May 04, 2012 at 12:04 PM EDT
Fitch Publishes Sector Credit Factors for U.S. Insurance Brokers

Link to Fitch Ratings' Report: U.S. Insurance Broker Industry Sector Credit Factors
http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=677409

Fitch Ratings has issued a sector-specific special report describing the credit factors the agency uses to analyze the U.S. Insurance Broker sector.

These sector-specific credit factors supplement the master criteria 'Corporate Rating Methodology', dated Aug. 12, 2011, which details Fitch's overarching approach to rating corporate fixed income issuers and their individual debt issues. This report is available at www.fitchratings.com.

Consistent with the master corporate criteria, companies in the U.S. Insurance Broker sector are evaluated considering various qualitative and quantitative credit factors, including but not limited to: industry profile and operating environment, market position and size/scale, corporate governance, capitalization and leverage, financial performance and earnings, and liquidity.

In its new special report, Fitch has placed the various building blocks used to formulate its ratings within typical ranges to increase the transparency of its analysis. The report includes various median financial ratios by rating category, as well as charts that demonstrate how key qualitative factors can impact a typical rating range. For example, the report highlights that based on Fitch's views of the Insurance Broker sector risk profile, senior unsecured debt ratings in the U.S. Insurance Broker sector would not be expected to exceed the 'A' category.

The criteria report 'Insurance Broker Rating Criteria', dated Dec. 12, 2011, has been withdrawn.

Additional information is available at www.fitchratings.com.

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:
--Corporate Rating Methodology' (Aug. 12, 2011).

Applicable Criteria and Related Research:
Corporate Rating Methodology
http://www.fitchratings.com/creditdesk/reports/report_frame.cfm?rpt_id=647229

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Contacts:

Fitch Ratings
Greg Dickerson, +1-212-908-0220
Director
Fitch, Inc.
One State Street Plaza
New York, NY 10004
or
Jim Auden, CFA, +1-312-368-3146
Managing Director
or
Media Relations:
Brian Bertsch, +1-212-908-0549
brian.bertsch@fitchratings.com
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