Berkshire Hathaway announced today that Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, its recently formed commercial P&C insurance group, has commenced operations, underwriting property, casualty, professional and executive liability insurance and programs for customers in the United States.

This announcement represents the culmination of a month and a half of high-profile recruiting efforts on behalf of Buffett.

At the end of April, Berkshire made a splash ( by simultaneously tapping four AIG executives to head up the new effort. Since then, more moves had been made involving large insurers to build up the specialty insurance unit.

Today, the management team looks like this: Peter Eastwood, president and former CEO of AIG’s P&C Americas unit; David Bresnahan, EVP, casualty, health, professional and executive liability, and former president of Lexington Insurance, a subsidiary of AIG; Sanjay Godhwani, EVP, property and programs, and former president in Latin America and the Caribbean for AIG's P&C operations; David Fields, EVP, underwriting, actuarial, finance and reinsurance, and former AIG P&C executive; and David Crowe, who will serve as SVP, claims.

"It's official: We are moving into commercial insurance in a substantial way, and we are here to stay," said Warren E. Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. "With our proven underwriting discipline and financial strength, along with a stellar management team, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance is a welcome solution for customers seeking large-scale property/casualty capacity for the long term."

The new Berkshire venture is focused primarily on U.S. excess and surplus lines insurance, according to the insurer, due to the growing importance of this market segment in providing tailored solutions to customers.

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance has its home base at 60 State Street in Boston, MA and regional underwriting offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York.

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