Ageas’ chief bearish on commercial hardening

Barry Smith Fortis

"I'm pretty bearish on it [commercial rate hardening]," he told Insurance Age. "Logic would say yes it should [happen] but the reality may be different."

Mr Smith made the admission as the insurer revealed a £105m profit for 2011, reversing a loss of £28.4m the year before.

In among the results was a pre-tax profit of £8.2m from the joint venture with Tesco Underwriting which Mr Smith stated was evidence that the overall return to profit had been driven by improvements in all areas of the

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