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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
Annual report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2023
Commission File Number 001-15811
MARKEL GROUP INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
A Virginia Corporation
IRS Employer Identification No. 54-1959284
4521 Highwoods Parkway, Glen Allen, Virginia 23060-6148
(Address of principal executive offices) (Zip code)
Registrant's telephone number, including area code: (804747-0136
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each classTrading Symbol(s)Name of exchange on which registered
Common Stock, no par valueMKLNew York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes  x    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  x
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  x    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 (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes  x    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 filerx
Accelerated filer 
Non-accelerated filer 
Smaller reporting companyEmerging 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. x
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements.
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant's executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b).
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).    Yes      No  x
The aggregate market value of the shares of the registrant's Common Stock held by non-affiliates as of June 30, 2023 was approximately $18,051,000,000.
The number of shares of the registrant's Common Stock outstanding at January 31, 2024: 13,110,035.
Documents Incorporated By Reference: The portions of the registrant's Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders scheduled to be held on May 22, 2024, referred to in Part III.



Markel Group Inc.
Form 10-K
Index
Page Number
Part I
Item 1.
10K - 2
Item 1A.
10K - 22
Item 1B.Unresolved Staff CommentsNONE
Item 1C.
10K - 34
Item 2.
10K - 36
Item 3.
10K - 36
Item 4.Mine Safety DisclosuresNONE
10K - 37
Part II
Item 5.
10K - 38
Item 6.[Reserved]NONE
Item 7.
10K - 40
Item 7A.
10K - 69
Item 8.
10K - 73
10K - 75
10K - 76
10K - 77
10K - 78
10K - 79
Item 9.Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial DisclosureNONE
Item 9A.
10K - 130
Item 9B.
10K - 132
Item 9C.Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent InspectionsNONE
Part III
Item 10.
10K - 132
Item 11.
10K - 132
Item 12.
10K - 132
Item 13.
10K - 132
Item 14.
10K - 132
Part IV
Item 15.
10K - 132
Item 16.Form 10-K SummaryNONE
10K - 133
10K - 136




PART I

Item 1. BUSINESS

Markel Group Inc. (Markel Group) is a holding company comprised of a diverse family of businesses and investments. The leadership teams of our businesses operate with a high degree of independence, while at the same time living the values that we call the Markel Style. Our specialty insurance business, Markel, sits at the core of our company. Through decades of sound underwriting, Markel has provided the capital base from which we built a system of businesses and investments that collectively increase Markel Group's durability and adaptability. We aspire to build one of the world's great companies by creating win-win-win outcomes for our customers, associates and shareholders. We deploy three financial engines in pursuit of this goal.

Insurance - markets and underwrites specialty insurance products using our underwriting, fronting and insurance-linked securities platforms that enable us to best match risk and capital

Investments - invests premiums received by our underwriting operations and any available earnings provided by our operating businesses in fixed maturity and equity securities

Markel Ventures - owns controlling interests in a diverse portfolio of businesses that operate in a variety of industries

Our three interdependent engines form a system that provides diverse income streams, access to a wide range of investment opportunities and the ability to efficiently move capital to the best ideas across our three engines. We allocate capital using a process that we have consistently followed for years. We first look to invest in our existing businesses for organic growth opportunities. After funding internal growth opportunities, we look to acquire controlling interests in businesses, build our portfolio of equity securities, or repurchase shares of our common stock. We believe our system is uniquely equipped for long-term growth. To mitigate the effects of short-term volatility and align with the long-term perspective that we apply to operating our businesses and making investments, we generally use five-year time periods to measure our performance. We measure financial success by our ability to grow the market price per common share of our stock, or total shareholder return, at high rates of return over a long period of time. Over the past five years, our common share price increased at a compound annual rate of 6%. We also have considered the performance of book value per common share over the long-term, although we believe that as our business has evolved, this measure has become less reflective of shareholder value because a significant portion of our operations is not recorded at fair value. Over the past five years, the compound annual growth in book value per common share was 11%.

The following graph presents stock price per common share and book value per common share for the past five years as of December 31.
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The following table presents summary financial data over the last five years, including stock price per common share, book value per common share and other important financial measures and metrics.

(dollars in millions, except per share data)
20232022202120202019
5-Year CAGR (1)
Results of Operations
Earned premiums$8,295 $7,588 $6,503 $5,612 $5,050 12 %
Net investment income$735 $447 $367 $376 $442 11 %
Net investment gains (losses)$1,524 $(1,596)$1,979 $618 $1,602 
Markel Ventures operating revenues$4,985 $4,758 $3,644 $2,795 $2,055 21 %
Total operating revenues$15,804 $11,675 $12,846 $9,735 $9,526 18 %
Markel Ventures operating income
$438 $325 $273 $254 $168 
Total operating income (loss)
$2,929 $(93)$3,242 $1,274 $2,477 
Net income (loss) to common shareholders$1,960 $(252)$2,387 $798 $1,790 
Diluted net income (loss) per common share$146.98 $(23.72)$176.38 $55.63 $129.07 
Financial Position
Invested assets (2)
$30,854 $27,420 $28,292 $24,927 $22,258 10 %
Total assets$55,046 $49,791 $48,477 $41,738 $37,474 11 %
Unpaid losses and loss adjustment expenses$23,483 $20,948 $18,179 $16,222 $14,729 10 %
Shareholders' equity$14,984 $13,151 $14,700 $12,822 $11,071 11 %
Common shares outstanding (at year end, in thousands)13,132 13,423 13,632 13,783 13,794 
Consolidated Performance Measures
Closing stock price$1,419.90 $1,317.49 $1,234.00 $1,033.30 $1,143.17 6 %
5-Year CAGR in closing stock price (1)
6 %%%%11 %
Book value per common share$1,095.95 $935.65 $1,034.92 $887.34 $802.59 11 %
5-Year CAGR in book value per common share (1)
11 %%11 %10 %%
(1)    CAGR—compound annual growth rate.
(2)    Invested assets include total investments, cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash and cash equivalents.

Insurance

Our insurance engine is comprised of the following types of operations:

Underwriting - our risk-bearing insurance and reinsurance operations.
Program services and other fronting - fronting platform that provides other insurance entities and capacity providers access to the United States (U.S.) property and casualty insurance market.
Insurance-linked securities (ILS) - provides investment management services to third-party capital providers for a variety of insurance-related investment products.

Through our underwriting, program services and other fronting and ILS operations, we have a suite of capabilities through which we can access capital to support our customers' risks, which includes our own capital through our underwriting operations, as well as third-party capital through our program services and other fronting and ILS operations. Within each of these insurance platforms, we believe that our specialty product focus enables us to develop expertise and specialized market knowledge. We seek to differentiate ourselves from competitors by our expertise, service, continuity and other value-based considerations, including the multiple platforms through which we can manage risk and deploy capital. For example, through our program services and other fronting platform, we have programs through which we write insurance policies on behalf of our ILS operations that are supported by third-party capital. Additionally, we cede certain risks historically written through our underwriting operations to our ILS operations to the extent those risks are more aligned with the risk profile of our ILS investors than our own corporate tolerance. Our ability to access multiple insurance platforms allows us to achieve income
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streams from our insurance operations beyond the traditional underwriting model. We believe this multi-platform approach provides us with a unique advantage through which we have the ability to unlock additional value for our customers and business partners, which we refer to as "the power of the platform."

Underwriting

Specialty Insurance and Reinsurance

Within our underwriting operations, we underwrite specialty insurance products on a risk-bearing basis. The specialty insurance market differs significantly from the standard market. In the standard market, insurance rates and forms are highly regulated, products and coverages are largely uniform with relatively predictable exposures, and companies tend to compete for customers on the basis of price. In contrast, the specialty market provides coverage for hard-to-place risks that generally do not fit the underwriting criteria of standard carriers.

Competition in the specialty insurance market tends to focus less on price than in the standard insurance market and more on other value-based considerations, such as availability, service and expertise. While specialty market exposures may have higher perceived insurance risks than their standard market counterparts, we seek to manage these risks and achieve higher financial returns. To reach our financial and operational goals, we must have extensive knowledge and expertise in our chosen markets. Many of our larger accounts are considered on an individual basis where customized forms and tailored solutions are employed. Examples of specialty insurance markets that we have targeted include liability coverage for highly specialized professionals, transaction-related risks, and marine, energy and environmental-related activities. Our market strategy in each of these areas of specialization is tailored to the unique nature of the loss exposure, coverage and services required by insureds. In each of the markets we serve, we assign teams of experienced underwriters and claims specialists who provide a full range of insurance services.

We also participate in the reinsurance market in certain classes of reinsurance product offerings, primarily casualty lines and certain other specialty lines. In the reinsurance market, our clients are other insurance companies, or cedents. We typically write our reinsurance products in the form of treaty reinsurance contracts, which are contractual arrangements that provide for automatic reinsuring of a type or category of risk underwritten by cedents. Treaty reinsurance products are written globally on both a quota share and excess of loss basis. With treaty reinsurance contracts, we do not separately evaluate each of the individual risks assumed under the contracts and are largely dependent on the individual underwriting decisions made by the cedent. Accordingly, we review and analyze the cedent's risk management and underwriting practices in deciding whether to provide treaty reinsurance and in pricing of treaty reinsurance contracts. Additionally, we write casualty reinsurance on a facultative basis, which is distinct from treaty reinsurance in that we evaluate each risk individually to determine whether to assume the risk.

The following chart presents the composition of our underwriting operations between our Insurance segment and Reinsurance segment based on 2023 underwriting gross premium volume of $10.3 billion. The Insurance segment includes all of our direct business, as well as facultative reinsurance placements. The Reinsurance segment includes all treaty reinsurance.
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The following table summarizes our U.S. insurance and reinsurance underwriting subsidiaries.

U.S. Legal EntityAbbreviation
Market
State of Domicile
Essentia Insurance CompanyEssentia
Insurance - admitted
Missouri
Evanston Insurance CompanyEIC
Insurance - non-admitted
Illinois
FirstComp Insurance CompanyFCIC
Insurance - admitted
Nebraska
Markel American Insurance CompanyMAIC
Insurance - admitted
Virginia
Markel Global Reinsurance CompanyMGRC
Reinsurance
Delaware
Markel Insurance CompanyMIC
Insurance - admitted
Illinois
National Specialty Insurance CompanyNSIC
Insurance - admitted
Texas
State National Insurance Company, Inc.SNIC
Insurance - admitted
Texas
SureTec Insurance CompanySIC
Insurance - admitted
Texas

Through these U.S. insurance and reinsurance subsidiaries, we are licensed, authorized, or accredited to write business in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The following table summarizes our international insurance and reinsurance underwriting subsidiaries.

International Legal EntityAbbreviationCountry
Markel Bermuda LimitedMBLBermuda
Markel Insurance SEMISEGermany
Markel International Insurance Company LimitedMIICLUnited Kingdom
Markel Syndicate 3000Syndicate 3000United Kingdom

Markets and Distribution

Our underwriting operations write business on a global basis and utilize multiple distribution channels to access our targeted risks.

In the U.S., we write business in the excess and surplus lines (E&S) and admitted insurance markets, as well as the reinsurance market. The primary distribution channels through which our U.S. business is placed are wholesale insurance and reinsurance brokers, retail insurance agents and alternative channels, including third-party managing general agents.

The E&S, or non-admitted, market focuses on hard-to-place risks and loss exposures that generally are not written in the standard market. E&S eligibility allows our insurance subsidiaries to underwrite unique loss exposures with more flexible policy forms and unregulated premium rates. This typically results in coverages that are more restrictive and more expensive than coverages in the standard market. The E&S market is accessed primarily through wholesale insurance and reinsurance brokers, which have limited quoting and binding authority. In 2022, the E&S market represented $98 billion, or 11%, of the $875 billion U.S. property and casualty industry.1 In 2022, we were the third largest E&S writer in the U.S. as measured by direct premium writings.1

Our U.S. business written in the admitted market focuses on unique and hard-to-place risks in the standard market, some of which must remain with an admitted insurance company for marketing and regulatory reasons. Hard-to-place risks written in the admitted market cover insureds engaged in similar, but highly specialized, activities that require a total insurance program not otherwise available from standard insurers. The admitted market is subject to more state regulation than the E&S market, particularly with regard to rate and form filing requirements, premium tax payment requirements and membership in various state associations, such as state guaranty funds and assigned risk plans. Business written in the admitted market is placed primarily by retail insurance agents. Our admitted business is also placed through managing general agents, which have broader underwriting authority than retail agents. These agents are carefully selected based on a track record of proficiency with their selected products, and the business written is controlled through regular audits and pre-approvals. In addition, certain products and programs written on an admitted basis are marketed directly to consumers.
1 Market Segment Report - U.S. Surplus Lines, A.M. Best (September 13, 2023)
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Our U.S. reinsurance operations are conducted through MGRC. Reinsurance business is placed primarily through wholesale reinsurance brokers. We were the 41st largest reinsurer in 2022 as measured by worldwide gross reinsurance premium writings.2

In Bermuda, which is known for its significant concentration of insurance and reinsurance businesses, we participate in the worldwide insurance and reinsurance markets. The Bermuda property and casualty market is a significant source of capital for the U.S. market and the leading location for cessions by U.S. insurers.3 Business written in the Bermuda market is typically placed by a Bermuda-based wholesale broker. We conduct our Bermuda underwriting operations through MBL, which is registered as a Class 4 insurer and Class C long-term insurer under the insurance laws of Bermuda.

We also participate in the London insurance and reinsurance market, which is known for its ability to provide innovative, tailored coverage and capacity for unique and hard-to-place risks, many of which have significantly higher limits than risks placed through the standard market. Insurance brokers place most of the business in the London market. Risks written in this market are written on either a direct basis or a subscription basis, the latter of which means that loss exposures brought into the market are typically insured by more than one insurance company or Lloyd's of London (Lloyd's) syndicate, often due to the high limits of insurance coverage required. We participate in the London insurance and reinsurance market primarily through Markel Capital Limited (Markel Capital) and MIICL. Markel Capital is the corporate capital provider for Syndicate 3000, through which our Lloyd's operations are conducted. In addition to their headquarters in London, Markel Capital and MIICL maintain branch offices across the United Kingdom (U.K.), Europe, Canada, Asia, Australia and the Middle East through which we are able to offer insurance and reinsurance.

In Europe, we also write business through Syndicate 3000 and MISE, a regulated insurance carrier located in Munich, Germany. From its offices in Germany, MISE transacts business in European Union (E.U.) member states and throughout the European Economic Area. MISE has established branches in Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, France and the U.K. Syndicate 3000 supplements, or serves as an alternative to, MISE for access to the E.U. markets.

While we operate in various other markets, substantially all of our gross written premiums in 2023 were written from our platforms in the United States, the United Kingdom, Bermuda and Germany. In 2023, 80% of gross premium writings from our global underwriting operations were attributed to risks or cedents located in the United States. In each of the markets in which we operate, we seek to develop and capitalize on relationships with insurance and reinsurance brokers, insurance and reinsurance companies, large global corporations and financial intermediaries to develop and underwrite business. A significant volume of premium for the property and casualty insurance and reinsurance industry is produced through a small number of large insurance and reinsurance brokers. In 2023, the top five independent brokers accounted for 37% of gross premiums written in our underwriting operations. Additionally, a significant portion of the reinsurance contracts securitized through our ILS operations, for the benefit of third-party investors, are placed through these five independent brokers.

Ceded Reinsurance

In a reinsurance transaction, an insurance company transfers, or cedes, all or part of its exposure in return for a premium. In a retrocessional reinsurance transaction, a reinsured exposure is further ceded to another reinsurer. Within our underwriting operations, we seek to retain as much of our profitable business as possible while managing volatility within our underwriting results and capital requirements at our insurance subsidiaries. We purchase reinsurance and retrocessional reinsurance to manage our net retention on individual risks and overall exposure to losses, while providing us with the ability to offer policies with sufficient limits to meet policyholder needs. This includes purchasing sufficient coverage for our catastrophe-exposed policies to ensure that our net retained catastrophe risk is within our corporate tolerances. The structure of our reinsurance purchases may vary from year to year depending on our risk tolerance and the availability and cost of reinsurance, as determined by current market conditions. In such instances, we may in turn modify our gross premium writings to manage our overall net loss exposures. Net retention of gross premium volume in our underwriting segments was 82% in 2023.

Ceded reinsurance and retrocessional contracts do not legally discharge us from our primary liability for the full amount of the policies, and we will be required to pay the loss and bear collection risk if the reinsurer fails to meet its obligations under the reinsurance agreement. We attempt to minimize credit exposure to reinsurers through adherence to internal ceded reinsurance guidelines. We manage our exposures so that no unsecured exposure to any one reinsurer is material to our ongoing business. Treaties typically contain provisions that allow us to demand that a reinsurer post letters of credit or assets as collateral if a reinsurer becomes an unauthorized reinsurer under applicable regulations or if its rating falls below an acceptable level.
2 Market Segment Report - Global Reinsurance, A.M. Best (August 22, 2023)
3 Offshore Reinsurance in the U.S. Market, Reinsurance Association of America (2022)
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See note 12 of the notes to consolidated financial statements included under Item 8 and Item 7A Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk for additional information about our ceded reinsurance programs and exposures.

Competition and Underwriting Philosophy

We compete with numerous domestic and international insurance companies and reinsurers, Lloyd's syndicates, risk retention groups, insurance buying groups, risk securitization programs, alternative capital sources, such as that provided through ILS, and alternative self-insurance mechanisms. We also compete with new companies that continue to be formed to enter the insurance and reinsurance markets, particularly companies with new or "disruptive" technologies or business models. Competition may take the form of lower prices, broader coverages, greater product flexibility, enhanced digital capabilities for distribution of insurance products, higher coverage limits, higher quality services or higher ratings by independent rating agencies. In all of our markets, we compete on the basis of overall financial strength, ratings assigned by independent rating agencies, development of specialty products to satisfy well-defined market needs and by maintaining relationships with agents, brokers and insureds who rely on our expertise. This expertise is our principal means of competing. We offer a diverse portfolio of products, each with its own distinct competitive environment, which requires us to be responsive to changes in market conditions for individual product lines. With each of our products, we seek to write business that produces consistent underwriting profits by maintaining adequate rates for our premium writings in relation to expected loss cost trends.

