Reinsurance subsidiary not part of bankruptcy petition

AM Best has downgraded the financial strength rating (FSR) of Lehman Re to B (Fair) from A- (Excellent) and issuer credit rating (ICR) to 'bb' from 'a-.

The outlook for both ratings is negative.

Lehman Re is a wholly owned reinsurance subsidiary of Lehman Brothers Holding and the decision of Lehman Brothers to petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection has prompted these rating actions, AM Best said.

"While Lehman Re is not included in the bankruptcy petition, A.M. Best believes that the pending reorganization of Lehman Brothers could have a significant adverse impact on Lehman Re. A.M. Best had expected that the balance sheet of Lehman Brothers would be a source of capital for Lehman Re, if needed.

"A.M. Best also is concerned about the future of ongoing operating ties such as the securities activity between Lehman Re and other Lehman Brothers’ affiliates, the administrative and investment management services provided to Lehman Re by other subsidiaries of Lehman Brothers and the inability of Lehman Brothers to refer potential insurance clients to Lehman Re."

AM Best said it would continue to evaluate the impact of the Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy reorganization on Lehman Re.