10-K 1 ago-12312015x10k.htm 10-K 10-K
 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
____________________________________________________________________________
FORM 10-K
ý
 
ANNUAL REPORT UNDER SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2015
Or
o
 
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from to
Commission File Number 001-32141
ASSURED GUARANTY LTD.
(Exact name of Registrant as specified in its charter)
Bermuda
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
98-0429991
(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
30 Woodbourne Avenue
Hamilton HM 08 Bermuda
(441) 279-5700
(Address, including zip code, and telephone number,
including area code, of Registrant's principal executive office)
None
(Former name, former address and former fiscal year, if changed since last report)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class 
 
Name of each exchange on which registered 
Common Shares, $0.01 per share
 
New York Stock Exchange, Inc.
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes ý    No o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act. Yes o    No ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant: (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes ý    No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files). Yes ý    No o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant's knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," and "smaller reporting company" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer ý
 
Accelerated filer o
 
Non-accelerated filer o
 (Do not check if a
smaller reporting company)
 
Smaller reporting company o



Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act). Yes o    No ý
The aggregate market value of Common Shares held by non-affiliates of the Registrant as of the close of business on June 30, 2015 was $3,501,022,807 (based upon the closing price of the Registrant's shares on the New York Stock Exchange on that date, which was $23.99). For purposes of this information, the outstanding Common Shares which were owned by all directors and executive officers of the Registrant were deemed to be the only shares of Common Stock held by affiliates.
As of February 23, 2016, 135,925,921 Common Shares, par value $0.01 per share, were outstanding (including 62,145 unvested restricted shares).
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Certain portions of Registrant's definitive proxy statement relating to its 2016 Annual General Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference to Part III of this report.
 
 



Forward Looking Statements

This Form 10-K contains information that includes or is based upon forward looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward looking statements give the expectations or forecasts of future events of Assured Guaranty Ltd. (“AGL”) and its subsidiaries (collectively with AGL, “Assured Guaranty” or the “Company”). These statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts and relate to future operating or financial performance.
 
Any or all of Assured Guaranty’s forward looking statements herein are based on current expectations and the current economic environment and may turn out to be incorrect. Assured Guaranty’s actual results may vary materially. Among factors that could cause actual results to differ adversely are:
 
rating agency action, including a ratings downgrade, a change in outlook, the placement of ratings on watch for downgrade, or a change in rating criteria, at any time, of AGL or any of its subsidiaries, and/or of any securities AGL or any of its subsidiaries have issued, and/or of transactions that AGL’s subsidiaries have insured;
reduction in the amount of available insurance opportunities and/or in the demand for Assured Guaranty's insurance;
developments in the world’s financial and capital markets that adversely affect obligors’ payment rates, Assured Guaranty’s loss experience, or its exposure to refinancing risk in transactions (which could result in substantial liquidity claims on its guarantees);
the possibility that budget or pension shortfalls or other factors will result in credit losses or impairments on obligations of state, territorial and local governments and their related authorities and public corporations that Assured Guaranty insures or reinsures;
the failure of Assured Guaranty to realize loss recoveries that are assumed in its expected loss estimates;
deterioration in the financial condition of Assured Guaranty’s reinsurers, the amount and timing of reinsurance recoverables actually received and the risk that reinsurers may dispute amounts owed to Assured Guaranty under its reinsurance agreements;
increased competition, including from new entrants into the financial guaranty industry;
rating agency action on obligors, including sovereign debtors, resulting in a reduction in the value of securities in Assured Guaranty's investment portfolio and in collateral posted by and to Assured Guaranty;
the inability of Assured Guaranty to access external sources of capital on acceptable terms;
changes in the world’s credit markets, segments thereof, interest rates or general economic conditions;
the impact of market volatility on the mark-to-market of Assured Guaranty’s contracts written in credit default swap form;
changes in applicable accounting policies or practices;
changes in applicable laws or regulations, including insurance, bankruptcy and tax laws, or other governmental actions;
difficulties with the execution of Assured Guaranty’s business strategy;
loss of key personnel;
the effects of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures;
natural or man-made catastrophes;
other risks and uncertainties that have not been identified at this time;
management’s response to these factors; and



other risk factors identified in AGL’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”).
 The foregoing review of important factors should not be construed as exhaustive, and should be read in conjunction with the other cautionary statements that are included in this Form 10-K. The Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or review any forward looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise, except as required by law. Investors are advised, however, to consult any further disclosures the Company makes on related subjects in the Company’s reports filed with the SEC.
 
If one or more of these or other risks or uncertainties materialize, or if the Company’s underlying assumptions prove to be incorrect, actual results may vary materially from what the Company projected. Any forward looking statements in this Form 10-K reflect the Company’s current views with respect to future events and are subject to these and other risks, uncertainties and assumptions relating to its operations, results of operations, growth strategy and liquidity.
 
For these statements, the Company claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward looking statements contained in Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”).

Convention
 
Unless otherwise noted, ratings on Assured Guaranty's insured portfolio and on bonds or notes purchased pursuant to loss mitigation strategies ("loss mitigation securities") or risk management strategies are Assured Guaranty’s internal ratings. Internal credit ratings are expressed on a rating scale similar to that used by the rating agencies and generally reflect an approach similar to that employed by the rating agencies, except that Assured Guaranty's internal credit ratings focus on future performance, rather than lifetime performance.

In addition, unless otherwise noted, the Company excludes amounts attributable to loss mitigation securities from par and debt service outstanding, because it manages such securities as investments and not insurance exposure.






ASSURED GUARANTY LTD.
FORM 10-K
TABLE OF CONTENTS 
 
 
Page
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



PART I

ITEM 1.
BUSINESS

Overview

Assured Guaranty Ltd. (“AGL” and, together with its subsidiaries, “Assured Guaranty” or the “Company”) is a Bermuda-based holding company incorporated in 2003 that provides, through its operating subsidiaries, credit protection products to the United States (“U.S.”) and international public finance (including infrastructure) and structured finance markets. The Company applies its credit underwriting judgment, risk management skills and capital markets experience to offer financial guaranty insurance that protects holders of debt instruments and other monetary obligations from defaults in scheduled payments. If an obligor defaults on a scheduled payment due on an obligation, including a scheduled principal or interest payment (“Debt Service”), the Company is required under its unconditional and irrevocable financial guaranty to pay the amount of the shortfall to the holder of the obligation. The Company markets its financial guaranty insurance directly to issuers and underwriters of public finance and structured finance securities as well as to investors in such obligations. The Company guarantees obligations issued principally in the U.S. and the United Kingdom ("U.K"), and also guarantees obligations issued in other countries and regions, including Australia and Western Europe.

The Company conducts its financial guaranty business on a direct basis from the following companies: Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp. ("AGM"), Municipal Assurance Corp. ("MAC"), Assured Guaranty Corp. ("AGC"), and Assured Guaranty (Europe) Ltd. ("AGE"). It also conducts business through Assured Guaranty Re Ltd. ("AG Re"), a Bermuda-based reinsurer. The following is a description of AGL's principal operating subsidiaries:

Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp. AGM is located and domiciled in New York, was organized in 1984 and commenced operations in 1985. Since mid-2008, AGM has provided financial guaranty insurance on debt obligations issued in the U.S. public finance and global infrastructure markets, including bonds issued by U.S. state or governmental authorities or notes issued to finance infrastructure projects. Previously, AGM also offered insurance and reinsurance in the global structured finance market, including asset-backed securities issued by special purpose entities. AGM formerly was named Financial Security Assurance Inc. Assured Guaranty acquired AGM, together with its holding company Financial Security Assurance Holdings Ltd. (renamed Assured Guaranty Municipal Holdings Inc., "AGMH") and the subsidiaries owned by that holding company, on July 1, 2009.

Municipal Assurance Corp. MAC is located and domiciled in New York and was organized in 2008. Assured Guaranty acquired MAC on May 31, 2012. On July 16, 2013, Assured Guaranty completed a series of transactions that increased the capitalization of MAC and resulted in MAC assuming a portfolio of geographically diversified U.S. public finance exposure from AGM and AGC. MAC offers insurance and reinsurance on bonds issued by U.S. state or municipal governmental authorities, focusing on investment grade obligations in select sectors of the municipal market.

Assured Guaranty Corp. AGC is located in New York and domiciled in Maryland, was organized in 1985 and commenced operations in 1988. It provides insurance and reinsurance on debt obligations in the global structured finance market and also offers guarantees on obligations in the U.S. public finance and international infrastructure markets.

On April 1, 2015 (“Acquisition Date”), AGC completed the acquisition (“Radian Asset Acquisition”) of all of the issued and outstanding capital stock of financial guaranty insurer Radian Asset Assurance Inc. (“Radian Asset”) for $804.5 million; the cash consideration was paid from AGC's available funds and from the proceeds of a $200 million loan from AGC’s direct parent, Assured Guaranty US Holdings Inc. ("AGUS"). AGC repaid the loan in full to AGUS on April 14, 2015. Radian Asset was merged with and into AGC, with AGC as the surviving company of the merger. The Radian Asset Acquisition added $13.6 billion to the Company's net par outstanding on April 1, 2015, and is consistent with one of the Company's key business strategies of supplementing its book of business through acquisitions.

Assured Guaranty (Europe) Ltd. AGE is a U.K. incorporated company licensed as a U.K. insurance company and authorized to operate in various countries throughout the European Economic Area ("EEA"). It was organized in 1990 and issued its first financial guarantee in 1994. AGE offers financial guarantees in both the international public finance and structured finance markets and is the primary entity from which the Company writes business in the EEA. As discussed further under "Business" below, AGE has agreed with its regulator that new business it writes would be guaranteed using a co-insurance structure pursuant to which AGE would co-insure municipal and infrastructure transactions with AGM, and structured finance transactions with AGC. AGE must obtain the approval of the Prudential Regulation Authority ("PRA") before it can guarantee any new structured finance transaction.


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Assured Guaranty Re Ltd. AG Re is incorporated under the laws of Bermuda and is licensed as a Class 3B insurer under the Insurance Act 1978 and related regulations of Bermuda. AG Re owns, indirectly, Assured Guaranty Re Overseas Ltd. ("AGRO"), which is a Bermuda Class 3A and Class C insurer. AG Re and AGRO underwrite financial guaranty reinsurance. They write business as reinsurers of third-party primary insurers and of certain affiliated companies.

Assured Guaranty is the market leader in the financial guaranty industry. The Company's position in the market has benefited from its acquisition of AGMH in 2009, its ability to maintain strong financial strength ratings, its strong claims-paying resources, its proven willingness to make claim payments to policyholders after obligors have defaulted, and its ability to achieve recoveries in respect of the claims that it has paid on insured residential mortgage-backed securities and to resolve troubled municipal credits to which it had exposure.

The Company faces challenges in maintaining its market penetration. The challenges in 2015 were primarily due to:

Sustained low interest rate environment in the U.S. Over the last several years, interest rates generally have been lower than historical norms. In 2015, average daily 30-year municipal interest rates, as reflected by the benchmark AAA 30-year Municipal Market Data index published by Thomson Reuters ("MMD Index"), were approximately 35 basis points lower than their levels in 2014, a year in which rates were already low by historical standards. As a result, the difference in yield (or the credit spread) between a bond insured by Assured Guaranty and an uninsured bond has provided comparatively little room for issuer savings and insurance premium, and Assured Guaranty has seen a lower demand for its financial guaranty insurance from issuers over the past several years than it saw historically.

Increased competition. The Company estimates, based on third party industry compilations, that of the insured U.S. public finance bonds issued in the primary market in 2015, the Company insured approximately 60% of the par, while Build America Mutual Assurance Company ("BAM"), insured 38% of the par. National Public Finance Guarantee Corporation ("National"), an affiliate of MBIA Insurance Corporation ("MBIA"), insured the remaining 2% of the balance. The continued presence in the market of BAM affects the Company's insured volume as well as the amount of premium the Company is able to charge.

In addition, the Company's business continues to be affected by negative perceptions of the value of the financial guaranty insurance sold by other companies that had been active in the industry. The losses suffered by such other insurers resulted in those companies being downgraded to below-investment-grade ("BIG") levels by the rating agencies and/or subject to intervention by their state insurance regulators. In a number of cases, the state insurance regulators prevented the distressed financial guaranty insurers from paying claims or paying such claims in full; in addition, such financial guaranty insurers were perceived by market participants not to be actively conducting surveillance on transactions or fully exercising rights and remedies to mitigate losses.

The Company believes that issuers and investors in securities will continue to purchase financial guaranty insurance, especially if interest rates rise and credit spreads widen. U.S. municipalities have budgetary requirements that are best met through financings in the fixed income capital markets. In particular, smaller municipal issuers frequently use financial guaranties in order to access the capital markets with new debt offerings at a lower all-in interest rate than on an unguaranteed basis. In addition, the Company expects long-term debt financings for infrastructure projects will grow throughout the world, as will the financing needs associated with privatization initiatives or refinancing of infrastructure projects in developed countries.

Financial Guaranty Portfolio

The Company primarily conducts its business through subsidiaries located in the U.S., Europe and Bermuda. The Company generally insures obligations issued in the U.S., although it has also guaranteed securities issued in Europe, Australia and other international markets.

Financial guaranty insurance generally provides an unconditional and irrevocable guaranty that protects the holder of a debt instrument or other monetary obligation against non-payment of scheduled principal and interest payments when due. Upon an obligor's default on scheduled principal or interest payments due on the debt obligation, whether due to its insolvency or otherwise, the Company is generally required under the financial guaranty contract to pay the investor the principal or interest shortfall then due.

Financial guaranty insurance may be issued to all of the investors of the guaranteed series or tranche of a municipal bond or structured finance security at the time of issuance of those obligations or it may be issued in the secondary market to only specific individual holders of such obligations who purchase the Company's credit protection.

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Both issuers of and investors in financial instruments may benefit from financial guaranty insurance. Issuers benefit when they purchase financial guaranty insurance for their new issue debt transaction because the insurance may have the effect of lowering an issuer's interest cost over the life of the debt transaction to the extent that the insurance premium charged by the Company is less than the net present value of the difference between the yield on the obligation insured by Assured Guaranty (which carries the credit rating of the specific subsidiary that guarantees the debt obligation) and the yield on the debt obligation if sold on the basis of its uninsured credit rating. The principal benefit to investors is that the Company's guaranty provides certainty that scheduled payments will be received when due. The guaranty may also improve the marketability of obligations issued by infrequent or unknown issuers, as well as obligations with complex structures or backed by asset classes new to the market. This benefit to market liquidity, which we call a "liquidity benefit," results from the increase in secondary market trading values for Assured Guaranty-insured obligations as compared with uninsured obligations by the same issuer. In general, the liquidity benefit of financial guaranties is that investors are able to sell insured bonds more quickly and, depending on the financial strength rating of the insurer, at a higher secondary market price than for uninsured debt obligations.

As an alternative to traditional financial guaranty insurance, in the past the Company also provided credit protection relating to a particular security or obligor through a credit derivative contract, such as a credit default swap ("CDS"). Under the terms of a CDS, the seller of credit protection agreed to make a specified payment to the buyer of credit protection if one or more specified credit events occurs with respect to a reference obligation or entity. In general, the credit events specified in the Company's CDS are for interest and principal defaults on the reference obligation. One difference between CDS and traditional primary financial guaranty insurance is that credit default protection was typically provided to a particular buyer of credit protection, who is not always required to own the reference obligation, rather than to all investors in the reference obligation. As a result, the Company's rights and remedies under a CDS may be different and more limited than on a financial guaranty of an entire issuance. Credit derivatives were preferred by some investors, however, because they generally offered the investor ease of execution and standardized terms as well as more favorable accounting or capital treatment. Due to changes in the regulatory environment, the Company has not provided credit protection through a CDS since March 2009, other than in connection with loss mitigation and other remediation efforts relating to its existing book of business. See the Risk Factor captioned "Changes in or inability to comply with applicable law could adversely affect the Company's ability to do business" under Risks Related to GAAP and Applicable Law in "Item 1A. Risk Factors" for additional detail about the regulatory environment.

The Company also offers credit protection through reinsurance, and in the past has provided reinsurance to other financial guaranty insurers with respect to their guaranty of public finance, infrastructure and structured finance obligations. The Company believes that the opportunities currently available to it in the reinsurance market consist primarily of potentially assuming portfolios of transactions from inactive primary insurers and recapturing portfolios that it has previously ceded to third party reinsurers.

The Company's financial guaranty direct and assumed businesses provide credit protection on public finance, infrastructure and structured finance obligations. For information on the geographic breakdown of the Company's financial guaranty portfolio and on its income and revenue by jurisdiction, see "Geographic Distribution of Net Par Outstanding" in Note 4, Outstanding Exposure, and "Provision for Income Taxes" in Note 12, Income Taxes, of the Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.

U.S. Public Finance Obligations   The Company insures and reinsures a number of different types of U.S. public finance obligations, including the following:

General Obligation Bonds are full faith and credit bonds that are issued by states, their political subdivisions and other municipal issuers, and are supported by the general obligation of the issuer to pay from available funds and by a pledge of the issuer to levy ad valorem taxes in an amount sufficient to provide for the full payment of the bonds.
     
Tax-Backed Bonds are obligations that are supported by the issuer from specific and discrete sources of taxation. They include tax-backed revenue bonds, general fund obligations and lease revenue bonds. Tax-backed obligations may be secured by a lien on specific pledged tax revenues, such as a gasoline or excise tax, or incrementally from growth in property tax revenue associated with growth in property values. These obligations also include obligations secured by special assessments levied against property owners and often benefit from issuer covenants to enforce collections of such assessments and to foreclose on delinquent properties. Lease revenue bonds typically are general fund obligations of a municipality or other governmental authority that are subject to annual appropriation or abatement; projects financed and subject to such lease payments ordinarily include real estate or equipment serving an essential public purpose. Bonds in this category also include moral obligations of municipalities or governmental authorities.

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Municipal Utility Bonds are obligations of all forms of municipal utilities, including electric, water and sewer utilities and resource recovery revenue bonds. These utilities may be organized in various forms, including municipal enterprise systems, authorities or joint action agencies.

Transportation Bonds include a wide variety of revenue-supported bonds, such as bonds for airports, ports, tunnels, municipal parking facilities, toll roads and toll bridges.

Healthcare Bonds are obligations of healthcare facilities, including community based hospitals and systems, as well as of health maintenance organizations and long-term care facilities.

Higher Education Bonds are obligations secured by revenue collected by either public or private secondary schools, colleges and universities. Such revenue can encompass all of an institution's revenue, including tuition and fees, or in other cases, can be specifically restricted to certain auxiliary sources of revenue.

Housing Revenue Bonds are obligations relating to both single and multi-family housing, issued by states and localities, supported by cash flow and, in some cases, insurance from entities such as the Federal Housing Administration.

Infrastructure Bonds include obligations issued by a variety of entities engaged in the financing of infrastructure projects, such as roads, airports, ports, social infrastructure and other physical assets delivering essential services supported by long-term concession arrangements with a public sector entity.

Investor-Owned Utility Bonds are obligations primarily backed by investor-owned utilities, first mortgage bond obligations of for-profit electric or water utilities providing retail, industrial and commercial service, and also include sale-leaseback obligation bonds supported by such entities.

Other Public Finance Bonds include other debt issued, guaranteed or otherwise supported by U.S. national or local governmental authorities, as well as student loans, revenue bonds, and obligations of some not-for-profit organizations.

A portion of the Company's exposure to tax-backed bonds, municipal utility bonds and transportation bonds constitutes "special revenue" bonds under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Even if an obligor under a special revenue bond were to seek protection from creditors under Chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, holders of the special revenue bond should continue to receive timely payments of principal and interest during the bankruptcy proceeding, subject to the special revenues being sufficient to pay debt service and the lien on the special revenues being subordinate to the necessary operating expenses of the project or system from which the revenues are derived. While "special revenues" acquired by the obligor after bankruptcy remain subject to the pre-petition pledge, special revenue bonds may be adjusted if their claim is determined to be "undersecured."

Non-U.S. Public Finance Obligations    The Company insures and reinsures a number of different types of non-U.S. public finance obligations, which consist of both infrastructure projects and other projects essential for municipal function such as regulated utilities. Credit support for the exposures written by the Company may come from a variety of sources, including some combination of subordinated tranches, over-collateralization or cash reserves. Additional support also may be provided by transaction provisions intended to benefit noteholders or credit enhancers. The types of non-U.S. public finance securities the Company insures and reinsures include the following:

Infrastructure Finance Obligations are obligations issued by a variety of entities engaged in the financing of international infrastructure projects, such as roads, airports, ports, social infrastructure, and other physical assets delivering essential services supported either by long-term concession arrangements with a public sector entity or a regulatory regime. The majority of the Company's international infrastructure business is conducted in the U.K.

Regulated Utilities Obligations are issued by government-regulated providers of essential services and commodities, including electric, water and gas utilities. The majority of the Company's international regulated utility business is conducted in the U.K.

Pooled Infrastructure Obligations are synthetic asset-backed obligations that take the form of CDS obligations or credit-linked notes that reference either infrastructure finance obligations or a pool of such obligations, with a defined deductible to cover credit risks associated with the referenced obligations.

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Other Public Finance Obligations include obligations of local, municipal, regional or national governmental authorities or agencies.

U.S. and Non-U.S. Structured Finance Obligations    The Company insures and reinsures a number of different types of U.S. and non-U.S. structured finance obligations. Credit support for the exposures written by the Company may come from a variety of sources, including some combination of subordinated tranches, excess spread, over-collateralization or cash reserves. Additional support also may be provided by transaction provisions intended to benefit noteholders or credit enhancers. The types of U.S. and Non-U.S. Structured Finance obligations the Company insures and reinsures include the following:

Pooled Corporate Obligations are securities primarily backed by various types of corporate debt obligations, such as secured or unsecured bonds, bank loans or loan participations and trust preferred securities ("TruPS"). These securities are often issued in "tranches," with subordinated tranches providing credit support to the more senior tranches. The Company's financial guaranty exposures generally are to the more senior tranches of these issues.

Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities ("RMBS") are obligations backed by closed-end and open-end first and second lien mortgage loans on one-to-four family residential properties, including condominiums and cooperative apartments. First lien mortgage loan products in these transactions include fixed rate, adjustable rate and option adjustable-rate mortgages. The credit quality of borrowers covers a broad range, including "prime", "subprime" and "Alt-A". A prime borrower is generally defined as one with strong risk characteristics as measured by factors such as payment history, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio. A subprime borrower is a borrower with higher risk characteristics, usually as determined by credit score and/or credit history. An Alt-A borrower is generally defined as a prime quality borrower that lacks certain ancillary characteristics, such as fully documented income. The Company has not insured a RMBS transaction since January 2008.

"Financial Products Business" is how the Company refers to the guaranteed investment contracts ("GICs") portion of a line of business previously conducted by AGMH that the Company did not acquire when it purchased AGMH in 2009 from Dexia SA and that is being run off. That line of business was comprised of AGMH's guaranteed investment contracts business, its medium term notes business and the equity payment agreements associated with AGMH's leveraged lease business. Assured Guaranty is indemnified by Dexia SA and certain of its affiliates ("Dexia") against loss from the former Financial Products Business.

Consumer Receivables Securities are obligations backed by non-mortgage consumer receivables, such as student loans, automobile loans and leases, manufactured home loans and other consumer receivables.

Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities ("CMBS") are obligations backed by pools of commercial mortgages on office, multi-family, retail, hotel, industrial and other specialized or mixed-use properties.

Commercial Receivables Securities are obligations backed by equipment loans or leases, aircraft and aircraft engine financings, business loans and trade receivables. Credit support is derived from the cash flows generated by the underlying obligations, as well as property or equipment values as applicable.

Insurance Securitization Obligations are obligations secured by the future earnings from pools of various types of insurance/reinsurance policies and income produced by invested assets.

Other Structured Finance Obligations are obligations backed by assets not generally described in any of the other described categories. One such type of asset is a tax benefit to be realized by an investor in one of the Federal or state programs that permit such investor to receive a credit against taxes (such as Federal corporate income tax or state insurance premium tax) for making qualified investments in specified enterprises, typically located in designated low-income areas.


