Verisk Analytics, the Jersey City, N.J., holding company for a group of risk analysis and assessment firms that include ISO and modeling firm AIR Worldwide, has much to celebrate as its $1.9 billion initial public offering (IPO) today represents the largest of 2009.  

Verisk, which was owned by a group of leading property/casualty insurance companies, collects actuarial and underwriting data related to U.S. property/casualty insurance risks. Today, Verisk claims to be the largest aggregator and provider of actuarial and underwriting data pertaining to U.S. property/casualty insurance risks.

Verisk's customers have included the largest property/casualty insurance providers as well as top health insurers, mortgage insurers, mortgage lenders and reinsurers.

Frank Coyne, chairman, president & CEO of Verisk Analytics, presided over the NASDAQ opening bell to celebrate the company's initial public offering on NASDAQ. Verisk Analytics will trade under the ticker symbol VRSK.

The company had priced its IPO of 85,250,000 shares at $22 each, slightly ahead of the $19-$21 pricing range that was indicated pre-IPO. This morning, however, investor demand outpaced supply on the NASDAQ exchange, boosting prices up 23% to more than $27 at time of this writing.
According to sources, none of the Verisk offering's proceeds will go to Verisk. Instead, cash from the IPO will go the insurance companies that are selling shares, including AIG, The Hartford and Travelers Cos.

In August 2008, Verisk filed for an IPO shortly before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, but since then, the IPO market went through its worst year in three decades.  However, the market saw a rebound in the third quarter this year when the number of IPOs tripled, compared to the same period in 2008.

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