Few barriers exist to prevent competition from entering our markets within the property and casualty industry. Market conditions, risk tolerance and capital capacity influence the degree of competition at any point in time. During periods of excess underwriting capacity, as defined by availability of capital, competition can result in lower pricing and less favorable policy terms and conditions for insurers. During periods of reduced underwriting capacity, pricing and policy terms and conditions are generally more favorable for insurers. Historically, the performance of the property and casualty insurance and reinsurance industries has tended to fluctuate in cyclical periods of price competition and excess underwriting capacity, followed by periods of high premium rates and shortages of underwriting capacity. At any given time, our portfolio of insurance products could be experiencing varying combinations of these characteristics.

Within our underwriting operations, we seek to earn an underwriting profit every year. The property and casualty insurance industry commonly defines underwriting profit or loss as earned premiums net of losses and loss adjustment expenses and underwriting, acquisition and insurance expenses. We believe that the ability to achieve consistent underwriting profits demonstrates knowledge and expertise, commitment to superior customer service and the ability to manage insurance risk. We use underwriting profit or loss as a basis for evaluating our underwriting performance. The combined ratio is a measure of underwriting performance and represents the relationship of incurred losses, loss adjustment expenses and underwriting, acquisition and insurance expenses to earned premiums. A combined ratio less than 100% indicates an underwriting profit, while a combined ratio greater than 100% reflects an underwriting loss. In 2023, our combined ratio was 98%. See Item 7 Management's Discussion & Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations for a discussion of our underwriting results.

We routinely review the pricing for all of our product lines. When we believe the prevailing market price will not support our underwriting profit targets, the business is not written. As a result of our underwriting discipline, gross premium volume may vary when we alter our product offerings to maintain or improve underwriting profitability. For example, in 2023, we adjusted our writings within our U.S. and Bermuda directors and officers and errors and omissions product lines in our Insurance segment in response to unfavorable loss cost trends and downward pressure on rates.

Underwriting Segments

We monitor and assess the performance of our ongoing underwriting operations on a global basis in the following two segments: Insurance and Reinsurance. See note 2 of the notes to consolidated financial statements included under Item 8 for additional segment reporting disclosures.

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Insurance Segment

Our Insurance segment reported gross premium volume of $9.2 billion, earned premiums of $7.3 billion and an underwriting profit of $162.2 million in 2023. The following chart presents the composition of our Insurance segment by division based on 2023 gross premium volume.
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The Markel Specialty division is comprised of our U.S. and Bermuda based insurance underwriting operations and writes business for insureds ranging from individuals and small businesses to Fortune 1000 companies in the U.S., the U.K., the E.U., Asia and Australia. The Markel Specialty platform provides easy access to our diverse portfolio of products and capabilities. The Markel International division writes business worldwide from our London and Munich-based platforms, which include branch offices in Canada, Asia, Australia and across the E.U. The State National division writes collateral protection insurance for automobile and other vehicle loans in the U.S.

The following chart displays the types of products written in our Insurance segment based on 2023 gross premium volume.
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General liability product offerings include a variety of primary and excess liability coverages. We focus on businesses in the construction, life sciences, energy, medical, healthcare, pharmaceutical, professional services, social welfare, recreational, transportation, heavy industrial and hospitality industries. Specific products include primary general liability, excess and umbrella products, products liability products, environmental liability products and casualty facultative reinsurance written for individual casualty risks.

Our professional liability product lines provide insurance solutions for small, middle market and risk management accounts with coverage that is tailored to their exposures and needs. Professional liability coverages include errors and omissions, directors and officers, cyber, employment practices liability, professional indemnity, transaction liability, intellectual property and union liability. Errors and omissions coverage provides solutions for specialized professions including lawyers, accountants, agents and brokers, service technicians and consultants, as well as other less-specialized professionals. Directors and officers coverage is provided for publicly-traded, private and non-profit companies, including financial institutions and Fortune 1000 companies. We also offer claims-made professional liability coverage for individual healthcare providers and coverages for medical facilities.

Personal lines products provide first and third-party coverages in the U.S. for classic cars, motorcycles and a variety of personal watercraft, including vintage boats, high-performance boats and yachts and recreational vehicles, such as motorcycles, snowmobiles and ATVs. Additionally, property coverages are offered for homeowners that do not qualify for standard homeowner's coverage, as well as personal umbrella coverage.

Marine and energy products include a portfolio of coverages for cargo, energy, hull, liability, war and terrorism risks worldwide. The cargo product line is an international transit-based book providing coverage for many types of cargo. Energy coverage includes all aspects of oil, gas and renewable energy activities. Our renewable energy activities include coverages for onshore and offshore wind farms, as well as alternative energy generation and storage technology projects. Hull coverages consist of coverage for physical damage to ocean-going tonnage, yachts and mortgagees' interests. Liability coverage provides coverage for a broad range of energy liabilities, as well as traditional marine exposures including charterers, terminal operators and ship repairers. Marine war coverage includes protections for the hulls of ships, and other related interests, against war and associated perils. Terrorism coverage includes coverage for property damage and business interruption related to political and civil violence and war on land.

Property coverages consist principally of fire, allied lines (including windstorm, hail and water damage) and other specialized property coverages, including catastrophe-exposed property risks such as earthquake and wind on both a primary and excess basis. Catastrophe-exposed property risks can present higher severity than more standard property risks due to the impacts from earthquakes and severe weather events such as hurricanes, convective storms and wildfires. Our property coverages are exposed to windstorm losses that, based on the seasonal nature of those events, are more likely to occur in the third and fourth quarters of the year. Our property risks range from small, single-location accounts to large, multi-state, multi-location, multi-national accounts on a worldwide basis. Other types of property products include inland marine products, railroad-related products and specie coverage for fine art on exhibition and in private collections.

Specialty programs business is offered in the U.S. on a standalone or package basis and generally targets specialized commercial markets and various customer groups, such as amateur sports and fitness clubs. Certain specialty programs written in this segment use managing general agents to offer single source admitted and non-admitted programs for a specific industry, class or line of business.

Workers' compensation products are offered in the U.S. and provide wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment and target main-street, service and artisan contractor businesses, retail stores and restaurants.

Credit and surety products consist primarily of trade credit and prepayment coverage and a range of bonds and guarantees that support contractual obligations, as well as other coverages for specific credit risks, markets and contingencies. Key credit risks covered include those of counterparty insolvency and defaults by government-owned entities. The key coverages under surety products include contractual performance and payment risks, commercial license and permit obligations and obligations related to judicial proceedings such as court and fiduciary bonds.

Other product lines within the Insurance segment primarily include collateral protection insurance, which insures personal automobiles and other vehicles held as collateral for loans made by credit unions, banks and specialty finance companies.

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Reinsurance Segment

Our Reinsurance segment product offerings are underwritten primarily by our Global Reinsurance division, which operates from platforms in the U.S., Bermuda and the U.K. We write quota share and excess of loss reinsurance on a local, national and global basis. Our Reinsurance segment reported gross premium volume of $1.0 billion, earned premiums of $1.0 billion and an underwriting loss of $19.3 million in 2023. The following chart displays the types of products written in our Reinsurance segment based on 2023 gross premium volume.
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General liability reinsurance primarily consists of umbrella and excess casualty products, as well as environmental liability products covering pollution legal liability and contractors' pollution exposures.

Our specialty treaty reinsurance products are written across a wide range of specialty product lines, primarily consisting of the following:

Credit and surety products, including structured and whole turnover credit, political risk and contract and commercial surety reinsurance programs covering worldwide exposures;
Workers' compensation and accident and health products covering both standard and catastrophe-exposed business in the U.S. and worldwide;
Marine and energy products covering both offshore and onshore marine, energy and renewable energy risks on a worldwide basis, including hull, cargo and liability;
Public entity reinsurance products offering casualty coverage for municipalities, schools, special districts, public housing authorities and public entity affiliated non-profits;
Mortgage default insurance offering coverage for private mortgage insurers predominantly located in the U.S. and Australia;
Aviation and space coverage, including major risk, general aviation, satellite launch and orbit;
Agriculture reinsurance covering multi-peril crop insurance, hail and related exposures for risks located in the U.S. and Canada; and
Discrete political violence and national terror pools in select jurisdictions globally.

Professional liability reinsurance primarily consists of the following:

Transaction liability, which provides representation, warranty and indemnity coverage for mergers and acquisitions, including coverage for tax and contingent liability;
Directors and officers liability for publicly-traded, private and non-profit companies;
Cyber and technology errors and omissions covering both first and third-party exposures;
Errors and omissions for lawyers, accountants, agents and brokers, services technicians and consultants; and
Healthcare liability for physicians, hospitals, long-term care and other medical facilities.
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Program Services and Other Fronting

Our program services and other fronting business generates fee income in the form of ceding fees in exchange for fronting insurance and reinsurance business for other insurance carriers (capacity providers). In general, fronting refers to business in which we write insurance on behalf of a general agent or capacity provider and then cede all, or substantially all, of the risk under these policies to the capacity provider in exchange for ceding fees. The results of our program services and other fronting operations are not included in a reportable segment.

Our program services business, which is provided through our State National division, offers issuing carrier capacity to both specialty managing general agents and other producers who sell, control and administer books of insurance business that are supported by third parties that assume reinsurance risk, including the Nephila Reinsurers. These reinsurers include domestic and foreign insurers and institutional risk investors that want to access specific lines of U.S. property and casualty insurance business but may not have the required licenses, filings or financial strength ratings to do so.

Beginning in 2024, our State National division is expanding internationally through a partnership with our Markel International division to create an international program services division to serve managing general agents in the U.K. market. The new division is another example of how we can leverage our array of capabilities to effectively and efficiently connect capital with risk.

Through our program services business, we write a wide variety of insurance and reinsurance products, principally including general liability, commercial liability, commercial multi-peril, property and workers' compensation. Program services business written through our State National division is separately managed from our underwriting divisions, which may write similar products, in order to protect our program services customers.

The following table summarizes the subsidiaries through which our program services business is written.

Legal EntityAbbreviationState of Domicile
City National Insurance CompanyCNICTexas
National Specialty Insurance CompanyNSICTexas
Pinnacle National Insurance CompanyPNICTexas
State National Insurance Company, Inc.SNICTexas
Superior Specialty Insurance CompanySSICDelaware
United Specialty Insurance CompanyUSICDelaware

Through these subsidiaries, our program services business is licensed or authorized to write business in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Many of our programs are arranged with the assistance of brokers that are seeking to provide customized insurance solutions for specialty insurance business that requires a carrier rated "A" by A.M. Best Company (A.M. Best). Our specialized business model relies on third-party producers or capacity providers to provide policy administration, claims handling, cash handling, underwriting, or other traditional insurance company services. We compete primarily on the basis of price, customer service, financial strength ratings, licenses, reputation, business model and experience.

Total revenues attributed to our program services business for the year ended December 31, 2023 were $151.8 million. Our program services business generated $2.9 billion of gross written premium volume for the year ended December 31, 2023.

In our program services business, we enter into reinsurance agreements whereby we cede to the capacity providers 100% of the premium written and substantially all of our gross liability under all policies issued by and on behalf of us by the producer. As a result of our contract design, substantially all of the underwriting risk and operational risk inherent in the arrangement is borne by the capacity providers.

Our contracts with capacity providers do not legally discharge us from our primary liability for the full amount of the policies, and we will be required to pay the loss and bear collection risk if a capacity provider fails to meet its obligations under the reinsurance agreement. As a result, we remain exposed to the credit risk of capacity providers, including the risk that one of our capacity providers becomes insolvent or is otherwise unable or unwilling to pay policyholder claims. We mitigate this credit risk generally by either selecting well capitalized, highly rated authorized capacity providers or requiring that the capacity provider post substantial collateral to secure the reinsured risks, which, in some instances, exceeds the related reinsurance recoverable.
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In our other fronting business, we leverage the strength of our underwriting platform, including our highly rated insurance subsidiaries, to write business on behalf of our Nephila ILS operations, in exchange for ceding fees, to support its business plans and assist in meeting its desired return objectives. Our other fronting business is managed separately from our program services business. The results of our other fronting business are not included in a reportable segment. Total revenues attributed to our other fronting business for the year ended December 31, 2023 were $20.7 million. Our other fronting business generated $840.9 million of gross written premium volume for the year ended December 31, 2023.

Business written on behalf of our Nephila ILS operations within both our program services and other fronting operations primarily consists of catastrophe-exposed property insurance and reinsurance business, as well as specialty and climate reinsurance business. The business written is ceded to the Nephila Reinsurers, whose investors ultimately assume the risk. To mitigate credit risk for this business, we require collateral up to a specified level of annual aggregate agreement year losses, which is held in a trust for which we are the beneficiary. See note 18 of the notes to consolidated financial statements included under Item 8 for further details regarding our programs with Nephila Reinsurers.

Although we reinsure substantially all of the risks inherent in our program services and other fronting businesses, we have certain programs that contain limits on our reinsurers' obligations to us that expose us to underwriting risk, including loss ratio caps, aggregate reinsurance limits or exclusion of the credit risk of producers. Under certain programs, including programs and contracts with Nephila Reinsurers, we also bear underwriting risk for annual aggregate agreement year losses in excess of a limit that we believe is unlikely to be exceeded.

Insurance-Linked Securities

Our insurance-linked securities operations are primarily comprised of our Nephila operations and are not included in a reportable segment. Nephila Holdings Ltd. (together with its subsidiaries, Nephila) provides investment and insurance management services through which we offer alternative capital to the insurance and reinsurance markets while providing investors with investment strategies that typically are uncorrelated with traditional asset classes. We receive management fees for investment and insurance management services provided through these operations, and for certain funds, incentive fees based on their annual performance. Our management fees are based on the net asset value of the accounts managed for most of our funds and gross premium volume for the remaining funds. Total revenues from our insurance-linked securities operations for the year ended December 31, 2023 were $99.5 million. As of December 31, 2023, Nephila's net assets under management were $6.8 billion.

Our fund management operations provide insurance and investment management services for a broad range of investment products for insurance and reinsurance companies, government entities, banks, hedge funds, pension funds and institutional investors, including insurance-linked securities such as catastrophe bonds, insurance swaps, traditional reinsurance contracts, industry loss warranties and other financial instruments. Nephila serves as the investment manager to several Bermuda based private funds (the Nephila Funds). To provide access for the Nephila Funds to a variety of insurance-linked securities in the property catastrophe, climate and specialty markets, Nephila acts as an insurance manager to certain Bermuda Class 3, collateralized and special purpose reinsurance companies, Lloyd's Syndicate 2357 and Lloyd's Syndicate 2358 (collectively, the Nephila Reinsurers). The results of the Nephila Reinsurers are attributed to the Nephila Funds primarily through derivative transactions between these entities. Neither the Nephila Funds nor the Nephila Reinsurers are subsidiaries of Markel Group, and as such, these entities are not included in our consolidated financial statements.

The Nephila Reinsurers subscribe to various property, climate and specialty reinsurance contracts based on their investors' risk profiles, which include business ceded by our underwriting and program services and other fronting platforms. We write this business on behalf of our Nephila ILS operations to the extent it fits Nephila investors' risk profile and cede substantially all of the risk to Nephila Reinsurers. See note 18 of the notes to consolidated financial statements included under Item 8 for further details regarding transactions with entities managed through our Nephila operations.

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Ratings

Financial stability and strength are important considerations of policyholders, cedents and insurance agents and brokers. Because an insurance premium paid today purchases coverage for losses that might not be paid for many years, the financial viability of the insurer is of critical concern. Various independent rating agencies provide information and assign ratings to assist buyers in their search for financially sound insurers. Rating agencies periodically re-evaluate assigned ratings based upon changes in the insurer's operating results, financial condition or other significant factors influencing the insurer's business. Downgrades in assigned ratings and other negative actions could have an adverse impact on an insurer's ability to write new business.

Rating agencies assign financial strength ratings (FSRs) to property and casualty insurance companies, or group of companies, based on quantitative criteria such as profitability, leverage and liquidity, as well as qualitative assessments such as market placement, business profile, adequacy and soundness of ceded reinsurance, quality and estimated market value of assets, adequacy of loss reserves and surplus and competence, experience and integrity of management.

Sixteen of our seventeen insurance subsidiaries are rated by A.M. Best, while our Lloyd's syndicate is part of a group rating for the Lloyd's overall market. All sixteen of our insurance subsidiaries rated by A.M. Best have been assigned an FSR of "A" (excellent). The Lloyd's group has been assigned an FSR of "A" (excellent) by A.M. Best.

Nine of our seventeen insurance subsidiaries are rated by Standard & Poor's (S&P), while our Lloyd's syndicate is part of a group rating for the Lloyd's overall market. All nine of our insurance subsidiaries rated by S&P have been assigned an FSR of "A" (strong). The Lloyd's group has been assigned an FSR of "A+" (strong) by S&P.

Five of our seventeen insurance subsidiaries are rated by Moody's Corporation (Moody's). All five insurance subsidiaries rated by Moody's have been assigned an FSR of "A2" (good).

Investments

Our investment operations manage the capital held within our underwriting operations, as well as capital allocated by Markel Group. Invested assets managed through our investment operations includes our portfolio of publicly traded fixed maturity and equity securities, as well as cash and short-term investments.