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Credit Policy and Underwriting Procedure

Credit Policy

The Company establishes exposure limits and underwriting criteria for obligors, sectors and countries, and in the case of structured finance and infrastructure exposures, for individual transactions. Risk exposure limits for single obligors are based on the Company's assessment of potential frequency and severity of loss as well as other factors, such as historical and stressed collateral performance. Sector limits are based on the Company’s view of stress losses for the sector and on its assessment of intra-sector correlation. Country limits are based on the size and stability of the relevant economy, and the Company’s view of the political environment and legal system. All of the foregoing limits are established in relation to the Company's capital base.
For U.S. public finance transactions, the Company focuses principally on the credit quality of the obligor based on population size and trends, wealth factors, and strength of the economy. The Company evaluates the obligor’s liquidity position; its fiscal management policies and track record; its ability to raise revenues and control expenses; and its exposure to derivative contracts and to debt subject to acceleration. The Company assesses the obligor’s pension and other post-employment benefits obligations and funding policies and evaluates the obligor’s ability to adequately fund such obligations in the future. The Company analyzes other critical risk factors including the type of issue; the repayment source; pledged security, if any; the presence of restrictive covenants and the tenor of the risk. The Company also considers the ability of obligors to file for bankruptcy or receivership under applicable statutes (and on related statutes that provide for state oversight or fiscal control over financially troubled obligors). In addition, the Company weighs the risk of a rating agency downgrade of an obligation's underlying uninsured rating.
For certain transactions, underwriting considerations may also include: the importance of the proposed project to the community; the financial management of a specific project; the potential refinancing risk; and legal or administrative risks.
In cases of not-for-profit institutions, such as healthcare issuers and private higher education issuers, the Company emphasizes the financial stability of the institution, its competitive position and its management experience.
For U.S. infrastructure transactions, the Company's due diligence is generally the same as it is for international infrastructure transactions, as described below.
U.S. structured finance obligations generally present three distinct forms of risk: asset risk, pertaining to the amount and quality of assets underlying an issue; structural risk, pertaining to the extent to which an issue's legal structure provides protection from loss; and execution risk, which is the risk that poor performance by a servicer or collateral manager contributes to a decline in the cash flow available to the transaction. Each of these risks is addressed through the Company's underwriting process.
Generally, the amount and quality of asset coverage required with respect to a structured finance exposure is dependent upon both the historic performance of the asset class, as well as the Company’s view of the future performance of the subject assets. Future performance expectations are developed from historical loss experience, taking into account economic, social and political factors affecting that asset class as well as, to the extent feasible, the subject assets themselves. Conclusions are then drawn about the amount of over-collateralization or other credit enhancement necessary in a particular transaction in order to protect investors (and therefore the insurer or reinsurer) against poor asset performance. In addition, structured securities usually are designed to protect investors (and therefore the insurer or reinsurer) from the bankruptcy or insolvency of the entity that originated the underlying assets, as well as the bankruptcy or insolvency of the servicer or manager of those assets.
The Company conducts extensive due diligence on the collateral that supports its insured transactions. The principal focus of the due diligence is to confirm the underlying collateral was originated in accordance with the stated underwriting criteria of the asset originator. To this end, such collateral is reviewed, either internally by the Company or by outside consultants that the Company engages. The Company also conducts audits of servicing or other management procedures, reviewing critical aspects of these procedures such as including cash management and collections. The Company may, for certain transactions, obtain background checks on key managers of the originator, servicer or manager of the obligations underlying that transaction.
In general, non-U.S. transactions are comprised of structured finance transactions, transactions with regulated utilities, or infrastructure transactions. For these transactions, the Company undertakes an analysis of the country or countries in which the risk resides, which includes political risk as well as economic and demographic characteristics. For each transaction, the

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Company also performs an assessment of the legal framework governing the transaction and the laws affecting the underlying assets supporting the obligations to be insured.
The underwriting of structured finance and regulated utilities is generally the same as for U.S. transactions, but for considerations related to the specific country as described in the previous paragraph. For infrastructure transactions, the Company reviews the type of project (e.g., hospital, road, social housing, transportation or student accommodation) and the source of repayment of the debt. For certain transactions, debt service and operational expenses are covered by availability payments made by either a governmental entity or a not-for-profit entity. The availability payments are due if the project is available for use, regardless of whether the project actually is in use. The principal risks for such transactions are construction risk and operational risk. The project must be completed on time and must be available for use during the life of the concession. For other transactions, notably transactions secured by toll-roads, revenues derived from the project must be sufficient to make debt service payments as well as cover operating expenses during the concession period. The Company undertakes due diligence to assess demand risks in such projects and often uses consultants to help assess future demand and revenue and expense projections.
The Company’s due diligence for infrastructure projects also includes: a financial review of the entity seeking the development of the project (usually a governmental entity or university); a financial and operational review of the developer, the construction companies, and the project operator; and a financial review of the various providers of operational financial protection for the bondholders (and therefore the insurer), including construction surety providers, letter-of-credit providers, liquidity banks or account banks. The Company uses outside consultants to review the construction program and to assess whether the project can be completed on time and on budget. The Company projects the cost of replacing the construction company, including delays in construction, in the event that a construction company is unable to complete the construction for any reason. Construction security packages are sized appropriately to cover these risks and the Company requires such coverage from credit-worthy institutions.
Underwriting Procedure

Each transaction underwritten by the Company involves persons with different expertise across various departments within the Company. The Company's transaction underwriting teams include both underwriting and legal personnel, who analyze the structure of a potential transaction and the credit and legal issues pertinent to the particular line of business or asset class, and accounting and finance personnel, who review the more complex transactions for compliance with applicable accounting standards and investment guidelines.

In the public finance portion of the Company's financial guaranty direct business, underwriters generally analyze the issuer's historical financial statements and, where warranted, develop stress case projections to test the issuers' ability to make timely debt service payments under stressful economic conditions. In the structured and infrastructure finance portions of the Company's financial guaranty direct business, underwriters generally use computer-based financial models in order to evaluate the ability of the transaction to generate adequate cash flow to service the debt under a variety of scenarios. The models include economically stressed scenarios that the underwriters use for their assessment of the potential credit risk inherent in a particular transaction. Stress models developed internally by the Company's underwriters reflect both empirical research and information gathered from third parties, such as rating agencies or investment banks. The Company may also engage advisors such as consultants and external counsel to assist in analyzing a transaction's financial or legal risks. The Company may also conduct a due diligence review that includes, among other things, a site visit to the project or facility, meetings with issuer management, review of underwriting and operational procedures, file reviews, and review of financial procedures and computer systems.

Upon completion of the underwriting analysis, the underwriter prepares a formal credit report that is submitted to a credit committee for review. An oral presentation is usually made to the committee, followed by questions from committee members and discussion among the committee members and the underwriters. In some cases, additional information may be presented at the meeting or required to be submitted prior to approval. Each credit committee decision is documented and any further requirements, such as specific terms or evidence of due diligence, are noted. The Company's credit committees are composed of senior officers of the Company. The committees are organized by asset class, such as for public finance or structured finance, or along regulatory lines, to assess the various potential exposures.


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Risk Management Procedures

Organizational Structure

The Company's policies and procedures relating to risk assessment and risk management are overseen by its Board of Directors. The Board takes an enterprise-wide approach to risk management that is designed to support the Company's business plans at a reasonable level of risk. A fundamental part of risk assessment and risk management is not only understanding the risks a company faces and what steps management is taking to manage those risks, but also understanding what level of risk is appropriate for the Company. The Board of Directors annually approves the Company's business plan, factoring risk management into account. It also approves the Company's risk appetite statement, which articulates the Company's tolerance for risk and describes the general types of risk that the Company accepts or attempts to avoid. The involvement of the Board in setting the Company's business strategy is a key part of its assessment of management's risk tolerance and also a determination of what constitutes an appropriate level of risk for the Company.

While the Board of Directors has the ultimate oversight responsibility for the risk management process, various committees of the Board also have responsibility for risk assessment and risk management. The Risk Oversight Committee of the Board of Directors oversees the standards, controls, limits, underwriting guidelines and policies that the Company establishes and implements in respect of credit underwriting and risk management. It focuses on management's assessment and management of both (i) credit risks and (ii) other risks, including, but not limited to, financial, legal and operational risks, and risks relating to the Company's reputation and ethical standards. In addition, the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors is responsible for, among other matters, reviewing policies and processes related to the evaluation of risk assessment and risk management, including the Company's major financial risk exposures and the steps management has taken to monitor and control such exposures. It also reviews compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. The Compensation Committee of the Board of Directors reviews compensation-related risks to the Company. The Finance Committee of the Board of Directors oversees the investment of the Company's investment portfolio and the Company's capital structure, liquidity, financing arrangements, rating agency matters, and any corporate development activities in support of the Company's financial plan. The Nominating and Governance Committee of the Board of Directors oversees risk at the Company by developing appropriate corporate governance guidelines and identifying qualified individuals to become board members.

The Company has established a number of management committees to develop underwriting and risk management guidelines, policies and procedures for the Company's insurance and reinsurance subsidiaries that are tailored to their respective businesses, providing multiple levels of credit review and analysis.

Portfolio Risk Management Committee—This committee establishes company-wide credit policy for the Company's direct and assumed business. It implements specific underwriting procedures and limits for the Company and allocates underwriting capacity among the Company's subsidiaries. The Portfolio Risk Management Committee focuses on measuring and managing credit, market and liquidity risk for the overall company. All transactions in new asset classes or new jurisdictions must be approved by this committee.

U.S. Management Committee—This committee establishes strategic policy and reviews the implementation of strategic initiatives and general business progress in the U.S. The U.S. Management Committee approves risk policy at the U.S. operating company level.

Risk Management Committees—The U.S., U.K. and AG Re risk management committees conduct an in-depth review of the insured portfolios of the relevant subsidiaries, focusing on varying portions of the portfolio at each meeting. They assign internal ratings of the insured transactions and review sector reports, monthly product line surveillance reports and compliance reports.

Workout Committee—This committee receives reports from Surveillance and Workout personnel on transactions that might benefit from active loss mitigation or risk reduction, and approves loss mitigation or risk reduction strategies for such transactions.

Reserve Committees—Oversight of reserving risk is vested in the U.S. Reserve Committee, the AG Re Reserve Committee and the U.K. Reserve Committee. The committees review the reserve methodology and assumptions for each major asset class or significant BIG transaction, as well as the loss projection scenarios used and the probability weights assigned to those scenarios. The reserve committees establish reserves for the relevant subsidiaries, taking into consideration supporting information provided by Surveillance personnel.


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The Company's surveillance personnel are responsible for monitoring and reporting on all transactions in the insured portfolio, including exposures in both the financial guaranty direct and assumed businesses. The primary objective of the surveillance process is to monitor trends and changes in transaction credit quality, detect any deterioration in credit quality, and recommend remedial actions to management. All transactions in the insured portfolio are assigned internal credit ratings, and surveillance personnel recommend adjustments to those ratings to reflect changes in transaction credit quality.

The Company's workout personnel are responsible for managing workout, loss mitigation and risk reduction situations. They work together with the Company's surveillance personnel to develop and implement strategies on transactions that are experiencing loss or could possibly experience loss. They develop strategies designed to enhance the ability of the Company to enforce its contractual rights and remedies and mitigate potential losses. The Company's workout personnel also engage in negotiation discussions with transaction participants and, when necessary, manage (along with legal personnel) the Company's litigation proceedings. They may also make open market or negotiated purchases of securities that the Company has insured, or negotiate or otherwise implement consensual terminations of insurance coverage prior to contractual maturity. The Company's workout personnel work with servicers of residential mortgage-backed securities transactions to enhance their performance.

Direct Business

The Company monitors the performance of each risk in its portfolio and tracks aggregation of risk. The review cycle and scope vary based upon transaction type and credit quality. In general, the review process includes the collection and analysis of information from various sources, including trustee and servicer reports, financial statements, general industry or sector news and analyses, and rating agency reports. For public finance risks, the surveillance process includes monitoring general economic trends, developments with respect to state and municipal finances, and the financial situation of the issuers. For structured finance transactions, the surveillance process can include monitoring transaction performance data and cash flows, compliance with transaction terms and conditions, and evaluation of servicer or collateral manager performance and financial condition. Additionally, the Company uses various quantitative tools and models to assess transaction performance and identify situations where there may have been a change in credit quality. For all transactions, surveillance activities may include discussions with or site visits to issuers, servicers or other parties to a transaction.

Assumed Business

For transactions that the Company has assumed, the ceding insurers are responsible for conducting ongoing surveillance of the exposures that have been ceded to the Company. The Company's surveillance personnel monitor the ceding insurer's surveillance activities on exposures ceded to the Company through a variety of means, including reviews of surveillance reports provided by the ceding insurers, and meetings and discussions with their analysts. The Company's surveillance personnel also monitor general news and information, industry trends and rating agency reports to help focus surveillance activities on sectors or credits of particular concern. For certain exposures, the Company also will undertake an independent analysis and remodeling of the exposure. In the event of credit deterioration of a particular exposure, more frequent reviews of the ceding company's risk mitigation activities are conducted. The Company's surveillance personnel also take steps to ensure that the ceding insurer is managing the risk pursuant to the terms of the applicable reinsurance agreement. To this end, the Company conducts periodic reviews of ceding companies' surveillance activities and capabilities. That process may include the review of the insurer's underwriting, surveillance and claim files for certain transactions.

Ceded Business

As part of its risk management strategy, the Company seeks to obtain third party reinsurance or retrocessions and may also periodically enter into other arrangements to reduce its exposure to risk concentrations, such as for single risk limits, portfolio credit rating or exposure limits, geographic limits or other factors. At December 31, 2015, the Company had ceded approximately 4% of its principal amount outstanding to third party reinsurers.

The Company has obtained reinsurance to increase its underwriting capacity, both on an aggregate-risk and a single-risk basis, to meet internal, rating agency and regulatory risk limits, diversify risks, reduce the need for additional capital, and strengthen financial ratios. The Company receives capital credit for ceded reinsurance based on the reinsurer's ratings in the capital models used by the rating agencies to evaluate the Company's capital position for its financial strength ratings. In addition, a number of the Company's reinsurers are required to pledge collateral to secure their reinsurance obligations to the Company. In some cases, the pledged collateral augments the rating agency credit for the reinsurance provided. In recent years, most of the Company's reinsurers have been downgraded by one or more rating agency, and consequently, the financial strength ratings of many of the reinsurers are below those of the Company's insurance subsidiaries. While ceding commissions or premium allocation adjustments may compensate in part for such downgrades, the effect of such downgrades, in general, is to

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decrease the financial benefits of using reinsurance under rating agency capital adequacy models. However, to the extent a reinsurer still has the financial wherewithal to pay, the Company could still benefit from the reinsurance provided.

The Company's ceded reinsurance may be on a quota share, first-loss or excess-of-loss basis. Quota share reinsurance generally provides protection against a fixed percentage of losses incurred by the Company. First-loss reinsurance generally provides protection against losses incurred up to a specified limit. Excess-of-loss reinsurance generally provides protection against a fixed percentage of losses incurred to the extent that losses incurred exceed a specified limit. Reinsurance arrangements typically require the Company to retain a minimum portion of the risks reinsured. The Company has entered into commutation agreements reassuming portions of the ceded business from certain reinsurers.

AGC, AGM and MAC entered into a $360 million aggregate excess of loss reinsurance facility with a number of reinsurers, effective as of January 1, 2016. This facility replaces a similar $450 million aggregate excess of loss reinsurance facility that AGC, AGM and MAC had entered into effective January 1, 2014 and which terminated on December 31, 2015. The new facility covers losses occurring either from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2023, or January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2024, at the option of AGC, AGM and MAC. It terminates on January 1, 2018, unless AGC, AGM and MAC choose to extend it. The new facility covers certain U.S. public finance credits insured or reinsured by AGC, AGM and MAC as of September 30, 2015, excluding credits that were rated non-investment grade as of December 31, 2015 by Moody’s Investors Service, Inc. ("Moody’s") or Standard & Poor's Ratings Services ("S&P") or internally by AGC, AGM or MAC and is subject to certain per credit limits. Among the credits excluded are those associated with the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and its related authorities and public corporations. The new facility attaches when AGC’s, AGM’s and MAC’s net losses (net of AGC’s and AGM's reinsurance (including from affiliates) and net of recoveries) exceed $1.25 billion in the aggregate. The new facility covers a portion of the next $400 million of losses, with the reinsurers assuming pro rata in the aggregate $360 million of the $400 million of losses and AGC, AGM and MAC jointly retaining the remaining $40 million. The reinsurers are required to be rated at least AA- or to post collateral sufficient to provide AGM, AGC and MAC with the same reinsurance credit as reinsurers rated AA-. AGM, AGC and MAC are obligated to pay the reinsurers their share of recoveries relating to losses during the coverage period in the covered portfolio. AGC, AGM and MAC paid approximately $9 million of premiums in 2016 for the term January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016 and deposited approximately $9 million of securities into trust accounts for the benefit of the reinsurers to be used to pay the premium for January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017. The main differences between the new facility and the prior facility that terminated on December 31, 2015 are the reinsurance attachment point ($1.25 billion versus $1.5 billion), the total reinsurance coverage ($360 million part of $400 million versus $450 million part of $500 million) and the annual premium ($9 million versus $19 million).
Importance of Financial Strength Ratings

Low financial strength ratings or uncertainty over the Company's ability to maintain its financial strength ratings would have a negative impact on issuers' and investors' perceptions of the value of the Company's insurance product. Therefore, the Company manages its business with the goal of achieving high financial strength ratings, preferably the highest that an agency will assign to a financial guarantor. However, the models used by rating agencies differ, presenting conflicting goals that may make it inefficient or impractical to reach the highest rating level. In addition, the models are not fully transparent, contain subjective factors and change frequently.

Historically, insurance financial strength ratings reflect an insurer's ability to pay under its insurance policies and contracts in accordance with their terms. The rating is not specific to any particular policy or contract. Historically, insurance financial strength ratings do not refer to an insurer's ability to meet non-insurance obligations and are not a recommendation to purchase any policy or contract issued by an insurer or to buy, hold, or sell any security insured by an insurer. The insurance financial strength ratings assigned by the rating agencies are based upon factors that the rating agencies believe are relevant to policyholders and are not directed toward the protection of investors in AGL's common shares. Ratings reflect only the views of the respective rating agencies and are subject to continuous review and revision or withdrawal at any time.

Following the financial crisis, the rating process has been challenging for the Company due to a number of factors, including:

Instability of Rating Criteria and Methodologies. Rating agencies purport to issue ratings pursuant to published rating criteria and methodologies. In recent years, the rating agencies have made material changes to their rating criteria and methodologies applicable to financial guaranty insurers, sometimes through formal changes and other times through ad hoc adjustments to the conclusions reached by existing criteria. Furthermore, these criteria and methodology changes are typically implemented without any transition period, making it difficult for an insurer to comply quickly with new standards.


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Instability of Severe Stress Case Loss Assumptions. A major component in arriving at a financial guaranty insurer's rating has been the rating agency’s assessment of the insurer’s capital adequacy, with each rating agency employing its own proprietary model. These capital adequacy approaches include “stress case” loss assumptions for various risks or risk categories. Since the financial crisis, the rating agencies have at various times materially increased stress case loss assumptions for various risks or risk categories, in some cases later reducing such stress case losses. This approach has made predicting the amount of capital required to maintain or attain a certain rating more difficult.

More Reliance on Qualitative Rating Criteria. In prior years, the financial strength ratings of the Company’s insurance company subsidiaries were largely consistent with the rating agency’s assessment of the insurers’ capital adequacy, such that a rating downgrade could generally be avoided by raising additional capital or otherwise improving capital adequacy under the rating agency’s model. In recent years, however, both S&P and Moody’s have applied other factors, some of which are subjective, such as the insurer's business strategy and franchise value or the anticipated future demand for its product, to justify ratings for the Company’s insurance company subsidiaries significantly below the ratings implied by their own capital adequacy models. Currently, for example, S&P has concluded that AGM has “AAA” capital adequacy under the S&P model (but subject to a downward adjustment due to a “large obligor test”) and Moody’s has concluded that AGM has “Aa” capital adequacy under the Moody’s model (offset by other factors including the rating agency’s assessment of competitive profile, future profitability and market share).

Despite the difficult rating agency process following the financial crisis, the Company has been able to maintain strong financial strength ratings. However, if a substantial downgrade of the financial strength ratings of the Company's insurance subsidiaries were to occur in the future, such downgrade would adversely affect its business and prospects and, consequently, its results of operations and financial condition. The Company believes that if the financial strength ratings of AGM, AGC and/or MAC were downgraded from their current levels, such downgrade could result in downward pressure on the premium that such insurance subsidiary would be able to charge for its insurance. Currently, AGM, AGC and MAC all have AA (Stable Outlook) financial strength ratings from S&P. Each of AGM and MAC also has a AA+ (Stable Outlook) financial strength rating from Kroll Bond Rating Agency ("KBRA"), while AGM and AGC have financial strength ratings in the single-A category from Moody's (A2 (Stable Outlook) and A3 (Negative Outlook), respectively). In addition, AGRO has been assigned a rating of A+ (Stable) from A.M. Best Company, Inc. ("Best"), which is Best's second highest rating. The Company periodically assesses the value of each rating assigned to each of its companies, and may as a result of such assessment request that a rating agency add or drop a rating from certain of its companies. For example, the KBRA ratings were first assigned to MAC in 2013 and to AGM in 2014 and the Best rating was first assigned to AGRO in 2015, while a Moody's rating was never requested for MAC and was dropped from AG Re and AGRO in 2015.

The Company believes that so long as AGM, AGC and/or MAC continue to have financial strength ratings in the double-A category from at least one of the legacy rating agencies (S&P or Moody’s), they are likely to be able to continue writing financial guaranty business with a credit quality similar to that historically written. However, if neither legacy rating agency maintained financial strength ratings of AGM, AGC and/or MAC in the double-A category, or if either legacy rating agency were to downgrade AGM, AGC and/or MAC below the single-A level, it could be difficult for the Company to originate the current volume of new business with comparable credit characteristics. See the Risk Factor captioned "Risks Related to the Company's Financial Strength and Financial Enhancement Ratings" in "Item 1A. Risk Factors" and "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" for more information about the Company's ratings.

Investments

Investment income from the Company's investment portfolio is one of the primary sources of cash flow supporting its operations and claim payments. The Company's total investment portfolio was $11.2 billion and $11.4 billion as of December 31, 2015 and 2014, respectively, and generated net investment income of $423 million, $403 million and $393 million in 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively.

The Company's principal objectives in managing its investment portfolio are to support the highest possible ratings for each operating company; maintain sufficient liquidity to cover unexpected stress in the insurance portfolio; and maximize total after-tax net investment income. If the Company's calculations with respect to its policy liabilities are incorrect or other unanticipated payment obligations arise, or if the Company improperly structures its investments to meet these liabilities, it could have unexpected losses, including losses resulting from forced liquidation of investments before their maturity. The investment policies of the Company's insurance subsidiaries are subject to insurance law requirements, and may change depending upon regulatory, economic and market conditions and the existing or anticipated financial condition and operating requirements, including the tax position, of the businesses.


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Approximately 85% of the Company's investment portfolio is externally managed by its investment managers: BlackRock Financial Management, Inc., Goldman Sachs Asset Management, L.P., General Re-New England Asset Management, Inc. and Wellington Management Company, LLP. The performance of the Company's invested assets is subject to the ability of the investment managers to select and manage appropriate investments. The Company's investment managers have discretionary authority over the Company's investment portfolio within the limits of the Company's investment guidelines approved by the Company's Board of Directors. The Company's portfolio is allocated approximately equally among the four investment managers and each manager is compensated based upon a fixed percentage of the market value of the portion of the portfolio being managed by such manager. During the years ended December 31, 2015, 2014 and 2013, the Company recorded investment management fee expenses of $10 million, $9 million, and $8 million, respectively.

The Company internally managed 15% of the investment portfolio, either in connection with its loss mitigation or risk management strategy, or because the Company believes a particular security or asset presents an attractive investment opportunity.
The largest component of the Company’s internally managed portfolio consists of obligations that the Company purchases in connection with its loss mitigation or risk management strategy for its insured exposure. Purchasing such obligations enables the Company to exercise rights available to holders of the obligations. The Company also holds other invested assets that were obtained or purchased as part of negotiated settlements with insured counterparties or under the terms of its financial guaranties. The Company held approximately $1,440 million and $881 million of securities based on their fair value, after elimination of the benefit of any insurance provided by the Company, that were obtained for loss mitigation or risk management purposes in its internally managed investment accounts as of December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2014, respectively.
Competition

Assured Guaranty is the market leader in the financial guaranty industry. Assured Guaranty believes its financial strength, protection against defaults, credit selection policies, underwriting standards and surveillance procedures make it an attractive provider of financial guaranties.
    
Assured Guaranty's principal competition is in the form of obligations that issuers decide to issue on an uninsured basis. In the U.S. public finance market, when interest rates are low, investors may prefer greater yield over insurance protection, and issuers may find the cost savings from insurance less compelling. Over the last several years, interest rates generally have been lower than historical norms. In 2015, average daily benchmark AAA 30-year municipal interest rates as reflected by the MMD Index were approximately 35 basis points lower that their levels in 2014, a year in which rates were already low by historical standards.

Nevertheless, in the U.S. public finance market in 2015, usage of municipal bond insurance increased to approximately 6.7% of the par amount of new issues sold, compared with approximately 5.9% in 2014. The Company believes the increase in market penetration despite falling interest rates indicates greater demand for bond insurance based on investors’ heightened awareness of municipal issuers’ potential to come under financial stress (due to such high-profile cases as Detroit’s bankruptcy) and evidence that Assured Guaranty insured bonds held their market value better than comparable uninsured bonds in distressed situations.

In the international infrastructure finance market, the uninsured execution serving as the Company’s principal competition occurs primarily in privately funded transactions where no bonds are sold in the public markets. In the structured finance market, the uninsured execution occurs in both public and primary transactions primarily where bonds are sold with sufficient credit or structural enhancement embedded in transactions, such as through overcollateralization, first loss insurance, excess spread or other terms, to make the bonds attractive to investors without bond insurance.     
    
Assured Guaranty is the only financial guaranty company active before the global financial crisis of 2008 that has maintained sufficient financial strength to write new business continuously since the crisis began. As a result of rating agency downgrades of the financial strength ratings of financial guaranty competitors active before the crisis, Assured Guaranty’s only significant financial guaranty competitor in 2015 was BAM, a mutual insurance company that commenced business in 2012.

Based on industry statistics, the Company estimates that, of the new U.S. public finance bonds sold with insurance in 2015, the Company insured approximately 60% of the par, while BAM insured approximately 38%. BAM is effective in competing with the Company for small to medium sized U.S. public finance transactions in certain sectors, and its pricing and underwriting strategies may have a negative impact on the amount of premium the Company is able to charge for its insurance for such transactions. However, the Company believes it has competitive advantages over BAM due to: AGM's and MAC's

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larger capital base; AGM's ability to insure larger transactions and issuances in more diverse U.S. bond sectors; and AGM's and MAC's strong financial strength ratings from multiple rating agencies (in the case of AGM, AA+ from KBRA, AA from S&P and A2 from Moody's, and in the case of MAC, AA+ from KBRA and AA from S&P, compared with BAM's AA solely from S&P). Additionally, as a public company with access to both the equity and debt capital markets, Assured Guaranty may have greater flexibility to raise capital, if needed.
    
