• Florida's Citizens Property Insurance Finance and Investment Committee Approves Holding, Conditional Selling of Legacy Assets
  • July 17, 2013
  • Law Firm: Colodny Fass Talenfeld Karlinsky Abate Webb P.A. - Fort Lauderdale Office
  • At its meeting today, July 15, 2013, Florida's Citizens Property Insurance Corporation ("Citizens") Finance and Investment Committee ("Committee") approved a plan to hold "Legacy Assets" over the next two years and strategically sell them under certain circumstances.

    Purchased on Citizens' behalf by a former portfolio manager, the "Legacy Assets" are investments that defaulted on their original obligation in 2007, just prior to the financial crisis of 2008.

    Jennifer Montero, Citizens' Director of Accounting and Finance, explained that Citizens currently holds six securities that make up the Legacy Assets:

    • State Board of Administration Fund B
    • Lehman Brothers Holdings Escrow
    • AFF Financing
    • Atlantic East
    • Pacific West and Issuer Entity

    The original principal amount of these combined holdings was $968.5 million prior to their default. All of the Legacy Assets, with the exception of Lehman Brothers, were restructured by October 2008 and resumed paying back both principal and interest on a monthly basis.

    Because the Legacy Assets have been performing and continuing to pay monthly principal and interest payments, Citizens has retained these assets. As of May 31, 2013, the principal payments received on the combined Legacy Assets since 2007 is in excess of $656 million, with the remaining $312 million still outstanding. The overall improving market conditions and continuing principal payments have allowed Citizens to recover almost $134 million of the original $290.6 million for a net write-down of $156.6 million.

    Ms. Montero explained that Citizens has worked closely with its financial advisors on analyzing the Legacy Assets and their underlying securities in the form of four Structured Investment Vehicles ("SIVs").

    The original outstanding principal balance of the four SIVs was $608 million. Since then, Citizens has received $349 million in corresponding principal payments. Currently, the outstanding principal balance is $258 million as of June 30, 2013. Citizens has received an average of $5 million a month in principal payments since the SIVs were restructured and, so far, 57 percent of the original outstanding balance has been repaid. The weighted average life of the combined SIVs is approximately four to seven years, with 30 to 40 percent of remaining principal expected to be regained within the next two years.

    Ms. Montero said that the recommendation is to monitor the Legacy Assets and strategically sell them over the next two years only if certain values can be realized. This will allow Citizens to quickly react to positive conditions if market prices approach what is considered to be fair value--a 90 percent return of original principal combined.

    "The current option laid out lets us capitalize on the real-life gains moving forward," Committee member John Wortman said. A motion was approved to adopt the recommendations.

    Committee Chairman Carlos Lacasa emphasized the importance of monitoring the situation on a regular basis.