Our underwriting operations provide our investment operations with steady inflows of premiums. These funds are invested predominantly in high-quality government and municipal bonds and mortgage-backed securities that generally match the duration and currency of our loss reserves. We typically hold these investments until maturity. As a result, unrealized holding gains and losses on these securities are generally expected to reverse as the securities mature. Premiums collected through our underwriting operations may also be held as short-term investments or cash and cash equivalents to provide short-term liquidity for projected claims payments, reinsurance costs and operating expenses.

Our investments in equity securities are predominantly held within our regulated insurance subsidiaries to support capital requirements. Capital held by our insurance subsidiaries beyond that which we anticipate will be needed to cover claims payments and operating expenses is available to be invested in equity securities, along with additional capital allocated for investment purposes by Markel Group. We allocate a higher percentage of capital to equity securities than most other insurance companies. Over the long run, equity securities have produced higher returns relative to fixed maturity securities and short-term investments.

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When purchasing equity securities, we seek to invest in profitable companies with high returns on capital and low debt, with honest and talented management and significant reinvestment opportunities and capital discipline, all while paying reasonable prices for those securities. We intend to hold these equity investments over the long-term. We believe our long-term time horizon and internal sourcing of capital for investment provides us with a distinct competitive advantage compared to other companies. Substantially all of our investment portfolio is managed by company employees, which helps minimize costs in our investment operations. The breadth of our operating businesses, and the experience we garner from supporting them, also informs and enhances the efficacy of our investment activities.

Invested assets, comprised of fixed maturity securities, equity securities, short-term investments, cash and cash equivalents and restricted cash and cash equivalents, were $30.9 billion at December 31, 2023. The following chart displays the composition of our invested assets as of December 31, 2023.
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We measure our investment performance by analyzing net investment income earned on our investment portfolio, which reflects the recurring interest and dividend earnings on our investment portfolio. In 2023, our net investment income was $734.5 million. We also analyze net investment gains, which include unrealized gains and losses on our equity portfolio. Based on the potential for volatility in the financial markets, we understand that the level of gains or losses may vary from one period to the next, and therefore believe that our investment performance is best analyzed over longer periods of time. Our annual return on equity securities for the five-year period ended December 31, 2023 was 14.6%.

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Markel Ventures

Through our wholly owned subsidiary Markel Ventures, Inc. (Markel Ventures), we own controlling interests in high-quality businesses that operate in a variety of different industries with shared values and the shared goal of positively contributing to the long-term financial performance of Markel Group. Management teams for each business operate autonomously and are responsible for developing strategic initiatives, managing day-to-day operations and making investment and capital allocation decisions for their respective companies. Our Markel Ventures management team is responsible for decisions regarding allocation of capital for acquisitions and new investments. Our strategy in making these acquisitions is similar to our strategy for purchasing equity securities. We seek to invest in profitable companies, with honest and talented management, that exhibit reinvestment opportunities and capital discipline, at reasonable prices. We intend to own the businesses acquired for a long period of time.

Our chief operating decision maker allocates resources to and assesses the performance of these various businesses in the aggregate as the Markel Ventures segment. See note 2 of the notes to consolidated financial statements included under Item 8 for additional segment reporting disclosures. The Markel Ventures segment includes a diverse portfolio of specialized businesses from different industries that offer various types of products and services to businesses and consumers across many markets. All of our businesses in this segment are headquartered in the U.S., with subsidiaries of certain businesses located outside of the U.S. In 2021, our Markel Ventures operations expanded through acquisitions of majority interests in Metromont LLC and Buckner HeavyLift Cranes. See note 3 of the notes to consolidated financial statements included under Item 8 for additional details related to these acquisitions. This follows the acquisition of Lansing Building Products, LLC in 2020 and VSC Fire & Security, Inc. in 2019. We continue to look for acquisition opportunities that align with our investment criteria and strategic objectives around diversification and specialization.

In 2023, our Markel Ventures operations reported revenues of $5.0 billion, operating income of $437.5 million and earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $628.5 million. We use Markel Ventures EBITDA, which is a non-GAAP financial measure, as an operating performance measure in conjunction with operating income. See "Markel Ventures" under Item 7 Management's Discussion & Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations for more information on our Markel Ventures results, including EBITDA.

The following chart displays the types of businesses within our Markel Ventures segment based on 2023 operating revenues. Our Markel Ventures management team does not manage the Markel Ventures portfolio of businesses at this level of aggregation due to the distinct characteristics of each business and the autonomy with which local management operates each business.
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The following table provides summary information about our portfolio of Markel Ventures companies by type of business.

Company
Category
Year Founded
Joined Markel Group Family
Markel Food Group - Global manufacturer and designer of industrial food equipment
Equipment manufacturing
19152005
ParkLand Ventures - Operator of manufactured housing communities in the U.S.
Other
20082008
Panel Specialists - Manufacturer of dorm room furniture and wall panel systems
Consumer and building products
19902009
Ellicott Dredges - Manufacturer and designer of cutter suction dredges
Equipment manufacturing
18852009
RetailData - Provider of retail intelligence solutions
Consulting services
19882010
PartnerMD - Concierge healthcare membership provider offering personalized primary care, advanced physicals, and wellness services
Other
20032011
Weldship - Manufacturer of industrial and specialty gas transportation and storage equipment
Transportation-related products
19462011
Havco - Manufacturer of laminated wood flooring for dry-van trailers, truck bodies and containers
Transportation-related products
19782012
Eagle - Designer and builder of single family attached and detached homes
Consumer and building products
19842013
Cottrell - Manufacturer of over-the-road auto hauler equipment
Transportation-related products
19752014
CapTech - Management and information technology consulting firm
Consulting services
19972015
Costa Farms - Largest producer of ornamental plants in the U.S. 4
Consumer and building products
19612017
Rosemont Investment Group - Specialist investor in asset and wealth management companies
Other
20182018
Brahmin - Creator of fashion leather handbags
Consumer and building products
19822018
VSC Fire & Security - Distributor of comprehensive fire protection, life safety, and low voltage solutions
Construction services
19582019
Lansing Building Products - Supplier of exterior building products and materials to professional contractors
Construction services
19552020
Buckner Heavylift Cranes - Provider of heavylift crane rental solutions
Construction services
19472021
Metromont - Manufacturer of highly engineered precast concrete solutions
Consumer and building products
19252021

Markel Ventures businesses encounter a variety of competitors that vary by industry, end market and geographic area. Each Markel Ventures business has several main competitors and numerous smaller ones in most of its respective end markets and geographic areas.

Many of the businesses in this segment experience revenue fluctuations over time due to the cyclical nature of supply and demand in their particular industry. For example, the construction industry is cyclical based on certain larger economic trends and factors, including the inflationary and interest rate environment and, for some businesses, the level of government investment. Additionally, many of our businesses experience fluctuation in demand throughout the year based on the seasonality of the products they sell or services they provide. For example, the demand for ornamental plants is particularly high during the spring and summer seasons as compared to the rest of the year.

4 Measured by 2023 square footage of production. Greenhouse Grower's 2023 Top 100 Growers, Greenhouse Grower (May 11, 2023)
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Businesses in this segment are reliant on inputs, such as raw materials and labor, to manufacture products and deliver services, and the operating results of these businesses could be impacted by the ability or inability to source these inputs and obtain price increases from customers in response to increases in the price of these inputs, including the cost of shipping. For example, shipping costs at some of our businesses increased significantly in 2022 before reverting to more typical levels in 2023, which has resulted in higher margins in 2023 compared to 2022 at the impacted businesses.

Management teams for each of our businesses proactively manage the risks and challenges posed by cyclicality, seasonality and inflation, among other things, in a variety of ways as appropriate and as needed for their business.

Regulatory Environment

We are subject to extensive U.S. state and federal, as well as international, regulation and supervision in the jurisdictions in which we do business. Regulations vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Additionally, as a company with publicly traded securities, we are also subject to certain legal and regulatory requirements applicable generally to public companies, including the rules and regulations of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the New York Stock Exchange relating to reporting and disclosure, accounting and financial reporting, corporate governance and other matters.

The following is a summary of significant regulations that apply to our businesses, but it is not intended to be a comprehensive review of every regulation to which we are subject. For information regarding certain risks associated with regulations applicable to our businesses, see Item 1A Risk Factors.

Group Insurance Regulation and Supervision

Group Supervision - Global Supervisory College; Global Common Framework. Regulators within and outside the U.S. are increasingly coordinating the regulation of multinational insurers by conducting a supervisory college. A supervisory college is a forum of the regulators having jurisdictional authority over an insurance holding company's worldwide insurance subsidiaries. The supervisory college meets with executive management to evaluate the insurance group on both a group-wide and legal-entity basis, particularly with respect to its financial data, business strategies, enterprise risk management and corporate governance. The Illinois Department of Insurance is our lead insurance regulator for purposes of conducting our supervisory college.

In 2020, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors adopted its Common Framework for the Supervision of Internationally Active Insurance Groups (ComFrame). ComFrame establishes a comprehensive framework for supervisors to address group-wide activities and risks of internationally active insurance groups (IAIGs) and lays the groundwork for better supervisory cooperation and coordination. ComFrame requires the designation of a group-wide supervisor (regulator) for each IAIG and imposes a group capital requirement that will be applied to an IAIG in addition to the current legal entity capital requirements imposed by state and international insurance regulators. In response to ComFrame, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) revised the model Insurance Holding Company System Regulatory Act to allow state insurance regulators in the U.S. to be designated as group-wide supervisors for U.S. based IAIGs. In 2023, it was determined that we meet the criteria to be identified as an IAIG. The Illinois Department of Insurance has been designated as our group-wide supervisor.

Holding Company Statutes. We also are subject to state statutes governing insurance holding company systems, which typically require that we periodically file information with the appropriate state insurance commissioner, including information concerning our capital structure, ownership, financial condition, dividend payments and other material transactions with affiliates, and general business operations. These statutes also require approval of changes in control of an insurer or an insurance holding company. Generally, "control" for these purposes is defined as ownership or voting power of 10% or more of a company's voting shares. We also must submit an annual group-level enterprise risk report, which provides information regarding material risks within the insurance holding company system that could pose enterprise risk to its U.S. insurance subsidiaries.

Own Risk and Solvency Assessment and Enterprise Risk Management. We must submit an Own Risk and Solvency Assessment Summary Report (ORSA) annually to our lead insurance regulator. The ORSA is a confidential internal assessment of the material and relevant risks associated with an insurer's current business plan and the sufficiency of capital resources to support those risks. In addition, we must file an annual enterprise risk report with our lead insurance regulator. The report must identify the material risks within the insurance holding company system that could pose enterprise risk to our U.S. insurance subsidiaries.

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U.S. Insurance Regulation

State Regulation

Overview. Our U.S. insurance company subsidiaries are subject to varying degrees of regulation and supervision by the states and other jurisdictions in which they do business. In the U.S., authority for the regulation, supervision and administration of the business of insurance in each state is generally delegated to a state insurance commissioner who oversees a regulatory body responsible for the supervision of the business of insurance. State regulatory authorities have broad regulatory, supervisory and administrative powers relating to: solvency standards; corporate conduct; market conduct activities; regulating unfair trade and claims practices; licensing of insurers; licensing and appointment of agents; approval of forms and policies used; the nature of, and limitations on, insurers' investments; the form and content of annual statements and other reports on the financial condition of insurers; and establishment of loss reserves. States also regulate various aspects of the contractual relationships between insurers and independent agents. In addition, the NAIC, comprised of the insurance commissioners of each U.S. jurisdiction, develops or amends model statutes and regulations that, in turn, most states adopt.

Risk Based Capital Requirements. The NAIC uses a risk based capital (RBC) formula to measure the capital of an insurer, taking into account the company's investments and products. For property and casualty insurance companies, RBC requirements establish capital thresholds for four categories of risk: asset risk, insurance risk, interest rate risk and business risk.

Financial Exams. State insurance regulators also prescribe the form and content of statutory financial statements, perform periodic financial examinations of insurers regarding activities in their respective states, set minimum reserve and loss ratio requirements, establish standards for permissible types and amounts of investments and require minimum capital and surplus levels. These statutory capital and surplus requirements include RBC rules promulgated by the NAIC.

Statutory Accounting Principles. Each of our U.S. insurance companies is required to file detailed quarterly and annual reports, including financial statements, in accordance with prescribed statutory accounting rules. The quarterly and annual financial reports utilize statutory accounting principles (SAP) that are different from U.S. GAAP. In developing SAP, insurance regulators were primarily concerned with monitoring the solvency of insurance companies to assure an insurer's ability to pay all its current and future obligations to policyholders.

Rates and Form Filings. The policy forms and various premium rates of our U.S. admitted insurance subsidiaries are subject to regulation in every state in which they conduct business. In many states, rates and policy forms must be filed with the applicable insurance regulator prior to their use, and in some states, rates and forms must be affirmatively approved by the applicable insurance regulator prior to use.

Dividends. The laws of the domicile states of our U.S. insurance subsidiaries govern the amount of dividends that may be paid to our holding company, Markel Group. Generally, statutes in the domicile states of our insurance subsidiaries require prior approval for payment of extraordinary, as opposed to ordinary, dividends. See note 22 of the notes to consolidated financial statements included under Item 8.

Market Conduct. State insurance laws and regulations include numerous provisions governing trade practices and the marketplace activities of insurers, including provisions governing marketing and sales practices, data security, compliance of underwriting services to policyholders, confirmation of licensing and appointment of producers, claims management, anti-fraud controls and complaint handling. State regulatory authorities generally enforce these provisions through periodic market conduct examinations.

Investment Regulation. Investments by our U.S. insurance companies must comply with applicable laws and regulations that prescribe the kind, quality and concentration of investments. In general, these laws and regulations permit investments in federal, state and municipal obligations, corporate bonds, preferred and common equity securities, mortgage loans, real estate and certain other investments, subject to specified limits and certain other qualifications.

Cybersecurity; Data Privacy. Several states have enacted laws establishing cybersecurity requirements for financial services companies, including insurance companies, that require implementation of security measures for the monitoring, detection, prevention, mitigation and management of cybersecurity incidents. Several states also have enacted laws addressing data privacy concerns and the protection of consumer data.

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Federal Regulation

The U.S. federal government and its regulatory agencies generally do not directly regulate the business of insurance. However, two federal government bodies, the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) and the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), each created under The Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, may impact the regulation of insurance. Although the FIO is prohibited from directly regulating the business of insurance, it has authority to represent the U.S. in international insurance matters and has limited powers to preempt certain types of state insurance laws. The FIO also can recommend to the FSOC that it designate an insurer as an entity posing risks to the U.S. financial stability in the event of the insurer's material financial distress or failure. We have not been so designated. The U.S. federal laws that most affect our day-to-day insurance operations are: the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act; the Fair Credit Reporting Act; the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996; the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002; anti-money laundering laws and regulations; the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act of 2010; the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and the rules and regulations of the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

International Insurance Regulation

Overview. Our international insurance operations are subject to regulation and supervision in various jurisdictions. These regulations, which vary depending on the jurisdiction, include, among others, solvency and market conduct regulations; anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, and anti-terrorism financing guidelines, laws and regulations; various privacy, insurance, tax, tariff, trade and sanctions laws and regulations; and corporate, competition, employment, intellectual property and investment laws and regulations. Our international insurance operations are domiciled in the U.K., Europe and Bermuda and are subject to regulation in those jurisdictions. In addition, we conduct business in Canada, Asia, Australia and the Middle East, where our businesses also are supervised by local regulatory authorities.

U.K. and European Regulation. We are subject to regulation by the Prudential Regulatory Authority and Financial Conduct Authority in respect of our U.K. insurance businesses. We are also subject to regulation by the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, better known by its abbreviation BaFin, in respect of our German insurance carrier.

Our U.K. and German insurance businesses are subject to both the E.U.'s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Solvency II Directive (Solvency II).

GDPR requires businesses operating in the E.U., and businesses transacting with E.U. citizens, to comply with conditions for processing personal data. Following the U.K.'s exit from the E.U., GDPR was transposed into U.K. law. The E.U. has granted adequacy status to the U.K.'s data protection laws, valid until June 2025 with the possibility of renewal, meaning that they are deemed essentially equivalent to E.U. data protection laws.

Solvency II requires our U.K. and German businesses to maintain certain capital standards and publish risk-related information in the form of a Solvency and Financial Condition Report. Following the U.K.'s exit from the E.U., Solvency II also was transposed into U.K. law as retained law. The U.K. government, under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023, has opted to repeal certain portions of retained E.U. law. This repeal will occur in stages and, where necessary, after replacement regulations designed for the U.K. are in place. This repeal of retained E.U. law includes reforms to Solvency II. The Prudential Regulation Authority has consulted on the reforms, to be known as Solvency UK, which are expected to be implemented in 2024.

Bermuda Regulation. The insurance industry in Bermuda is regulated by the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA). Under the Bermuda Insurance Act 1978, and related regulations and standards of the BMA, each Bermuda insurance company is subject to, among other things: licensing, capital, surplus and liquidity requirements; solvency standards; restrictions on dividends and distributions; and periodic examinations of the company and its financial condition. In addition, each insurance company must obtain prior approval of ownership and transfer of shares and maintain a principal office and appoint and maintain a principal representative in Bermuda. The BMA also requires that each insurance company contract for local services, such as corporate secretary and registered representative services, at market rates.

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ILS Regulation

Our Nephila insurance-linked securities operations are subject to regulation and supervision by various regulatory authorities, both in the U.S. and internationally. Certain of our ILS subsidiaries are organized and regulated as follows:

registered with the SEC as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940,
registered with the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission as a commodity pool operator or a commodity trading advisor under the Commodity Exchange Act, and/or
registered with the BMA as an insurance manager under the Bermuda Insurance Act 1978.