Another potentially significant competitor to the Company on U.S. public finance transactions is National, which the Company estimates insured approximately 2% of the par of public finance bonds sold with insurance in 2015. In 2009, MBIA, one of the legacy insurers that is not writing new business, transferred its U.S. public finance exposures to its affiliate National. The transfer was challenged in litigation that was not settled until May 2013. Subsequently, S&P has raised National’s financial strength rating from BBB to AA-, noting that S&P no longer viewed MBIA’s rating as a limitation on National’s rating, and Moody’s has upgraded National's financial strength rating from Baa2 to A3.
    
In the global structured finance and infrastructure markets, Assured Guaranty is the only financial guaranty insurance company currently writing new guarantees. Management considers the Company’s greater diversification to be a competitive advantage in the long run because it means the Company is not wholly dependent on conditions in any one market.
    
In the future, additional new entrants into the financial guaranty industry could reduce the Company's new business prospects, including by furthering price competition or offering financial guaranty insurance on transactions with structural and security features that are more favorable to the issuers than those required by Assured Guaranty. However, the Company believes that the presence of multiple guarantors might also increase the overall visibility and acceptance of the product by a broadening group of investors, and the fact that investors are willing to commit fresh capital to the industry may promote market confidence in the product.
    
In addition to monoline insurance companies, Assured Guaranty competes with other forms of credit enhancement, such as letters of credit or credit derivatives provided by banks and other financial institutions, some of which are governmental enterprises, or direct guaranties of municipal, structured finance or other debt by federal or state governments or government sponsored or affiliated agencies. Alternative credit enhancement structures, and in particular federal government credit enhancement or other programs, can interfere with the Company's new business prospects, particularly if they provide direct governmental-level guaranties, restrict the use of third-party financial guaranties or reduce the amount of transactions that might qualify for financial guaranties.


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Regulation

General

The business of insurance and reinsurance is regulated in most countries, although the degree and type of regulation varies significantly from one jurisdiction to another. Reinsurers are generally subject to less direct regulation than primary insurers. The Company is subject to regulation under applicable statutes in the U.S., the U.K. and Bermuda, as well as applicable statutes in Australia.

United States

AGL has three operating insurance subsidiaries domiciled in the U.S., which the Company refers to collectively as the "Assured Guaranty U.S. Subsidiaries."

AGM is a New York domiciled insurance company licensed to write financial guaranty insurance and reinsurance in 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

MAC is a New York domiciled insurance company licensed to write financial guaranty insurance and reinsurance in 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. MAC will only insure U.S. public finance debt obligations, focusing on investment grade bonds in select sectors of that market.

AGC is a Maryland domiciled insurance company licensed to write financial guaranty insurance and reinsurance in 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Insurance Holding Company Regulation

AGL and the Assured Guaranty U.S. Subsidiaries are subject to the insurance holding company laws of their jurisdiction of domicile, as well as other jurisdictions where these insurers are licensed to do insurance business. These laws generally require each of the Assured Guaranty U.S. Subsidiaries to register with its respective domestic state insurance department and annually to furnish financial and other information about the operations of companies within their holding company system. Generally, all transactions among companies in the holding company system to which any of the Assured Guaranty U.S. Subsidiaries is a party (including sales, loans, reinsurance agreements and service agreements) must be fair and, if material or of a specified category, such as reinsurance or service agreements, require prior notice and approval or non-disapproval by the insurance department where the applicable subsidiary is domiciled.

Change of Control

Before a person can acquire control of a U.S. domestic insurance company, prior written approval must be obtained from the insurance commissioner of the state where the domestic insurer is domiciled. Generally, state statutes provide that control over a domestic insurer is presumed to exist if any person, directly or indirectly, owns, controls, holds with the power to vote, or holds proxies representing, 10% or more of the voting securities of the domestic insurer. Prior to granting approval of an application to acquire control of a domestic insurer, the state insurance commissioner will consider such factors as the financial strength of the applicant, the integrity and management of the applicant's board of directors and executive officers, the acquirer's plans for the management of the applicant's board of directors and executive officers, the acquirer's plans for the future operations of the domestic insurer and any anti-competitive results that may arise from the consummation of the acquisition of control. These laws may discourage potential acquisition proposals and may delay, deter or prevent a change of control involving AGL that some or all of AGL's stockholders might consider to be desirable, including in particular unsolicited transactions.


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State Insurance Regulation

State insurance authorities have broad regulatory powers with respect to various aspects of the business of U.S. insurance companies, including licensing these companies to transact business, accreditation of reinsurers, admittance of assets to statutory surplus, regulating unfair trade and claims practices, establishing reserve requirements and solvency standards, regulating investments and dividends and, in certain instances, approving policy forms and related materials and approving premium rates. State insurance laws and regulations require the Assured Guaranty U.S. Subsidiaries to file financial statements with insurance departments everywhere they are licensed, authorized or accredited to conduct insurance business, and their operations are subject to examination by those departments at any time. The Assured Guaranty U.S. Subsidiaries prepare statutory financial statements in accordance with Statutory Accounting Practices, or SAP, and procedures prescribed or permitted by these departments. State insurance departments also conduct periodic examinations of the books and records, financial reporting, policy filings and market conduct of insurance companies domiciled in their states, generally once every three to five years. Market conduct examinations by regulators other than the domestic regulator are generally carried out in cooperation with the insurance departments of other states under guidelines promulgated by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

The New York State Department of Financial Services (the "NYDFS"), the regulatory authority of the domiciliary jurisdiction of AGM and MAC, conducts a periodic examination of insurance companies domiciled in New York, usually at five-year intervals. In 2012, the NYDFS commenced examinations of AGM, MAC, Assured Guaranty Municipal Insurance Company and AG Mortgage in order for its examinations of these companies to coincide with the Maryland Insurance Administration (the "MIA's") examination of AGC. In 2013, the NYDFS completed its examinations and issued Reports on Examination of AGM for the four-year period ending December 31, 2011 and MAC for the period September 26, 2008 through June 30, 2012. The reports did not note any significant regulatory issues concerning those companies.

The MIA, the regulatory authority of the domiciliary jurisdiction of AGC, conducts a periodic examination of insurance companies domiciled in Maryland every five years. In 2013, the MIA issued an Examination Report with respect to AGC for the five year period ending December 31, 2011; no significant regulatory issues were noted in such report.
 
State Dividend Limitations

New York.    One of the primary sources of cash for the payment of debt service and dividends by the Company is the receipt of dividends from AGM. Under the New York Insurance Law, AGM may only pay dividends out of "earned surplus," which is the portion of the company's surplus that represents the net earnings, gains or profits (after deduction of all losses) that have not been distributed to shareholders as dividends or transferred to stated capital or capital surplus, or applied to other purposes permitted by law, but does not include unrealized appreciation of assets. AGM may pay dividends without the prior approval of the New York Superintendent of Financial Services ("New York Superintendent") that, together with all dividends declared or distributed by it during the preceding 12 months, does not exceed the lesser of 10% of its policyholders' surplus (as of its last annual or quarterly statement filed with the New York Superintendent) or 100% of its adjusted net investment income during that period. The maximum amount available during 2016 for AGM to pay dividends to its parent AGMH without regulatory approval is estimated to be approximately $244 million, of which approximately $95 million is available for distribution in the first quarter of 2016. AGM paid dividends of $215 million, $160 million and $163 million during 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively, to AGMH.

Maryland.    Another primary source of cash for the payment of debt service and dividends by the Company is the receipt of dividends from AGC. Under Maryland's insurance law, AGC may, with prior notice to the MIA, pay an ordinary dividend that, together with all dividends paid in the prior 12 months, does not exceed the lesser of 10% of its policyholders' surplus (as of the prior December 31) or 100% of its adjusted net investment income during that period. The maximum amount available during 2016 for AGC to pay ordinary dividends to its parent AGUS will be approximately $79 million, of which approximately $9 million is available for distribution in the first quarter of 2016. A dividend or distribution to a stockholder in excess of this limitation would constitute an "extraordinary dividend," which must be paid out of "earned surplus" and reported to, and approved by, the MIA prior to payment. "Earned surplus" is that portion of the company's surplus that represents the net earnings, gains or profits (after deduction of all losses) that have not been distributed to shareholders as dividends or transferred to stated capital or capital surplus, or applied to other purposes permitted by law, but does not include unrealized capital gains and appreciation of assets. Currently, AGC does not have any earned surplus and therefore the Company expects AGC only to pay ordinary dividends in 2016. AGC may not pay any dividend or make any distribution, including ordinary dividends, unless it notifies the MIA of the proposed payment within five business days following declaration and at least ten days before payment. The MIA may declare that such dividend not be paid if it finds that AGC's policyholders' surplus would be inadequate after payment of the dividend or the dividend could lead AGC to a hazardous financial condition. AGC paid dividends of $90 million, $69 million and $67 million during 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively, to AGUS.

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Contingency Reserves

New York.    Under the New York Insurance Law, each of AGM and MAC must establish a contingency reserve to protect policyholders. As financial guaranty insurers, each is required to maintain a contingency reserve:

with respect to policies written prior to July 1, 1989, in an amount equal to 50% of earned premiums less permitted reductions; and

with respect to policies written on and after July 1, 1989, quarterly on a pro rata basis over a period of 20 years for municipal bonds and 15 years for all other obligations, in an amount equal to the greater of 50% of premiums written for the relevant category of insurance or a percentage of the principal guaranteed, varying from 0.55% to 2.50%, depending on the type of obligation guaranteed, until the contingency reserve amount for the category equals the applicable percentage of net unpaid principal. The contingency reserve is then taken down over the same period of time that it was established.

Maryland.    In accordance with Maryland insurance law and regulations, AGC also maintains a statutory contingency reserve for the protection of policyholders. The contingency reserve is maintained quarterly on a pro rata basis over a period of 20 years for municipal bonds and 15 years for all other obligations, in an amount equal to the greater of 50% of premiums written for the relevant category of insurance or a percentage of the principal guaranteed, varying from 0.55% to 2.50%, depending on the type of obligation guaranteed, until the contingency reserve amount for the category equals the applicable percentage of net unpaid principal. The contingency reserve is then taken down over the same period of time that it was established.
 
In both New York and Maryland, when considering the principal amount guaranteed, the insurer is permitted to take into account amounts that it has ceded to reinsurers. In addition, releases from the insurer's contingency reserve may be permitted under specified circumstances in the event that actual loss experience exceeds certain thresholds or if the reserve accumulated is deemed excessive in relation to the insurer's outstanding insured obligations.

From time to time, AGM and AGC have obtained the approval of their regulators to release contingency reserves based on losses or because the accumulated reserve is deemed excessive in relation to the insurer's outstanding insured obligations. In 2015, on the latter basis, AGM obtained the NYDFS's approval for a contingency reserve release of approximately $253 million and AGC obtained the MIA's approval for a contingency reserve release of approximately $134 million. In addition, MAC also released approximately $56 million of contingency reserves, which consisted of the assumed contingency reserves maintained by MAC, as reinsurer of AGM, in respect of the same obligations that were the subject of AGM's $253 million release.

With respect to the regular, quarterly contributions to contingency reserves required by the applicable Maryland and New York laws and regulations, such laws and regulations permit the discontinuation of such quarterly contributions to a company’s contingency reserves when such company’s aggregate contingency reserves for a particular line of business (i.e., municipal or non-municipal) exceed the sum of the company’s outstanding principal for each specified category of obligations within the particular line of business multiplied by the specified contingency reserve factor for each such category.  In accordance with such laws and regulations, and with the approval of the MIA and the NYDFS, respectively, AGC ceased making quarterly contributions to its contingency reserves for both municipal and non-municipal business and AGM ceased making quarterly contributions to its contingency reserves for non-municipal business, in each case beginning in the fourth quarter of 2014. Such cessations are expected to continue for as long as AGC and AGM satisfy the foregoing condition for their applicable line(s) of business.

On July 15, 2013, AGM and its wholly-owned subsidiary AGE (together, the "AGM Group") and AGC, were notified that the NYDFS and MIA do not object to the AGM Group and AGC, respectively, reassuming all of the outstanding contingency reserves that the AGM Group and AGC had ceded to AG Re and electing to cease ceding future contingency reserves to AG Re. The insurance regulators permitted the AGM Group and AGC to reassume the contingency reserves in increments over three years. In the third quarter of 2015, the AGM Group and AGC each reassumed their respective final installments and as of December 31, 2015, the AGM Group and AGC had collectively reassumed an aggregate of approximately $522 million.





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Financial guaranty insurers are also required to maintain a loss and loss adjustment expense ("LAE") reserve (on a case-by-case basis) and unearned premium reserve.

Single and Aggregate Risk Limits

The New York Insurance Law and the Code of Maryland Regulations establish single risk limits for financial guaranty insurers applicable to all obligations issued by a single entity and backed by a single revenue source. For example, under the limit applicable to qualifying asset-backed securities, the lesser of:

the insured average annual debt service for a single risk, net of qualifying reinsurance and collateral, or

the insured unpaid principal (reduced by the extent to which the unpaid principal of the supporting assets exceeds the insured unpaid principal) divided by nine, net of qualifying reinsurance and collateral, may not exceed 10% of the sum of the insurer's policyholders' surplus and contingency reserves, subject to certain conditions.

Under the limit applicable to municipal obligations, the insured average annual debt service for a single risk, net of qualifying reinsurance and collateral, may not exceed 10% of the sum of the insurer's policyholders' surplus and contingency reserves. In addition, insured principal of municipal obligations attributable to any single risk, net of qualifying reinsurance and collateral, is limited to 75% of the insurer's policyholders' surplus and contingency reserves. Single-risk limits are also specified for other categories of insured obligations, and generally are more restrictive than those listed for asset-backed or municipal obligations. Obligations not qualifying for an enhanced single-risk limit are generally subject to the "corporate" limit (applicable to insurance of unsecured corporate obligations) equal to 10% of the sum of the insurer's policyholders' surplus and contingency reserves. For example, "triple-X" and "future flow" securitizations, as well as unsecured investor-owned utility obligations, are generally subject to these "corporate" single-risk limits.

The New York Insurance Law and the Code of Maryland Regulations also establish aggregate risk limits on the basis of aggregate net liability insured as compared with statutory capital. "Aggregate net liability" is defined as outstanding principal and interest of guaranteed obligations insured, net of qualifying reinsurance and collateral. Under these limits, policyholders' surplus and contingency reserves must not be less than the sum of various percentages of aggregate net liability for various categories of specified obligations. The percentage varies from 0.33% for certain municipal obligations to 4% for certain non-investment-grade obligations. As of December 31, 2015, the aggregate net liability of each of AGM, MAC and AGC utilized approximately 27.0%, 30.3% and 16.1% of their respective policyholders' surplus and contingency reserves.

The New York Superintendent has broad discretion to order a financial guaranty insurer to cease new business originations if the insurer fails to comply with single or aggregate risk limits. In practice, the New York Superintendent has shown a willingness to work with insurers to address these concerns.

Group Regulation

In connection with AGL’s establishment of tax residence in the United Kingdom, as discussed in greater detail under "Tax Matters" below, AGL has been discussing the regulation of AGL and its subsidiaries as a group with the Prudential Regulation Authority in the U.K. and with the NYDFS. The NYDFS has assumed responsibility for regulation of the Assured Guaranty group. Group supervision by the NYDFS results in additional regulatory oversight over Assured Guaranty, and may subject Assured Guaranty to new regulatory requirements and constraints.

Investments

The Assured Guaranty U.S. Subsidiaries are subject to laws and regulations that require diversification of their investment portfolio and limit the amount of investments in certain asset categories, such as BIG fixed-maturity securities, equity real estate, other equity investments, and derivatives. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations would cause investments exceeding regulatory limitations to be treated as non-admitted assets for purposes of measuring surplus, and, in some instances, would require divestiture of such non-qualifying investments. The Company believes that the investments made by the Assured Guaranty U.S. Subsidiaries complied with such regulations as of December 31, 2015. In addition, any investment must be approved by the insurance company's board of directors or a committee thereof that is responsible for supervising or making such investment.


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Operations of the Company's Non-U.S. Insurance Subsidiaries

In addition to the regulatory requirements imposed by the jurisdictions in which they are licensed, the business operations of the Company's reinsurance subsidiaries are affected by regulatory requirements in various states of the United States governing "credit for reinsurance", which are imposed on the ceding companies of the reinsurers. The Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act (“NRRA”) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) streamlined the regulation of reinsurance by applying single state regulation for credit for reinsurance. Under the NRRA, credit for reinsurance determinations are controlled by the ceding company’s state of domicile and non-domiciliary states are prohibited from applying their reinsurance laws extraterritorially. In general, a ceding company which obtains reinsurance from a reinsurer that is licensed, accredited or approved by the ceding company's state of domicile is permitted to reflect in its statutory financial statements a credit in an aggregate amount equal to the ceding company's liability for unearned premiums (which are that portion of premiums written which applies to the unexpired portion of the policy period), loss and loss expense reserves ceded to the reinsurer. The great majority of states, however, permit a credit on the statutory financial statements of a ceding insurer for reinsurance obtained from a non-licensed or non-accredited reinsurer to the extent that the reinsurer secures its reinsurance obligations to the ceding insurer by providing a letter of credit, trust fund or other acceptable security arrangement. A few states do not allow credit for reinsurance ceded to non-licensed reinsurers except in certain limited circumstances and others impose additional requirements that make it difficult to become accredited. The Company's reinsurance subsidiaries AG Re and AGRO are not licensed, accredited or approved in any state and have established trusts to secure their reinsurance obligations.

U.S. Federal Regulation

The Company’s businesses are subject to direct and indirect regulation under U.S. federal law. In particular, the Company’s derivatives activities are directly and indirectly subject to a variety of regulatory requirements under the Dodd-Frank Act. Rules that have been adopted by the SEC could require certain of AGL's subsidiaries to register and be regulated as "major security-based swap participants" when those registration rules take effect. If such registration is required, these entities would likely be subject to regulatory capital requirements, margin requirements with respect to their transactions in “security-based swaps" and additional requirements relating to business conduct and risk management in connection with such transactions. While the SEC adopted final rules for registration of major security-based swap participants in August 2015, most of the substantive rules for these entities have not yet been adopted and it is therefore unclear what impact registration would have or when such requirements would become effective. The mandatory compliance date is not likely to occur before late 2016.

In addition, while AGL does not believe its subsidiaries are required to register with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ("CFTC") as “major swap participants,” certain of AGL's subsidiaries may be indirectly subject to CFTC and other regulations with respect to “swaps” including interest rate swaps.  When rules relating to margin take effect in March 2017, AGL's subsidiary may be required to post margin on future transactions with a swap dealer counterparty, if any, or on certain amendments to legacy swap transactions with a swap dealer counterparty. These entities’ swaps must also be reported to central data repositories, and various documentation requirements also indirectly apply through their counterparties.

Bermuda

AG Re and AGRO are each an insurance company currently registered and licensed under the Insurance Act 1978 of Bermuda, amendments thereto and related regulations (collectively, the "Insurance Act"). AG Re is registered and licensed as a Class 3B insurer and AGRO is registered and licensed as a Class 3A insurer and a Class C long-term insurer.

Bermuda Insurance Regulation

The Insurance Act imposes on insurance companies solvency and liquidity standards; restrictions on the declaration and payment of dividends and distributions; restrictions on the reduction of statutory capital; restrictions on the winding up of long-term insurers; and auditing and reporting requirements; and the need to have a principal representative and a principal office (as understood under the Insurance Act) in Bermuda. The Insurance Act grants to the Bermuda Monetary Authority (the "Authority") the power to cancel insurance licenses, supervise, investigate and intervene in the affairs of insurance companies and in certain circumstances share information with foreign regulators. Class 3A and Class 3B insurers are authorized to carry on general insurance business (as understood under the Insurance Act), subject to conditions attached to the license and to compliance with minimum capital and surplus requirements, solvency margin, liquidity ratio and other requirements imposed by the Insurance Act. Class C long-term insurers are permitted to carry on long-term business (as understood under the Insurance Act) subject to conditions attached to the license and to similar compliance requirements and the requirement to maintain its long-term business fund (a segregated fund).

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Each of AG Re and AGRO is required annually to file statutorily mandated financial statements and returns, audited by an auditor approved by the Authority (no approved auditor of an insurer may have an interest in that insurer, other than as an insured, and no officer, servant or agent of an insurer shall be eligible for appointment as an insurer's approved auditor), together with an annual loss reserve opinion of the Authority, approved loss reserve specialist, and in respect of AGRO, the required actuary's certificate with respect to the long-term business. AG Re is also required to file annual financial statements prepared in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America ("GAAP"), which must be available to the public. As a Class 3A insurer, AGRO has filed for an exemption from the Authority from making such filing for its December 31, 2015 year-end, but it will be subject to this requirement going forward.

In addition, AG Re is required to file a capital and solvency return that includes its Bermuda Solvency Capital Requirement ("BSCR") model (or an approved internal capital model in lieu thereof), a schedule of fixed income investments by rating categories, a schedule of net reserves for losses and loss expense provisions by line of business, a schedule of premiums written by line of business, a schedule of risk management, a schedule of fixed income securities, a schedule of commercial insurer's solvency self-assessment ("CISSA"), a schedule of catastrophe risk return, a schedule of loss triangles or reconciliation of net loss reserves and a schedule of eligible capital. AGRO is also required to file a capital and solvency return that includes, among other details, the company's Bermuda Solvency Capital Requirement - Small and Medium Entities ("BSCR-SME") model (or an approved internal capital model in lieu thereof), the CISSA and a schedule of eligible capital.
        
Further, each of AG Re and AGRO is subject to filing (within four months along with the capital and solvency return) a mandatory trial run of an economic balance sheet ("EBS") with their respective capital and solvency returns. The underlying premise of the EBS is that both assets and liabilities are valued using market or fair values. Included within the EBS is a requirement to produce a financial condition report, disclosing information relating to the view of each of AG Re’s and AGRO’s management regarding each respective entity’s business performance, governance, risk profile, solvency valuation, capital management and potential subsequent events of significance. For the 2016 year-end and onwards, the financial condition report must be published on the Company's website within 14 days of filing with the Authority.

Finally, AG Re is required to file with the Authority, on a quarterly basis, financial returns consisting of (i) quarterly unaudited financial statements for each financial quarter (which must minimally include a balance sheet and income statement and must also be recent and not reflect a financial position that exceeds two months), and (ii) a list and details of material intra‑group transactions and risk concentrations, which would also include, among other things, details surrounding reinsurance and retrocession arrangements and the ten largest exposures to counterparties and any other counterparty exposures exceeding 10% of the insurer’s statutory capital and surplus.
 
Shareholder Controllers

Pursuant to provisions in the Insurance Act, any person who becomes a holder of 10% or more, 20% or more, 33% or more or 50% or more of the Company's common shares must notify the Authority in writing within 45 days of becoming such a holder. The Authority has the power to object to such a person if it appears to the Authority that the person is not fit and proper to be such a holder. In such a case, the Authority may require the holder to reduce their shareholding in the Company and may direct, among other things, that the voting rights attaching to their common shares shall not be exercisable. A person that does not comply with such a notice or direction from the Authority will be guilty of an offense.

Notification of Material Changes

All registered insurers are required to give notice to the Authority of their intention to effect a material change within the meaning of the Insurance Act. For the purposes of the Insurance Act, the following changes are material: (i) the transfer or acquisition of insurance business being part of a scheme falling within, or any transaction relating to a scheme of arrangement under section 25 of the Insurance Act or section 99 of the Companies Act 1981 of Bermuda (the "Companies Act"), (ii) the amalgamation or merger with or acquisition of another firm, (iii)  engaging in unrelated business that is retail business, (iv) the acquisition of a controlling interest in an undertaking that is engaged in non-insurance business which offers services or products to non-affiliated persons, (v) outsourcing all or substantially all of the functions of actuarial, risk management, compliance and internal audit functions, (vi) outsourcing all or a material part of an insurer's underwriting activity, (vii) transferring other than by way of reinsurance all or substantially all of a line of business (viii) expanding into a material new line of business, (ix) the sale of an insurer, and (x) outsourcing an officer role (in this context meaning a chief executive or senior executive performing the roles of underwriting, actuarial, risk management, compliance, internal audit, finance or investment matters).


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No registered insurer shall take any steps to give effect to the material changes listed in items (ii) to (viii) above unless it has first served notice on the Authority that it intends to effect such material change and, before the end of 30 days, either the Authority has notified such company in writing that it has no objection to such change or that period has lapsed without the Authority having issued a notice of objection. A person who fails to give the required notice or who effects a material change, or allows such material change to be effected, before the prescribed period has elapsed or after having received a notice of objection shall be guilty of an offence.

Minimum Solvency Margin and Enhanced Capital Requirements

Under the Insurance Act, AG Re and AGRO must each ensure that the value of its general business assets exceeds the amount of its general business liabilities by an amount greater than the prescribed minimum solvency margin and each company's applicable enhanced capital requirement.

The minimum solvency margin for Class 3A and Class 3B insurers is the greater of (i) $1 million, or (ii) 20% of the first $6 million of net premiums written; if in excess of $6 million, the figure is $1.2 million plus 15% of net premiums written in excess of $6 million, or (iii) 15% of net discounted aggregate loss and loss expense provisions and other insurance reserves, or (iv) 25% of that insurers applicable enhanced capital requirement reported at the end of its relevant year.

