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The Collaborative Clearinghouse for Lawsuits and Other Claims Against ACE Group Insurance Companies

Company Structure Excerpt from ACE 2009 Annual Report

ATTENTION: It is possible that this information may no longer be current and therefore may be inaccurate. The index contains both open and closed cases and is not a complete list of cases in which an ACE Insurance Group company is involved. This information is provided to give interested persons an idea of the issues disputed in the indexed cases. For a full understanding of a case, one should read the rest of the court file, including the response. For the most up-to-date and complete information on a case, visit or contact the clerk of the relevant court.

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Company Structure Our ability to pay dividends and to make payments on indebtedness may be constrained by our holding company structure.
ACE Limited is a holding company and does not have any significant operations or assets other than its ownership of the shares of its operating insurance and reinsurance subsidiaries. Dividends and other permitted distributions from our insurance subsidiaries are our primary source of funds to meet ongoing cash requirements, including any future debt service payments and other expenses, and to pay dividends to our shareholders. Some of our insurance subsidiaries are subject to significant regulatory restrictions limiting their ability to declare and pay dividends. The inability of our insurance subsidiaries to pay dividends in an amount sufficient to enable us to meet our cash requirements at the holding company level could have an adverse effect on our operations and our ability to pay dividends to our shareholders and/or meet our debt service obligations.
ACE Limited is a Swiss company; it may be difficult for you to enforce judgments against it or its directors and executive officers.
ACE Limited is incorporated pursuant to the laws of Switzerland. In addition, certain of our directors and officers reside outside the United States and all or a substantial portion of our assets and the assets of such persons are located in jurisdictions outside the United States. As such, it may be difficult or impossible to effect service of process within the United States upon those persons or to recover against us or them on judgments of U.S. courts, including judgments predicated upon civil liability provisions of the U.S. federal securities laws. ACE has been advised by Niederer Kraft & Frey AG, its Swiss counsel, that there is doubt as to whether the courts in Switzerland would enforce: • judgments of U.S. courts based upon the civil liability provisions of the U.S. Federal securities laws obtained in actions against it or its directors and officers, who reside outside the United States; or • original actions brought in Switzerland against these persons or ACE predicated solely upon U.S. Federal securities laws. ACE has also been advised by Niederer Kraft & Frey AG that there is no treaty in effect between the United States and Switzerland providing for this enforcement and there are grounds upon which Swiss courts may not enforce judgments of United States courts. Some remedies available under the laws of United States jurisdictions, including some remedies available under the U.S. Federal securities laws, would not be allowed in Swiss courts as contrary to that nation’s public policy. As a result of the increase in par value of our shares that occurred in connection with our Continuation to Switzerland, we will have less flexibility with respect to certain aspects of capital management than previously. In connection with our Continuation to Switzerland, we increased the par value of our shares. As of December 31, 2009, our par value is CHF 31.88 per share. Under Swiss law, we generally may not issue registered shares below their par value. In the event there is a need to raise common equity capital at a time when the trading price of our registered shares is below our par value, we will need to obtain approval of our shareholders to decrease the par value of our registered shares. We cannot assure you that we would be able to obtain such shareholder approval. Furthermore, obtaining shareholder approval would require filing a preliminary proxy statement with the SEC and convening a meeting of shareholders which would delay any capital raising plans. Furthermore, any reduction in par value would decrease our ability to pay dividends as a repayment of share capital which is not subject to Swiss withholding tax. See “Taxation – Shareholders may be subject to Swiss withholding taxes on the payment of dividends.”
Insurance and Reinsurance Markets Competition in the insurance and reinsurance markets could reduce our margins.
Insurance and reinsurance markets are highly competitive. We compete on an international and regional basis with major U.S., Bermuda, European, and other international insurers and reinsurers and with underwriting syndicates, some of which have greater financial, marketing, and management resources than we do. We also compete with new companies that continue to be formed to enter the insurance and reinsurance markets. In addition, capital market participants have created alternative products that are intended to compete with reinsurance products. Increased competition could result in fewer submissions, lower premium rates, and less favorable policy terms and conditions, which could reduce our margins.
Insurance and reinsurance markets are historically cyclical, and we expect to experience periods with excess underwriting capacity and unfavorable premium rates.
The insurance and reinsurance markets have historically been cyclical, characterized by periods of intense price competition due to excessive underwriting capacity as well as periods when shortages of capacity permitted favorable premium levels. An increase in premium levels is often offset by an increasing supply of insurance and reinsurance capacity, either by capital

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ACE 2009 Company Structure.pdf25.72 KB

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