News Releases

ACE Elite Brings Focus Back to Protecting Individual Assets
Nov 15, 2007

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ACE (NYSE:ACE) has today announced the launch of ACE Elite, a portfolio of liability products designed to provide more relevant and appropriate protection in addressing the increased exposure of individuals and their personal assets.

ACE Elite Directors & Officers (D&O) responds to the constantly evolving needs of the individual directors and officers at a time when these individuals are facing increased exposures arising from their duties being codified in the Companies Act 20061. In particular, with environmental duties being introduced in the Act, ACE Elite will provide directors with full limit cover for any non-indemnifiable pollution, bodily injury or property damage claims.

Commenting on the launch, Dan Holloway, ACEs UK D&O Product Manager said: D&O was originally developed to provide protection for the personal assets of individual directors and officers. Developments in the market have effectively diluted the emphasis of such protection which we believe sometimes exposes individuals to unnecessary risks. The need for this kind of protection has not diminished for directors and officers, in fact, recent changes to the Companies Act have increased the exposure of individuals making it even more vital that this remains the key focus.

Another area highlighting the potential exposures created by individuals sharing the protection available under an insurance policy relates to pension fund trustees. The Pension Act 2004 has already created a heightened risk that trustees may breach the increasingly complex responsibilities they face and consequently find their personal assets at risk. Some markets have removed forward cover for trustees where the sponsoring employer merges or is acquired or where the fund goes into run-off. The additional exposures this creates place an unacceptable burden on trustees.

Emma Watkins, Pension Trustee Liability (PTL) specialist and Product Manager at ACE said: PTL insurance offers wide cover for the individual, sponsoring employer and the pension scheme itself. However, there is a risk that when insurers focus on providing cover for the company this can divert protection away from the individual, therefore exposing trustees to unnecessary risk. ACE Elite PTL adopts a more direct approach and backed up by our robust underwriting and pricing strategy, we aim to redress the balance for trustees.

ACE will be targeting growth from the ACE Elite portfolio in the UK regional broker market using ACE Online which has already proved successful amongst brokers with the launch of a D&O cover earlier this year

ACE Elite will include new policy wordings for D&O and PTL cover. New products including Initial Public Offering (IPO) and Charities are planned for launch in 2008.

Notes to editors:

Under the Elite portfolio, D&O will cover costs including extradition proceedings; judgments and defence. Cover will also be continued for individual directors found innocent where there has been fraudulent conduct, non-disclosure, misrepresentation or intent to deceive. Pension Trustee Liability cover will include protection for breach of trust, negligence; and misleading statements.

1The Companies Act

Following the Companies Act 2006 Duties owed by directors to their company have been set out in statute. These codified duties will replace the common law duties of directors on which they are based, and came into force on 1 October 2007. These duties include:

  • a duty to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence
  • a duty to promote the success of the company  including but not limited to the impact of the companys operations on the community and the environment
  • a duty to act within their powers
  • a duty to exercise independent judgement
  • a duty to avoid conflicts of interest
  • a duty not to accept benefits from third parties
  • a duty to declare any interest in a proposed transaction or arrangement

The Act also changes the rules by which shareholders can bring actions in the name of the company, known as derivative actions, and this may make it easier for shareholders to sue directors. The new rules on derivative actions also came into force on 1 October 2007.


ACE European Group has established branch offices in 19 countries across Europe, Freedom of Services permission to provide insurance services to clients in 30 European countries and affiliates in Egypt, Bahrain, Pakistan, Russia and South Africa.

Part of the ACE Group of Companies, ACE European Group comprises the operations of ACE Europe, ACE Global Markets and ACE Tempest Re Group. ACE Europe provides a range of tailored Property and Casualty, Accident and Health and Personal Lines solutions for a diverse range of clients. ACE Global Markets (AGM) is ACEs specialty international business, underwriting through ACEs Lloyds Syndicate 2488 and ACE European Group Limited. Specialty lines include excess and surplus lines business, Marine, Aviation, Energy and Political Risk as well as Property, Financial Lines and Accident and Health. Additional information on ACE European Group can be found at

The ACE Group of Companies is a global leader in insurance and reinsurance serving a diverse group of clients. Headed by ACE Limited (NYSE:ACE), a component of the Standard & Poors 500 stock index, the ACE Group conducts its business on a worldwide basis with operating subsidiaries in more than 50 countries. Additional information can be found at:


ACE European Group
Katie Weeks, +44 (0) 20 7173 7585
Communications Manager