In addition, as a Class C long-term insurer, AGRO is required, with respect to its long-term business, to maintain a minimum solvency margin equal to the greater of $500,000 or 1.5% of its assets. For the purpose of this calculation, assets are defined as the total assets pertaining to its long-term business reported on the balance sheet in the relevant year less the amounts held in a segregated account. AGRO is also required to keep its accounts in respect of its long-term business separate from any accounts kept in respect of any other business and all receipts of its long-term business form part of its long-term business fund.

Each of AG Re and AGRO is required to maintain available statutory capital and surplus at a level equal to or in excess of its applicable enhanced capital requirement, which is established by reference to either its BSCR model or an approved internal capital model. The BSCR model is a risk-based capital model which provides a method for determining an insurer's capital requirements (statutory capital and surplus) by taking into account the risk characteristics of different aspects of the insurer's business. The BSCR formula establish capital requirements for eight categories of risk: fixed income investment risk, equity investment risk, interest rate/liquidity risk, premium risk, reserve risk, credit risk, catastrophe risk and operational risk. For each category, the capital requirement is determined by applying factors to asset, premium, reserve, creditor, probable maximum loss and operation items, with higher factors applied to items with greater underlying risk and lower factors for less risky items.

While not specifically referred to in the Insurance Act, the Authority has also established a target capital level ("TCL") for each insurer subject to an enhanced capital requirement equal to 120% of its enhanced capital requirement. While such an insurer is not currently required to maintain its statutory capital and surplus at this level, the TCL serves as an early warning tool for the Authority and failure to maintain statutory capital at least equal to the TCL will likely result in increased regulatory oversight.

For each insurer subject to an enhanced capital requirement, there is a three-tiered capital system designed to assess the quality of capital resources that a company has available to meet its capital requirements. Under this system, all of an insurer's capital instruments will be classified as either basic or ancillary capital which in turn will be classified into one of three tiers based on their “loss absorbency” characteristics. Highest quality capital is classified as Tier 1 Capital; lesser quality capital is classified as either Tier 2 Capital or Tier 3 Capital. Under this regime, up to certain specified percentages of Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 Capital (determined by registration classification) may be used to support the company's minimum solvency margin, enhanced capital requirement and TCL.

Restrictions on Dividends and Distributions

The Insurance Act limits the declaration and payment of dividends and other distributions by AG Re and AGRO.
Under the Insurance Act:

The minimum share capital must be always issued and outstanding and cannot be reduced. For AG Re, which is registered as a Class 3B insurer, the minimum share capital is $120,000. For AGRO, which is registered both as a Class 3A and a Class C long-term insurer, the minimum share capital is $370,000.


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With respect to the distribution (including repurchase of shares) of any share capital, contributed surplus or other statutory capital:

(a)
any such distribution that would reduce AG Re's or AGRO's total statutory capital by 15% or more of their respective total statutory capital as set out in their previous year's financial statements requires the prior approval of the Authority. Any application for such approval must include an affidavit stating that the company will continue to meet the required margins; and

(b)
as a Class C long-term insurer, AGRO may not use the funds allocated to its long-term business fund, directly or indirectly, for any purpose other than a purpose of its long-term business except in so far as such payment can be made out of any surplus certified by AGRO's approved actuary to be available for distribution otherwise than to policyholders;

With respect to the declaration and payment of dividends:

(a)
each of AG Re and AGRO is prohibited from declaring or paying any dividends during any financial year if it is in breach of its solvency margin, minimum liquidity ratio or enhanced capital requirement, or if the declaration or payment of such dividends would cause such a breach (if it has failed to meet its minimum solvency margin or minimum liquidity ratio on the last day of any financial year, the insurer will be prohibited, without the approval of the Authority, from declaring or paying any dividends during the next financial year). Dividends, are paid out of each insurer's statutory surplus and, therefore, dividends cannot exceed such surplus. See "—Minimum Solvency Margin and Enhanced Capital Requirements" above and "—Minimum Liquidity Ratio" below;

(b)
an insurer which at any time fails to meet its minimum solvency margin or comply with the enhanced capital requirement may not declare or pay any dividend until the failure is rectified, and also in such circumstances the insurer must report, within 14 days after becoming aware of its failure or having reason to believe that such failure has occurred, to the Authority in writing giving particulars of the circumstances leading to the failure and giving a plan detailing the manner, specific actions to be taken and time frame in which the insurer intends to rectify the failure. A failure to comply with the enhanced capital requirement will also result in the insurer furnishing certain other information to the Authority within 45 days after becoming aware of its failure or having reason to believe that such failure has occurred;

(c)
each of AG Re and AGRO is prohibited from declaring or paying in any financial year dividends of more than 25% of its total statutory capital and surplus (as shown on its previous financial year's statutory balance sheet) unless it files (at least seven days before payments of such dividends) with the Authority an affidavit signed by at least 2 directors (one of whom must be a Bermuda resident director if any of the insurer's directors are resident in Bermuda) and the principal representative stating that it will continue to meet its solvency margin and minimum liquidity ratio. Where such an affidavit is filed, it shall be available for public inspection at the offices of the Authority; and

(d)
as a Class C long-term insurer, AGRO may not declare or pay a dividend to any person other than a policyholder unless the value of the assets of its long-term business fund, as certified by AGRO's approved actuary, exceeds the extent (as so certified) of the liabilities of AGRO's long-term business, and the amount of any such dividend shall not exceed the aggregate of (1) that excess; and (2) any other funds properly available for the payment of dividends being funds arising out of AGRO's business other than its long-term business.

The Companies Act also limits the declaration and payment of dividends and other distributions by Bermuda companies such as AGL and its Bermuda subsidiaries (including AG Re and AGRO). Such companies may only declare and pay a dividend or make a distribution out of contributed surplus (as understood under the Companies Act) if there are reasonable grounds for believing that the company is and after the payment will be able to meet and pay its liabilities as they become due and the realizable value of the company's assets will not be less than its liabilities. The Companies Act also regulates and restricts the reduction and return of capital and paid in share premium, including the repurchase of shares and imposes minimum issued and outstanding share capital requirements.

Based on the limitations above, in 2016 AG Re has the capacity to (i) make capital distributions in an aggregate amount up to $127 million without the prior approval of the Authority and (ii) declare and pay dividends in an aggregate amount up to the limit of its outstanding statutory surplus, which is $174 million. Such dividend capacity may be further

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limited by the actual amount of AG Re’s unencumbered assets, which amount changes from time to time due in part to collateral posting requirements. As of December 31, 2015, AG Re had unencumbered assets of approximately $640 million. AG Re declared and paid dividends of $150 million, $82 million and $144 million during 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively, to AGL. For more information concerning AG Re’s capacity to pay dividends and or other distributions, see Note 11, Insurance Company Regulatory Requirements, of the Financial Statements and Supplementary Data. The Company does not expect AGRO to declare or pay any dividends or other distributions at this time.
  
Minimum Liquidity Ratio

The Insurance Act provides a minimum liquidity ratio for general business. An insurer engaged in general business is required to maintain the value of its relevant assets at not less than 75% of the amount of its relevant liabilities. Relevant assets include cash and time deposits, quoted investments, unquoted bonds and debentures, first liens on real estate, investment income due and accrued, accounts and premiums receivable, reinsurance balances receivable and funds held by ceding reinsurers. There are certain categories of assets which, unless specifically permitted by the Authority, do not automatically qualify as relevant assets, such as unquoted equity securities, investments in and advances to affiliates and real estate and collateral loans.

The relevant liabilities are total general business insurance reserves and total other liabilities less deferred income tax and sundry liabilities (by interpretation, those not specifically defined) and letters of credit and corporate guarantees.

Insurance Code of Conduct

Each of AG Re and AGRO is subject to the Insurance Code of Conduct, which establishes duties, standards, procedures and sound business principles which must be complied with to ensure sound corporate governance, risk management and internal controls are implemented by all insurers registered under the Insurance Act. The Authority will assess an insurer's compliance with the Code in a proportionate manner relative to the nature, scale and complexity of its business. Failure to comply with the requirements under the Insurance Code of Conduct will be a factor taken into account by the Authority in determining whether an insurer is conducting its business in a sound and prudent manner as prescribed by the Insurance Act. Such failure to comply with the requirements of the Insurance Code of Conduct could result in the Authority exercising its powers of intervention and investigation and will be a factor in calculating the operational risk charge applicable in accordance with the insurer's BSCR model or approved internal model.

Certain Other Bermuda Law Considerations

Although AGL is incorporated in Bermuda, it is classified as a non-resident of Bermuda for exchange control purposes by the Authority. Pursuant to its non-resident status, AGL may engage in transactions in currencies other than Bermuda dollars and there are no restrictions on its ability to transfer funds (other than funds denominated in Bermuda dollars) in and out of Bermuda or to pay dividends to U.S. residents who are holders of its common shares.

Under Bermuda law, "exempted" companies are companies formed for the purpose of conducting business outside Bermuda from a principal place of business in Bermuda. As an "exempted" company, AGL (as well as each of AG Re and AGRO) may not, without the express authorization of the Bermuda legislature or under a license or consent granted by the Minister of Finance (the "Minister"), participate in certain business and other transactions, including: (1) the acquisition or holding of land in Bermuda (except that held by way of lease or tenancy agreement which is required for its business and held for a term not exceeding 50 years, or which is used to provide accommodation or recreational facilities for its officers and employees and held with the consent of the Minister, for a term not exceeding 21 years), (2) the taking of mortgages on land in Bermuda to secure a principal amount in excess of $50,000 unless the Minister consents to a higher amount, and (3) the carrying on of business of any kind or type for which it is not duly licensed in Bermuda, except in certain limited circumstances, such as doing business with another exempted undertaking in furtherance of AGL's business carried on outside Bermuda.

The Bermuda government actively encourages foreign investment in "exempted" entities like AGL that are based in Bermuda, but which do not operate in competition with local businesses. AGL is not currently subject to taxes computed on profits or income or computed on any capital asset, gain or appreciation. Bermuda companies pay, as applicable, annual government fees, business fees, payroll tax and other taxes and duties. See "—Tax Matters—Taxation of AGL and Subsidiaries—Bermuda."


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Special considerations apply to the Company's Bermuda operations. Under Bermuda law, non-Bermudians, other than spouses of Bermudians and individuals holding permanent resident certificates or working resident certificates, are not permitted to engage in any gainful occupation in Bermuda without a work permit issued by the Bermuda government. A work permit is only granted or extended if the employer can show that, after a proper public advertisement, no Bermudian, spouse of a Bermudian or individual holding a permanent resident certificate or working resident certificate is available who meets the minimum standards for the position. A waiver from advertising is automatically granted in respect of any chief executive officer position and other chief officer positions. The employer can also make a request for a waiver from the requirement to advertise in certain other cases, as expressed in the Bermuda government's work permit policies. Currently, all of the Company's Bermuda based professional employees who require work permits have been granted work permits by the Bermuda government.

United Kingdom

This section concerns AGE and its affiliates, Assured Guaranty (UK) Ltd. ("AGUK") and Assured Guaranty Finance Overseas Ltd (“AGFOL”), each of which is regulated in the U.K., as well as Assured Guaranty Credit Protection Ltd. ("AGCPL"), which is an authorized representative of AGE. Both AGE and AGUK are regulated by the PRA as insurers, although the Company has elected to place AGUK into runoff.

General

Each of AGE, AGUK and AGFOL are subject to the U.K.'s Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 ("FSMA"), which covers financial services relating to deposits, insurance, investments and certain other financial products .
Under FSMA, effecting or carrying out contracts of insurance by way of business in the U.K. each constitutes a “regulated activity” requiring authorization by the appropriate regulator. An authorized insurance company must have permission for each class of insurance business it intends to write.
Insurance companies in the U.K. are authorized and regulated by the PRA and the Financial Conduct Authority ("FCA"). The PRA and the FCA were established on April 1, 2013 and are the main regulatory authorities responsible for financial regulation in the U.K. These two regulatory bodies cover the following areas:
the PRA, a part of the Bank of England, is responsible for prudential regulation of key systemically important firms (which includes insurance companies, among others), and
the FCA is responsible for the conduct of business regulation of all firms and the regulation of market conduct and the prudential regulation of all non-PRA firms.
While the two regulators coordinate and cooperate in some areas, they have separate and independent mandates and separate rule-making and enforcement powers. AGE and AGUK are regulated by both the PRA and the FCA.
The PRA carries out the prudential supervision of insurance companies through a variety of methods, including the collection of information from statistical returns, the review of accountants' reports and insurers' annual reports and disclosures, visits to insurance companies and regular formal interviews. The PRA takes a risk-based approach to the supervision of insurance companies.
The PRA's rules are intended to align capital requirements with the risk profile of each insurance company and to ensure adequate diversification of an insurer's or reinsurer's exposures to any credit risks of its reinsurers. Each of AGE and AGUK has calculated its minimum required capital according to the PRA's individual capital adequacy criteria and is in compliance.
The PRA applies threshold conditions, which insurers must meet, and against which the PRA assesses them on a continuous basis. At a high level, these conditions are that:
an insurer's head office, and in particular its mind and management, must be in the United Kingdom if it is incorporated in the United Kingdom;
an insurer's business must be conducted in a prudent manner — in particular, the insurer must maintain appropriate financial and non-financial resources;

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the insurer must be fit and proper, and be appropriately staffed; and
the insurer and its group must be capable of being effectively supervised.
The PRA assesses, on an ongoing basis, whether insurers are acting in a manner consistent with safety and soundness and appropriate policyholder protection, and so whether they meet, and are likely to continue to meet, the threshold conditions. It weights its supervision towards those issues and those insurers that, in its judgment, pose the greatest risk to its objectives. It is forward-looking, assessing its objectives not just against current risks, but also against those that could plausibly arise further ahead and will rely significantly on judgments based on evidence and analysis. Its risk assessment framework looks at the potential impact of failure of the insurer, its risk context and mitigating factors. The Solvency II Directive (Directive 2009/138/EC) as amended by the Omnibus II Directive (2014/51/EU) (together, "Solvency II") (discussed below) has brought further changes to the supervisory framework for insurers. The Company has been in consultation with the PRA for several months on the implementation of Solvency II and believes that its current plans are consistent with Solvency II requirements. Future, ongoing consultation with the PRA is anticipated.
The regulatory regime in the U.K. must be consistent with relevant European Union (“EU”) legislation, which is either directly applicable in, or must be implemented into national law by, all EU member states. The key EU legislation that is relevant to AGE and AGUK is Solvency II, which provides the framework for a new solvency and supervisory regime for insurers in the EEA. The key EU legislation that is relevant to AGFOL is Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (“MiFID”), which harmonizes the regulatory regime for investment services and activities across the EEA.
Position of U.K. Regulated Entities within the AGL Group
AGE is authorized by the PRA to effect and carry out certain classes of general insurance, specifically: classes 14 (credit), 15 (suretyship) and 16 (miscellaneous financial loss) for eligible counterparties and professional clients only (i.e., not retail clients). This scope of permission is sufficient to enable AGE to effect and carry out financial guaranty insurance and reinsurance. The insurance and reinsurance businesses of AGE are subject to close supervision by the PRA. AGE also has permission to arrange and advise on transactions it guarantees, and to take deposits in the context of its insurance business.
Following the Company's decision in 2010 to place AGUK into run-off, the Company has been utilizing AGE as the entity from which to write business in the EEA. It was agreed between management and AGE's then regulator, the Financial Services Authority (now the PRA), that any new business written by AGE would be guaranteed using a co-insurance structure pursuant to which AGE would co-insure municipal and infrastructure transactions with AGM, and structured finance transactions with AGC. AGE must obtain the approval of the PRA before it can guarantee any new structured finance transaction. AGE's financial guaranty for each transaction covers a proportionate share (expected to be approximately 3 to 10%) of the total exposure, and AGM or AGC, as the case may be, guarantees the remaining exposure under the transaction (subject to compliance with EEA licensing requirements). AGM or AGC, as the case may be, will also provide a second-to-pay guaranty to cover AGE's financial guaranty.
AGE also is the principal of AGCPL. AGCPL is not PRA or FCA authorized, but is an appointed representative of AGE. This means AGCPL can carry on advising and arranging activities without a license, because AGE has regulatory responsibility for it.
AGCPL is subject to the requirements of Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of July 4, 2012 on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories ("EMIR") which, as a European regulation, is directly applicable in all the member states of the European Union. AGCPL is the only European entity within the AGL group which has entered into derivative contracts and as such it is the only entity in the group which is directly subject to EMIR. AGCPL has notified the European Securities and Markets Authority ("ESMA") and the FCA of its status under EMIR as a non-financial counterparty which has exceeded the clearing threshold (an “NFC+”) as described in Article 10 of EMIR. AGCPL is subject to certain requirements under EMIR with respect to its portfolio of derivative contracts including: (i) the requirement to centrally clear standardized OTC derivatives (although AGCPL does not currently enter into such derivatives, and so this requirement is not currently relevant) (ii) an obligation to employ certain risk mitigation techniques relating to derivatives that cannot be centrally cleared; and (iii) a requirement to report derivative transactions to a trade depository.  The Company is aware that circumstances exist in which EMIR may apply directly to non-European entities when transacting derivatives, but has determined that these circumstances do not apply to the non-European entities in AGL’s group.
AGFOL, a subsidiary of AGL, is authorized by the FCA to carry out designated investment business activities in that it may “advise on investments (except on pension transfers and pension opt outs)” relating to most investment instruments. In addition, it may arrange or bring about transactions in investments and make “arrangements with a view to transactions in

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investments.” In all cases, it may deal only with clients who are eligible counterparties or professional customers (i.e., not retail clients), or, when arranging in relation to insurance contracts, commercial customers. AGFOL is not authorized as an insurer and does not itself take risk in the transactions it arranges or places, and may not hold funds on behalf of its customers. AGFOL's permissions also allow it to introduce business to AGC and AGM, so that AGFOL can arrange financial guaranties underwritten by AGC and AGM.
AGFOL’s MiFID activities are limited to receiving and transmitting orders and giving investment advice and it cannot hold client money. Accordingly, although it is subject to MiFID, AGFOL is exempt from the Capital Requirements Directive and Capital Requirements Regulations (CRD III and CRD IV), which are the EU regulations on capital for certain MiFID firms.
Solvency II and Solvency Requirements
Solvency II came into force for insurers within its remit on January 1, 2016. In the U.K., Solvency II has been transposed into national law through changes to existing provisions in the FCA and the PRA’s respective handbooks and rulebook and through amendments to primary legislation. Among other things, Solvency II introduces a revised risk-based prudential regime which includes the following "Pillar 1" regulatory capital rules:
assets and liabilities are generally to be valued at their market value;
the amount of required economic capital is intended to ensure, with a probability of 99.5%, that regulated firms are able to meet their obligations to policyholders and beneficiaries over the following 12 months; and
reinsurance recoveries will be treated as a separate asset (rather than being netted against the underlying insurance liabilities).
In many instances, Solvency II is expected to require insurers to maintain a somewhat increased amount of capital to satisfy the new solvency capital requirements. AGE and AGUK have agreed with the PRA that they will use the "Standard Formula" prescribed by Solvency II for calculation of their capital requirements.
In addition to new regulatory capital rules, Solvency II also contains a number of “Pillar 2” qualitative requirements, obliging firms to develop and embed systems to identify, measure and proactively manage the risks they are, or may be, exposed to. Among other things, firms must:
have in place an effective system of governance that provides for the sound and prudent management of its business;
establish effective risk-management systems; and
take a comprehensive approach to considering their risks through an Own Risk and Solvency Assessment (“ORSA”) as proportionate to the nature, scale and complexity of the risks inherent in their business.

“Pillar 3” reporting and disclosure requirements also exist, including a requirement to publish a public Solvency and Financial Condition Report (“SFCR”) and a private Regular Supervisory Report (“RSR”). For more information on reporting requirements and the ORSA, see “Reporting Requirements” below.
Solvency II contains a new regime for the supervision of groups, including groups in which the parent undertaking has its head office in a country which is outside the EEA. The treatment of such groups in part depends on whether the jurisdiction in which the non-EEA parent has its head office is determined to have a supervisory regime which is equivalent to the Solvency II regime. In the absence of such a determination, the Solvency II rules on supervision apply to the group on a worldwide basis, unless the PRA elects to apply “other methods” which ensure appropriate supervision. Both AGE and AGUK are subsidiaries of U.S. parent companies. As the U.S. has not been determined to be equivalent for the purposes of group supervision, if the PRA were not to elect to apply “other methods”, AGE and AGUK would therefore be required to perform and submit to the PRA a group capital adequacy return in respect of their ultimate insurance parent and that calculation would have to show a positive result.
However, the PRA has issued a Direction to AGE and AGUK which confirms the “other methods” that the PRA will apply to ensure appropriate supervision. These include, among other things, requirements for AGE and AGUK to notify the PRA in advance of any material changes in their intra-group arrangements and any payments of dividends or capital extractions to a group undertaking outside the EEA. AGE and AGUK must also provide the PRA with certain other information, such as internal and external solvency, capital adequacy and risk assessment reports. The Direction applies from January 1, 2016 until January 1, 2019, unless it is revoked earlier or no longer applicable.

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Restrictions on Dividend Payments
U.K. company law prohibits each of AGE and AGUK from declaring a dividend to its shareholders unless it has “profits available for distribution.” The determination of whether a company has profits available for distribution is based on its accumulated realized profits less its accumulated realized losses. While the U.K. insurance regulatory laws impose no statutory restrictions on a general insurer's ability to declare a dividend, the PRA's capital requirements may in practice act as a restriction on dividends. The Company does not expect AGE or AGUK to distribute any dividends at this time.
Reporting Requirements
U.K. insurance companies must prepare their financial statements under the Companies Act 2006, which requires the filing with Companies House of audited financial statements and related reports. In addition, as from January 1, 2016, the reporting requirements for UK insurance companies were modified by Solvency II. AGE and AGUK are required to produce certain key reports including an annual SFCR, RSR and an ORSA, the latter as part of the so-called “Pillar 2” individual capital assessment requirements. Although the SFCR will take the place of a number of existing regulatory returns, Solvency II is likely to result in an overall increase in the quantity and quality of disclosures that firms make.
The PRA will review each firm’s ORSA and then consider whether in its view the firm needs to hold capital in excess of its Pillar 1 capital (see “Solvency II and Solvency Requirements” above) and, if so, will impose a “capital add-on”. The prescribed information to be contained in the ORSA, as well as the frequency with which the assessment must be carried out, is subject to guidance issued by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (“EIOPA”) in September 2015 and a supervisory statement issued by the PRA in October 2015. The PRA has advised AGE and AGUK that it is not imposing a capital add-on for those companies at this time. The PRA may determine to impose a capital add-on in relation to AGE and AGUK in the future.
Supervision of Management
Individuals who perform one or more “controlled functions” such as significant influence functions or the customer function within authorized firms must be approved by PRA or FCA (as appropriate) to carry out that function. The management of insurance companies falls within the scope of significant influence functions, which require approval from the PRA. Individuals performing these functions are “Approved Persons” for the purpose of Part V of FSMA and staff performing these specified “controlled functions” within an authorized firm must be approved by the PRA. The PRA is in the process of implementing a new "Senior Insurance Managers Regime", part of which was driven by high level requirements on governance and fitness and propriety of certain individuals contained in Solvency II. The new regime may result in further or different individuals requiring authorization from the regulators.
Change of Control
Under FSMA, when a person decides to acquire or increase “control” of a U.K. authorized firm (including an insurance company) they must give the PRA notice in writing before making the acquisition. The PRA has up to 60 working days (without including any period of interruption) in which to assess a change of control case. Any person (a company or individual) that directly or indirectly acquires 10% or 20% (depending on the type of firm, the “Control Percentage Threshold”) or more of the shares, or is entitled to exercise or control the exercise of the Control Percentage Threshold or more of the voting power, in a U.K. authorized firm or its parent undertaking is considered to “acquire control” of the authorized firm. Broadly speaking, the 10% threshold applies to banks, insurers and reinsurers (but not brokers) and MiFID investment firms, and the 20% threshold to insurance brokers and certain other firms that are non-directive firms.
Intervention and Enforcement
The PRA has extensive powers to intervene in the affairs of an authorized firm, culminating in the sanction of the suspension of authorization to carry on a regulated activity. The PRA can also vary or cancel a firm's permissions under its own initiative if it considers that the firm is failing, or is likely to fail, to satisfy the Threshold Conditions. FSMA gives the PRA significant investigation and enforcement powers. It also gives the PRA a rule-making power, under which it makes the various rules that constitute its Handbook of Rules.
The PRA also has the power to prosecute criminal offenses arising under FSMA. The FCA has the power to prosecute offenses under FSMA and to prosecute insider dealing under Part V of the Criminal Justice Act of 1993, and breaches by authorized firms of money laundering and terrorist financing regulations.