Certain other ILS subsidiaries serve as the investment manager to one or more private funds that are registered with the BMA under the Investment Funds Act 2006, as amended, or the Segregated Accounts Companies Act 2000, as amended. In addition, these operations include business relationships with certain U.S., U.K. and Bermuda insurance companies that are subject to U.S. and international insurance regulation as previously described in this "Regulatory Environment" section.

As a result, subsidiaries involved in our ILS operations are subject to regulations that may impose substantive and material restrictions and requirements on their operations, including, among other things: a broader fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of their clients; disclosure of information about our businesses and conflicts of interests to clients; maintenance of written policies and procedures; maintenance of extensive books and records; restrictions on the types of fees we may charge, including performance fees; restrictions on solicitation arrangements; requirements regarding engaging in transactions with clients; maintenance of an effective compliance program; and other restrictions and requirements applicable to custody of client assets, client privacy, advertising, pay-to-play prohibitions and cybersecurity; as well as possible sanctions, disciplinary actions or other penalties for non-compliance.

Markel Ventures Regulation

Our Markel Ventures businesses are subject to a wide variety of U.S. federal, state, and local laws and regulations, as well as international laws and regulations applicable to their international operations. Specifically, the most significant of these laws and regulations cover the following areas: safety, health, employment, the environment, transportation, U.S. and international trade, anti-corruption, data privacy and security and government contracts.

Human Capital

Our culture is our greatest asset and is defined by the Markel Style. Written in 1986, in preparation for our initial public offering, the Markel Style memorialized how we seek to operate our businesses and treat one another. It continues to provide our guiding principles across our diverse group of businesses. Key within the Markel Style is the encouragement to look for a better way to do things, to challenge management. We also seek spontaneity and flexibility and have a respect for authority, but disdain for bureaucracy. Our holding company and each of our businesses is managed in a way to accomplish these principles. Each of our businesses operates with a high degree of autonomy so long as they operate within the principles of the Markel Style. This allows our managers to make decisions that are best for their employees and customers, as well as our shareholders. We believe this high degree of empowerment leads to the satisfaction that comes from being trusted in the responsibilities one has been given.

Further outlined in the Markel Style is our creed of honesty and fairness in all our dealings; holding the individual's right to self-determination in the highest light; putting aside individual concerns in the spirit of teamwork; and providing an atmosphere in which people can reach their full potential. We greatly value our employees, encourage their career development and reward their pursuit of excellence, while also celebrating a diverse workforce.

At December 31, 2023, we had approximately 21,600 employees, of whom approximately 5,400 were employed within our insurance operations and approximately 16,200 were employed within our Markel Ventures operations.

Insurance

Our specialty insurance business, Markel, markets and underwrites specialty insurance products. Markel has a well-developed process to ensure effective performance management, including an embedded annual review process that enables goal setting, development planning and performance assessment. Markel has also established global leadership development programs for different levels of leadership at Markel, partnering with various schools to create leading-edge curricula in this area.

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With the Markel Style as the foundation, Markel has identified five pillars of focus that relate to today's challenges and opportunities—diversity and inclusion, community, innovation, well-being, and recognition. This program is both company and employee led—collectively, we want to bring the values of the Markel Style to life with our actions, not just our words. The intent is to create an environment where employees are able to authentically bring their true selves to work, a place where all ideas are heard and diverse perspectives are valued, a culture that prioritizes innovation, the ability to make a difference for our local communities and the wider world, and a foundation for holding ourselves accountable for our own well-being and of those around us.

Employee health and overall well-being is a key priority, and we provide a range of employee and eligible partner plans and programs, including health and voluntary benefits. These offerings include a variety of financial protection programs to help our employees meet their unique investment and savings needs including life insurance, retirement savings with company contributions in most situations and an employee stock purchase plan. Comprehensive employee assistance programs are available in all of our major markets along with other well-being and fitness resources.

We rely on our employees' ideas and input to help make Markel a great place to work. For example, senior leadership conducts regular employee communication meetings, inclusive of question and answer sessions, across our insurance operations and provides opportunities for employees to share their ideas on how we can improve employee engagement. In addition, every two years we conduct a major, global employee engagement survey, which in early 2022 garnered 88% participation, and which enables us to identify, focus on and track progress against key engagement drivers and external norms for high performing companies. This survey has generated additional ideas for employee engagement, and we have made meaningful changes and improvements in our human capital practices based on this feedback. Plans are underway to conduct an employee engagement survey in early 2024. Additionally, Markel conducts regular pulse and employee net promoter score surveys on a departmental level across the organization throughout the year.

We are committed to embracing all aspects of diversity, including diversity of perspective, which we believe is crucial to sustainable success. Markel accordingly supports and encourages focused efforts to continue to build the diversity of our employee population and the inclusiveness of our culture. Our diversity and inclusion efforts seek to cultivate an inclusive environment in which every employee feels valued, respected and accepted. We believe this environment helps us increase creativity and innovation, foster business connections, serve our customers and maintain our market leadership.

Markel's global Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Steering Committee comprises more than 15 senior managers who are charged with advising on D&I strategy and providing leadership support and advocacy for our D&I efforts. Our Human Resources leadership team works to further shape the D&I strategy for our global workforce, and to ensure the integration of our D&I efforts with our global talent acquisition and development processes. We have various early career programs open to a diverse range of applicants and a regional scholarship program that is focused on underrepresented groups.

Markel supports a range of employee-led D&I networks and resource groups, including our Markel Women's Network, BEAM (Black Engagement at Markel), PRISM (LGBTQ+), Jitneys (Young Professionals), Markel Asian Professionals Network, Markel Veterans Network, UN1DOS (Latin and Hispanic Network), and across our international operations, an Inclusion Network with connections to a number of the London market partner networks. All of these networks and organizations have put in place goals and programming that are focused on education and development, community engagement, talent acquisition and networking/support. Additionally, we continue our global sponsorship of Dive-In, the insurance industry's annual diversity and inclusion festival.

Markel Ventures

Our Markel Ventures operations are comprised of a diverse portfolio of businesses from different industries through which we own controlling interests. The Markel Ventures operations are viewed by management as separate and distinct from our insurance operations with local management teams that direct the strategy and day-to-day operations of their respective companies, including human capital matters. When making these acquisitions, we seek, among other things, businesses whose leadership teams demonstrate equal measures of both integrity and talent. As a result, each Markel Ventures business fosters a culture within their operations, and with their employees, that aligns with the principles of the Markel Style.

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Item 1A. RISK FACTORS

A wide range of factors could materially affect our future prospects and performance. The matters addressed in Item 7 Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, including under "Safe Harbor and Cautionary Statement" and "Critical Accounting Estimates", and Item 7A Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk, as well as other information included or incorporated in this report, describe many of the significant risks that could affect our businesses, results of operations and financial condition. We are also subject to the risks discussed below.

One or more of the risks discussed in this Item 1A. Risk Factors, and others we cannot anticipate, could have material adverse effects on our results of operations and financial condition; and the extent of these effects will depend, at least in part, on the scope, severity, frequency or duration of the specific event or circumstance. In addition, we may take steps to prevent, mitigate or manage potential risks or liabilities, and related developments, and some of those steps may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. Even if an unfavorable outcome does not materialize, these factors, and actions we may take in response, may have a material adverse impact on our reputation or result in substantial expense and disruption.

Headings and sub-headings for the Risk Factors below are for reference purposes only and are not intended to limit or affect in any way the meaning or scope of each Risk Factor.

Risks Primarily Related to Our Insurance Operations

Loss Exposures

We may experience losses or disruptions from catastrophes. As a company with significant property and casualty insurance underwriting operations, we may experience losses from man-made or natural catastrophes. Catastrophes include, but are not limited to, windstorms, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, derechos, hail, severe winter weather, floods and wildfires and may include pandemics and events related to terrorism, broad reaching cyberattacks, riots and political and civil unrest. While we employ catastrophe modeling tools in our underwriting process, we cannot predict how severe a potential catastrophe will be before it occurs. The extent of losses from catastrophes is a function of the total amount of losses incurred, the number of insureds affected, the frequency and severity of the events, the effectiveness of our catastrophe risk management program and the adequacy of our reinsurance coverage. Catastrophes can occur over numerous geographic areas; however, some catastrophes may produce significant damage in large, heavily populated areas. We offer insurance and reinsurance coverage against terrorist acts in connection with some of our programs, and in other instances we are legally required to offer terrorism insurance; in both circumstances, we actively manage our exposure, but if there is a covered terrorist attack, we could sustain material losses. In addition, catastrophes may have a material adverse effect on the investment management and incentive fees earned by our insurance-linked securities (ILS) operations and returns on our investments in ILS funds. Catastrophes also may result in significant disruptions in our insurance and other operations, as well as loss of income and assets. The impacts of climate change may increase the frequency and/or severity of weather-related catastrophes, which may result in elevated catastrophe-related losses or disruptions, which may be material.

The failure of any of the methods we employ to manage our loss exposures could have a material adverse effect on us. We seek to manage our loss exposures in a variety of ways, including adhering to maximum limitations on policies written in defined geographical zones, implementing maximum gross limits by coverage for each insured, establishing per risk and per occurrence limitations for each event, employing coverage restrictions and following prudent underwriting guidelines for each program written. We also seek to manage our loss exposures through geographic and industry diversification. Underwriting is a matter of judgment, involving assumptions about matters that are inherently unpredictable and beyond our control, and for which historical experience and probability analysis may not provide sufficient guidance. One or more future events could result in claims that substantially exceed our expectations, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. In addition, we seek to manage our loss exposures by policy terms, coverage exclusions and choice of legal forum. Disputes relating to coverage and choice of legal forum also arise. As a result, various provisions of our policies, such as choice of forum, or coverage limitations or exclusions, may not be enforceable in the manner we intend and some or all of our methods to manage loss exposures may prove ineffective.

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 and unintended issues related to claims and coverage may emerge. These issues could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition by either broadening coverage beyond our underwriting intent or increasing the frequency and/or severity of claims. For example, rising costs, litigation funding, social inflation, including new or expanded theories of liability, higher adverse verdicts, and
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legislative changes, such as extended statutes of limitations, may result in higher and more frequent claims over a longer reporting period than originally expected. In some instances, these changes may not become apparent until after we have issued insurance or reinsurance contracts that are affected by the changes. As a result, the full extent of liability under our insurance or reinsurance contracts may not be known for many years after a contract is issued.

We use analytical models to assist our decision making in key areas such as pricing, reserving and capital modeling and actual results may differ materially from the model outputs and related analyses. We use various modeling techniques and data analytics (e.g., scenarios, predictive and stochastic modeling, and forecasting) to analyze and estimate exposures, loss trends and other risks associated with our insurance and ILS businesses. This includes both proprietary and third-party modeled outputs and related analyses to assist us in, among other things, decision-making related to underwriting, pricing, capital allocation, reserving, investing, reinsurance and catastrophe risk. We incorporate numerous assumptions and forecasts about the future level and variability of policyholder behavior, loss frequency and severity, interest rates, equity markets, inflation, capital requirements, and currency exchange rates, among others. The modeled outputs and related analyses from both proprietary models and third-party models are subject to various assumptions, uncertainties, model design errors, complexities and the inherent limitations of any statistical analysis, including those arising from the use of historical internal and industry data and assumptions.

In addition, the modeled outputs and related analyses may from time to time contain inaccuracies, perhaps in material respects, including as a result of inaccurate inputs or applications thereof (whether due to data error, human error or otherwise). Consequently, actual results may differ materially from our modeled results. Our profitability and financial condition substantially depend on the extent to which our actual experience is consistent with assumptions we use in our models and ultimate model outputs. If, based upon these models or other factors, we misprice our products or fail to appropriately estimate the risks we are exposed to, our business, results of operations and financial condition may be materially adversely affected.

Loss Reserves

Our results may be affected because actual insured or reinsured losses differ from our loss reserves. Significant periods of time often elapse between the occurrence of an insured or reinsured loss, the reporting of the loss to us and our payment of that loss. To recognize liabilities for unpaid losses, we establish reserves as balance sheet liabilities representing estimates of amounts needed to pay reported and unreported losses and the related loss adjustment expenses. The process of estimating loss reserves is a difficult and complex exercise involving analytical models with many variables and subjective judgments. This process may also become more difficult if we experience a period of rising inflation, as has been the case since early 2021.

As part of the reserving process, we review historical data and consider the impact of various factors, such as:

trends in claim frequency and severity;
changes in operations;
changes to mix of business, terms and conditions, limits and layers;
emerging economic and social trends;
trends in insurance rates;
inflation or deflation; 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. There is no precise method, however, for evaluating the impact of any specific factor on the adequacy of reserves, and actual results will differ from original estimates. As part of the reserving process, we regularly review our loss reserves and make adjustments as necessary. Future increases in loss reserves for our underwriting operations will, and for our programs services operations may, result in additional charges to earnings, which may be material.

In addition, as discussed above, we use analytical models to assist our decision making in loss reserving, and actual results may differ materially from the model outputs and related analyses.

There is generally greater uncertainty in estimating reserves for long-tail coverages, such as general liability, professional liability and workers' compensation, as they require a longer period of time for claims to be reported and settled. The impact of changes in economic and social inflation and medical costs are also more pronounced for long-tail coverages due to the longer settlement period. In addition, reinsurance reserves are subject to greater uncertainty than insurance reserves primarily because a reinsurer relies on (i) the original underwriting decisions and claims decisions made by ceding companies and (ii)
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information and data from ceding companies. As a result, we are subject to the risk that our ceding companies may not have adequately evaluated the risks reinsured by us and the premiums ceded may not adequately compensate us for the risks we assume. In addition, reinsurance reserves may be less reliable than insurance reserves because there is generally a longer lapse of time from the occurrence of the event to the reporting of the loss or benefit to the reinsurer and ultimate resolution or settlement of the loss. Reserves for contracts for which we are not the primary insurer, and participate only in excess layers of loss, are also subject to greater uncertainty than insurance reserves for contracts for which we are the primary insurer for many of the same reasons as reinsurance reserves.

Changes in the assumptions and estimates used in establishing reserves for our life and annuity reinsurance book could result in material increases in our estimated loss reserves for such business. Our run-off life and annuity reinsurance book exposes us to mortality risk, which is the risk that the level of death claims may differ from that which we assumed in establishing the reserves for our life and annuity reinsurance contracts. Some of our life and annuity reinsurance contracts expose us to longevity risk, which is the risk that an insured person will live longer than expected when the reserves were established, or morbidity risk, which is the risk that an insured person will become critically ill or disabled. Our reserving process for the life and annuity reinsurance book is designed with the objective of establishing appropriate reserves for the risks we assumed. Among other things, this process relies heavily on analysis of mortality, longevity and morbidity trends, lapse rates, interest rates and expenses. As of December 31, 2023, our reserves for life and annuity benefits totaled $649.1 million.

We expect mortality, morbidity, longevity, and lapse experience to fluctuate somewhat from period to period, but believe they should remain reasonably predictable over a period of many years. Mortality, longevity, morbidity or lapse experience that is less favorable than the mortality, longevity, morbidity or lapse rates that we used in establishing the reserves for a reinsurance agreement will negatively affect our net income because the reserves we originally set for the risks we assumed may not be sufficient to cover the future claims and expense payments. Furthermore, even if the total benefits paid over the life of the contract do not exceed the expected amount, unexpected increases in the incidence of deaths or illness can result in changes to our assumptions in a given reporting period, adversely affecting our net income in any particular reporting period. If there are adverse changes to any of the above factors, a charge to earnings may be recorded, which may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

Ceded Reinsurance

We may be unable to purchase reinsurance protection on terms acceptable to us, or we may be unable to collect on loss recoveries from reinsurers. Our underwriting operations purchase reinsurance and retrocessional reinsurance to manage our net retention on individual risks and mitigate the volatility of losses on our results of operations and financial condition, while providing us with the ability to offer policies with sufficient limits to meet policyholder needs. In addition, we reinsure substantially all of the risks inherent in our program services and other fronting businesses, however, we have certain programs that contain limits on our reinsurers' obligations to us that expose us to underwriting risk, including loss ratio caps, aggregate reinsurance limits or exclusion of the credit risk of producers. See note 12 of the notes to consolidated financial statements included under Item 8 for information about ceded reinsurance for our program services and other fronting businesses.

The ceding of insurance does not legally discharge us from our primary liability for the full amount of the policies. Reliance on reinsurance recoveries may create credit risk as a result of the reinsurer's inability or unwillingness to pay reinsurance claims when due. We generally select well capitalized and highly rated reinsurers and in certain instances we require reinsurers to post substantial collateral to secure the reinsured risks. Deterioration in the credit quality of existing reinsurers or disputes over the terms of reinsurance could result in charges to earnings, which may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. In addition, collateral may not be sufficient to cover the reinsurer's obligation to us, and we may not be able to cause the reinsurer to deliver additional collateral.

As of December 31, 2023, we were the beneficiary of letters of credit, trust accounts and funds withheld in the aggregate amount of $5.1 billion, collateralizing $9.2 billion in reinsurance recoverables. The remaining unsecured reinsurance recoverables are ceded to highly-rated, well capitalized reinsurers. Our reinsurance recoverables are based on estimates, and our actual liabilities may exceed the amount we are able to recover from our reinsurers or any collateral securing the reinsurance recoverables. The failure of a reinsurer to meet its obligations to us, whether due to insolvency, dispute or other unwillingness or inability to pay, or due to our inability to access sufficient collateral to cover our liabilities, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

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The availability and cost of reinsurance are determined by market conditions beyond our control. There is no guarantee that our desired amounts of reinsurance or retrocessional reinsurance will be available in the marketplace in the future. In addition, available capacity may not be on terms we deem appropriate or acceptable or with companies with whom we want to do business. This could impact our ability to write certain products and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

Market Competition and Broker Reliance

Competition in the insurance and reinsurance markets could reduce profits from our insurance operations. Insurance and reinsurance markets are highly competitive. We compete on an international and regional basis with major United States (U.S.), Bermuda, United Kingdom (U.K.), European, and other international insurers and reinsurers and with underwriting syndicates, some of which have greater financial, marketing, and management resources than we do, have greater access to "big data," and may be able to offer a wider range of, or more sophisticated, commercial and personal lines products. Recent industry consolidation, including business combinations among insurance and other financial services companies, has resulted in larger competitors with even greater financial resources. In addition, capital market participants have created alternative products that are intended to compete with reinsurance products.

