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Commercial Property Insurer FM Global to Commemorate 175 Years of Innovation and Collaboration in 2010

Anniversary marks a year of significant developments ahead

JOHNSTON, R.I., USA—FM Global, one of the world’s largest business property insurers, today announced plans for a year-long commemoration of its 175th anniversary in 2010 that will highlight the company’s past and future as an insurance leader in engineering innovation and knowledge sharing.

The commemoration will include the launch of several new initiatives, including the unveiling of a new state-of-the-art natural hazards laboratory; the introduction of major developments in fire protection science and engineering; and a programme to use social media as a means to connect FM Global’s heritage with its future, and to stimulate risk management conversations online.

These forward-thinking efforts reflect the innovative legacy of the company’s founder, Zachariah Allen, one of the first professional risk managers in the United States. In 1835, at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, Allen pioneered the creation of the first mutual property insurance company for factories by bringing together like-minded manufacturers who were committed to loss prevention. The company was built for the sole benefit of its policyholders.

When it was founded, FM Global was the first insurance company to take an engineering-based approach to help clients protect property and insure against loss. Today, the company remains the only major insurance company in the world to offer this unique approach of underwriting through loss prevention engineering. More than one of every three FORTUNE 1000 companies turns to FM Global’s expertise to help protect their physical assets in nearly 200 countries. FM Global has grown to become a US$4.6 billion company and ranks 17th for longevity among the FORTUNE 1000.

“Few companies today can say they have endured for nearly two centuries and still have a sustainable business model that continues to add value,” said Shivan S. Subramaniam, chairman and CEO. “For 175 years, we have believed the majority of all property loss is preventable, not inevitable. Through a unique engineering-driven approach to underwriting, in close partnership with our client-owners, FM Global continues to help companies protect their business operations and shareholder value and back them with stability, capacity and financial strength.”

In 2010, as part of the company’s anniversary, FM Global will:

  1. Unveil a new 72,000-square-foot (6,700-square-meter) natural hazards laboratory, one of the world’s largest research facilities for replicating and understanding risks such as earthquakes, hurricanes and hailstorms. The facility is designed to help companies—and the communities where they are located—minimise the impact of major natural disasters. The one-of-a-kind facility is part of FM Global’s 1,600 acre (648 ha), US$125 million Research Campus in West Glocester, R.I., USA, where the company also studies such risks as warehouse-size fires as well as dust and gas explosions.
  2. Release the findings of two unprecedented research studies—one that examines the environmental impact of fires and a second that looks at physical risk management and its relationship to shareholder value.
  3. Lead a global collaboration of the best and brightest in academia and industry by engaging experts in fire science in the development of FM Global’s latest fire protection computer models via an open source software approach.
  4. Create an opportunity for the insurance and risk management community to connect with, and learn from, the company’s founder, Zachariah Allen, through a social media program that leverages Facebook and Twitter. Managed by FM Global, the programme will share useful daily loss prevention advice that is thought-provoking and easy to implement, and will provide a forum for friends and followers to share ideas and engage in discussions.

“FM Global’s 175th anniversary is a momentous milestone in the history of our company,” added Subramaniam. “The coming year promises to be an exciting and meaningful one for FM Global, our clients and employees.”

About FM Global:

For 175 years, many of the world’s largest organizations have turned to www.fmglobal.com to develop cost-effective property insurance and engineering solutions to protect their business operations from fire, natural disasters and other types of property risk. FM Global ranks #766 among FORTUNE magazine’s largest companies in America and is rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best and AA (Very Strong) by Fitch Ratings. The company has been named “Best Property Insurer in the World” by Euromoney magazine and “Best Global Property Insurer” by Global Finance magazine.