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“Passporting”
EU directives allow AGFOL, AGUK and AGE to conduct business in EU states other than the U.K. where they are authorized by the PRA or FCA under a single market directive. This right extends to the EEA. A firm taking advantage of a right under a single market directive to conduct business in another EEA state can rely on its "home state" authorization. This ability to operate in other jurisdictions of the EEA on the basis of home state authorization and supervision is sometimes referred to as “passporting.” Each of AGFOL, AGUK and AGE is passported to conduct business in EEA states other than the U.K. Passporting is not applicable to firms not authorized in the EEA, such as AGM and AGC. Accordingly, the co-insurance model described above cannot be “passported” throughout the EEA. Instead, it is a question of local law in each EEA member state as to whether AGM's or AGC’s participation in a co-insurance structure, protecting insureds or risks located in that jurisdiction, would amount to the conduct of insurance business in that jurisdiction.
Fees and Levies
Each of AGUK, AGE and AGFOL is subject to regulatory fees and levies based on its gross premium income and gross technical liabilities. These fees are collected by the FCA (though they relate to regulation by both the PRA and the FCA). The PRA also requires authorized firms, including authorized insurers, to participate in an investors' protection fund, known as the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The Financial Services Compensation Scheme was established to compensate consumers of financial services firms, including the buyers of insurance, against failures in the financial services industry. Eligible claimants (identified in the Compensation Sourcebook of the PRA Handbook) may be compensated by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme when an authorized insurer is unable, or likely to be unable, to satisfy policyholder claims. General insurance in class 14 (credit) is not protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, nor is reinsurance in any class; however, other direct insurance classes written by AGUK and AGE are covered (namely, classes 15 (suretyship) and 16 (miscellaneous financial loss)).
Material Contracts

AGE’s New York affiliate, AGM, currently provides support to AGE, through a quota share and excess of loss reinsurance agreement (the “Reinsurance Agreement”) and a net worth maintenance agreement (the "Net Worth Agreement"). Such agreements replace and supersede the second amended and restated quota share and stop loss reinsurance agreement and the second amended and restated net worth maintenance agreement, respectively, previously in place between the parties. For transactions closed prior to 2011, AGE typically guaranteed all of the guaranteed obligations directly and AGM reinsured under the quota share cover of the Reinsurance Agreement approximately 92% of AGE's retention after cessions to other reinsurers. In 2011, AGE and AGM implemented a co-guarantee structure pursuant to which (i) AGE directly guarantees a portion of the guaranteed obligations in an amount equal to what would have been AGE's pro rata retention percentage under the quota share cover, (ii) AGM directly guarantees the balance of the guaranteed obligations, and (iii) AGM also provides a second-to-pay guarantee for AGE's portion of the guaranteed obligations. AGM's ability to provide such direct guaranties outside of the U.K. is uncertain. See "Passporting" above.

Under the excess of loss cover of the Reinsurance Agreement, AGM pays AGE quarterly the amount by which (i) the sum of (a) AGE’s incurred losses calculated in accordance with UK GAAP as reported by AGE in its financial returns filed with the PRA and (b) AGE’s paid losses and loss adjustment expenses, in both cases net of all other performing reinsurance, including the reinsurance provided by the Company under the quota share cover of the Reinsurance Agreement, exceeds (ii) an amount equal to (a) AGE’s capital resources under U.K. law minus (b) the greatest of the amounts as may be required by the PRA as a condition for AGE to maintain its authorization to carry on a financial guarantee business in the U.K. The Reinsurance Agreement permits AGE to terminate the Reinsurance Agreement upon the following events: a downgrade of AGM’s ratings by Moody’s below Aa3 or by S&P below AA- if AGM fails to restore its rating(s) to the required level within a prescribed period of time; AGM's insolvency; failure by AGM to maintain the minimum capital required by its domiciliary jurisdiction; or AGM filing a petition in bankruptcy, going into liquidation or rehabilitation or having a receiver appointed.

The quota share and excess loss covers each exclude transactions guaranteed by AGE on or after July 1, 2009 that are not municipal, utility, project finance or infrastructure risks or similar types of risks.

The Reinsurance Agreement also contemplates the establishment of collateral by AGM to support AGM’s reinsurance obligations to AGE.  In December 2014, to satisfy the PRA’s collateral requirements, AGM and AGE entered into a trust agreement pursuant to which AGM established and deposited assets into a reinsurance trust account for the benefit of AGE. AGM’s collateral requirement was measured during 2015, as of the end of each calendar quarter, by (i) using the PRA’s FG Benchmark Model to calculate at the 99.5% confidence interval the losses expected to be borne collectively by AGE’s three affiliated reinsurers, AGM, AG Re and AGRO; (ii) deducting from such calculation AGE’s capital resources under such model;

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and (iii) requiring AGM, AG Re and AGRO collectively to maintain collateral equal to fifty percent (50%) of such difference, i.e., the excess of AGM’s, AG Re’s and AGRO’s assumed modeled losses over AGE’s capital resources.  As of January 1, 2016, the FG Benchmark Model is no longer applicable and the PRA has agreed to allow AGM’s collateral requirement to be determined using AGE’s internal capital requirement model under the same formula described above. This change in the calculation of AGM's required collateral must be reflected in an amendment to the Reinsurance Agreement; such an amendment to a transaction between affiliates requires the approval of the NYDFS under the New York Insurance Law.

Pursuant to the current Net Worth Agreement, AGM is obligated to cause AGE to maintain capital resources equal to 110% of the greatest of the amounts as may be required by the PRA as a condition for AGE to maintain its authorization to carry on a financial guarantee business in the U.K., provided that AGM's contributions (a) do not exceed 35% of AGM's policyholders' surplus on an accumulated basis as determined by the laws of the State of New York, and (b) are in compliance with Section 1505 of the New York Insurance Law. AGM has never been required to make any contributions to AGE's capital under the current Net Worth Agreement or the prior net worth maintenance agreement. Subject to the approval of the NYDFS, AGE and AGM will amend the Net Worth Agreement to provide for use of the internal capital requirement model.

AGUK’s parent company, AGC, currently provides support to AGUK through an amended and restated quota share reinsurance agreement (the “Quota Share Agreement”), an amended and restated excess of loss reinsurance agreement (the “XOL Agreement”), and an amended and restated net worth maintenance agreement (the "AGUK Net Worth Agreement"). Pursuant to the Quota Share Agreement, AGUK cedes 90% of its financial guaranty insurance and reinsurance exposure to AGC. Pursuant to the XOL Agreement, AGC indemnifies AGUK for 100% of losses (net of the quota share reinsurance agreement discussed above) incurred by AGUK in excess of an amount equal to (a) AGUK’s capital resources less (b) 110% of the greatest of the amounts as may be required by the PRA as a condition for AGUK maintaining its authorization to carry on a financial guarantee business in the U.K. Pursuant to the AGUK Net Worth Agreement, if AGUK's net worth falls below 110% of the minimum level of capital required by the PRA, AGC must invest additional funds in order to bring the capital of AGUK back into compliance with the required amount.

AGC and AGUK recently reached an agreement with the PRA that, in order for AGC to secure its outstanding reinsurance of AGUK under the Quota Share Agreement and XOL Agreement, AGC shall post as collateral its share of AGUK-guaranteed triple-X insurance bonds that have been purchased by AGC for loss mitigation and an additional amount to be determined by (i) using AGUK’s internal capital requirement model to calculate at the 99.5% confidence interval the losses expected to be borne by AGC for the exposures it has assumed from AGUK that do not have loss reserves (“non-reserve exposures”); (ii) adding the amount of loss reserves ceded by AGUK to AGC under UK GAAP; (iii) subtracting from such sum AGUK’s capital resources under its internal capital requirement model (the result of clauses (i) through (iii) being referred to as the “resulting amount”); and then (iv) reducing the resulting amount by 50% of the portion of the resulting amount that was contributed by the non-reserve exposures. AGC and AGUK intend to enter into a trust agreement pursuant to which AGC will establish a reinsurance trust account for the benefit of AGUK and will deposit therein on a quarterly basis sufficient assets to satisfy the above-described collateral requirement recently agreed with the PRA. The new collateral requirement must be reflected in amendments to the Quota Share Agreement and XOL Agreement; such amendments to transactions between affiliates require the approval of the MIA under the Maryland insurance law.
Tax Matters

Taxation of AGL and Subsidiaries

Bermuda

Under current Bermuda law, there is no Bermuda income, corporate or profits tax or withholding tax, capital gains tax or capital transfer tax payable by AGL or its Bermuda subsidiaries. AGL, AG Re and AGRO have each obtained from the Minister of Finance under the Exempted Undertakings Tax Protection Act 1966, as amended, an assurance that, in the event that Bermuda enacts legislation imposing tax computed on profits, income, any capital asset, gain or appreciation, or any tax in the nature of estate duty or inheritance, then the imposition of any such tax shall not be applicable to AGL, AG Re or AGRO or to any of their operations or their shares, debentures or other obligations, until March 31, 2035. This assurance is subject to the proviso that it is not to be construed so as to prevent the application of any tax or duty to such persons as are ordinarily resident in Bermuda, or to prevent the application of any tax payable in accordance with the provisions of the Land Tax Act 1967 or otherwise payable in relation to any land leased to AGL, AG Re or AGRO. AGL, AG Re and AGRO each pays annual Bermuda government fees, and AG Re and AGRO pay annual insurance license fees. In addition, all entities employing individuals in Bermuda are required to pay a payroll tax and there are other sundry taxes payable, directly or indirectly, to the Bermuda government.


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United States

AGL has conducted and intends to continue to conduct substantially all of its foreign operations outside the U.S. and to limit the U.S. contacts of AGL and its foreign subsidiaries (except AGRO and AGE, which have elected to be taxed as U.S. corporations) so that they should not be engaged in a trade or business in the U.S. A foreign corporation, such as AG Re, that is deemed to be engaged in a trade or business in the United States would be subject to U.S. income tax at regular corporate rates, as well as the branch profits tax, on its income which is treated as effectively connected with the conduct of that trade or business, unless the corporation is entitled to relief under the permanent establishment provision of an applicable tax treaty, as discussed below. Such income tax, if imposed, would be based on effectively connected income computed in a manner generally analogous to that applied to the income of a U.S. corporation, except that a foreign corporation would generally be entitled to deductions and credits only if it timely files a U.S. federal income tax return. AGL, AG Re and certain of the other foreign subsidiaries have and will continue to file protective U.S. federal income tax returns on a timely basis in order to preserve the right to claim income tax deductions and credits if it is ever determined that they are subject to U.S. federal income tax. The highest marginal federal income tax rates currently are 35% for a corporation's effectively connected income and 30% for the "branch profits" tax.

Under the income tax treaty between Bermuda and the U.S. (the "Bermuda Treaty"), a Bermuda insurance company would not be subject to U.S. income tax on income found to be effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business unless that trade or business is conducted through a permanent establishment in the U.S. AG Re currently intends to conduct its activities so that it does not have a permanent establishment in the U.S.

An insurance enterprise resident in Bermuda generally will be entitled to the benefits of the Bermuda Treaty if (i) more than 50% of its shares are owned beneficially, directly or indirectly, by individual residents of the U.S. or Bermuda or U.S. citizens and (ii) its income is not used in substantial part, directly or indirectly, to make disproportionate distributions to, or to meet certain liabilities of, persons who are neither residents of either the U.S. or Bermuda nor U.S. citizens.

Foreign insurance companies carrying on an insurance business within the U.S. have a certain minimum amount of effectively connected net investment income, determined in accordance with a formula that depends, in part, on the amount of U.S. risk insured or reinsured by such companies. If AG Re or another of the Company's Bermuda subsidiaries is considered to be engaged in the conduct of an insurance business in the U.S. and is not entitled to the benefits of the Bermuda Treaty in general (because it fails to satisfy one of the limitations on treaty benefits discussed above), the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "Code"), could subject a significant portion of AG Re's or another of the Company's Bermuda subsidiary's investment income to U.S. income tax.

AGL, as a U.K. tax resident, would not be subject to U.S. income tax on any income found to be effectively connected with a U.S. trade or business under the income tax treaty between the U.S. and the U.K. (the “U.K. Treaty”), unless that trade or business is conducted through a permanent establishment in the United States. AGL intends to conduct its activities so that it does not have a permanent establishment in the United States. 

Foreign corporations not engaged in a trade or business in the U.S., and those that are engaged in a U.S. trade or business with respect to their non-effectively connected income are nonetheless subject to U.S. withholding tax on certain "fixed or determinable annual or periodic gains, profits and income" derived from sources within the U.S. (such as dividends and certain interest on investments), subject to exemption under the Code or reduction by applicable treaties. The standard non-treaty rate of U.S. withholding tax is currently 30%. The Bermuda Treaty does not reduce the U.S. withholding rate on U.S.-sourced investment income. The U.K. Treaty reduces or eliminates U.S. withholding tax on certain U.S. sourced investment income, including dividends from U.S. companies to U.K. resident persons entitled to the benefit of the U.K. Treaty.
    
The U.S. also imposes an excise tax on insurance and reinsurance premiums paid to foreign insurers with respect to risk of a U.S. person located wholly or partly within the U.S. or risks of a foreign person engaged in a trade or business in the U.S. which are located within the U.S. The rates of tax applicable to premiums paid are 4% for direct casualty insurance premiums and 1% for reinsurance premiums.

AGRO and AGE have elected to be treated as U.S. corporations for all U.S. federal tax purposes and, as such, each of AGRO and AGE, together with AGL's U.S. subsidiaries, is subject to taxation in the U.S. at regular corporate rates.

If AGRO were to pay dividends to its U.S. holding company parent and that U.S. holding company were to pay dividends to its Bermudian parent AG Re, such dividends would be subject to U.S. withholding tax at a rate of 30%.


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United Kingdom

In November 2013, AGL became tax resident in the U.K. AGL remains a Bermuda-based company and its administrative and head office functions continue to be carried on in Bermuda. The AGL common shares have not changed and continue to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange ("NYSE").

As a company that is not incorporated in the U.K., AGL will be considered tax resident in the U.K. only if it is “centrally managed and controlled” in the U.K. Central management and control constitutes the highest level of control of a company’s affairs. Effective November 6, 2013, the AGL board of directors intends to manage the affairs of AGL in such a way as to maintain its status as a company that is tax resident in the U.K.

As a U.K. tax resident company, AGL is subject to the tax rules applicable to companies resident in the U.K., including the benefits afforded by the U.K.’s tax treaties.

As a U.K. tax resident, AGL is required to file a corporation tax return with Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”). AGL will be subject to U.K. corporation tax in respect of its worldwide profits (both income and capital gains), subject to any applicable exemptions. The main rate of corporation tax is currently 20%. It will be further reduced to 19% with effect from April 1, 2017 and 18% with effect from April 1, 2020. AGL has also registered in the U.K. to report its value added tax (“VAT”) liability. The current rate of VAT is 20%.

The dividends AGL receives from its direct subsidiaries should be exempt from U.K. corporation tax due to the exemption in section 931D of the U.K. Corporation Tax Act 2009. In addition, any dividends paid by AGL to its shareholders should not be subject to any withholding tax in the U.K. The non-U.K. resident subsidiaries intend to operate in such a manner that their profits are outside the scope of the charge under the "controlled foreign companies" ("CFC regime"). Accordingly, Assured Guaranty does not expect any profits of non-U.K. resident members of the group to be attributed to AGL and taxed in the U.K. under the CFC regime and has obtained clearance from HMRC confirming this on the basis of current facts and intentions.

Taxation of Shareholders

Bermuda Taxation

Currently, there is no Bermuda capital gains tax, or withholding or other tax payable on principal, interest or dividends paid to the holders of the AGL common shares.

United States Taxation

This discussion is based upon the Code, the regulations promulgated thereunder and any relevant administrative rulings or pronouncements or judicial decisions, all as in effect on the date hereof and as currently interpreted, and does not take into account possible changes in such tax laws or interpretations thereof, which may apply retroactively. This discussion does not include any description of the tax laws of any state or local governments within the U.S. or any foreign government.

The following summary sets forth the material U.S. federal income tax considerations related to the purchase, ownership and disposition of AGL's shares. Unless otherwise stated, this summary deals only with holders that are U.S. Persons (as defined below) who purchase their shares and who hold their shares as capital assets within the meaning of section 1221 of the Code. The following discussion is only a discussion of the material U.S. federal income tax matters as described herein and does not purport to address all of the U.S. federal income tax consequences that may be relevant to a particular shareholder in light of such shareholder's specific circumstances. For example, special rules apply to certain shareholders, such as partnerships, insurance companies, regulated investment companies, real estate investment trusts, dealers or traders in securities, tax exempt organizations, expatriates, persons that do not hold their securities in the U.S. dollar, persons who are considered with respect to AGL or any of its foreign subsidiaries as "United States shareholders" for purposes of the controlled foreign corporation ("CFC") rules of the Code (generally, a U.S. Person, as defined below, who owns or is deemed to own 10% or more of the total combined voting power of all classes of AGL or the stock of any of AGL's foreign subsidiaries entitled to vote (i.e., 10% U.S. Shareholders)), or persons who hold the common shares as part of a hedging or conversion transaction or as part of a short-sale or straddle. Any such shareholder should consult their tax advisor.

If a partnership holds AGL's shares, the tax treatment of the partners will generally depend on the status of the partner and the activities of the partnership. Partners of a partnership owning AGL's shares should consult their tax advisers.


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For purposes of this discussion, the term "U.S. Person" means: (i) a citizen or resident of the U.S., (ii) a partnership or corporation, created or organized in or under the laws of the U.S., or organized under any political subdivision thereof, (iii) an estate the income of which is subject to U.S. federal income taxation regardless of its source, (iv) a trust if either (x) a court within the U.S. is able to exercise primary supervision over the administration of such trust and one or more U.S. Persons have the authority to control all substantial decisions of such trust or (y) the trust has a valid election in effect to be treated as a U.S. Person for U.S. federal income tax purposes or (v) any other person or entity that is treated for U.S. federal income tax purposes as if it were one of the foregoing.

Taxation of Distributions.    Subject to the discussions below relating to the potential application of the CFC, related person insurance income ("RPII") and passive foreign investment company ("PFIC") rules, cash distributions, if any, made with respect to AGL's shares will constitute dividends for U.S. federal income tax purposes to the extent paid out of current or accumulated earnings and profits of AGL (as computed using U.S. tax principles). Dividends paid by AGL to corporate shareholders will not be eligible for the dividends received deduction. To the extent such distributions exceed AGL's earnings and profits, they will be treated first as a return of the shareholder's basis in the common shares to the extent thereof, and then as gain from the sale of a capital asset.

AGL believes dividends paid by AGL on its common shares to non-corporate holders will be eligible for reduced rates of tax at the rates applicable to long-term capital gains as "qualified dividend income," provided that AGL is not a PFIC and certain other requirements, including stock holding period requirements, are satisfied.

Classification of AGL or its Foreign Subsidiaries as a Controlled Foreign Corporation.    Each 10% U.S. Shareholder (as defined below) of a foreign corporation that is a CFC for an uninterrupted period of 30 days or more during a taxable year, and who owns shares in the foreign corporation, directly or indirectly through foreign entities, on the last day of the foreign corporation's taxable year on which it is CFC, must include in its gross income for U.S. federal income tax purposes its pro rata share of the CFC's "subpart F income," even if the subpart F income is not distributed. "Subpart F income" of a foreign insurance corporation typically includes foreign personal holding company income (such as interest, dividends and other types of passive income), as well as insurance and reinsurance income (including underwriting and investment income). A foreign corporation is considered a CFC if 10% U.S. Shareholders own (directly, indirectly through foreign entities or by attribution by application of the constructive ownership rules of section 958(b) of the Code (i.e., "constructively")) more than 50% of the total combined voting power of all classes of voting stock of such foreign corporation, or more than 50% of the total value of all stock of such corporation on any day during the taxable year of such corporation. For purposes of taking into account insurance income, a CFC also includes a foreign insurance company in which more than 25% of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock (or more than 25% of the total value of the stock) is owned by 10% U.S. Shareholders, on any day during the taxable year of such corporation. A "10% U.S. Shareholder" is a U.S. Person who owns (directly, indirectly through foreign entities or constructively) at least 10% of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock entitled to vote of the foreign corporation. AGL believes that because of the dispersion of AGL's share ownership, provisions in AGL's organizational documents that limit voting power (these provisions are described in "Description of Share Capital") and other factors, no U.S. Person who owns shares of AGL directly or indirectly through one or more foreign entities should be treated as owning (directly, indirectly through foreign entities, or constructively), 10% or more of the total voting power of all classes of shares of AGL or any of its foreign subsidiaries. It is possible, however, that the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") could challenge the effectiveness of these provisions and that a court could sustain such a challenge. In addition, the direct and indirect subsidiaries of AGUS are characterized as CFCs and any subpart F income generated will be included in the gross income of the applicable domestic subsidiaries in the AGL group.

The RPII CFC Provisions.    The following discussion generally is applicable only if the RPII of AG Re or any other foreign insurance subsidiary that has not made an election under section 953(d) of the Code to be treated as a U.S. corporation for all U.S. federal tax purposes or are CFCs owned directly or indirectly by AGUS (each a "Foreign Insurance Subsidiary" or collectively, with AG Re, the "Foreign Insurance Subsidiaries") determined on a gross basis, is 20% or more of the Foreign Insurance Subsidiary's gross insurance income for the taxable year and the 20% Ownership Exception (as defined below) is not met. The following discussion generally would not apply for any taxable year in which the Foreign Insurance Subsidiary's gross RPII falls below the 20% threshold or the 20% Ownership Exception is met. Although the Company cannot be certain, it believes that each Foreign Insurance Subsidiary has been, in prior years of operations, and will be, for the foreseeable future, either below the 20% threshold or in compliance with the requirements of 20% Ownership Exception for each tax year.

RPII is any "insurance income" (as defined below) attributable to policies of insurance or reinsurance with respect to which the person (directly or indirectly) insured is a "RPII shareholder" (as defined below) or a "related person" (as defined below) to such RPII shareholder. In general, and subject to certain limitations, "insurance income" is income (including premium and investment income) attributable to the issuing of any insurance or reinsurance contract which would be taxed under the portions of the Code relating to insurance companies if the income were the income of a domestic insurance

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company. For purposes of inclusion of the RPII of a Foreign Insurance Subsidiary in the income of RPII shareholders, unless an exception applies, the term "RPII shareholder" means any U.S. Person who owns (directly or indirectly through foreign entities) any amount of AGL's common shares. Generally, the term "related person" for this purpose means someone who controls or is controlled by the RPII shareholder or someone who is controlled by the same person or persons which control the RPII shareholder. Control is measured by either more than 50% in value or more than 50% in voting power of stock applying certain constructive ownership principles. A Foreign Insurance Subsidiary will be treated as a CFC under the RPII provisions if RPII shareholders are treated as owning (directly, indirectly through foreign entities or constructively) 25% or more of the shares of AGL by vote or value.

RPII Exceptions.    The special RPII rules do not apply if (i) at all times during the taxable year less than 20% of the voting power and less than 20% of the value of the stock of AGL (the "20% Ownership Exception") is owned (directly or indirectly through entities) by persons who are (directly or indirectly) insured under any policy of insurance or reinsurance issued by a Foreign Insurance Subsidiary or related persons to any such person, (ii) RPII, determined on a gross basis, is less than 20% of a Foreign Insurance Subsidiary's gross insurance income for the taxable year (the "20% Gross Income Exception), (iii) a Foreign Insurance Subsidiary elects to be taxed on its RPII as if the RPII were effectively connected with the conduct of a U.S. trade or business, and to waive all treaty benefits with respect to RPII and meet certain other requirements or (iv) a Foreign Insurance Subsidiary elects to be treated as a U.S. corporation and waive all treaty benefits and meet certain other requirements. The Foreign Insurance Subsidiaries do not intend to make either of these elections. Where none of these exceptions applies, each U.S. Person owning or treated as owning any shares in AGL (and therefore, indirectly, in a Foreign Insurance Subsidiary) on the last day of AGL's taxable year will be required to include in its gross income for U.S. federal income tax purposes its share of the RPII for the portion of the taxable year during which a Foreign Insurance Subsidiary was a CFC under the RPII provisions, determined as if all such RPII were distributed proportionately only to such U.S. Persons at that date, but limited by each such U.S. Person's share of a Foreign Insurance Subsidiary's current-year earnings and profits as reduced by the U.S. Person's share, if any, of certain prior-year deficits in earnings and profits. The Foreign Insurance Subsidiaries intend to operate in a manner that is intended to ensure that each qualifies for either the 20% Gross Income Exception or 20% Ownership Exception.

Computation of RPII.    For any year in which a Foreign Insurance Subsidiary does not meet the 20% Ownership Exception or the 20% Gross Income Exception, AGL may also seek information from its shareholders as to whether beneficial owners of shares at the end of the year are U.S. Persons so that the RPII may be determined and apportioned among such persons; to the extent AGL is unable to determine whether a beneficial owner of shares is a U.S. Person, AGL may assume that such owner is not a U.S. Person, thereby increasing the per share RPII amount for all known RPII shareholders. The amount of RPII includable in the income of a RPII shareholder is based upon the net RPII income for the year after deducting related expenses such as losses, loss reserves and operating expenses. If a Foreign Insurance Subsidiary meets the 20% Ownership Exception or the 20% Gross Income Exception, RPII shareholders will not be required to include RPII in their taxable income.

Apportionment of RPII to U.S. Holders.    Every RPII shareholder who owns shares on the last day of any taxable year of AGL in which a Foreign Insurance Subsidiary does not meet the 20% Ownership Exception or the 20% Gross Income Exception should expect that for such year it will be required to include in gross income its share of a Foreign Insurance Subsidiary's RPII for the portion of the taxable year during which the Foreign Insurance Subsidiary was a CFC under the RPII provisions, whether or not distributed, even though it may not have owned the shares throughout such period. A RPII shareholder who owns shares during such taxable year but not on the last day of the taxable year is not required to include in gross income any part of the Foreign Insurance Subsidiary's RPII.

Basis Adjustments.    An RPII shareholder's tax basis in its common shares will be increased by the amount of any RPII the shareholder includes in income. The RPII shareholder may exclude from income the amount of any distributions by AGL out of previously taxed RPII income. The RPII shareholder's tax basis in its common shares will be reduced by the amount of such distributions that are excluded from income.

