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New rules and new features.

Auditors and actuaries once may have labored in obscurity, but since the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002, their work has gained the attention of chief executive officers, boards of directors and investors.

In our cover story this month, "The New Scrutiny" on page 22, insurers, auditors and actuaries describe the pressures, costs and benefits of working under the new rules. Included with the story are lists of the top audit and actuarial firms used by insurers. The lists are gleaned from a new A.M. Best special report, "Auditors and Actuaries of North America" an excerpt from which appears on page 29.

The Rise and Fall of Insurance Stocks

This issue of Best's Review marks the beginning of a new service to our readers. Each month we'll bring you information from Best's Insurance Stock Indices, including the top five performers and the bottom five performers. We'll also show you the month-to-month percentage change for multilines, property/casualty, life, health and HMO, and brokers and agents. Our first report is on page 13.

Looking Back

Another feature we're introducing this issue is a look at insurance news and trends Best's Review reported 100 years ago. These flashbacks are in the Briefing section.

Throughout 2006, we're planning more additions and changes to Best's Review to continue keeping you up to date with the latest insurance developments and trends. We hope you'll like what you see; it's going to be an exciting year.

Our November package, "Loud and Clear," focused on the Washington, D.C.-based lobbying efforts of selected insurance organizations. While this was not meant to be an exhaustive list, we should have included the efforts of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies. NAMIC's more than 1,400 member companies underwrite 43% of the property/casualty insurance premium in the United States. David A. Winston is NAMIC's senior vice president for federal affairs.

Sally Whitney is editor. You may reach her at (908) 4392200, Ext. 5340, by writing to A.M. Best Co., Ambest Road, Oldwick, NJ 08858, or by e-mail at Sally.Whitney@ambest.com. The e-mail address for Best's Review is bestreview@ambest.com.
COPYRIGHT 2006 A.M. Best Company, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2006, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Editor's Prologue
Author:Whitney, Sally
Publication:Best's Review
Date:Jan 1, 2006
Words:358
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