Similar to other industries, the insurance industry is undergoing rapid and significant technological and other changes. There is increasing focus by traditional insurance industry participants, technology companies, "InsurTech" start-up companies and others on using technology and innovation to simplify and improve the customer experience, increase efficiencies, redesign products, alter business models and effect other potentially disruptive changes in the insurance industry. If we do not anticipate, keep pace with and adapt to technological and other changes impacting the insurance industry, it will harm our ability to compete, decrease the value of our products to customers, and materially and adversely affect our business. Furthermore, innovation, technological change and changing customer preferences in the markets in which we operate also pose other risks to our businesses. For example, they could result in increasing our service, administrative, policy acquisition or general expenses as we seek to distinguish our products and services from those of our competitors or otherwise keep up with such innovation and changes.

Increased competition could result in fewer submissions, lower premium rates, and less favorable policy terms and conditions, which could reduce our underwriting profits, or within our program services and other fronting operations, our operating profits, and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

The historical cyclicality in the property and casualty insurance industry could have a material adverse effect on our ability to improve or maintain underwriting profits or to grow or maintain premium volume. The insurance and reinsurance markets have historically been cyclical, characterized by extended periods of intense price competition due to excessive underwriting capacity, and more recently alternative sources of capital, as well as periods when shortages of capacity permitted more favorable rate levels. Among our competitive strengths have been our specialty product focus and our niche market strategy. These strengths also make us vulnerable in periods of intense competition to actions by other insurance companies who seek to write additional premiums without appropriate regard for underwriting profitability. At times it could be very difficult for us to grow or maintain premium volume levels without sacrificing underwriting profits. If we are not successful in maintaining rates or achieving rate increases, it may be difficult for us to improve or maintain underwriting profits or to grow or maintain premium volume levels.

Our efforts to develop new products, expand in targeted markets or improve business processes and workflows may not be successful and may increase or create new risks. From time to time, to protect and grow market share or improve our efficiency, we invest in strategic initiatives to:

develop products that insure risks we have not previously insured, include new coverages or change coverage terms;
change commission terms;
change our underwriting processes;
improve business processes and workflow to increase efficiencies and productivity and to enhance the experience of our customers and producers;
expand distribution channels; and
enter geographic markets where we previously have had relatively little or no market share.

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We may not be successful in these efforts, and even if we are successful, they may increase or create the following risks, among others:

demand for new products or expansion into new markets may not meet our expectations;
new products and expansion into new markets may increase or change our risk exposures, and the data and models we use to manage those exposures may not be as effective as those we use in existing markets or with existing products;
models underlying automated underwriting and pricing decisions may not be effective;
efforts to develop new products or markets or to change commission terms may create or increase distribution channel conflicts;
in connection with the conversion of existing policyholders to a new product, some policyholders' pricing may increase while the pricing for other policyholders may decrease, the net impact of which could negatively impact retention and profit margins;
changes to our business processes or workflow, including the use of new technologies, may give rise to execution risk; and
increased usage of artificial intelligence by us and third parties and the evolving regulatory landscape may increase underwriting and regulatory risk, while also presenting opportunity risk if we do not leverage artificial intelligence appropriately.

These efforts may require us to make substantial expenditures, which may negatively impact results in the near term, and if not successful, could materially and adversely affect our results of operations.

We depend on a few brokers for a large portion of our revenues and the loss of business provided by any one of them could have a material adverse effect on us. We market our insurance and reinsurance worldwide through insurance and reinsurance brokers. For the year ended December 31, 2023, our top five independent brokers represented 37% of the gross premiums written by our underwriting operations. Loss of all or a substantial portion of the business provided by one or more of these brokers could have a material adverse effect on our business.

Financial Strength and Credit Ratings

Our insurance companies and senior debt are rated by various rating agencies, and a downgrade or potential downgrade in one or more of these ratings could have a material adverse effect on us. Financial strength ratings are an important factor in establishing the competitive position of insurance and reinsurance companies. Our senior debt ratings also affect the availability and cost of capital. Certain of our insurance and reinsurance company subsidiaries and our senior debt securities are rated by various rating agencies. Our financial strength and debt ratings are subject to periodic review, and are subject to revision or withdrawal at any time. The financial strength ratings of our insurance subsidiaries are significantly influenced by their statutory surplus amounts and leverage and capital adequacy ratios and other financial metrics. Rating agencies may implement changes to their ratings methodologies or internal models that have the effect of increasing or decreasing the amount of capital our insurance subsidiaries must hold or restrict how the company may deploy its capital in order to maintain its current ratings. For example, for certain of our insurance subsidiaries, rating agencies may take into account in their calculations the collateral provided to us by reinsurers. A change in this practice could adversely impact our ratings. We cannot be sure that we will be able to retain our current, or any future, ratings. If our ratings are reduced from their current levels by one or more rating agencies, our competitive position in our target markets within the insurance industry could suffer and it would be more difficult for us to market our products. A ratings downgrade could result in a substantial loss of business as policyholders and ceding company clients move to other companies with higher claims-paying and financial strength ratings. In addition, a downgrade could trigger contract provisions that allow cedents to terminate their reinsurance contracts on terms disadvantageous to us or require us to collateralize our obligations through trusts or letters of credit. A ratings downgrade could also have a material adverse effect on our liquidity, including the availability of our letter of credit facilities, and limit our access to capital markets, increase our cost of borrowing or issuing debt and require us to post collateral.

The amount of capital that our insurance subsidiaries have and must hold to maintain their financial strength and credit ratings and meet other requirements can vary significantly from time to time and is sensitive to a number of factors, some of which are outside of our control. Capital requirements for our insurance subsidiaries are prescribed by the applicable insurance regulators, while rating agencies establish requirements that inform ratings for our insurance subsidiaries and senior debt securities. Projecting surplus and the related capital requirements is complex and requires making assumptions regarding how our business will perform within the broader macroeconomic environment. Insurance regulators and rating
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agencies evaluate company capital through financial models that calculate minimum capitalization requirements based on risk-based capital formulas for property and casualty insurance groups and their subsidiaries. In any particular year, capital levels and risk-based capital requirements may increase or decrease depending on a variety of factors including the mix of business written by our insurance subsidiaries and correlation or diversification in the business profile, the amount of additional capital our insurance subsidiaries must hold to support business growth, the value of securities in our investment portfolio, changes in interest rates and foreign currency exchange rates, as well as changes to the regulatory and rating agency models used to determine our required capital.

Insurance Regulation

Our insurance subsidiaries are subject to supervision and regulation that may have a material adverse effect on our operations and financial condition. Our insurance subsidiaries are subject to supervision and regulation by the regulatory authorities in the various jurisdictions in which they conduct business, including foreign and U.S. state insurance regulators. Regulatory authorities have broad regulatory, supervisory and administrative powers relating to, among other things, data protection and data privacy, cybersecurity, solvency standards, licensing, coverage requirements, product terms and conditions, policy rates and forms, business and claims practices, disclosures to consumers, and the form and content of financial reports. In some instances, we follow practices based on our interpretations of regulations or practices that we believe may be generally followed by the industry. These practices may turn out to be different from the interpretations of regulatory authorities. Insurance regulatory authorities have broad authority to initiate investigations or other proceedings, and, in connection with a failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations, could impose adverse consequences, including fines, penalties, injunctions, denial or revocation of an operating license or approval, increased scrutiny or oversight, limitations on engaging in a particular business, or redress to clients. These actions also could result in negative publicity, reputational damage or harm to client, employee or other relationships. Additionally, regulatory and legislative authorities continue to implement enhanced or new regulatory requirements to assure the stability of insurance companies or enhance policyholder protections or, in certain instances, intended to prevent or mitigate future financial crises. Regulatory authorities also may seek to exercise their supervisory or enforcement authority in new or more extensive ways, such as increased capital requirements. These actions, if they occur, could affect the competitive market, as well as the way we conduct our business or manage our capital, and could result in lower revenues and higher costs. As a result, such actions could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

Regulators may challenge our use of fronting arrangements in states in which our capacity providers are not licensed. Our program services and other fronting business enters into fronting arrangements with general agents and domestic and foreign insurers that want to access specific U.S. property and casualty insurance business in states in which the capacity providers are not licensed or are not authorized to write particular lines of insurance. Some state insurance regulators may object to these fronting arrangements. In certain states, an insurance commissioner has the authority to prohibit an authorized insurer from acting as an issuing carrier for an unauthorized insurer. In addition, insurance departments in states in which there is no such statutory or regulatory prohibition, could deem the assuming insurer to be transacting insurance business without a license and the issuing carrier to be aiding and abetting the unauthorized sale of insurance.

If regulators in any of the states where we conduct our fronting business were to prohibit or limit those arrangements, we would be prevented or limited from conducting that business for which a capacity provider is not authorized in those states, unless and until the capacity provider is able to obtain the necessary licenses. This could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

Insurance-Linked Securities

Our ILS operations and our management of third-party capital may expose us to risks. Some of our operating subsidiaries may owe certain legal duties and obligations to third-party investors. A failure to fulfill any of those duties or obligations could result in significant liabilities, penalties or other losses, and harm our businesses and results of operations. In addition, third-party investors may decide not to renew their investments in the funds we manage, which could materially impact the financial condition of those funds, and could, in turn, have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. Moreover, we may not be able to maintain or raise additional third-party capital for the funds we manage or for potential new funds and therefore we may forego existing or potential fee income and other income generating opportunities. For example, investment performance at Nephila, as well as the broader ILS market, has been adversely impacted by consecutive years of elevated catastrophe losses, as well as by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. These events, as well as volatility in the capital markets, also have impacted investor decisions around allocation of capital to ILS, which in turn have impacted, and may continue to impact, our capital raises and redemptions within the funds we manage, as well as new funds, resulting in a decline in assets under management. See "Critical Accounting Estimates - Goodwill and Intangible
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Assets" under Item 7. Management's Discussion & Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations for discussion and considerations of these impacts on the valuation of goodwill and intangible assets attributed to our Nephila ILS operations.

Risks Primarily Related to Our Investments and Access to Capital

Changes in Economic Conditions

Our investment results may be impacted by changes in interest rates, U.S. and international monetary and fiscal policies as well as broader economic conditions. We receive premiums from customers for insuring their risks. We invest these funds until they are needed to pay policyholder claims. Fluctuations in the value of our investment portfolio can occur as a result of changes in interest rates and U.S. and international fiscal, monetary and trade policies as well as broader economic conditions (including, for example, equity market conditions and significant or prolonged inflation or deflation). Although we attempt to take measures to manage the risks of investing in these changing environments, we may not be able to mitigate our sensitivity to them effectively. Despite our mitigation efforts, which include duration and currency targets for asset portfolios, compliance monitoring of these targets and means to reasonably and effectively match asset duration and currency to the duration and currency of the loss reserves, changes in interest rates and U.S. and international fiscal, monetary and trade policies as well as broader economic conditions could have a material adverse effect on our investment results and, consequently, our results of operations and financial condition.

We invest a significant portion of our shareholders' equity in equity securities, which may result in significant variability in our investment results and net income and may have a material adverse effect on shareholders' equity. Additionally, our equity investment portfolio is concentrated, and declines in the value of these significant investments could have a material adverse effect on our financial results and on our ability to carry out our business plans. Equity securities were 64% and 58% of our shareholders' equity at December 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively. Equity securities have historically produced higher returns than fixed maturity securities over long periods of time; however, investing in equity securities may result in significant variability in investment returns from one period to the next. In volatile financial markets, we could experience significant declines in the fair value of our equity investment portfolio, which would result in a material decrease in net income and shareholders' equity. Our equity portfolio is concentrated in particular issuers and industries and, as a result, a decline in the fair value of these concentrated investments also could result in a material decrease in net income and shareholders' equity. A material decrease in shareholders' equity may have a material adverse effect on our ability to carry out our business plans.

Access to Capital

We may require additional capital in the future, which may not be available or may only be available on unfavorable terms. To the extent that cash flows generated by our operations are insufficient to fund future operating requirements, or that our capital position is adversely impacted by a decline in the fair value of our investment portfolio, losses from catastrophe events or otherwise, we may need to raise additional funds through financings or curtail our growth. We also may be required to liquidate fixed maturity securities or equity securities, which may result in realized investment losses. Any further sources of capital, including capacity needed for letters of credit, if available at all, may be on terms that are unfavorable to us. Our access to additional sources of capital will depend on a variety of factors, such as market conditions, the general availability of credit, the availability of credit to the industries in which we operate, our results of operations, financial condition, credit ratings and credit capacity, as well as pending litigation or regulatory investigations. Our ability to borrow under our revolving credit facility and letter of credit facilities is contingent on our compliance with the covenants and other requirements under those facilities. Similarly, our access to capital may be impaired if regulatory authorities or rating agencies take negative actions against us. Our inability to obtain adequate capital when needed could have a negative impact on our ability to invest in, or take advantage of opportunities to expand, our businesses, such as possible acquisitions or the creation of new ventures, and inhibit our ability to refinance our existing indebtedness on terms acceptable to us. Any of these effects could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

A failure to comply with covenants and other requirements under our credit facilities, senior debt and other indebtedness could have a material adverse effect on us. The agreements and indentures relating to our credit facilities, senior debt and other indebtedness, including letter of credit facilities used by certain of our subsidiaries, contain covenants and other requirements. If we fail to comply with those covenants or requirements, the lenders, noteholders or counterparties under those agreements and indentures could declare a default and demand immediate repayment of all amounts owed to them. In addition, where applicable, our lenders may cancel their commitments to lend or issue letters of credit or require us to pledge additional or a different type of collateral. A default under one debt agreement may also put us at risk of a cross-default
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under other debt agreements or other arrangements. Any of these effects could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

Our liquidity and our ability to meet our debt and other obligations, and pay dividends on our preferred stock, depend on the receipt of funds from our subsidiaries. We are a holding company, and as a result, our cash flow and our ability to meet our debt and other obligations, and pay dividends on our preferred stock, depend upon the earnings of our subsidiaries and on the distribution of earnings, loans or other payments by our subsidiaries to us. The payment of dividends by our insurance subsidiaries, which account for a significant portion of our operating cash flows, may require prior regulatory notice or approval or may be restricted by capital requirements imposed by regulatory authorities. Similarly, our insurance subsidiaries may require capital contributions from us to satisfy their capital requirements. In addition, our reinsurance contracts typically allow the cedent, upon a reduction in an insurance company's capital in excess of specified amounts, to terminate its contract on terms disadvantageous to us or to exercise other remedies that may adversely affect us. Those contract provisions may have the effect of limiting distributions by our insurance subsidiaries to us.

Risks Related to All of Our Operations

Legal and Regulatory Risks

The legal and regulatory requirements applicable to our businesses are extensive. Failure to comply could have a material adverse effect on us. Each of our businesses is highly dependent on the ability to engage on a daily basis in a large number of financial and operational activities, including, among others, insurance underwriting, claim processing, investment activities, the management of third-party capital and providing products and services to businesses and consumers, many of which are highly complex. These activities are subject to internal guidelines and policies, as well as legal and regulatory requirements, including, among others, those related to privacy and data security, economic and trade sanctions, anti-corruption, anti-bribery and global finance and investments, customer protection and insurance matters. Our continued expansion into new businesses, distribution channels and markets brings about additional requirements. While we believe that we have adopted adequate and effective risk management and compliance programs, compliance risks remain, particularly as we become subject to additional rules and regulations. Failure to comply with, or to obtain, appropriate authorizations or exemptions under any applicable laws and regulations could result in restrictions on our ability to do business or undertake activities that are regulated in one or more of the jurisdictions in which we conduct business. Any such failure could also subject us to fines, penalties, equitable relief and changes to our business practices. In addition, a failure to comply could result in defaults under our senior unsecured debt agreements or credit facilities or damage our businesses or our reputation.

Compliance with applicable laws and regulations is personnel- and systems-intensive. Shareholder activism, the current political environment, and the current high level of government intervention and regulatory reform may lead to substantial and complex new regulations and compliance obligations. Any changes in, or the enactment of new, laws and regulations may increase the complexity of the regulatory environment in which we operate, which could materially increase our direct and indirect costs for compliance and other expenses of doing business, and have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. For example, failure to implement data management and security controls in the use of artificial intelligence by us or third party providers may subject us to data privacy, intellectual property and general regulatory risk, particularly in light of emerging regulation on the use of artificial intelligence.

Losses from legal and regulatory actions may have a material adverse effect on us. From time to time we may be involved in various legal actions, including at times multi-party or class action litigation, some of which involve claims for substantial or indeterminate amounts. A significant unfavorable outcome in one or more of these actions could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. We are also involved from time to time in various regulatory actions, investigations and inquiries, including market conduct exams by insurance regulatory authorities. If a regulatory authority takes action against us or we enter into a consent order or agreement to settle a matter, a regulatory authority has the option to require us to pay substantial fines or implement remedial measures that could prove costly or disruptive to our businesses and operations. Even if an unfavorable outcome does not materialize, these matters could have an adverse impact on our reputation and result in substantial expense and disruption. See note 21 of the notes to consolidated financial statements included under Item 8 and Item 3 Legal Proceedings.