Uncertainty as to Application of RPII.    The RPII provisions are complex and have never been interpreted by the courts or the Treasury Department in final regulations; regulations interpreting the RPII provisions of the Code exist only in proposed form. It is not certain whether these regulations will be adopted in their proposed form or what changes or clarifications might ultimately be made thereto or whether any such changes, as well as any interpretation or application of RPII by the IRS, the courts or otherwise, might have retroactive effect. These provisions include the grant of authority to the Treasury Department to prescribe "such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the purpose of this subsection including regulations preventing the avoidance of this subsection through cross insurance arrangements or otherwise." Accordingly, the meaning of the RPII provisions and the application thereof to the Foreign Insurance Subsidiaries is uncertain. In addition, the Company cannot be certain that the amount of RPII or the amounts of the RPII inclusions for any particular RPII shareholder, if any, will not be subject to adjustment based upon subsequent IRS examination. Any prospective investor which does business

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with a Foreign Insurance Subsidiary and is considering an investment in common shares should consult his tax advisor as to the effects of these uncertainties.

Information Reporting.    Under certain circumstances, U.S. Persons owning shares (directly, indirectly or constructively) in a foreign corporation are required to file IRS Form 5471 with their U.S. federal income tax returns. Generally, information reporting on IRS Form 5471 is required by (i) a person who is treated as a RPII shareholder, (ii) a 10% U.S. Shareholder of a foreign corporation that is a CFC for an uninterrupted period of 30 days or more during any tax year of the foreign corporation and who owned the stock on the last day of that year; and (iii) under certain circumstances, a U.S. Person who acquires stock in a foreign corporation and as a result thereof owns 10% or more of the voting power or value of such foreign corporation, whether or not such foreign corporation is a CFC. For any taxable year in which AGL determines that the 20% Gross Income Exception and the 20% Ownership Exception does not apply, AGL will provide to all U.S. Persons registered as shareholders of its shares a completed IRS Form 5471 or the relevant information necessary to complete the form. Failure to file IRS Form 5471 may result in penalties. In addition, U.S. shareholders should consult their tax advisors with respect to other information reporting requirements that may be applicable to them.

U.S. Persons holding our shares should consider their possible obligation to file FINCEN Form 114, Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts Report, with respect to their shares. Additionally, such U.S. and non-U.S. persons should consider their possible obligations to annually report certain information with respect to us with their U.S. federal income tax returns. Shareholders should consult their tax advisors with respect to these or any other reporting requirement which may apply with respect to their ownership of our shares.

Tax-Exempt Shareholders.    Tax-exempt entities will be required to treat certain subpart F insurance income, including RPII, that is includible in income by the tax-exempt entity as unrelated business taxable income. Prospective investors that are tax exempt entities are urged to consult their tax advisors as to the potential impact of the unrelated business taxable income provisions of the Code. A tax-exempt organization that is treated as a 10% U.S. Shareholder or a RPII Shareholder also must file IRS Form 5471 in certain circumstances.

Dispositions of AGL's Shares.    Subject to the discussions below relating to the potential application of the Code section 1248 and PFIC rules, holders of shares generally should recognize capital gain or loss for U.S. federal income tax purposes on the sale, exchange or other disposition of shares in the same manner as on the sale, exchange or other disposition of any other shares held as capital assets. If the holding period for these shares exceeds one year, any gain will be subject to tax at a current maximum marginal tax rate of 20% for individuals and 35% for corporations. Moreover, gain, if any, generally will be a U.S. source gain and generally will constitute "passive income" for foreign tax credit limitation purposes.

Code section 1248 provides that if a U.S. Person sells or exchanges stock in a foreign corporation and such person owned, directly, indirectly through foreign entities or constructively, 10% or more of the voting power of the corporation at any time during the five-year period ending on the date of disposition when the corporation was a CFC, any gain from the sale or exchange of the shares will be treated as a dividend to the extent of the CFC's earnings and profits (determined under U.S. federal income tax principles) during the period that the shareholder held the shares and while the corporation was a CFC (with certain adjustments). The Company believes that because of the dispersion of AGL's share ownership, provisions in AGL's organizational documents that limit voting power and other factors that no U.S. shareholder of AGL should be treated as owning (directly, indirectly through foreign entities or constructively) 10% of more of the total voting power of AGL; to the extent this is the case this application of Code Section 1248 under the regular CFC rules should not apply to dispositions of AGL's shares. It is possible, however, that the IRS could challenge the effectiveness of these provisions and that a court could sustain such a challenge. A 10% U.S. Shareholder may in certain circumstances be required to report a disposition of shares of a CFC by attaching IRS Form 5471 to the U.S. federal income tax or information return that it would normally file for the taxable year in which the disposition occurs. In the event this is determined necessary, AGL will provide a completed IRS Form 5471 or the relevant information necessary to complete the Form. Code section 1248 in conjunction with the RPII rules also applies to the sale or exchange of shares in a foreign corporation if the foreign corporation would be treated as a CFC for RPII purposes regardless of whether the shareholder is a 10% U.S. Shareholder or whether the 20% Ownership Exception or 20% Gross Income Exception applies. Existing proposed regulations do not address whether Code section 1248 would apply if a foreign corporation is not a CFC but the foreign corporation has a subsidiary that is a CFC and that would be taxed as an insurance company if it were a domestic corporation. The Company believes, however, that this application of Code section 1248 under the RPII rules should not apply to dispositions of AGL's shares because AGL will not be directly engaged in the insurance business. The Company cannot be certain, however, that the IRS will not interpret the proposed regulations in a contrary manner or that the Treasury Department will not amend the proposed regulations to provide that these rules will apply to dispositions of common shares. Prospective investors should consult their tax advisors regarding the effects of these rules on a disposition of common shares.


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Passive Foreign Investment Companies.    In general, a foreign corporation will be a PFIC during a given year if (i) 75% or more of its gross income constitutes "passive income" (the "75% test") or (ii) 50% or more of its assets produce passive income (the "50% test").

If AGL were characterized as a PFIC during a given year, each U.S. Person holding AGL's shares would be subject to a penalty tax at the time of the sale at a gain of, or receipt of an "excess distribution" with respect to, their shares, unless such person (i) is a 10% U.S. Shareholder and AGL is a CFC or (ii) made a "qualified electing fund election" or "mark-to-market" election. It is uncertain that AGL would be able to provide its shareholders with the information necessary for a U.S. Person to make a qualified electing fund election. In addition, if AGL were considered a PFIC, upon the death of any U.S. individual owning common shares, such individual's heirs or estate would not be entitled to a "step-up" in the basis of the common shares that might otherwise be available under U.S. federal income tax laws. In general, a shareholder receives an "excess distribution" if the amount of the distribution is more than 125% of the average distribution with respect to the common shares during the three preceding taxable years (or shorter period during which the taxpayer held common shares). In general, the penalty tax is equivalent to an interest charge on taxes that are deemed due during the period the shareholder owned the common shares, computed by assuming that the excess distribution or gain (in the case of a sale) with respect to the common shares was taken in equal portion at the highest applicable tax rate on ordinary income throughout the shareholder's period of ownership. The interest charge is equal to the applicable rate imposed on underpayments of U.S. federal income tax for such period. In addition, a distribution paid by AGL to U.S. shareholders that is characterized as a dividend and is not characterized as an excess distribution would not be eligible for reduced rates of tax as qualified dividend income.

For the above purposes, passive income generally includes interest, dividends, annuities and other investment income. The PFIC rules provide that income "derived in the active conduct of an insurance business by a corporation which is predominantly engaged in an insurance business... is not treated as passive income." The PFIC provisions also contain a look-through rule under which a foreign corporation shall be treated as if it "received directly its proportionate share of the income..." and as if it "held its proportionate share of the assets..." of any other corporation in which it owns at least 25% of the value of the stock.

The insurance income exception is intended to ensure that income derived by a bona fide insurance company is not treated as passive income, except to the extent such income is attributable to financial reserves in excess of the reasonable needs of the insurance business. The Company expects, for purposes of the PFIC rules, that each of AGL's insurance subsidiaries will be predominantly engaged in an insurance business and is unlikely to have financial reserves in excess of the reasonable needs of its insurance business in each year of operations. Accordingly, none of the income or assets of AGL's insurance subsidiaries should be treated as passive. Additionally, the Company expects that in each year of operations the passive income and assets of AGL's non-insurance subsidiaries will not exceed the 75% test or 50% test amounts in each year of operations with respect to the overall income and assets of AGL and its subsidiaries. Under the look-through rule AGL should be deemed to own its proportionate share of the assets and to have received its proportionate share of the income of its direct and indirect subsidiaries for purposes of the 75% test and the 50% test. As a result, the Company believes that AGL was not and should not be treated as a PFIC. The Company cannot be certain that the IRS will not successfully challenge this position, however, as there are currently no final or temporary regulations regarding the application of the PFIC provisions to an insurance company. The IRS recently issued proposed regulations intended to clarify the application of the PFIC provisions to an insurance company. These proposed regulations provide that a non-U.S. insurance company may only qualify for an exception to the PFIC rules if, among other things, the non-U.S. insurance company’s officers and employees perform its substantial managerial and operational activities.  This proposed regulation will not be effective until adopted in final form.  In addition, Senator Wyden recently introduced the “Offshore Reinsurance Tax Fairness Act” that, if enacted, would characterize a non-U.S. insurance company with insurance liabilities of 25% or less of such company’s assets as a PFIC unless it can qualify for a temporary exception which would require its insurance liabilities to equal or exceed 10% of its assets and the satisfaction of a facts and circumstances test. Because of the legal uncertainties relating to how the proposed regulations will be interpreted and the form in which such regulations or any legislative proposal may be finalized, the Company cannot predict what impact, if any, such guidance or legislation would have on an investor that is subject to US federal income tax. Prospective investors should consult their tax advisor as to the effects of the PFIC rules.

Foreign tax credit.    If U.S. Persons own a majority of AGL's common shares, only a portion of the current income inclusions, if any, under the CFC, RPII and PFIC rules and of dividends paid by AGL (including any gain from the sale of common shares that is treated as a dividend under section 1248 of the Code) will be treated as foreign source income for purposes of computing a shareholder's U.S. foreign tax credit limitations. The Company will consider providing shareholders with information regarding the portion of such amounts constituting foreign source income to the extent such information is reasonably available. It is also likely that substantially all of the "subpart F income," RPII and dividends that are foreign source income will constitute either "passive" or "general" income. Thus, it may not be possible for most shareholders to utilize excess foreign tax credits to reduce U.S. tax on such income.

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Information Reporting and Backup Withholding on Distributions and Disposition Proceeds.    Information returns may be filed with the IRS in connection with distributions on AGL's common shares and the proceeds from a sale or other disposition of AGL's common shares unless the holder of AGL's common shares establishes an exemption from the information reporting rules. A holder of common shares that does not establish such an exemption may be subject to U.S. backup withholding tax on these payments if the holder is not a corporation or non-U.S. Person or fails to provide its taxpayer identification number or otherwise comply with the backup withholding rules. The amount of any backup withholding from a payment to a U.S. Person will be allowed as a credit against the U.S. Person's U.S. federal income tax liability and may entitle the U.S. Person to a refund, provided that the required information is furnished to the IRS.

Changes in U.S. Federal Income Tax Law Could Materially Adversely Affect AGL or AGL's Shareholders. Legislation has been introduced from time to time in the U.S. Congress intended to eliminate certain perceived tax advantages of companies (including insurance companies) that have legal domiciles outside the U.S. but have certain U.S. connections. For example, legislation has been introduced in Congress to limit the deductibility of reinsurance premiums paid by U.S. companies to foreign affiliates. It is possible that this or similar legislation could be introduced in and enacted by the current Congress or future Congresses that could have an adverse impact on AGL or AGL's shareholders.

Additionally, tax laws and interpretations regarding whether a company is engaged in a U.S. trade or business or whether a company is a CFC or a PFIC or has RPII are subject to change, possibly on a retroactive basis. There are currently only recently proposed regulations regarding the application of the PFIC rules to an insurance company. Additionally, the regulations regarding RPII have been in proposed form since 1991. New regulations or pronouncements interpreting or clarifying such rules may be forthcoming. The Company cannot be certain if, when or in what form such regulations or pronouncements may be provided and whether such guidance will have a retroactive effect.

United Kingdom

The following discussion is intended to be only a general guide to certain U.K. tax consequences of holding AGL common shares, under current law and the current practice of HMRC, either of which is subject to change at any time, possibly with retrospective effect. Except where otherwise stated, this discussion applies only to shareholders who are not (and have not recently been) resident or (in the case of individuals) domiciled for tax purposes in the U.K., who hold their AGL common shares as an investment and who are the absolute beneficial owners of their common shares. This discussion may not apply to certain shareholders, such as dealers in securities, life insurance companies, collective investment schemes, shareholders who are exempt from tax and shareholders who have (or are deemed to have) acquired their shares by virtue of an office or employment. Such shareholders may be subject to special rules.

The following statements do not purport to be a comprehensive description of all the U.K. considerations that may be relevant to any particular shareholder. Any person who is in any doubt as to their tax position should consult an appropriate professional tax adviser.

AGL's Tax Residency. AGL is not incorporated in the U.K., but effective November 6, 2013, the AGL Board of Directors intends to manage the affairs of AGL in such a way as to maintain its status as a company that is tax resident in the U.K.

Dividends. Under current U.K. tax law, AGL is not required to withhold tax at source from dividends paid to the holders of the AGL common shares.

Capital gains. U.K. tax is not normally charged on any capital gains realized by non-U.K. shareholders in AGL unless, in the case of a corporate shareholder, at or before the time the gain accrues, the shareholding is used in or for the purposes of a trade carried on by the non-resident shareholder through a permanent establishment in the U.K. or for the purposes of that permanent establishment. Similarly, an individual shareholder who carries on a trade, profession or vocation in the U.K. through a branch or agency may be liable for U.K. tax on the gain if such shareholder disposes of shares that are, or have been, used, held or acquired for the purposes of such trade, profession or vocation or for the purposes of such branch or agency. This treatment applies regardless of the U.K. tax residence status of AGL.

Stamp Taxes. On the basis that AGL does not currently intend to maintain a share register in the U.K., there should be no U.K. stamp duty reserve tax on a purchase of common shares in AGL. A conveyance or transfer on sale of common shares in AGL will not be subject to U.K. stamp duty, provided that the instrument of transfer is not executed in the U.K. and does not relate to any property situate, or any matter or thing done, or to be done, in the U.K.


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Description of Share Capital

The following summary of AGL's share capital is qualified in its entirety by the provisions of Bermuda law, AGL's memorandum of association and its Bye-Laws, copies of which are incorporated by reference as exhibits to this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

AGL's authorized share capital of $5,000,000 is divided into 500,000,000 shares, par value U.S. $0.01 per share, of which 135,863,776 common shares were issued and outstanding as of February 23, 2016. Except as described below, AGL's common shares have no pre-emptive rights or other rights to subscribe for additional common shares, no rights of redemption, conversion or exchange and no sinking fund rights. In the event of liquidation, dissolution or winding-up, the holders of AGL's common shares are entitled to share equally, in proportion to the number of common shares held by such holder, in AGL's assets, if any remain after the payment of all AGL's debts and liabilities and the liquidation preference of any outstanding preferred shares. Under certain circumstances, AGL has the right to purchase all or a portion of the shares held by a shareholder. See "—Acquisition of Common Shares by AGL" below.

Voting Rights and Adjustments

In general, and except as provided below, shareholders have one vote for each common share held by them and are entitled to vote with respect to their fully paid shares at all meetings of shareholders. However, if, and so long as, the common shares (and other of AGL's shares) of a shareholder are treated as "controlled shares" (as determined pursuant to section 958 of the Code) of any U.S. Person and such controlled shares constitute 9.5% or more of the votes conferred by AGL's issued and outstanding shares, the voting rights with respect to the controlled shares owned by such U.S. Person shall be limited, in the aggregate, to a voting power of less than 9.5% of the voting power of all issued and outstanding shares, under a formula specified in AGL's Bye-laws. The formula is applied repeatedly until there is no U.S. Person whose controlled shares constitute 9.5% or more of the voting power of all issued and outstanding shares and who generally would be required to recognize income with respect to AGL under the Code if AGL were a controlled foreign corporation as defined in the Code and if the ownership threshold under the Code were 9.5% (as defined in AGL's Bye-Laws as a "9.5% U.S. Shareholder"). In addition, AGL's Board of Directors may determine that shares held carry different voting rights when it deems it appropriate to do so to (i) avoid the existence of any 9.5% U.S. Shareholder; and (ii) avoid adverse tax, legal or regulatory consequences to AGL or any of its subsidiaries or any direct or indirect holder of shares or its affiliates. "Controlled shares" includes, among other things, all shares of AGL that such U.S. Person is deemed to own directly, indirectly or constructively (within the meaning of section 958 of the Code). Further, these provisions do not apply in the event one shareholder owns greater than 75% of the voting power of all issued and outstanding shares.

Under these provisions, certain shareholders may have their voting rights limited to less than one vote per share, while other shareholders may have voting rights in excess of one vote per share. Moreover, these provisions could have the effect of reducing the votes of certain shareholders who would not otherwise be subject to the 9.5% limitation by virtue of their direct share ownership. AGL's Bye-laws provide that it will use its best efforts to notify shareholders of their voting interests prior to any vote to be taken by them.

AGL's Board of Directors is authorized to require any shareholder to provide information for purposes of determining whether any holder's voting rights are to be adjusted, which may be information on beneficial share ownership, the names of persons having beneficial ownership of the shareholder's shares, relationships with other shareholders or any other facts AGL's Board of Directors may deem relevant. If any holder fails to respond to this request or submits incomplete or inaccurate information, AGL's Board of Directors may eliminate the shareholder's voting rights. All information provided by the shareholder will be treated by AGL as confidential information and shall be used by AGL solely for the purpose of establishing whether any 9.5% U.S. Shareholder exists and applying the adjustments to voting power (except as otherwise required by applicable law or regulation).

Restrictions on Transfer of Common Shares

AGL's Board of Directors may decline to register a transfer of any common shares under certain circumstances, including if they have reason to believe that any adverse tax, regulatory or legal consequences to the Company, any of its subsidiaries or any of its shareholders or indirect holders of shares or its Affiliates may occur as a result of such transfer (other than such as AGL's Board of Directors considers de minimis). Transfers must be by instrument unless otherwise permitted by the Companies Act.

The restrictions on transfer and voting restrictions described above may have the effect of delaying, deferring or preventing a change in control of Assured Guaranty.

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Acquisition of Common Shares by AGL

Under AGL's Bye-Laws and subject to Bermuda law, if AGL's Board of Directors determines that any ownership of AGL's shares may result in adverse tax, legal or regulatory consequences to AGL, any of AGL's subsidiaries or any of AGL's shareholders or indirect holders of shares or its Affiliates (other than such as AGL's Board of Directors considers de minimis), AGL has the option, but not the obligation, to require such shareholder to sell to AGL or to a third party to whom AGL assigns the repurchase right the minimum number of common shares necessary to avoid or cure any such adverse consequences at a price determined in the discretion of the Board of Directors to represent the shares' fair market value (as defined in AGL's Bye-Laws).

Other Provisions of AGL's Bye-Laws

AGL's Board of Directors and Corporate Action

AGL's Bye-Laws provide that AGL's Board of Directors shall consist of not less than three and not more than 21 directors, the exact number as determined by the Board of Directors. AGL's Board of Directors consists of ten persons who are elected for annual terms.

Shareholders may only remove a director for cause (as defined in AGL's Bye-Laws) at a general meeting, provided that the notice of any such meeting convened for the purpose of removing a director shall contain a statement of the intention to do so and shall be provided to that director at least two weeks before the meeting. Vacancies on the Board of Directors can be filled by the Board of Directors if the vacancy occurs in those events set out in AGL's Bye-Laws as a result of death, disability, disqualification or resignation of a director, or from an increase in the size of the Board of Directors.

Generally under AGL's Bye-Laws, the affirmative votes of a majority of the votes cast at any meeting at which a quorum is present is required to authorize a resolution put to vote at a meeting of the Board of Directors, including one relating to a merger, acquisition or business combination. Corporate action may also be taken by a unanimous written resolution of the Board of Directors without a meeting. A quorum shall be at least one-half of directors then in office present in person or represented by a duly authorized representative, provided that at least two directors are present in person.

Shareholder Action

At the commencement of any general meeting, two or more persons present in person and representing, in person or by proxy, more than 50% of the issued and outstanding shares entitled to vote at the meeting shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. In general, any questions proposed for the consideration of the shareholders at any general meeting shall be decided by the affirmative votes of a majority of the votes cast in accordance with the Bye-Laws.

The Bye-Laws contain advance notice requirements for shareholder proposals and nominations for directors, including when proposals and nominations must be received and the information to be included.

Amendment

The Bye-Laws may be amended only by a resolution adopted by the Board of Directors and by resolution of the shareholders.

Voting of Non-U.S. Subsidiary Shares

If AGL is required or entitled to vote at a general meeting of any of AG Re, AGFOL or any other of its directly held non-U.S. subsidiaries, AGL's Board of Directors shall refer the subject matter of the vote to AGL's shareholders and seek direction from such shareholders as to how they should vote on the resolution proposed by the non-U.S. subsidiary. AGL's Board of Directors in its discretion shall require substantially similar provisions are or will be contained in the bye-laws (or equivalent governing documents) of any direct or indirect non-U.S. subsidiaries other than U.K. and AGRO.

Employees

As of December 31, 2015, the Company had approximately 300 employees. None of the Company's employees are subject to collective bargaining agreements. The Company believes that employee relations are satisfactory.


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Available Information

The Company maintains an Internet web site at www.assuredguaranty.com. The Company makes available, free of charge, on its web site (under assuredguaranty.com/sec-filings) the Company's annual report on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, and amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13 (a) or 15 (d) of the Exchange Act as soon as reasonably practicable after the Company files such material with, or furnishes it to, the SEC. The Company also makes available, free of charge, through its web site (under assuredguaranty.com/governance) links to the Company's Corporate Governance Guidelines, its Code of Conduct, AGL's Bye-Laws and the charters for its Board committees.

The Company routinely posts important information for investors on its web site (under assuredguaranty.com/company-statements and, more generally, under the Investor Information and Businesses pages). The Company uses this web site as a means of disclosing material information and for complying with its disclosure obligations under SEC Regulation FD (Fair Disclosure). Accordingly, investors should monitor the Company Statements, Investor Information and Businesses portions of the Company's web site, in addition to following the Company's press releases, SEC filings, public conference calls, presentations and webcasts.

The information contained on, or that may be accessed through, the Company's web site is not incorporated by reference into, and is not a part of, this report.


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ITEM 1A.
RISK FACTORS

You should carefully consider the following information, together with the information contained in AGL's other filings with the SEC. The risks and uncertainties discussed below are not the only ones the Company faces. However, these are the risks that the Company's management believes are material. The Company may face additional risks or uncertainties that are not presently known to the Company or that management currently deems immaterial, and such risks or uncertainties also may impair its business or results of operations. The risks discussed below could result in a significant or material adverse effect on the Company's financial condition, results of operations, liquidity or business prospects.

Risks Related to the Company's Expected Losses

Estimates of expected losses are subject to uncertainties and may not be adequate to cover potential paid claims.

The financial guaranties issued by the Company's insurance subsidiaries insure the credit performance of the guaranteed obligations over an extended period of time, in some cases over 30 years, and in most circumstances, the Company has no right to cancel such financial guaranties. As a result, the Company's estimate of ultimate losses on a policy is subject to significant uncertainty over the life of the insured transaction. Credit performance can be adversely affected by economic, fiscal and financial market variability over the long duration of most contracts. If the Company's actual losses exceed its current estimate, this may result in adverse effects on the Company's financial condition, results of operations, liquidity, business prospects, financial strength ratings and ability to raise additional capital.

In addition, if the Company is required to make claim payments, even if it is reimbursed in full over time and does not experience ultimate loss on a particular policy, such claim payments would reduce the Company's invested assets and result in reduced liquidity and net investment income. If the amount of claim payments is significant, the Company's ability to make other claim payments and its financial condition, financial strength ratings and business prospects could be adversely affected.

The Company had exposure of approximately $2.9 billion to infrastructure transactions with refinancing risk as of December 31, 2015. These transactions generally involve long-term infrastructure projects that were financed at least in part by bonds that mature well before the expiration of the project concession and which were originally expected to be refinanced. The Company generally expects the cash flows from these projects to be sufficient to repay all of the bonds over the life of the project concession, but if, due to market conditions, the issuer is unable to refinance insured bonds maturing well before the expiration of the project concession, the Company may have to pay a claim at that time and then recover from cash flows produced by the project in the future. However, the recovery of such amounts is uncertain and may take from 10 to 35 years, depending on the transaction and the performance of the underlying collateral. As of December 31, 2015, the Company estimated total claims for the two largest transactions with significant refinancing risk, assuming no refinancing, and based on certain performance assumptions, could be $1.9 billion on a gross basis; such claims would occur from 2017 through 2022. Of such $1.9 billion in estimated gross claims, an estimated $1.3 billion related to obligations of Skyway Concession Company LLC (“SCC”), which owned the concession for the Chicago Skyway toll road. In November 2015, a consortium of three Canadian pension plans announced that they had reached agreement, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, to purchase SCC for $2.8 billion. The sale was completed on February 25, 2016 and the various SCC obligations insured by the Company were retired without a claim on the Company.

The determination of expected loss is an inherently subjective process involving numerous estimates, assumptions and judgments by management, using both internal and external data sources with regard to frequency, severity of loss, economic projections, governmental actions, negotiations and other factors that affect credit performance. The Company does not use traditional actuarial approaches to determine its estimates of expected losses. Actual losses will ultimately depend on future events or transaction performance. As a result, the Company's current estimates of probable and estimable losses may not reflect the Company's future ultimate claims paid.

