The RPII provisions, however, have never been interpreted by the courts or the U.S. Treasury Department in final regulations, and regulations interpreting the RPII provisions of the Code exist only in proposed form. It is not certain whether these regulations will be adopted in their proposed form or what changes or clarifications might ultimately be made thereto or whether any such changes, as well as any interpretation or application of the RPII rules by the IRS, the courts, or otherwise, might have retroactive effect. The U.S. Treasury Department has authority to impose, among other things, additional reporting requirements with respect to RPII. Accordingly, the meaning of the RPII provisions and the application thereof to Maiden Holdings and Maiden Reinsurance is uncertain.
U.S. Persons who hold our shares will be subject to adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences if Maiden Holdings is considered to be a passive foreign investment company.
If Maiden Holdings is considered a passive foreign investment company ("PFIC") for U.S. federal income tax purposes, a U.S. Person who owns directly or, in some cases, indirectly (e.g. through a non-U.S. partnership) any of our shares will be subject to adverse U.S. federal income tax consequences, including subjecting the investor to a greater tax liability than might otherwise apply and subjecting the investor to a tax on amounts in advance of when such tax would otherwise be imposed, in which case your investment could be materially adversely affected. In addition, if Maiden Holdings were considered a PFIC, upon the death of any U.S. individual owning our shares, such individual’s heirs or estate would not be entitled to a "step-up" in the basis of the shares which might otherwise be available under U.S. federal income tax laws. We believe that we are not, and we currently do not expect to become, a PFIC for U.S. federal income tax p