We are subject to laws and regulations relating to economic and trade sanctions and bribery and corruption, the violation of which could have a material adverse effect on us. We are required to comply with the economic and trade sanctions and embargo programs administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control and similar multi-national bodies and governmental agencies worldwide, as well as applicable anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws and regulations of the U.S. and other jurisdictions where we operate. In some cases, we must comply with many new
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economic, financial and trade sanctions that are imposed over a short period of time, as occurred with the Russia-Ukraine conflict. A violation of a sanction, embargo program, or anti-corruption law could subject us, and individual employees, to a regulatory enforcement action as well as significant civil and criminal penalties. In addition, a violation could result in defaults under our outstanding indebtedness or credit facilities or damage our businesses or our reputation. Those penalties or defaults, or damage to our businesses or reputation, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. In some cases, the requirements and limitations applicable to the global operations of U.S. companies and their affiliates are more restrictive than, and may even conflict with, those applicable to non-U.S. companies and their affiliates, which also could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

Employee error and misconduct may be difficult to detect and prevent and may result in significant losses. We run the risk of misconduct by employees across our businesses. Instances of misconduct, fraud, illegal acts, errors, failure to document transactions properly or to obtain proper internal authorization, or failure to comply with regulatory requirements or our internal policies may result in losses or reputational damage. It is not always possible to detect, deter or prevent employee errors or misconduct or fraud, and the controls and trainings that we have in place to mitigate these activities may not be sufficient or effective in all cases.

Global Operations

We manage our global operations through a network of business entities, which could result in inconsistent management, governance and oversight practices. We manage our global operations through a network of business entities located in the U.S., Bermuda, the U.K., Europe, Canada, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. These business entities are managed by executives, and supported by shared and centralized services; however, for certain of our businesses, subsidiary-level management is responsible for day-to-day operations, profitability, personnel decisions, the growth of the business, and legal and regulatory compliance, including adherence to applicable local laws. Operating through subsidiary-level management can make it difficult for us to implement strategic decisions and coordinated procedures throughout our global operations. In addition, some of our business entities operate with management, sales, and support personnel that may be insufficient to support growth in their respective locations and industries, without significant central oversight and coordination. We continue to enhance our management, governance and oversight procedures to effectively support, and improve transparency throughout, our global operations and network of business entities; however, our operating strategy nonetheless could result in inconsistent management, governance, and oversight practices, which may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

We have substantial international operations and investments, which expose us to increased political, civil, operational and economic risks. A substantial portion of our revenues and income is derived from our operations and investments outside the U.S., including from the U.K., Bermuda, Europe, Canada, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. Our international operations and investments expose us to increased political, civil, operational and economic risks. Deterioration or volatility in foreign and international financial markets or general economic and political and civil conditions could adversely affect our operating results, financial condition and liquidity. Concerns about the economic conditions, capital markets, political, civil and economic stability and solvency of certain countries may contribute to global market volatility. Political and civil changes in the jurisdictions where we operate and elsewhere, some of which may be disruptive, can also interfere with our customers and our activities in a particular location. Our international operations also may be subject to a number of additional risks, particularly in emerging economies, including restrictions such as price controls, capital controls, currency exchange limits, ownership limits and other restrictive or anti-competitive governmental actions or requirements, which could have a material adverse effect on our businesses.

General economic, market or industry conditions could lead to investment losses, adverse effects on our businesses and limit our access to the capital markets. General economic and market conditions and industry specific conditions, including extended economic recessions or expansions; prolonged periods of slow economic growth; inflation or deflation; fluctuations and volatility in foreign currency exchange rates, commodity and energy prices and interest rates; volatility in the credit and capital markets; changes in U.S. government debt ratings; the imposition of tariffs and other changes in international trade regulation and other factors, could lead to: substantial realized and unrealized investment losses in future periods; declines in demand for, or increased frequency and severity of claims made under, our insurance products; disruptions in global supply chains and increased costs of inputs for our products and services; reduced demand for our services and the products we sell and distribute; changes in the carrying value of our other assets and liabilities; and limited or no access to the capital markets. Any of these impacts could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, debt and financial strength ratings or our insurance subsidiaries' capital. Markel Ventures businesses have been, and may continue to be, adversely affected by increased costs of labor and materials and declines in demand for certain products and services due to
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economic and industry specific conditions. Our efforts to mitigate these impacts may not be successful and, even when they are successful, there may be a time lag before the impacts of these efforts are reflected in our results.

Our businesses, results of operations and financial condition could be adversely affected by ongoing regional or military conflicts and related disruptions in the global economy. The global economy has been, and may in the future be, negatively impacted by regional or military conflicts, for example, the on-going conflicts between Russia and Ukraine and between Israel and Hamas. We may have operations in areas affected by a conflict, and some of our businesses may be adversely affected by a conflict and its effects. Within our underwriting operations, we may have insurance contracts with exposure to losses attributed to a conflict. Our other operations also may have direct exposure to customers and vendors in an affected area. Certain of our businesses may experience shortages in materials and increased costs for transportation, energy, and raw materials due in part to the negative impact of a conflict on the global economy.

Furthermore, governments in the U.S., U.K., and European Union, among others, may impose export controls on certain products and financial and economic sanctions on certain industry sectors and parties in affected areas. These export controls and sanctions, or our failure to comply with them, could result in restrictions on our ability to do business in one or more of the jurisdictions in which we conduct business or have the other adverse effects discussed above under this Item 1A. Risk Factors under "We are subject to laws and regulations relating to economic and trade sanctions and bribery and corruption, the violation of which could have a material adverse effect on us."

We are unable to predict the impact an ongoing conflict may have on our businesses or the global economy. The impact of geopolitical tensions related to these conflicts, including increased trade barriers or restrictions on global trade, is unknown and could result in, among other things, heightened cybersecurity threats, supply disruptions, protracted or increased inflation, increased energy costs, lower consumer demand, fluctuations in interest and foreign exchange rates and increased volatility in financial markets, any of which could adversely affect our businesses, results of operations and financial condition. In addition, an ongoing conflict may have the effect of triggering or intensifying many of the risks described under this Item 1A Risk Factors under Risks Primarily Related to Our Insurance Operations, Risks Primarily Related to Our Investments and Access to Capital, and Risks Related to All of Our Operations.

Acquisitions, Integration and Reliance on Management and Personnel

The integration of acquired businesses may not be as successful as we anticipate. We have completed, and expect to complete, acquisitions in an effort to achieve profitable growth in our underwriting and other insurance operations and to create additional value on a diversified basis in our Markel Ventures operations. Acquisitions present operational, regulatory, strategic and financial risks, as well as risks associated with liabilities arising from the previous operations of the acquired businesses. We also must make decisions about the degree to which we integrate acquisitions into our existing businesses, operations and systems, and over what timeframe. Those decisions may adversely affect how successfully the acquired businesses perform, both in the short-term and in the long-term. All of these risks are magnified in the case of a large acquisition. Integration of the operations, systems and personnel of acquired businesses may prove more difficult than anticipated, which may result in failure to achieve financial objectives associated with the acquisition or diversion of management attention and other resources. In addition, integration of formerly privately-held companies into the management and internal control and financial reporting systems of a publicly-held company presents additional risks. See note 3 of the notes to consolidated financial statements included under Item 8 for information about our recent acquisitions.

Impairment in the value of our goodwill or other intangible assets could have a material adverse effect on our operating results and financial condition. As of December 31, 2023, goodwill and intangible assets totaled $4.2 billion and represented 28% of shareholders' equity. We record goodwill and intangible assets at fair value upon the acquisition of a business. Goodwill represents the excess of amounts paid to acquire businesses over the fair value of the net assets acquired. Goodwill and indefinite-lived intangible assets are evaluated for impairment annually, or more frequently if events or circumstances indicate that their carrying value may not be recoverable. Declines in operating results, divestitures, sustained market declines and other factors that impact the fair value of a reporting unit could result in an impairment of goodwill or intangible assets and, in turn, a charge to net income. Such a charge could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations or financial condition. Developments that adversely affect the future cash flows or earnings of an acquired business may cause the goodwill or intangible assets recorded for it to be impaired. See "Critical Accounting Estimates - Goodwill and Intangible Assets" included under Item 7 Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and note 8 of the notes to consolidated financial statements included under Item 8 for information about our goodwill and intangible assets.

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The loss of, or failure to successfully implement succession planning for, one or more key executives or an inability to attract and retain qualified personnel in our various businesses could have a material adverse effect on us. Our success depends on our ability to retain the services of our existing key executives, implement successful succession planning and attract and retain additional qualified personnel in the future. The temporary or permanent loss of the services of any of our key executives or the inability to hire and retain other highly qualified personnel in the future could have a material adverse effect on our ability to conduct or grow our business.

Additionally, in our decentralized business model, we rely on qualified personnel to manage and operate our various businesses. In our decentralized business model, we need qualified and competent management to direct day-to-day business activities of our operating subsidiaries and to manage changes in future business operations due to changing business or regulatory environments. Our operating subsidiaries also need qualified and competent personnel to execute business plans and serve their customers, suppliers and other stakeholders. Our inability to recruit, train and retain qualified and competent managers and personnel could negatively affect the operating results, financial condition and liquidity of our subsidiaries and Markel Group as a whole.

Information Technology Systems and Third-Party Systems and Service Providers

Information technology systems that we use could fail or suffer a security breach or cyberattack, which could have a material adverse effect on us or result in the loss of regulated or sensitive information. Our businesses are dependent upon the operational effectiveness and security of our enterprise systems and those maintained by third parties. Among other things, we rely on these systems to interact with producers, insureds, customers, clients, and other third parties, to perform actuarial and other modeling functions, to underwrite business, to prepare policies and process premiums, to process claims and make claims payments, to prepare internal and external financial statements and information, as well as to engage in a wide variety of other business activities. A significant failure of our enterprise systems, or those of third parties upon which we may rely, whether because of a natural disaster, network outage or a cyberattack on those systems, including ransomware, could compromise our personal, confidential and proprietary information as well as that of our customers and business partners, impede or interrupt our business operations and could result in other negative consequences, including remediation costs, loss of revenue, additional regulatory scrutiny and fines, litigation and monetary and reputational damages. In addition, if we are unable to innovate, develop and acquire new technology, it may leave us more susceptible to these attacks. Like other companies, we have been subject to cyberattacks, malicious viruses and malware, and denial of service attacks and expect that this will continue in the future with greater sophistication and frequency. Despite any controls or protective actions we take against such attacks, those measures may be insufficient to prevent, or mitigate the effects of, a natural disaster, network outage or a cyberattack on our systems. This could result in liability to us, cause our data to be corrupted or stolen and cause us to commit resources to correct those failures.

In addition, we are subject to numerous data privacy and cybersecurity laws and regulations enacted in the jurisdictions in which we do business. A misuse or mishandling of personal, confidential or proprietary information being sent to or received from a customer, business partner, employee or third party could damage our businesses or our reputation or result in significant monetary damages, regulatory enforcement actions, fines and criminal prosecution in one or more jurisdictions. For example, under the European General Data Protection Regulation there are significant punishments for non-compliance which could result in a penalty of up to 4% of a firm's global annual revenue. In addition, a violation of data privacy laws and regulations could result in defaults under our outstanding indebtedness or credit facilities. Those monetary damages, penalties, regulatory or legal actions or defaults, or the damage to our businesses or reputation, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. Third parties who we utilize to perform certain functions are also subject to these risks, and their failure to adhere to these laws and regulations also could damage our businesses or reputation or result in regulatory intervention, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

Further, we routinely transmit, receive and store personal, confidential and proprietary information by email and other digital means. Although we attempt to protect this personal, confidential and proprietary information, we may be unable to do so in all cases, especially with business partners and other third parties who may not have or use appropriate controls to protect personal, confidential and proprietary information.

While we maintain cyber risk insurance providing first-party and third-party coverages, that insurance may not cover all costs associated with the consequences of an enterprise failure, cyberattack, or breach of systems. A material cyber security breach could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

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Third-party providers may perform poorly, breach their obligations to us or expose us to enhanced risks. Certain of our business functions are performed by third-party providers, and these providers may not perform as expected or may fail to adhere to the obligations owed to us. For example, certain of our business units rely on relationships with a number of third-party administrators under contracts pursuant to which these third-party administrators manage and pay claims on our behalf and advise us with respect to case reserves. In these relationships, we rely on controls incorporated in the provisions of the administration agreement, as well as on the administrator's internal controls, to manage the claims process within our prescribed parameters. In addition, certain of our business units use managing general agents, general agents and other producers to write and administer business on our behalf within prescribed underwriting authorities. Although we monitor these administrators, agents, producers and other service providers on an ongoing basis, our monitoring efforts may not be adequate, or our service providers could exceed their authorities or otherwise breach obligations owed to us, which could result in operational disruption, reputational damage and regulatory intervention and otherwise have a material adverse effect on our results of operation and financial condition.

In addition, we utilize third parties to perform certain technology and business process functions, such as data center hosting, cloud based operating environments, human resources and other outsourced services. If these third-party providers do not perform as expected, we may experience operational difficulties, increased costs and a loss of business, or we may not realize expected productivity improvements or cost efficiencies. Our use of third parties to perform certain technology and business process functions may expose us to risks related to privacy and data security, including through their use of artificial intelligence without our knowledge or below our standards, which could result in monetary and reputational damages. We may be further exposed to risks associated with artificial intelligence and machine learning technology if third-party service providers or any counterparts, where known or unknown to us, use such technology in their business activities. In addition, our ability to receive services from third-party providers might be impacted by a wide variety of factors, including political and civil instability, supply chain disruptions, volatility or disruptions in the financial markets, wide-spread health issues, unanticipated or additional regulatory requirements or policies. As a result, our ability to conduct our businesses may be adversely affected.

Pandemics

Pandemics have had, and could have, material adverse effects on us. The effects of a pandemic, and related governmental responses, may be wide-ranging, costly, disruptive and rapidly changing, resulting in material adverse effects on our underwriting, investment, Markel Ventures and other operations, and on our results of operations and financial condition, as was the case with COVID-19. Factors that give rise, or may give rise, to those effects include, or may include, the following, as well as others that we cannot predict:

Insured or reinsured losses from pandemic-related claims that are different, or more extensive, than we expect;
Government actions or judicial decisions related to insurance or reinsurance coverages or rates, including, for example, requiring retroactive coverage of claims or expanding the scope of coverage;
Disputes, lawsuits and other legal actions challenging the promptness of coverage determinations, or the coverage determinations themselves, under applicable insurance or reinsurance policies, resulting in increased claims, litigation and related expenses;
Disruptions, delays and increased costs and risks related to having limited or no access to our facilities, workplace re-entry, employee safety concerns and reductions or interruptions of critical or essential services;
Continually changing business conditions and compliance obligations; and
Short or long-term impacts on the cost, availability or timeliness of required raw materials, supplies or services provided by third parties, including services provided by state, federal or foreign governments or government agencies.

In addition, a pandemic may, as has been the case with COVID-19, have the effect of triggering or intensifying many of the risks described elsewhere under this Item 1A. Risk Factors under Risks Primarily Related to Our Insurance Operations, Risks Primarily Related to Our Investments and Access to Capital, and Risks Related to All of Our Operations.

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Climate Change

The impacts of climate change, and legal or regulatory measures to address climate change, may adversely affect our results of operations or financial condition. Our businesses, results of operations, and financial condition could be impacted by risks associated with climate change, including:

changes from legislation, regulation and court decisions that:
create economic and regulatory uncertainty,
increase our compliance costs,
impose liability on or increase exposure for our policyholders not contemplated during our underwriting,
change our ability to provide insurance coverage to certain policyholders, or
impose new or additional requirements that increase the costs associated with, or disrupt, sourcing, manufacturing, and distribution of, our products and services,
changes in the frequency, severity, and location of weather-related catastrophes, such as hurricanes, tornados, windstorms, floods, wildfires, and other extreme weather events, which may:
result in insured losses that exceed our expectations or make it more difficult for us to predict and model catastrophic events, reducing our ability to accurately price our exposure to such events and mitigate our risks,
make it more difficult or expensive for us to obtain reinsurance at desired levels, or
increase physical risks to and impacts on our operations,
changing demand for insurance coverage we provide, such as demand from industries that produce or use carbon-based energy including those transitioning from those energy sources, decreased availability of reinsurance available for coverages we provide for carbon intensive industries, or increased claims and losses related to those industries, and
losses on our invested assets, including from:
changes in supply and demand,
advances in low-carbon technology and renewable energy development,
effects of extreme weather events on the physical and operational exposure of industries and issuers, and
the transition that companies make towards addressing climate risk in their own businesses.

Item 1C. CYBERSECURITY

Markel Group is a holding company comprised of a diverse group of companies and investments. Our specialty insurance business, Markel, sits at the core of our company. Markel Group utilizes information technology systems and services, including cybersecurity, provided and/or administered by Markel. Through Markel Group's wholly owned subsidiary, Markel Ventures, Inc. (Markel Ventures), Markel Group owns controlling interests in businesses that operate in a variety of industries. The Markel Ventures businesses are independently managed with respect to their information security and data protection programs.

Insurance

In order to maintain a strong cybersecurity program, Markel uses a variety of controls and technology tools designed to identify, detect, prevent, respond to, and recover from security threats. Markel undergoes regular security audits including a System and Organization Controls (SOC) audit for Cybersecurity conducted annually by independent auditors in which cybersecurity threats are identified and assessed. Markel regularly tests aspects of its internal security and conducts security risk interviews and assessments on third parties with whom it does business, depending on the nature of the relationship. Markel has invested in technology that assists its risk management teams in measuring and addressing weaknesses in its third-party and supply chain community. Markel performs continuous monitoring of all its third parties to ensure they are maintaining acceptable levels of security controls and remediating any known weaknesses.