Certain sectors and large risks within the Company's insured portfolio have experienced credit deterioration in excess of the Company’s initial expectations, which has led or may lead to losses in excess of the Company’s initial expectations.  The Company's expected loss models take into account current and expected future trends, which contemplate the impact of current and probable developments in the performance of the credit.  These factors, which are integral elements of the Company's reserve estimation methodology, are updated on a quarterly basis based on current information.  Because such information changes, sometimes materially, from quarter to quarter, the Company’s projection of losses may also change materially.  Since the financial crisis, much of the development in the Company’s loss projections has been with respect to insured U.S. RMBS securities.  While the Company's net par outstanding of U.S. RMBS rated BIG under the Company's rating methodology as of December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2014 was still $4.0 billion and $5.6 billion, respectively, and may still be a source of loss development, the Company believes the performance of this portfolio has stabilized.  More recently, there has been credit

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deterioration with respect to certain insured Puerto Rico credits.  The Company had net par outstanding to general obligation bonds of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and various obligations of its related authorities and public corporations aggregating of $5.1 billion and $4.9 billion, respectively, as of December 31, 2015 and December 31, 2014, all of which was rated BIG under the Company’s rating methodology as of December 31, 2015. For a discussion of the Company's review of its Puerto Rico risks and RMBS transactions, see "Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Results of Operations-Consolidated Results of Operations-Economic Loss Development."

Risks Related to the Company's Financial Strength and Financial Enhancement Ratings

A downgrade of the financial strength or financial enhancement ratings of any of the Company's insurance and reinsurance subsidiaries would adversely affect its business and prospects and, consequently, its results of operations and financial condition.

The financial strength and financial enhancement ratings assigned by S&P, Moody's, KBRA and Best to AGL's insurance and reinsurance subsidiaries represent the rating agencies' opinions of the insurer's financial strength and ability to meet ongoing obligations to policyholders and cedants in accordance with the terms of the financial guaranties it has issued or the reinsurance agreements it has executed. The ratings also reflect qualitative factors, such as the rating agencies' opinion of an insurer's business strategy and franchise value, the anticipated future demand for its product, the composition of its insured portfolio, and its capital adequacy, profitability and financial flexibility. Issuers, investors, underwriters, ceding companies and others consider the Company's financial strength or financial enhancement ratings an important factor when deciding whether or not to utilize a financial guaranty or purchase reinsurance from one of the insurance or reinsurance subsidiaries. A downgrade by a rating agency of the financial strength or financial enhancement ratings of one or more of AGL's subsidiaries could impair the Company's financial condition, results of operation, liquidity, business prospects or other aspects of the Company's business.

The ratings assigned by the rating agencies that publish financial strength or financial enhancement ratings on AGL's insurance subsidiaries are subject to frequent review and may be lowered by a rating agency as a result of a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the rating agency's revised stress loss estimates for the Company's insurance portfolio, adverse developments in the Company's or the subsidiary's financial conditions or results of operations due to underwriting or investment losses or other factors, changes in the rating agency's outlook for the financial guaranty industry or in the markets in which the Company operates, or a revision in the rating agency's capital model or ratings methodology. Their reviews can occur at any time and without notice to the Company and could result in a decision to downgrade, revise or withdraw the financial strength or financial enhancement ratings of AGL's insurance and reinsurance subsidiaries. For example, while all of the rating agencies that rate AGL subsidiaries with exposure to Puerto Rico have indicated that their evaluations of such AGL subsidiaries already take into account stress scenarios related to developments in Puerto Rico, actual developments in Puerto Rico beyond what a rating agency considered could cause that rating agency to review its ratings of such AGL subsidiaries.

Since 2008, each of S&P and Moody's has reviewed and downgraded the financial strength ratings of AGL's insurance and reinsurance subsidiaries, including AGC, AGM and AG Re. In addition, S&P and Moody's have from time to time changed the ratings outlook for certain of the Company's subsidiaries to "negative" from "stable" or have placed such ratings on watch for possible downgrade. Currently, AGM, AGC, MAC and AG Re all have AA (Stable Outlook) financial strength ratings from S&P, with the most recent change by S&P being an upgrade of AGC, AGM and AG Re from AA- (Stable Outlook) in November 2011.  Each of AGM and MAC also has a AA+ (Stable Outlook) financial strength rating from KBRA, while AGM and AGC have financial strength ratings in the single-A category from Moody's (A2 (Stable Outlook) and A3 (Negative Outlook), respectively), with the most recent ratings change by Moody's being a change in the outlook of AGC to Negative in February 2015. In addition, AGRO has been assigned a rating of A+ (Stable) from Best, which is Best's second highest rating. The Company periodically assesses the value of each rating assigned to each of its companies, and may as a result of such assessment request that a rating agency add or drop a rating from certain of its companies. For example, the KBRA ratings were first assigned to MAC in 2013 and to AGM in 2014 and the Best rating was first assigned to AGRO in 2015, while a Moody's rating was never requested for MAC and was dropped from AG Re and AGRO in 2015.

The Company believes that the uncertainty introduced by S&P and Moody's various actions and proposals have reduced the Company's new business opportunities and have also affected the value of the Company's product to issuers and investors. The insurance subsidiaries' financial strength ratings are an important competitive factor in the financial guaranty insurance and reinsurance markets. If the financial strength or financial enhancement ratings of one or more of the Company's insurance subsidiaries were reduced below current levels, the Company expects that would reduce the number of transactions that would benefit from the Company's insurance; consequently, a downgrade by rating agencies could harm the Company's new business production, results of operations and financial condition.

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In addition, a downgrade may have a negative impact on the Company in respect of transactions that it has insured or reinsurance that it has assumed. For example, a downgrade of one of the Company's insurance subsidiaries may result in increased claims under financial guaranties such subsidiary has issued. Under variable rate demand obligations insured by AGM, further downgrades past rating levels specified in the transaction documents could result in the municipal obligor paying a higher rate of interest and in such obligations amortizing on a more accelerated basis than expected when the obligations originally were issued; if the municipal obligor is unable to make such interest or principal payments, AGM may receive a claim under its financial guaranty. Under interest rate swaps insured by AGM, further downgrades past specified rating levels could entitle the municipal obligor's swap counterparty to terminate the swap; if the municipal obligor owed a termination payment as a result and were unable to make such payment, AGM may receive a claim if its financial guaranty guaranteed such termination payment. For more information about increased claim payments the Company may potentially make, see "Ratings Impact on Financial Guaranty Business" in Note 6, Financial Guaranty Insurance, of the Financial Statements and Supplementary Data. In certain other transactions, beneficiaries of financial guaranties issued by the Company's insurance subsidiaries may have the right to cancel the credit protection offered by the Company, which would result in the loss of future premium earnings and the reversal of any fair value gains recorded by the Company. In addition, a downgrade of AG Re or AGC could result in certain ceding companies recapturing business that they had ceded to these reinsurers. See "The downgrade of the financial strength ratings of AG Re or of AGC gives certain reinsurance counterparties the right to recapture ceded business, which would lead to a reduction in the Company's unearned premium reserve and related earnings on such reserve" below.

If AGC's financial strength or financial enhancement ratings were downgraded, the Company could be required to post additional collateral under certain of its credit derivative contracts. See "If AGC's financial strength or financial enhancement ratings were downgraded, the Company could be required to post collateral under certain of its credit derivative contracts, which could impair its liquidity and results of operations" below.

If AGM's financial strength or financial enhancement ratings were downgraded, AGM-insured GICs issued by the former AGMH subsidiaries that conducted AGMH's Financial Products Business (the "Financial Products Companies") may come due or may come due absent the provision of collateral by the GIC issuers. The Company relies on agreements pursuant to which Dexia has agreed to guarantee or lend certain amounts, or to post liquid collateral, in regards to AGMH's former financial products business. See "Risks Related to the Company's Business—Acquisitions may subject the Company to non-monetary consequences."

Furthermore, if the financial strength ratings of AGE or AGUK were downgraded, AGM or AGC may be required to contribute additional capital to their respective subsidiary pursuant to the terms of the support arrangements for such subsidiaries, including those described under "Material Contracts" in the "Regulation—United Kingdom" section of "Item 1. Business."

If AGC's financial strength or financial enhancement ratings were downgraded, the Company could be required to post collateral under certain of its credit derivative contracts, which could impair its liquidity and results of operations.

Within the Company’s insured CDS portfolio, the transaction documentation for approximately $3.8 billion in CDS gross par insured as of December 31, 2015 requires AGC to post eligible collateral to secure its obligations to make payments under such contracts. Eligible collateral is generally cash or U.S. government or agency securities; eligible collateral other than cash is valued at a discount to the face amount.

For approximately $3.6 billion of such contracts, AGC has negotiated caps such that the posting requirement cannot exceed a certain fixed amount, regardless of the mark-to-market valuation of the exposure or the financial strength ratings of AGC. For such contracts, AGC need not post on a cash basis more than $575 million, although the value of the collateral posted may exceed such fixed amount depending on the advance rate agreed with the counterparty for the particular type of collateral posted.

For the remaining approximately $221 million of such contracts, AGC could be required from time to time to post additional collateral without such cap based on movements in the mark-to-market valuation of the underlying exposure. 

As of December 31, 2015, the Company was posting approximately $305 million to secure its obligations under CDS, of which approximately $23 million related to the $221 million of notional described above, as to which the obligation to collateralize is not capped. In contrast, as of December 31, 2014, the Company was posting approximately $376 million to secure its obligations under CDS, of which approximately $25 million related to $242 million of notional as to which the

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obligation to collateralize was not capped. The obligation to post collateral could impair the Company's liquidity and results of operations.

The downgrade of the financial strength ratings of AG Re or of AGC gives certain reinsurance counterparties the right to recapture ceded business, which would lead to a reduction in the Company's unearned premium reserve and related earnings on such reserve.

The downgrade of the financial strength ratings of AG Re or of AGC gives certain reinsurance counterparties the right to recapture ceded business, which would lead to a reduction in the Company's unearned premium reserve and related earnings on such reserve. With respect to a significant portion of the Company's in-force financial guaranty assumed business, based on AG Re's and AGC's current ratings and subject to the terms of each reinsurance agreement, the third party ceding company may have the right to recapture assumed business ceded to AG Re and/or AGC, and in connection therewith, to receive payment from the assuming reinsurer of an amount equal to the reinsurer’s statutory unearned premium (net of ceding commissions) and statutory loss reserves (if any) associated with that business, plus, in certain cases, an additional ceding commission. As of December 31, 2015, if each third party company ceding business to AG Re and/or AGC had a right to recapture such business, and chose to exercise such right, the aggregate amounts that AG Re and AGC could be required to pay to all such companies would be approximately $55 million and $34 million, respectively.

Actions taken by the rating agencies with respect to capital models and rating methodology of the Company's business or changes in capital charges or downgrades of transactions within its insured portfolio may adversely affect its ratings, business prospects, results of operations and financial condition.

The rating agencies from time to time have evaluated the Company's capital adequacy under a variety of scenarios and assumptions. The rating agencies do not always supply clear guidance on their approach to assessing the Company's capital adequacy and the Company may disagree with the rating agencies' approach and assumptions. For example, S&P assesses each individual credit (including potential new credits) insured by the Company based on a variety of factors, including the nature of the credit, the nature of the support or credit enhancement for the credit, its tenor, and its expected and actual performance. This assessment determines the amount of capital the Company is required to maintain against that credit to maintain its financial strength ratings under S&P's capital adequacy model. Sometimes the rating agencies consider the amount of additional capital that could be required for certain risks or sectors under certain stress scenarios based on their views of developments in the market, as each have done recently with respect to the Company's exposures to Puerto Rico. Factors influencing the rating agencies are beyond management's control and not always known to the Company. In the event of an actual or perceived deterioration in creditworthiness, or a change in a rating agency's capital model or rating methodology, that rating agency may require the Company to increase the amount of capital allocated to support the affected credits, regardless of whether losses actually occur, or against potential new business. Significant reductions in the rating agencies' assessments of credits in the Company's insured portfolio can produce significant increases in the amount of capital required for the Company to maintain its financial strength ratings under the rating agencies' capital adequacy models, which may require the Company to seek additional capital. The amount of such capital required may be substantial, and may not be available to the Company on favorable terms and conditions or at all. Accordingly, the Company cannot ensure that it will seek to, or be able to, raise additional capital. The failure to raise additional required capital could result in a downgrade of the Company's ratings and thus have an adverse impact on its business, results of operations and financial condition. See "Risks Related to the Company's Capital and Liquidity Requirements—The Company may require additional capital from time to time, including from soft capital and liquidity credit facilities, which may not be available or may be available only on unfavorable terms."

Since 2009, Moody's and S&P have downgraded a number of structured finance securities and public finance bonds, including obligations that the Company insures. Additional obligations in the Company's insured portfolio may be reviewed and downgraded in the future. Downgrades of the Company's insured credits will result in higher capital requirements for the Company under the relevant rating agency capital adequacy model. If the additional amount of capital required to support such exposures is significant, the Company may need to undertake certain actions in order to maintain its ratings, including, but not limited to, raising additional capital (which, if available, may not be available on terms and conditions that are favorable to the Company); curtailing new business; or paying to transfer a portion of its in-force business to generate rating agency capital. If the Company is unable to complete any of these capital initiatives, it could suffer ratings downgrades. These capital actions or ratings downgrades could adversely affect the Company's results of operations, financial condition, ability to write new business or competitive positioning.


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Risks Related to the Financial, Credit and Financial Guaranty Markets

Improvement in the recent difficult conditions in the U.S. and world-wide financial markets has been gradual, and the Company's business, liquidity, financial condition and stock price may continue to be adversely affected.

The Company's loss reserves, profitability, financial position, insured portfolio, investment portfolio, cash flow, statutory capital and stock price could be materially affected by the U.S. and global financial markets. Upheavals in the financial markets affect economic activity and employment and therefore can affect the Company's business. The global economic outlook remains uncertain, including the overall growth rate of the U.S. economy, the fragile economic recovery in Europe and the impact of the gradual tightening of global monetary conditions on emerging markets. These and other risks could materially and negatively affect the Company’s ability to access the capital markets, the cost of the Company's debt, the demand for its products, the amount of losses incurred on transactions it guarantees, the value of its investment portfolio, its financial ratings and the price of its common shares.

Some of the state and local governments and entities that issue obligations the Company insures are experiencing significant budget deficits and pension funding and revenue shortfalls that could result in increased credit losses or impairments and capital charges on those obligations.

Some of the state and local governments that issue the obligations the Company insures have experienced significant budget deficits and pension funding and revenue collection shortfalls that required them to significantly raise taxes and/or cut spending in order to satisfy their obligations. While the U.S. government has provided some financial support and although overall state revenues have increased in recent years, significant budgetary pressures remain, especially at the local government level and in relation to retirement obligations. Certain local governments, including ones that have issued obligations insured by the Company, have sought protection from creditors under chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code as a means of restructuring their outstanding debt. In some recent instances where local governments were seeking to restructure their outstanding debt, and partially in response to concerns that materially reducing pension payments would lead to employee flight and, therefore, an inadequate level of local government services, pension and other obligations owed to workers were treated more favorably than senior bond debt owed to the capital markets. If the issuers of the obligations in the Company's public finance portfolio do not have sufficient funds to cover their expenses and are unable or unwilling to raise taxes, decrease spending or receive federal assistance, the Company may experience increased levels of losses or impairments on its public finance obligations, which could materially and adversely affect its business, financial condition and results of operations. If such issuers succeed in restructuring pension and other obligations owed to workers so that they are treated more favorably than obligations insured by the Company, such losses or impairments could be greater than the Company otherwise anticipated when the insurance was written.

The Company's risk of loss on and capital charges for municipal credits could also be exacerbated by rating agency downgrades of municipal credit ratings. A downgraded municipal issuer may be unable to refinance maturing obligations or issue new debt, which could reduce the municipality's ability to service its debt. Downgrades could also affect the interest rate that the municipality must pay on its variable rate debt or for new debt issuance. Municipal credit downgrades, as with other downgrades, result in an increase in the capital charges the rating agencies assess when evaluating the Company's capital adequacy in their rating models. Significant municipal downgrades could result in higher capital requirements for the Company in order to maintain its financial strength ratings.

The Company insures general obligation bonds of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and various obligations of its related authorities and public corporations. The Commonwealth faces a challenging economic environment and, in recent years, has experienced significant general fund budget deficits, which it had attempted to address by issuing debt. In June 2014, the Puerto Rico legislature passed the Puerto Rico Public Corporation Debt Enforcement and Recovery Act (the "Recovery Act") in order to provide a legislative framework for certain public corporations experiencing severe financial stress to restructure their debt. Investors filed suit in the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico challenging the Recovery Act. On February 6, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico ruled the Recovery Act is preempted by the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and is therefore void. On July 6, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld that ruling, and on December 4, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court granted petitions for writs of certiorari relating to that ruling. On June 28, 2015, Governor García Padilla of Puerto Rico (the "Governor") publicly stated that the Commonwealth’s public debt, considering the current level of economic activity, is unpayable and that a comprehensive debt restructuring may be necessary, and he has made similar statements since then. On January 1, 2016, Puerto Rico Infrastructure Finance Authority ("PRIFA") defaulted on payment of a portion of the interest due on its bonds on that date. For those PRIFA bonds the Company had insured, the Company paid approximately $451 thousand of claims for the interest payments on which PRIFA had defaulted. On November 30, 2015, and December 8, 2015, the Governor issued executive orders (“Clawback Orders”) directing the Puerto Rico Department of Treasury and the Puerto Rico Tourism Company to retain or transfer certain taxes and revenues pledged to

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secure the payment of bonds issued by certain authorities. On January 7, 2016, the Company sued various Puerto Rico governmental officials in the United State District Court, District of Puerto Rico asserting that this attempt to “claw back” pledged taxes and revenues is unconstitutional, and demanding declaratory and injunctive relief. There have been a number of other proposals, plans and legislative initiatives offered in Puerto Rico and in the United States aimed at addressing Puerto Rico’s fiscal issues. Among the responses proposed is a federal financial control board and access to bankruptcy courts or another restructuring mechanism. S&P, Moody’s and Fitch Ratings have lowered the credit rating of the Commonwealth’s bonds and on its public corporations several times over the past approximately two years, and the Commonwealth has disclosed its liquidity has been adversely affected by rating agency downgrades and by the limited market access for its debt, and also noted it has relied on short-term financings and interim loans from the Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico (“GDB”) and other private lenders, which reliance has constrained its liquidity and increased its near-term refinancing risk. The Company has an aggregate $5.1 billion net par exposure to the Commonwealth and various obligations of its related authorities and public corporations, and if the Company were required to make claim payments on such insured exposures, such payments could have a negative effect on the Company's liquidity and results of operations.
 
In addition, obligations supported by specified revenue streams, such as revenue bonds issued by toll road authorities, municipal utilities or airport authorities, may be adversely affected by revenue declines resulting from reduced demand, changing demographics or other factors associated with an economy in which unemployment remains high, housing prices have not yet stabilized and growth is slow. These obligations, which may not necessarily benefit from financial support from other tax revenues or governmental authorities, may also experience increased losses if the revenue streams are insufficient to pay scheduled interest and principal payments.

Persistently low interest rate levels and credit spreads could adversely affect demand for financial guaranty insurance as well as the Company's financial condition.

Demand for financial guaranty insurance generally fluctuates with changes in market credit spreads. Credit spreads, which are based on the difference between interest rates on high-quality or "risk free" securities versus those on lower-rated or uninsured securities, fluctuate due to a number of factors and are sensitive to the absolute level of interest rates, current credit experience and investors' risk appetite. Over the last several years, interest rates generally have been lower than historical norms. In 2015, average daily AAA benchmark 30-year municipal interest rates as reflected by the MMD Index were approximately 35 basis points lower that their levels in 2014, a year in which rates were already low by historical standards. When interest rates are low, or when the market is relatively less risk averse, the credit spread between high-quality or insured obligations versus lower- rated or uninsured obligations typically narrows. As a result, financial guaranty insurance typically provides lower interest cost savings to issuers than it would during periods of relatively wider credit spreads. When issuers are less likely to use financial guaranties on their new issues when credit spreads are narrow, this results in decreased demand or premiums obtainable for financial guaranty insurance, and a resulting reduction in the Company's results of operations. The continued persistence of low interest rate levels and credit spreads could continue to dampen demand for financial guaranty insurance.

Conversely, in a deteriorating credit environment, credit spreads increase and become "wide", which increases the interest cost savings that financial guaranty insurance may provide and can result in increased demand for financial guaranties by issuers. However, if the weakening credit environment is associated with economic deterioration, the Company's insured portfolio could generate claims and loss payments in excess of normal or historical expectations. In addition, increases in market interest rate levels could reduce new capital markets issuances and, correspondingly, a decreased volume of insured transactions.

Competition in the Company's industry may adversely affect its revenues.

As described in greater detail under "Competition" in "Item 1. Business," the Company can face competition, either in the form of current or new providers of credit enhancement or in terms of alternative structures, including uninsured offerings, or pricing competition. Increased competition could have an adverse effect on the Company's insurance business.


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The Company's financial position, results of operations and cash flows may be adversely affected by fluctuations in foreign exchange rates.

The Company's reporting currency is the U.S. dollar. The functional currencies of AGL's insurance and reinsurance subsidiaries are the U.S. dollar and U.K. sterling. Exchange rate fluctuations relative to the functional currencies may materially impact the Company's financial position, results of operations and cash flows. The Company's non-U.S. subsidiaries maintain both assets and liabilities in currencies different than their functional currency, which exposes the Company to changes in currency exchange rates. In addition, locally-required capital levels are invested in local currencies in order to satisfy regulatory requirements and to support local insurance operations regardless of currency fluctuations.

The principal currencies creating foreign exchange risk are the British pound sterling and the European Union euro. The Company cannot accurately predict the nature or extent of future exchange rate variability between these currencies or relative to the U.S. dollar. Foreign exchange rates are sensitive to factors beyond the Company's control. The Company does not engage in active management, or hedging, of its foreign exchange rate risk. Therefore, fluctuation in exchange rates between these currencies and the U.S. dollar could adversely impact the Company's financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

The Company's international operations expose it to less predictable credit and legal risks.

The Company pursues new business opportunities in international markets. The underwriting of obligations of an issuer in a foreign country involves the same process as that for a domestic issuer, but additional risks must be addressed, such as the evaluation of foreign currency exchange rates, foreign business and legal issues, and the economic and political environment of the foreign country or countries in which an issuer does business. Changes in such factors could impede the Company's ability to insure, or increase the risk of loss from insuring, obligations in the countries in which it currently does business and limit its ability to pursue business opportunities in other countries.

The Company's investment portfolio may be adversely affected by credit, interest rate and other market changes.

The Company's operating results are affected, in part, by the performance of its investment portfolio which consists primarily of fixed-income securities and short-term investments. As of December 31, 2015, the fixed-maturity securities and short-term investments had a fair value of approximately $11.0 billion. Credit losses and changes in interest rates could have an adverse effect on its shareholders' equity and net income. Credit losses result in realized losses on the Company's investment portfolio, which reduce net income and shareholders' equity. Changes in interest rates can affect both shareholders' equity and investment income. For example, if interest rates decline, funds reinvested will earn less than expected, reducing the Company's future investment income compared to the amount it would earn if interest rates had not declined. However, the value of the Company's fixed-rate investments would generally increase if interest rates decreased, resulting in an unrealized gain on investments included in shareholders' equity. Conversely, if interest rates increase, the value of the investment portfolio will be reduced, resulting in unrealized losses that the Company is required to include in shareholders' equity as a change in accumulated other comprehensive income. Accordingly, interest rate increases could reduce the Company's shareholders' equity.

Interest rates are highly sensitive to many factors, including monetary policies, domestic and international economic and political conditions and other factors beyond the Company's control. The Company does not engage in active management, or hedging, of interest rate risk, and may not be able to mitigate interest rate sensitivity effectively.

The market value of the investment portfolio also may be adversely affected by general developments in the capital markets, including decreased market liquidity for investment assets, market perception of increased credit risk with respect to the types of securities held in the portfolio, downgrades of credit ratings of issuers of investment assets and/or foreign exchange movements which impact investment assets. In addition, the Company invests in securities insured by other financial guarantors, the market value of which may be affected by the rating instability of the relevant financial guarantor.

Risks Related to the Company's Capital and Liquidity Requirements

The Company may require additional capital from time to time, including from soft capital and liquidity credit facilities, which may not be available or may be available only on unfavorable terms.

The Company's capital requirements depend on many factors, primarily related to its in-force book of business and rating agency capital requirements. The Company needs liquid assets to make claim payments on its insured portfolio and to write new business. For example, as discussed in the Risk Factor captioned "Estimates of expected losses are subject to

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uncertainties and may not be adequate to cover potential paid claims" under Risks Related to the Company's Expected Losses, the Company has substantial exposure to infrastructure transactions with refinancing risk as to which the Company may need to make large claim payments that it did not anticipate paying when the policies were issued. Failure to raise additional capital as needed may result in the Company being unable to write new business and may result in the ratings of the Company and its subsidiaries being downgraded by one or more ratings agency. The Company's access to external sources of financing, as well as the cost of such financing, is dependent on various factors, including the market supply of such financing, the Company's long-term debt ratings and insurance financial strength ratings and the perceptions of its financial strength and the financial strength of its insurance subsidiaries. The Company's debt ratings are in turn influenced by numerous factors, such as financial leverage, balance sheet strength, capital structure and earnings trends. If the Company's need for capital arises because of significant losses, the occurrence of these losses may make it more difficult for the Company to raise the necessary capital.

