News Release

New Podcast from ACE USA Highlights International Developments in Executive Liability
The Latest in a Series of ACE Progress Reports: Critical Research on Current & Emerging Risk Management Issues
Apr 5, 2010

PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ACE USA, the U.S.-based retail operating division of the ACE Group, today announced the availability of a new podcast presenting international developments in executive liability. A burgeoning array of laws have been passed by countries worldwide, affecting corporate disclosure, fiduciary duty, accounting, and transparency requirements. These laws have been passed in the last decade by countries around the globe, and it is critical that directors and officers are aware of their many implications.

In this new ACE podcast, Carol Zacharias, Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, North America, ACE Group, is joined by Scott Meyer, Executive Vice President of ACE Professional Risk, as they discuss a report authored by Ms. Zacharias titled, “Important International Developments in Executive Liability.” Their commentary is part of ACE Progress ReportsSM, a collection of white papers, articles, and executive reports on current and emerging risk management issues. Ms. Zacharias’ article also appeared in the Winter 2010 issue of John Liner Review, a quarterly journal focusing on strategies for managing and insuring risks.

In their podcast discussion, Ms. Zacharias and Mr. Meyer examine corporate governance strictures and the increasing frequency and severity of breaches worldwide. They also discuss the increased obligations placed on companies and their directors, particularly given the developing litigation environment outside the United States. In recent years, this environment has become more hospitable to plaintiffs seeking to file cases outside the United States, despite laws imposing duties and obligations. An increasing number of laws, cases and settlements have essentially set high standards for management disclosure, analysis, and the assessment of the financial impact of global executive liability. Ms. Zacharias and Mr. Meyer additionally address varied collective action rules, punitive damages, indemnification uncertainties, and litigation certainty, along with insurance and risk management considerations.

“There’s no question that the demand for accountability is now greater than before, further compounding the risks created by new legal requirements,” said Ms. Zacharias. “Growing corporate governance strictures on companies and directors are playing out in various regions around the world. In some instances, directors and officers of publicly-traded companies may shoulder personal liability for breaches, and may be subject to criminal penalties.”

Mr. Meyer commented further on the findings of the report, noting, in particular, the ability of shareholders to take action against directors and officers. “Shareholders may bring direct actions, collective actions, and derivative actions against directors, for damages to the company caused by violations of law, regulations, company articles, or in the performance of their duties. Old barriers to litigation are falling, such as elimination of the requirement that plaintiffs post a deposit to file the case.”

To access the ACE USA audio podcast program (approximately sixteen minutes long), please visit:www.aceusa.com/news/Pages/Podcasts.aspx. The material presented in the podcast is not intended to provide legal or other expert advice. It is presented as information only. Listeners should consult legal counsel or other experts, as applicable, with any questions they may have. To access the report, please visit:www.aceusa.com/News/Pages/ACEProgressReports.aspx.

Staffed by a team of innovative underwriters, ACE Professional Risk is the operating unit within ACE USA that distributes management liability, professional liability, and surety products through retail brokers throughout the U.S. and Canada. For more information about ACE Professional Risk and its range of products and services, please visit: www.aceusa.com.

ACE USA is the U.S.-based retail operating division of the ACE Group, and is rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best Company and A+ (Strong) by Standard & Poor’s. ACE USA, through its underwriting companies, provides insurance products and services throughout the U.S. Additional information on ACE USA and its products and services can be found at www.aceusa.com. Celebrating 25 years of insuring progress, the ACE Group is a global leader in insurance and reinsurance serving a diverse group of clients. Headed by ACE Limited (NYSE: ACE), the ACE Group conducts its business on a worldwide basis with operating subsidiaries in more than 50 countries. Additional information can be found at: www.acelimited.com.

 

Contact:

ACE USA
Carla L. Ferrara
215-640-4744
Carla.ferrara@acegroup.com