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Markel participates in the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center to share information about the latest cyber threats and preparedness measures. Markel also shares threat intelligence information with other partners. Markel has a cybersecurity incident response plan, as well as a crisis management plan, that cover cyber events, including a process for determining the materiality of cyber events that includes evaluation by a cross functional crisis management group including security, information technology, finance, legal and business and escalation to Markel Group senior management as warranted by the severity of the situation. An internal team engages in tabletop exercises several times each year to enhance preparedness for such situations.

Information security and data protection risks are the responsibility of all employees. Markel has a mandatory training program covering a variety of security and data protection disciplines. In addition, all Markel employees are required to acknowledge annually policies on acceptable use of Markel's technology resources and enterprise information security. Contractors are required to provide certain representations and certifications relating to information security.

The Markel information security and data protection program is led by a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) who supervises a team of security and data protection professionals across the globe. Markel's global information security and data protection program leverages the Cybersecurity Framework from the National Institutes of Standards and Technology as well as industry best practices. Markel also is able to map to both ISO (International Organization for Standardization) and BSI (British Standards Institution) among other cybersecurity standards. Markel's CISO has been with Markel 13 years and has 22 years' experience in information technology, with 17 years in information technology security, and is a certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).

Markel Ventures

Each of our Markel Ventures businesses maintains its own, separate IT infrastructure, that often includes third-party providers, to support the needs of its business. As a result, cybersecurity risk for the Markel Ventures businesses is not concentrated in one system or service provider. Further, given the disparate nature of the businesses, systems, and providers, there is no single, uniform approach to managing cybersecurity risk at the Markel Ventures businesses – each is tailored to its unique needs. As is the case with all risks, management for each Markel Ventures business is responsible for evaluating and managing cybersecurity risks for its business. Therefore, each business determines the appropriate IT systems and providers needed to do so. Management for each business shares information on material risks from cybersecurity incidents with Markel Ventures management.

Markel Ventures has established processes for the Markel Ventures businesses to share information about how they assess, identify, and manage cybersecurity risk and shares information on material risks from cybersecurity incidents with Markel Group management, as appropriate. Each Markel Ventures business has a board that meets quarterly. Material matters regarding cybersecurity risk management and cybersecurity incidents are discussed at these meetings. In addition, Markel Ventures management regularly meets with the businesses to discuss their risk identification, assessment, and management approach. These discussions include how the business assesses, identifies, and manages key risks, including cybersecurity risks.

Markel Ventures requires real-time reporting of material cybersecurity incidents to understand how the matters are being managed, assess whether public disclosure is required and inform Markel Group senior management of relevant matters. Depending on the cybersecurity incident, third parties may be engaged by the Markel Ventures businesses to assist them in understanding and managing the event.

Given the varying size and complexity of the Markel Ventures businesses, a diverse array of individuals assume responsibility for managing cybersecurity risks within them. In some instances, primary responsibility may be with a member of the executive management team. In other instances, primary responsibility may land with information technology professionals. In all instances, however, ultimate responsibility rests with each business' Chief Executive Officer.

Markel Group Board Oversight

The Markel Group Board of Directors oversees Markel Group's risk management framework on an enterprise-wide basis, which includes cybersecurity risks. Periodic reports are provided to the Markel Group Board of Directors by members of management which, among other things, seek to systematically identify the principal risks facing our businesses and the manner in which such risks are addressed. For cybersecurity, this includes a review of the cybersecurity program and its governance, active and planned initiatives, protection and prevention matters, detection and response measures, and the threat landscape.
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Cybersecurity Risks

No previous cybersecurity incident has had, or is reasonably likely to have, a material adverse effect on Markel Group, its business strategy, results of operations, or financial condition. For risks related to cybersecurity threats, see Item 1A Risk Factors, including under "Information technology systems that we use could fail or suffer a security breach or cyberattack, which could have a material adverse effect on us or result in the loss of regulated or sensitive information."

Item 2. PROPERTIES

We lease office space in Glen Allen, Virginia for our Markel Group corporate headquarters, which also serves as the headquarters for our insurance and Markel Ventures operations. Our insurance operations lease office space throughout the U.S. and in various locations in other countries. In total, we have 64 insurance offices in 17 countries. Additionally, our Markel Ventures businesses maintain office space, factories and warehouses, both through leased and owned properties, throughout the U.S. and in certain international locations. The property needs of our Markel Ventures businesses vary based on the nature of the operations of each business. We believe our properties are suitable and adequate for our current operations.

Item 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

Thomas Yeransian v. Markel Corporation

In October 2010, we completed the acquisition of Aspen Holdings, Inc. (Aspen). As part of the consideration for that acquisition, Aspen shareholders received contingent value rights (CVRs). Prior to the December 31, 2017 CVR maturity date, the CVR holder representative, Thomas Yeransian, disputed our prior estimation of the value of the CVRs. On September 15, 2016, Mr. Yeransian filed a suit, Thomas Yeransian v. Markel Corporation (U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware), alleging, among other things, that we are in default under the CVR agreement. The suit seeks: $47.3 million in damages, which represents the unadjusted value of the CVRs; plus interest ($29.1 million through December 31, 2023) and default interest (up to an additional $24.4 million through December 31, 2023, depending on the date any default occurred); and an unspecified amount of punitive damages, costs, and attorneys' fees.

At the initial hearing held February 21, 2017, the court stayed the proceedings and ordered the parties to discuss resolving the dispute pursuant to the independent CVR valuation procedure under the CVR agreement. The parties met on April 5, 2017, but were unsuccessful in reaching agreement on a process for resolving the dispute. We subsequently filed a motion to stay the litigation and compel arbitration, and, on July 31, 2017, the court issued an order granting that motion.

On November 13, 2018, Mr. Yeransian filed a second suit, Thomas Yeransian v. Markel Corporation (U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware), which also alleges that the Company is in default under the CVR agreement. The second suit seeks the same monetary damages and relief as the original suit. We filed a motion to stay this suit until the arbitration for the original suit had concluded and the CVR holders received the final amount due under the CVR Agreement. The court granted that motion on August 6, 2019.

On June 5, 2020, Mr. Yeransian filed a third suit, Thomas Yeransian v. Markel Corporation (U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware). Similar to the first and second suits, the third suit alleges that the Company is in default under the CVR agreement and, in addition, has interfered with the arbitration for the CVR valuation. The third suit seeks the same monetary damages and relief as the original suit and the second suit, as well as other declaratory and non-monetary judgments and orders. We filed a motion to stay this suit, which the court granted on March 16, 2021.

Under the arbitration terms of the CVR Agreement, independent experts were appointed to determine the final value of the CVRs. On September 20, 2021, the experts delivered their report indicating a final CVR valuation of $22.4 million, excluding interest. We had previously paid $8.0 million to the CVR holders, representing 90% of the undisputed value of the CVRs, plus interest of $1.9 million. On September 20, 2021, we paid $20.1 million, which represents $14.1 million for the unpaid portion of the final CVR amount (excluding fees payable to a third party), plus $6.0 million in additional interest.

The stay was lifted on each pending suit, and the three suits were consolidated. On June 8, 2023, the court ruled in favor of the Company and against Mr. Yeransian on all counts. Mr. Yeransian has appealed the court's decision.

We believe Mr. Yeransian's suits to be without merit. We further believe that any material loss resulting from the suits to be remote.
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Information About Our Executive Officers

Thomas S. Gayner
Chief Executive Officer since January 2023. Co-Chief Executive Officer from January 2016 to December 2022. President and Chief Investment Officer from May 2010 to December 2015. Chief Investment Officer from January 2001 to December 2015. Director from 1998 to 2004. Director since August 2016. Age 62.

Michael R. Heaton
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer since February 2024 and Executive Vice President since May 2022. President, Markel Ventures from January 2016 to May 2022. President and Chief Executive Officer, Markel Ventures, Inc., a subsidiary, from May 2020 to May 2022; President and Chief Operating Officer, Markel Ventures, Inc., from January 2016 to May 2020. Chief Operating Officer, Markel Ventures, Inc., from September 2013 to December 2015. Age 47.

Andrew G. Crowley
President, Markel Ventures since May 2022. President, Markel Ventures, Inc., a subsidiary, since May 2022. Executive Vice President, Markel Ventures, Inc., from May 2020 to May 2022. Managing Director, Markel Ventures, Inc., from January 2017 to May 2020. Age 41.

Jeremy A. Noble
President, Insurance since January 2023. Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from September 2018 to December 2022. Senior Vice President, Finance from June 2018 to September 2018. Finance Director, Markel International from July 2015 to June 2018. Managing Director, Internal Audit from September 2011 to July 2015. Age 48.

Richard R. Grinnan
Senior Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary of Markel Group since February 2020 and of Markel since October 2022. General Counsel and Secretary from June 2014 to February 2020. Assistant General Counsel from August 2012 to June 2014. Age 55.

Brian J. Costanzo
Chief Financial Officer of Markel Group and of Markel since December 2023. Senior Vice President, Finance, Chief Accounting Officer and Controller from October 2022 to December 2023. Principal financial officer (on an interim basis) from January 2023 to March 2023. Chief Accounting Officer and Controller from June 2021 to October 2022. Controller from December 2019 to June 2021. Segment Controller - U.S. Insurance from March 2014 to December 2019. Age 45.

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PART II

Item 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT'S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

Performance Graph

The following graph compares the cumulative total return (based on share price) on our common stock with the cumulative total return of companies included in the Standard & Poor's (S&P) 500 Index and the Dow Jones U.S. Property & Casualty Insurance Companies Index. We are a holding company comprised of a diverse group of businesses and investments, and we believe there are few companies with a mix of business operations comparable to ours. Our principal business markets and underwrites specialty insurance products, and therefore, we have used the Dow Jones U.S. Property & Casualty Insurance Companies Index as our peer group. However, we also own controlling interests in a diverse portfolio of businesses that operate in a variety of other industries. This information is not necessarily indicative of future results.

881

 Years Ended December 31,
 
2018 (1)
20192020202120222023
Markel Group Inc.
$100 $110 $100 $119 $127 $137 
S&P 500 Index
100 131 156 200 164 207 
Dow Jones U.S. Property & Casualty Insurance Index
100 127 131 160 184 209 
(1)    $100 invested on December 31, 2018 in our common stock or the listed index. Includes reinvestment of dividends.

Common Stock and Dividend Information

Our common stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MKL. The number of shareholders of record as of January 31, 2024 was approximately 260. The total number of shareholders, including those holding shares in street name or in brokerage accounts, is estimated to be in excess of 220,000. Our current strategy is to retain earnings and, consequently, we have not paid and do not expect to pay a cash dividend on our common stock.

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Common Share Repurchases

The following table summarizes our common share repurchases for the quarter ended December 31, 2023.

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
 (a)(b)(c)(d)
 Total Number of Shares PurchasedAverage Price Paid per Share
Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs (1)
Approximate Dollar Value of Shares that May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs (in thousands)
October 1, 2023 through October 31, 202316,635 $1,470.02 16,635 $221,111 
November 1, 2023 through November 30, 202375,841 $1,400.09 75,841 $748,196 
December 1, 2023 through December 31, 202325,200 $1,396.70 25,200 $712,999 
Total117,676 $1,409.25 117,676 $712,999 
(1)    The Board of Directors approved the repurchase of up to $750 million of our common shares pursuant to a share repurchase program publicly announced in November 2023. The new program terminated and replaced a similar $750 million share repurchase program authorized in February 2022. Under our share repurchase program, we may repurchase outstanding common shares of our stock from time to time in privately negotiated or open market transactions, including under plans complying with Rule 10b5-1 and Rule 10b-18 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The share repurchase program has no expiration date but may be terminated by the Board at any time.

Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans

See Part III for information on securities authorized for issuance under our equity compensation plans.

Available Information

This document represents Markel Group's Annual Report on Form 10-K, which is filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. We make available free of charge on or through our website our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and all amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after such material is electronically filed with or furnished to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Our website address is www.mklgroup.com.

Transfer Agent

Equiniti Trust Company, LLC, 48 Wall Street, Floor 23, New York, NY 10005
(800) 937-5449 helpast@equiniti.com

Annual Shareholders Meeting

Our annual shareholders meeting will take place on May 22, 2024 at the University of Richmond Robins Center in Richmond, Virginia at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). The shareholders meeting will be part of a two-day event we are calling the 2024 Reunion, which is open to shareholders, employees, and friends of Markel Group. More information on the agenda and registration for the 2024 Reunion is available at www.mklreunion.com.

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Item 7. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION & ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following discussion and analysis includes discussion of changes in our results of operations and financial condition from 2022 to 2023 and should be read in conjunction with the consolidated financial statements and related notes included under Item 8, Item 1 Business, Item 1A Risk Factors and "Safe Harbor and Cautionary Statement" under Item 7. The accompanying consolidated financial statements and related notes have been prepared in accordance with United States (U.S.) generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and include the accounts of our holding company, Markel Group Inc. (Markel Group), and its consolidated subsidiaries, as well as any variable interest entities that meet the requirements for consolidation (the Company). A discussion of changes in our results of operations and financial condition from 2021 to 2022 may be found in Part II Item 7 Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in our 2022 Annual Report on Form 10-K, which was filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on February 17, 2023.

Item 7 is divided into the following sections:

Results of Operations
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Critical Accounting Estimates
Safe Harbor and Cautionary Statement

For a discussion of our significant accounting policies, as well as recently issued accounting pronouncements that we have not yet adopted and their expected effects on our consolidated financial position, results of operations and cash flows, see note 1 of the notes to consolidated financial statements included under Item 8.

Results of Operations

The following table presents the components of operating revenues.

Years Ended December 31,
(dollars in thousands)20232022
Insurance segment$7,282,705 $6,528,263 
Reinsurance segment1,014,294 1,063,347 
Program services and other fronting, insurance-linked securities and other insurance
280,131 493,746 
Insurance operations8,577,130 8,085,356 
Net investment income729,219 445,846 
Net investment gains (losses)1,524,054 (1,595,733)
Other(11,854)(17,661)
Investing segment2,241,419 (1,167,548)
Markel Ventures segment4,985,081 4,757,527 
Total operating revenues$15,803,630 $11,675,335 

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The following table presents the components of comprehensive income (loss) to shareholders.

Years Ended December 31,
(dollars in thousands)20232022
Insurance segment profit$162,176 $549,871 
Reinsurance segment profit (loss)(19,265)83,859 
Program services and other fronting, insurance-linked securities and other insurance
205,234 294,979 
Amortization of intangible assets (1)
(98,244)(99,735)
Impairment of goodwill (2)
 (80,000)
Insurance operations249,901 748,974 
Investing segment profit (loss)2,241,419 (1,167,548)
Markel Ventures segment profit (3)
437,508 325,238 
Operating income (loss)
2,928,828 (93,336)
Interest expense(185,077)(196,062)
Net foreign exchange gains (losses)(90,045)137,832 
Income tax (expense) benefit(552,616)48,209 
Net income attributable to noncontrolling interests(105,030)(112,920)
Net income (loss) to shareholders1,996,060 (216,277)
Preferred stock dividends(36,000)(36,000)
Net income (loss) to common shareholders1,960,060 (252,277)
Other comprehensive income (loss) to shareholders289,284 (989,502)
Comprehensive income (loss) to shareholders$2,285,344 $(1,205,779)
(1)     Amortization of intangible assets includes all amortization attributable to our insurance operations. Amortization of intangible assets attributable to our underwriting segments was $37.1 million and $38.5 million for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022, respectively; however, we do not allocate amortization of intangible assets between the Insurance and Reinsurance segments. Amortization of intangible assets attributable to our program services and other fronting, insurance-linked securities and other insurance operations was $61.2 million for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022.
(2)     Impairment of goodwill for the year ended December 31, 2022 was attributable to our Nephila ILS operations.
(3)     Segment profit for the Markel Ventures segment includes amortization of intangible assets attributable to Markel Ventures.

The change in comprehensive income (loss) to shareholders in 2023 compared to 2022 was primarily due to pre-tax net investment gains of $1.5 billion in 2023 compared to pre-tax net investment losses of $1.6 billion in 2022, as well as pre-tax net unrealized gains on our fixed maturity securities of $389.5 million in 2023 compared to pre-tax net unrealized losses of $1.5 billion in 2022.

The components of net income (loss) to shareholders and comprehensive income (loss) to shareholders are discussed in further detail under "Insurance Results," "Investing Results," "Markel Ventures Results," "Interest Expense, Net Foreign Exchange Gains (Losses) and Income Taxes" and "Comprehensive Income (Loss) to Shareholders and Book Value per Common Share."

Insurance Results

Our Insurance engine includes our underwriting, program services and other fronting and insurance-linked securities (ILS) operations. We have a suite of capabilities through which we can access capital to support our customers' risks, which includes our own capital through our underwriting operations and third-party capital through our program services and other fronting and ILS operations. Our underwriting operations, which are primarily comprised of our Insurance and Reinsurance segments, produce revenues primarily by underwriting insurance contracts and earning premiums in the specialty insurance market. Our program services and other fronting and insurance-linked securities operations produce revenues primarily through fees earned for fronting services and investment management services, respectively. Our insurance operations also include the underwriting results of run-off lines of business that were discontinued prior to, or in conjunction with, insurance acquisitions,
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and the results of our run-off life and annuity reinsurance business. The following table presents the components of our Insurance engine gross premium volume and operating revenues.

Years Ended December 31,
(dollars in thousands)20232022% Change
Gross premium volume:
Underwriting$10,277,632 $9,847,538 %
Program services and other fronting (1)
3,724,605 3,354,144 11 %
Insurance operations$14,002,237 $13,201,682 %
Operating revenues:
Insurance segment$7,282,705 $6,528,263 12 %
Reinsurance segment1,014,294 1,063,347 (5)%
Program services and other fronting, insurance-linked securities and other insurance
280,131 493,746 (43)%
Insurance operations$8,577,130 $8,085,356 %
(1)    Substantially all gross premiums from our program services and other fronting operations were ceded to third parties for the years ended December 31, 2023 and 2022.

Underwriting Results

Underwriting profits are a key component of our strategy to build shareholder value. The property and casualty insurance industry commonly defines underwriting profit or loss as earned premiums net of losses and loss adjustment expenses and underwriting, acquisition and insurance expenses. We use underwriting profit or loss and the combined ratio as a basis for evaluating our underwriting performance. The U.S. GAAP combined ratio is a measure of underwriting performance and represents the relationship of incurred losses, loss adjustment expenses and underwriting, acquisition and insurance expenses to earned premiums. The combined ratio is the sum of the loss ratio and the expense ratio. The loss ratio represents the relationship of incurred losses and loss adjustment expenses to earned premiums. The expense ratio represents the relationship of underwriting, acquisition and insurance expenses to earned premiums. A combined ratio less than 100% indicates an underwriting profit, while a combined ratio greater than 100% reflects an underwriting loss.

In addition to the U.S. GAAP combined ratio, loss ratio and expense ratio, we also evaluate our underwriting performance using measures that exclude the impacts of certain items on these ratios. We believe these adjusted measures, which are non-GAAP measures, provide financial statement users with a better understanding of the significant factors that comprise our underwriting results and how management evaluates underwriting performance.

When analyzing our combined ratio, we exclude current accident year losses and loss adjustment expenses attributed to natural catastrophes and certain other significant, infrequent loss events, for example, the on-going military conflict between Russia and Ukraine that began following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Due to the unique characteristics of these events, there is inherent variability as to the timing or loss amount, which cannot be predicted in advance. We believe measures that exclude the effects of such events are meaningful to understand the underlying trends and variability in our underwriting results that may be obscured by these items.

When analyzing our loss ratio, we evaluate losses and loss adjustment expenses attributable to the current accident year separate from losses and loss adjustment expenses attributable to prior accident years. Prior accident year reserve development, which can either be favorable or unfavorable, represents changes in our estimates of losses and loss adjustment expenses related to loss events that occurred in prior years. We believe a discussion of current accident year loss ratios, which exclude prior accident year reserve development, is helpful since it provides more insight into estimates of current underwriting performance and excludes changes in estimates related to prior year loss reserves. We also analyze our current accident year loss ratio excluding losses and loss adjustment expenses attributable to catastrophes and, in 2022, the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The current accident year loss ratio excluding the impact of catastrophes and other significant, infrequent loss events is also commonly referred to as an attritional loss ratio within the property and casualty insurance industry.

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The following table presents summary data for our consolidated underwriting operations, which are comprised predominantly of our Insurance and Reinsurance segments. Our consolidated underwriting results also include results from discontinued lines of business and the retained portion of our program services and other fronting operations.

Years Ended December 31,
(dollars in thousands)20232022% Change
Gross premium volume$10,276,419 $9,843,555 %
Net written premiums$8,397,575 $8,203,390 %
Earned premiums$8,295,479 $7,587,792 %
Underwriting profit$132,736 $626,620 (79)%
Underwriting Ratios (1)
Point Change
Loss ratio
Current accident year loss ratio64.6 %60.8 %3.8 
Prior accident years loss ratio(0.5)%(2.2)%1.7 
Loss ratio64.2 %58.6 %5.6 
Expense ratio34.2 %33.2 %1.0 
Combined ratio98.4 %91.7 %6.7 
Current accident year loss ratio catastrophe impact (2)
0.5 %0.6 %(0.1)
Current accident year loss ratio Russia-Ukraine conflict impact (2)
 %0.5 %(0.5)
Current accident year loss ratio, excluding catastrophes and Russia-Ukraine conflict impact
64.1 %59.7 %4.4 
Combined ratio, excluding current year catastrophes and Russia-Ukraine conflict impact
97.9 %90.7 %7.2 
(1)    Amounts may not reconcile due to rounding.
(2)    The point impact of catastrophes and the Russia-Ukraine conflict is calculated as the associated net losses and loss adjustment expenses divided by total earned premiums.

Premiums

The increase in gross premium volume in our underwriting operations in 2023 was driven by growth within our Insurance segment, partially offset by lower gross premium volume within our Reinsurance segment. Net retention of gross premium volume for our underwriting operations was 82% in 2023 compared to 83% in 2022. The decrease was driven by lower retention in 2023 compared to 2022 across both of our underwriting segments. Within our underwriting operations, we purchase reinsurance and retrocessional reinsurance to manage our net retention on individual risks and overall exposure to losses and to enable us to write policies with sufficient limits to meet policyholder needs. The increase in earned premiums in 2023 was primarily attributable to higher gross premium volume in recent periods.

Throughout 2023, we achieved an overall modest rate increase across the landscape of our diversified product portfolio. However, rate trends by product class were more divergent in 2023 in contrast to the past few years, where we experienced rate increases across most of our product lines. These more nuanced rate trends, coupled with increases in loss cost trends due to heightened economic and social inflation, have forced us to examine each of our product classes more closely and target premium growth only in product lines where we are most confident in the levels of rate adequacy.

During 2023, we achieved significant rate increases on our property coverages and select marine and energy product lines, due to recent industry loss experience and the increasing cost of obtaining reinsurance protection, which led us to pursue opportunistic growth within these product lines. Additionally, within our general liability product lines, we continued to achieve modest rate increases across most product classes and saw the level of rate increases improve over the course of the year. We maintained modest growth in these product lines, while carefully selecting risks, managing limits and adjusting attachment points in response to heightened loss cost trends within general liability lines.

Within our insurance and reinsurance professional liability product lines, overall, we saw modest rate decreases driven by notable rate decreases within our public directors and officers product, consistent with broader trends across the industry, and,
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to a lesser extent, within our errors and omissions coverages. Within these products, we are contracting our new premium writings when we believe rates are inadequate and are also allowing business to lapse. In other professional liability product lines, particularly within our international portfolio, we are generally seeing consistency in rates and are continuing to pursue growth opportunities where we find the business to be adequately priced. We also saw rate decreases globally within our cyber product line as that market matures, following several years of significant rate increases and strong industry underwriting performance. Despite these current trends, we view cyber as a long-term growth opportunity. Finally, we continued to realize low single digit rate decreases within our workers' compensation product line and are reacting accordingly on a state-by-state basis to maintain profitability.

Combined Ratio

In 2023, underwriting results included $40.1 million of net losses and loss adjustment expenses attributed to the Hawaiian wildfires and Hurricane Idalia (2023 Catastrophes). The net losses and loss adjustment expenses from the 2023 Catastrophes were net of ceded losses of $9.3 million. In 2022, underwriting results included $46.2 million and $35.7 million of net losses and loss adjustment expenses attributed to Hurricane Ian and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, respectively. The net losses and loss adjustment expenses from Hurricane Ian and the Russia-Ukraine conflict were net of ceded losses of $115.3 million and $44.3 million, respectively. Excluding these losses, the increase in our consolidated combined ratio in 2023 compared to 2022 was primarily driven by a higher attritional loss ratio across both of our underwriting segments.

Insurance Segment

Years Ended December 31,
(dollars in thousands)20232022% Change
Gross premium volume$9,217,150 $8,606,700 %
Net written premiums$7,432,062 $7,040,176 %
Earned premiums$7,282,705 $6,528,263 12 %
Underwriting profit$162,176 $549,871 (71)%
Underwriting Ratios (1)
Point Change
Loss ratio
Current accident year loss ratio64.4 %60.3 %4.1 
Prior accident years loss ratio(1.4)%(2.2)%0.8 
Loss ratio63.0 %58.1 %4.9 
Expense ratio34.8 %33.5 %1.3 
Combined ratio97.8 %91.6 %6.2 
Current accident year loss ratio catastrophe impact (2)
0.5 %0.7 %(0.2)
Current accident year loss ratio Russia-Ukraine conflict impact (2)
 %0.4 %(0.4)
Current accident year loss ratio, excluding catastrophes and Russia-Ukraine conflict impact
63.9 %59.2 %4.7 
Combined ratio, excluding current year catastrophes and Russia-Ukraine conflict impact
97.2 %90.5 %6.7 
(1)    Amounts may not reconcile due to rounding.
(2)    The point impact of catastrophes and the Russia-Ukraine conflict is calculated as the associated net losses and loss adjustment expenses divided by total earned premiums.

Premiums

The increase in gross premium volume in our Insurance segment in 2023 was driven by more favorable rates and new business growth across many of our product lines, most notably within our personal lines and property product lines. The increase was partially offset by lower premium volume within select lines of our professional liability and general liability product lines, where we are adjusting our writings in response to changes in market conditions and downward pressure on rates. We continue to focus on rate adequacy, particularly within certain classes of our casualty and professional liability product lines, and will not write business that we believe will not meet our underwriting profit targets.

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Net retention of gross premium volume was 81% in 2023 compared to 82% in 2022. The decrease was driven by higher cession rates on our personal lines product lines in 2023 compared to 2022. The increase in earned premiums in 2023 was primarily due to higher gross premium volume across most product lines in recent periods.

Combined Ratio

The Insurance segment's current accident year losses and loss adjustment expenses in 2023 included $39.6 million of net losses and loss adjustment expenses attributed to the 2023 Catastrophes. Current accident year losses in 2022 included $46.2 million and $23.0 million of net losses and loss adjustment expenses attributed to Hurricane Ian and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, respectively. Excluding these losses, the increase in the current accident year loss ratio in 2023 compared to 2022 was primarily attributable to higher attritional loss ratios within our general liability and professional liability product lines in 2023 compared to 2022. Based on the adverse prior accident year loss development trends on these long-tail lines of business and the uncertainty around future loss cost trends, as discussed in further detail below, we increased our attritional loss ratios on certain product classes within our general liability and professional liability product lines in 2023. Consistent with our loss reserving philosophy and to increase the likelihood that the reserves established for our in-force portfolio will ultimately prove to be adequate, we are taking a more cautious approach in our reserving, resulting in higher attritional loss ratios on this business.

Additionally, we recognized losses on our intellectual property collateral protection insurance written within our professional liability product line in 2023 due to higher than anticipated levels of claims and loss experience. Losses on this product line also included $65.0 million of credit losses recognized in connection with fraudulent letters of credit that were provided by an affiliate of Vesttoo Ltd. as collateral for reinsurance purchased on two policies, which we believe represents our full exposure to credit losses on the related reinsurance recoverables. We are actively pursuing remedies to make recoveries on the reinsurance recoverables impacted by the fraudulent letters of credit and do not have any other ceded reinsurance contracts with Vesttoo Ltd. or its affiliates.

The Insurance segment's 2023 combined ratio included $104.7 million of favorable development on prior accident years loss reserves, which was primarily attributable to favorable development on our property, marine and energy, international professional liability, personal lines and workers' compensation product lines, partially offset by adverse development on our U.S. and Bermuda general liability and professional liability product lines. In 2022, the combined ratio included $142.9 million of favorable development on prior accident years loss reserves, which was primarily attributable to favorable development on our workers' compensation, programs, property and credit and surety product lines. Favorable development in 2022 was partially offset by adverse development on our professional liability and general liability product lines, primarily on our U.S. and Bermuda business. See note 11 of the notes to consolidated financial statements included under Item 8 for more information on the Insurance segment's prior year loss reserve development.

Net favorable development in 2022 was net of $128.5 million, or two points, of adverse development on our U.S. and Bermuda professional liability and general liability product lines, which was primarily attributable to unfavorable claim settlements and increased claim frequency and severity on the 2016 to 2019 accident years. The adverse development was across a number of products, including directors and officers, errors and omissions and employment practices liability within professional liability and contractors and excess and umbrella within general liability. Development on prior years loss reserves within our U.S. and Bermuda professional liability and general liability product lines in 2022 was impacted by broader market conditions. The impact of economic and social inflation, including the rising cost to adjust and settle claims and the impact of more pervasive litigation financing trends, has contributed to the loss cost trends, leading to higher than anticipated losses in older accident years for these product lines. The impacts of social inflation were most significant on our large, risk-managed excess professional liability accounts, corresponding with a notable rise in the number of class action lawsuits on these years and the recent unfavorable legal environment. The development of this claims trend was influenced by state and federal court closures following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, which delayed court proceedings for claims on the impacted product lines.

In 2023, we continued to see an increased frequency of large claims and unfavorable loss cost trends on our U.S. and Bermuda general liability and professional liability product lines. In response to consecutive quarters of adverse loss development, in the fourth quarter of 2023, we conducted an extensive reserve study on selected general liability and professional liability product lines, which resulted in further increases to our prior accident year loss reserves. Adverse development in 2023 on our U.S. and Bermuda general liability and professional liability product lines totaled $330.7 million, or five points. This adverse development was most substantial on our primary casualty contractors' liability and excess and umbrella general liability product lines.

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A significant portion of our casualty portfolio is associated with construction business, which has grown meaningfully in recent years. Our study determined that the ultimate claim reporting tail on certain of our casualty construction lines is likely to be longer than we initially anticipated. Within our excess and umbrella general liability and risk-managed errors and omissions professional liability books, we determined that there was a greater than expected propensity for limits below our attachment point to erode, pushing more claims into our layers. Further, reporting of these claims has lagged historical loss development patterns due to the effect of court closures and claims backlogs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to aggressive tactics by the plaintiffs' bar and delayed claims reporting trends. Although we have achieved significant rate increases since 2019 on many of these lines in response to heightened loss trends, the findings of our study led us to increase our loss development factors, and therefore our estimate of the ultimate loss ratios, on our primary casualty contractors' liability, excess and umbrella general liability and risk-managed errors and omissions professional liability product lines. This resulted in significant strengthening of reserves on the impacted lines, including on the 2020 to 2022 accident years where we determined that the incurred loss trends are following a similar loss development trend at the same stage as older accident years.

Consistent with our reserving philosophy to hold reserves that are more likely to be redundant than deficient, we increased reserves in areas where there were indications that our reserves may have been deficient, however, in instances where claims trends have been more favorable than we previously anticipated, we will wait to reduce loss reserves until those trends are observed over additional periods of time. For those lines in which we strengthened reserves, although we believe the gross and net reserves are adequate based on information available at this time, we continue to closely monitor reported claims, claim settlements, ceded reinsurance contract attachments and judicial decisions, among other things, and may adjust our estimates as new information becomes available.

The increase in the Insurance segment's expense ratio in 2023 was primarily due to higher personnel costs, professional fees and other general and administrative expenses, which were partially offset by the impact of higher earned premiums.

Reinsurance Segment

Years Ended December 31,
(dollars in thousands)20232022% Change
Gross premium volume$1,046,539 $1,229,851 (15)%
Net written premiums$967,799 $1,167,312 (17)%
Earned premiums$1,014,294 $1,063,347 (5)%
Underwriting profit (loss)$(19,265)$83,859 
NM (1)
Underwriting Ratios (2)
Point Change
Loss ratio
Current accident year loss ratio66.0 %63.6 %2.4 
Prior accident years loss ratio5.6 %(2.4)%8.0 
Loss ratio71.7 %61.2 %10.5 
Expense ratio30.2 %30.9 %(0.7)
Combined ratio101.9 %92.1 %9.8 
Current accident year loss ratio Russia-Ukraine conflict impact (3)
 %1.2 %(1.2)
Current accident year loss ratio, excluding Russia-Ukraine conflict impact
66.0 %62.4 %3.6 
Combined ratio, excluding current year Russia-Ukraine conflict impact
101.9 %90.9 %11.0 
(1)    NM - Ratio is not meaningful.
(2)    Amounts may not reconcile due to rounding.
(3)    The point impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict is calculated as the associated net losses and loss adjustment expenses divided by total earned premiums.

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Premiums

The decrease in gross premium volume in our Reinsurance segment in 2023 was driven by significantly lower gross premiums within our professional liability product lines, primarily attributable to unfavorable premium adjustments in 2023 compared to favorable premium adjustments in 2022, largely driven by transaction liability business, due to lower volume of deal activity, and the deterioration in the pricing environment on directors and officers liability. Lower premium volume within professional liability also reflects decreases on renewals, due to decreased exposures and participation. The decrease in professional liability premium volume was partially offset by higher gross premiums within our marine and energy product lines due to increases on renewals, arising from increased exposures and more favorable rates, as well as new business. Significant variability in gross premium volume can be expected in our Reinsurance segment due to individually significant contracts and multi-year contracts.

Net retention of gross premium volume was 92% in 2023 compared to 95% in 2022. The decrease in net retention was driven by changes in mix of gross premium volume, as our professional liability business is fully retained and our marine and energy business carries a higher cession rate than the rest of the segment.

The decrease in earned premiums in 2023 was primarily due to less favorable premium adjustments in 2023 compared to 2022, primarily attributable to our professional liability and credit and surety product lines, and the non-renewal of a large treaty within our workers' compensation product line.

Combined Ratio

The increase in the Reinsurance segment's current accident year loss ratio in 2023 compared to 2022 was primarily due to less favorable premium adjustments on prior accident years in 2023 compared to 2022, primarily on our professional liability and credit and surety product lines.

The Reinsurance segment's 2023 combined ratio included $57.1 million of adverse development on prior accident years loss reserves, which was driven by $95.5 million, or nine points, of adverse development on our general liability product lines and $53.7 million, or five points, of adverse development on our public entity product line, as well as additional exposures recognized on prior accident years related to net favorable premium adjustments on our general liability product lines. These increases in prior accident year reserves in 2023 were partially offset by favorable development across several product lines, including our property and workers' compensation product lines, as well as reduced exposures recognized on prior accident years related to net unfavorable premium adjustments on our professional liability product lines.

Adverse development on our general liability product lines was primarily attributable to large reported loss claims and adverse loss development trends across multiple accident years. Substantially all of the adverse development on our public entity product line was attributable to a segment of this business that we discontinued