Future capital raises for equity or equity-linked securities could also result in dilution to the Company's shareholders. In addition, some securities that the Company could issue, such as preferred stock or securities issued by the Company's operating subsidiaries, may have rights, preferences and privileges that are senior to those of its common shares.

Financial guaranty insurers and reinsurers typically rely on providers of lines of credit, credit swap facilities and similar capital support mechanisms (often referred to as "soft capital") to supplement their existing capital base, or "hard capital." The ratings of soft capital providers directly affect the level of capital credit which the rating agencies give the Company when evaluating its financial strength. The Company currently maintains soft capital facilities with providers having ratings adequate to provide the Company's desired capital credit. For example, effective January 1, 2016, AGC, AGM and MAC entered into a $360 million aggregate excess of loss reinsurance facility with a number of reinsurers, that covers certain U.S. public finance credits insured or reinsured by those companies (For additional information, see Note 13, Reinsurance and Other Monoline Exposures, of the Financial Statements and Supplementary Data). However, no assurance can be given that the Company will be able to renew any existing soft capital facilities or that one or more of the rating agencies will not downgrade or withdraw the applicable ratings of such providers in the future. In addition, the Company may not be able to replace a downgraded soft capital provider with an acceptable replacement provider for a variety of reasons, including if an acceptable replacement provider is willing to provide the Company with soft capital commitments or if any adequately-rated institutions are actively providing soft capital facilities. Furthermore, the rating agencies may in the future change their methodology and no longer give credit for soft capital, which may necessitate the Company having to raise additional capital in order to maintain its ratings.

An increase in AGL's subsidiaries' leverage ratio may prevent them from writing new insurance.

Insurance regulatory authorities impose capital requirements on AGL's insurance subsidiaries. These capital requirements, which include leverage ratios and surplus requirements, may limit the amount of insurance that the subsidiaries may write. The insurance subsidiaries have several alternatives available to control their leverage ratios, including obtaining capital contributions from the Company, purchasing reinsurance or entering into other loss mitigation agreements, or reducing the amount of new business written. However, a material reduction in the statutory capital and surplus of a subsidiary, whether resulting from underwriting or investment losses, a change in regulatory capital requirements or otherwise, or a disproportionate increase in the amount of risk in force, could increase a subsidiary's leverage ratio. This in turn could require that subsidiary to obtain reinsurance for existing business (which may not be available, or may be available on terms that the Company considers unfavorable), or add to its capital base to maintain its financial strength ratings. Failure to maintain regulatory capital levels could limit that subsidiary's ability to write new business.

The Company's holding companies' ability to meet its obligations may be constrained.

Each of AGL, AGUS and AGMH is a holding company and, as such, has no direct operations of its own. None of the holding companies expects to have any significant operations or assets other than its ownership of the shares of its subsidiaries.

The insurance company subsidiaries’ ability to pay dividends and make other payments depends, among other things, upon their financial condition, results of operations, cash requirements, and compliance with rating agency requirements, and is also subject to restrictions contained in the insurance laws and related regulations of their states of domicile. Restrictions applicable to AGC and AGM, and to AG Re and AGRO, are described under the "Regulation—United States—State Dividend Limitations" and "Regulation—Bermuda—Restrictions on Dividends and Distributions" sections of “Item 1. Business.” Such dividends and permitted payments are expected to be the primary source of funds for the holding companies to meet ongoing cash requirements, including operating expenses, any future debt service payments and other expenses, and to pay dividends to their respective shareholders. Accordingly, if the insurance subsidiaries cannot pay sufficient dividends or make other permitted payments at the times or in the amounts that are required, that would have an adverse effect on the ability of AGL, AGUS and AGMH to satisfy their ongoing cash requirements and on their ability to pay dividends to shareholders.

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If AGRO were to pay dividends to its U.S. holding company parent and that U.S. holding company were to pay dividends to its Bermudian parent AG Re, such dividends would be subject to U.S. withholding tax at a rate of 30%.

The ability of AGL and its subsidiaries to meet their liquidity needs may be limited.

Each of AGL, AGUS and AGMH requires liquidity, either in the form of cash or in the ability to easily sell investment assets for cash, in order to meet its payment obligations, including, without limitation, its operating expenses, interest on debt and dividends on common shares, and to make capital investments in operating subsidiaries. The Company's operating subsidiaries require substantial liquidity in order to meet their respective payment and/or collateral posting obligations, including under financial guaranty insurance policies, CDS contracts or reinsurance agreements. They also require liquidity to pay operating expenses, reinsurance premiums, dividends to AGUS or AGMH for debt service and dividends to the Company, as well as, where appropriate, to make capital investments in their own subsidiaries. The Company cannot give any assurance that the liquidity of AGL and its subsidiaries will not be adversely affected by adverse market conditions, changes in insurance regulatory law or changes in general economic conditions.

AGL anticipates that its liquidity needs will be met by the ability of its operating subsidiaries to pay dividends or to make other payments; external financings; investment income from its invested assets; and current cash and short-term investments. The Company expects that its subsidiaries' need for liquidity will be met by the operating cash flows of such subsidiaries; external financings; investment income from their invested assets; and proceeds derived from the sale of its investment portfolio, a significant portion of which is in the form of cash or short-term investments. All of these sources of liquidity are subject to market, regulatory or other factors that may impact the Company's liquidity position at any time. As discussed above, AGL's insurance subsidiaries are subject to regulatory and rating agency restrictions limiting their ability to declare and to pay dividends and make other payments to AGL. As further noted above, external financing may or may not be available to AGL or its subsidiaries in the future on satisfactory terms.

In addition, investment income at AGL and its subsidiaries may fluctuate based on interest rates, defaults by the issuers of the securities AGL or its subsidiaries hold in their respective investment portfolios, or other factors that the Company does not control. Finally, the value of the Company's investments may be adversely affected by changes in interest rates, credit risk and capital market conditions and therefore may adversely affect the Company's potential ability to sell investments quickly and the price which the Company might receive for those investments.

Risks Related to the Company's Business

The Company's financial guaranty products may subject it to significant risks from individual or correlated credits.

The Company is exposed to the risk that issuers of debt that it insures or other counterparties may default in their financial obligations, whether as a result of insolvency, lack of liquidity, operational failure or other reasons. Similarly, the Company could be exposed to corporate credit risk if a corporation's securities are contained in a portfolio of collateralized debt obligations ("CDOs") it insures, or if the corporation or financial institution is the originator or servicer of loans, mortgages or other assets backing structured securities that the Company has insured.

In addition, because the Company insures or reinsures municipal bonds, it can have significant exposures to single municipal risks (e.g., the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico). While the Company's risk of a complete loss, where it would have to pay the entire principal amount of an issue of bonds and interest thereon with no recovery, is generally lower for municipal bonds than for corporate bonds as most municipal bonds are backed by tax or other revenues, there can be no assurance that a single default by a municipality would not have a material adverse effect on its results of operations or financial condition.

The Company's ultimate exposure to a single name may exceed its underwriting guidelines, and an event with respect to a single name may cause a significant loss. The Company seeks to reduce this risk by managing exposure to large single risks, as well as concentrations of correlated risks, through tracking its aggregate exposure to single names in its various lines of business, establishing underwriting criteria to manage risk aggregations. It has also in the past obtained third party reinsurance for such exposure. The Company may insure and has insured individual public finance and asset-backed risks well in excess of $1 billion. Should the Company's risk assessments prove inaccurate and should the applicable limits prove inadequate, the Company could be exposed to larger than anticipated losses, and could be required by the rating agencies to hold additional capital against insured exposures whether or not downgraded by the rating agencies.

The Company is exposed to correlation risk across the various assets the Company insures. During periods of strong macroeconomic performance, stress in an individual transaction generally occurs in a single asset class or for idiosyncratic

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reasons. During a broad economic downturn, a wider range of the Company's insured portfolio could be exposed to stress at the same time. This stress may manifest itself in ratings downgrades, which may require more capital, or in actual losses. In addition, while the Company has experienced catastrophic events in the past without material loss, unexpected catastrophic events may have a material adverse effect upon the Company's insured portfolio and/or its investment portfolios.

Some of the Company's direct financial guaranty products may be riskier than traditional financial guaranty insurance.

As of December 31, 2015 and 2014, 7% and 9%, respectively, of the Company's financial guaranty direct exposures were executed as credit derivatives. Traditional financial guaranty insurance provides an unconditional and irrevocable guaranty that protects the holder of a municipal finance or structured finance obligation against non-payment of principal and interest, while credit derivatives provide protection from the occurrence of specified credit events, including non-payment of principal and interest. In general, the Company structures credit derivative transactions such that circumstances giving rise to its obligation to make payments are similar to that for financial guaranty policies and generally occur when issuers fail to make payments on the underlying reference obligations. The tenor of credit derivatives exposures, like exposure under financial guaranty insurance policies, is also generally for as long as the reference obligation remains outstanding.

Nonetheless, credit derivative transactions are governed by International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. ("ISDA") documentation and operate differently from financial guaranty insurance policies. For example, the Company's control rights with respect to a reference obligation under a credit derivative may be more limited than when it issues a financial guaranty insurance policy on a direct primary basis. In addition, a credit derivative may be terminated for a breach of the ISDA documentation or other specific events, unlike financial guaranty insurance policies. In addition, under a limited number of credit derivative contracts, the Company may be required to post eligible securities as collateral, generally cash or U.S. government or agency securities, under specified circumstances. The need to post collateral under many of these transactions is subject to caps that the Company has negotiated with its counterparties, but there are some transactions as to which the Company could be required to post collateral without such a cap based on movements in the mark-to-market valuation of the underlying exposure in excess of contractual thresholds. See "Risks Related to the Company's Financial Strength and Financial Enhancement Ratings—If AGC's financial strength or financial enhancement ratings were downgraded, the Company could be required to post collateral under certain of its credit derivative contracts, which could impair its liquidity and results of operations."

Further downgrades of one or more of the Company's reinsurers could reduce the Company's capital adequacy and return on equity. The impairment of other financial institutions also could adversely affect the Company.

At December 31, 2015, the Company had ceded approximately 4% of its principal amount of insurance outstanding to third party reinsurers. In evaluating the credits insured by the Company, securities rating agencies allow capital charge "credit" for reinsurance based on the reinsurers' ratings. In recent years, a number of the Company's reinsurers were downgraded by one or more rating agencies, resulting in decreases in the credit allowed for reinsurance and in the financial benefits of using reinsurance under existing rating agency capital adequacy models. Many of the Company's reinsurers have already been downgraded to single-A or below by one or more rating agencies. The Company could be required to raise additional capital to replace the lost reinsurance credit in order to satisfy rating agency and regulatory capital adequacy and single risk requirements. The rating agencies' reduction in credit for reinsurance could also ultimately reduce the Company's return on equity to the extent that ceding commissions paid to the Company by the reinsurers were not adequately increased to compensate for the effect of any additional capital required. In addition, downgraded reinsurers may default on amounts due to the Company and such reinsurer obligations may not be adequately collateralized, resulting in additional losses to the Company and a reduction in its shareholders' equity and net income.

The Company also has exposure to counterparties in various industries, including banks, hedge funds and other investment vehicles in its insured transactions. Many of these transactions expose the Company to credit risk in the event its counterparty fails to perform its obligations.

Acquisitions may not result in the benefits anticipated.

                From time to time and in order to deploy excess capital the Company evaluates financial guaranty portfolio and company acquisition opportunities and conducts diligence activities with respect to transactions with other financial guarantors and financial services companies. For example, during 2015 the Company acquired Radian Asset and merged it with and into AGC, with AGC as the surviving company of the merger. Acquiring other financial guaranty portfolios or companies or other financial services companies may involve some or all of the various risks commonly associated with acquisitions, including, among other things: (a) failure to adequately identify and value potential exposures and liabilities of the target portfolio or entity; (b) difficulty in estimating the value of the target portfolio or entity; (c) potential diversion of management’s time and

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attention; (d) exposure to asset quality issues of the target entity; and (e) difficulty and expense of integrating the operations, systems and personnel of the target entity. Such acquisitions may also have unintended consequences on ratings assigned by the rating agencies to the Company or its subsidiaries (see “- Risks Related to the Company’s Ratings”) or on the applicability of laws and regulations to the Company’s existing businesses. These or other factors may cause any future acquisitions of financial guaranty portfolios or companies or other financial services companies not to result in the benefits to the Company anticipated when the acquisition was agreed.

Acquisitions may subject the Company to non-monetary consequences.

Past or future acquisitions may also subject the Company to non-monetary consequences that may or may not have been anticipated or fully mitigated at the time of the acquisition. For example, as noted under "Item 3. Legal Proceedings—Proceedings Related to AGMH's Former Financial Products Business," in November 2006, AGMH received a subpoena from the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice issued in connection with an ongoing criminal investigation of bid rigging of awards of municipal GICs and other municipal derivatives. Although the subpoena relates to AGMH's former Financial Products Business, which the Company did not acquire, it was issued to AGMH, which the Company did acquire. Furthermore, while Dexia SA and Dexia Crédit Local S.A., jointly and severally, have agreed to indemnify the Company against liability arising out of these proceedings, such indemnification might not be sufficient to fully hold the Company harmless against any injunctive relief or civil or criminal sanction that is imposed against AGMH or its subsidiaries.

The Company is dependent on key executives and the loss of any of these executives, or its inability to retain other key personnel, could adversely affect its business.

The Company's success substantially depends upon its ability to attract and retain qualified employees and upon the ability of its senior management and other key employees to implement its business strategy. The Company believes there are only a limited number of available qualified executives in the business lines in which the Company competes. The Company relies substantially upon the services of Dominic J. Frederico, President and Chief Executive Officer, and other executives. Although the Company has designed its executive compensation with the goal of retaining and creating incentives for its executive officers, the Company may not be successful in retaining their services. The loss of the services of any of these individuals or other key members of the Company's management team could adversely affect the implementation of its business strategy.

The Company is dependent on its information technology and that of certain third parties, and a cyber-attack, security breach or failure in such systems could adversely affect the Company’s business.

                The Company relies upon information technology and systems, including technology and systems provided by or interfacing with those of third parties, to support a variety of its business processes and activities.  In addition, the Company has collected and stored confidential information including, in connection with certain loss mitigation and due diligence activities related to its structured finance business, personally identifiable information.  While the Company does not believe that the financial guaranty industry is as inherently prone to cyber-attacks as industries relating to, for example, payment card processing, banking, critical infrastructure or defense contracting, the Company’s data systems and those of third parties on which it relies are still vulnerable to security breaches due to cyber-attacks, viruses, malware, hackers and other external hazards, as well as inadvertent errors, equipment and system failures, and employee misconduct.  Problems in or security breaches of these systems could, for example, result in lost business, reputational harm, the disclosure or misuse of confidential or proprietary information, incorrect reporting, inaccurate loss projections, legal costs and regulatory penalties. 

                The Company’s business operations rely on the continuous availability of its computer systems as well as those of certain third parties.  In addition to disruptions caused by cyber-attacks or other data breaches, such systems may be adversely affected by natural and man-made catastrophes.  The Company’s failure to maintain business continuity in the wake of such events, particularly if there were an interruption for an extended period, could prevent the timely completion of critical processes across its operations, including, for example, claims processing, treasury and investment operations and payroll.  These failures could result in additional costs, loss of business, fines and litigation.


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Risks Related to GAAP and Applicable Law

Changes in the fair value of the Company's insured credit derivatives portfolio may subject net income to volatility.

The Company is required to mark-to-market certain derivatives that it insures, including CDS that are considered derivatives under GAAP. Although there is no cash flow effect from this "marking-to-market," net changes in the fair value of the derivative are reported in the Company's consolidated statements of operations and therefore affect its reported earnings. As a result of such treatment, and given the large principal balance of the Company's CDS portfolio, small changes in the market pricing for insurance of CDS will generally result in the Company recognizing material gains or losses, with material market price increases generally resulting in large reported losses under GAAP. Accordingly, the Company's GAAP earnings will be more volatile than would be suggested by the actual performance of its business operations and insured portfolio.

The fair value of a credit derivative will be affected by any event causing changes in the credit spread (i.e., the difference in interest rates between comparable securities having different credit risk) on an underlying security referenced in the credit derivative. Common events that may cause credit spreads on an underlying municipal or corporate security referenced in a credit derivative to fluctuate include changes in the state of national or regional economic conditions, industry cyclicality, changes to a company's competitive position within an industry, management changes, changes in the ratings of the underlying security, movements in interest rates, default or failure to pay interest, or any other factor leading investors to revise expectations about the issuer's ability to pay principal and interest on its debt obligations. Similarly, common events that may cause credit spreads on an underlying structured security referenced in a credit derivative to fluctuate may include the occurrence and severity of collateral defaults, changes in demographic trends and their impact on the levels of credit enhancement, rating changes, changes in interest rates or prepayment speeds, or any other factor leading investors to revise expectations about the risk of the collateral or the ability of the servicer to collect payments on the underlying assets sufficient to pay principal and interest. The fair value of credit derivative contracts also reflects the change in the Company's own credit cost, based on the price to purchase credit protection on AGC and AGM. For discussion of the Company's fair value methodology for credit derivatives, see Note 7, Fair Value Measurement, of the Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.

If a credit derivative is held to maturity and no credit loss is incurred, any unrealized gains or losses previously reported would be offset as the transactions reach maturity. Due to the complexity of fair value accounting and the application of GAAP requirements, future amendments or interpretations of relevant accounting standards may cause the Company to modify its accounting methodology in a manner which may have an adverse impact on its financial results.

Change in industry and other accounting practices could impair the Company's reported financial results and impede its ability to do business.

Changes in or the issuance of new accounting standards, as well as any changes in the interpretation of current accounting guidance, may have an adverse effect on the Company's reported financial results, including future revenues, and may influence the types and/or volume of business that management may choose to pursue.

Changes in or inability to comply with applicable law could adversely affect the Company's ability to do business.

The Company’s businesses are subject to direct and indirect regulation under state insurance laws, federal securities, commodities and tax laws affecting public finance and asset backed obligations, and federal regulation of derivatives, as well as applicable laws in the other countries in which the Company operates. Future legislative, regulatory, judicial or other legal changes in the jurisdictions in which the Company does business may adversely affect its ability to pursue its current mix of business, thereby materially impacting its financial results by, among other things, limiting the types of risks it may insure, lowering applicable single or aggregate risk limits, increasing required reserves or capital, increasing the level of supervision or regulation to which the Company’s operations may be subject, imposing restrictions that make the Company’s products less attractive to potential buyers, lowering the profitability of the Company’s business activities, requiring the Company to change certain of its business practices and exposing it to additional costs (including increased compliance costs).

In particular, regulations under the Dodd-Frank Act impose requirements on activities that AGL's subsidiaries may engage in that involve “swaps” or “security-based swaps” as defined under that Act. Although final product rules published by the CFTC and SEC in August 2012 established an insurance safe-harbor that provides that AGM’s and AGC's financial guaranty insurance policies are not generally deemed swaps or security-based swaps under the Dodd-Frank Act and are therefore not subject to derivatives regulation under the Act, regulations under the Act could require certain of AGL's subsidiaries to register with the CFTC or the SEC as a “major swap participant” (“MSP”) or “major security-based swap participant” (“MSBSP”), respectively, as a result of either the legacy financial guaranty insurance policies and derivatives

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portfolios or new activities. Subsidiaries required to register as MSPs or MSBSPs would need to satisfy the regulatory margin and capital requirements of the applicable agency and would be subject to additional compliance requirements.
The Company has analyzed the exposures created by its legacy financial guaranty insurance policies and derivatives portfolio and determined that the sizes of these exposures are not sufficiently high at the current time to require its subsidiaries to register as MSPs under the CFTC rules. However, in the event such swap exposures exceed the triggers, then one or more of AGL's subsidiaries may be required to register as an MSP with the CFTC. With respect to registration as an MSBSP, the SEC adopted final rules in August 2015, but is not yet clear when the mandatory compliance date under such rules will occur whether one or more of AGL's subsidiaries will be above the applicable triggers at that time, or, if so, what substantive regulations may be applicable.
In addition, certain of AGL's subsidiaries may be required by their counterparties to post margin with respect to either future or legacy derivative transactions when U.S. and European rules relating to margin take effect. U.S. bank regulators and the CFTC have adopted margin requirements for new derivative transactions under their jurisdiction, but declined to provide any guidance on the applicability of those requirements on non-material amendments of legacy derivative transactions. The SEC and European regulators have not yet adopted margin requirements for new derivative transactions under their jurisdiction. It is possible that some or all of the relevant regulators will take the position that amendments to existing transactions under their jurisdiction will cause the amended transactions to be treated as new derivatives for purposes of these margin rules and certain other new regulatory requirements. Such an expansion of the margin and other regulatory requirements to amendments of existing derivatives may impede the Company's ability to amend insured derivative transactions in connection with loss mitigation efforts or municipal refunding transactions.
The magnitude of capital and/or margin requirements could be substantial and, as discussed in “Risks Related to the Company's Capital and Liquidity Requirements — The Company may require additional capital from time to time, including from soft capital and liquidity credit facilities, which may not be available or may be available only on unfavorable terms,” there can be no assurance that the Company will be able to obtain, or obtain on favorable terms, such additional capital as may be required to meet these capital and/or margin requirements. 
The foregoing requirements, as well as others that could be applied to the Company as a result of the legislation, could limit the Company’s ability to conduct certain lines of business and/or subject the Company to enhanced business conduct standards and/or otherwise adversely affect its future results of operations. Because many provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act are being implemented through agency rulemaking processes, a number of which have not been completed, the Company's assessment of the legislation’s impact on its business remains uncertain and is subject to change.

In addition, the decline in the financial strength of many financial guaranty insurers has caused government officials to examine the suitability of some of the complex securities guaranteed by financial guaranty insurers. For example, NYDFS had announced that it would develop new rules and regulations for the financial guaranty industry. On September 22, 2008, the NYDFS issued Circular Letter No. 19 (2008) (the “Circular Letter”), which established best practices guidelines for financial guaranty insurers effective January 1, 2009. Although the Company is not aware of any current efforts by the NYDFS to propose legislation to formalize these guidelines, any such legislation may limit the amount of new structured finance business that AGC may write.

Furthermore, if the Company fails to comply with applicable insurance laws and regulations it could be exposed to fines, the loss of insurance licenses, limitations on the right to originate new business and restrictions on its ability to pay dividends, all of which could have an adverse impact on its business results and prospects. If an insurance company’s surplus declines below minimum required levels, the insurance regulator could impose additional restrictions on the insurer or initiate insolvency proceedings. AGC and AGM may increase surplus by various means, including obtaining capital contributions from the Company, purchasing reinsurance or entering into other loss mitigation arrangements, reducing the amount of new business written or obtaining regulatory approval to release contingency reserves. From time to time, AGM and AGC have obtained approval from their regulators to release contingency reserves based on losses and, in the case of AGM, also based on the expiration of its insured exposure.

From time to time, legislators have called for changes to the Internal Revenue Code in order to limit or eliminate the Federal income tax exclusion for municipal bond interest. Such a change would increase the cost of borrowing for state and local governments, and as a result, could cause a decrease in infrastructure spending by states and municipalities. Municipalities may issue a lower volume of bonds, and in particular may be less likely to refund existing debt, in which case, the amount of bonds that can benefit from insurance might also be reduced.


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AGL's ability to pay dividends may be constrained by certain insurance regulatory requirements and restrictions.

AGL is subject to Bermuda regulatory requirements that affect its ability to pay dividends on common shares and to make other payments. Under the Bermuda Companies Act 1981, as amended, AGL may declare or pay a dividend only if it has reasonable grounds for believing that it is, and after the payment would be, able to pay its liabilities as they become due, and if the realizable value of its assets would not be less than its liabilities. While AGL currently intends to pay dividends on its common shares, investors who require dividend income should carefully consider these risks before investing in AGL. In addition, if, pursuant to the insurance laws and related regulations of Bermuda, Maryland and New York, AGL's insurance subsidiaries cannot pay sufficient dividends to AGL at the times or in the amounts that it requires, it would have an adverse effect on AGL's ability to pay dividends to shareholders. See "Risks Related to the Company's Capital and Liquidity Requirements—The ability of AGL and its subsidiaries to meet their liquidity needs may be limited."

Applicable insurance laws may make it difficult to effect a change of control of AGL.

Before a person can acquire control of a U.S. or U.K. insurance company, prior written approval must be obtained from the insurance commissioner of the state or country where the insurer is domiciled. Because a person acquiring 10% or more of AGL's common shares would indirectly control the same percentage of the stock of its U.S. insurance company subsidiaries, the insurance change of control laws of Maryland, New York and the U.K. would likely apply to such a transaction. These laws may discourage potential acquisition proposals and may delay, deter or prevent a change of control of AGL, including through transactions, and in particular unsolicited transactions, that some or all of its shareholders might consider to be desirable. While AGL's Bye-Laws limit the voting power of any shareholder to less than 10%, we cannot assure you that the applicable regulatory body would agree that a shareholder who owned 10% or more of its common shares did not control the applicable insurance company subsidiary, notwithstanding the limitation on the voting power of such shares.

Risks Related to Taxation

Changes in U.S. tax laws could reduce the demand or profitability of financial guaranty insurance, or negatively impact the Company's investment portfolio.

Any material change in the U.S. tax treatment of municipal securities, the imposition of a national sales tax or a flat tax in lieu of the current federal income tax structure in the U.S., or changes in the treatment of dividends, could adversely affect the market for municipal obligations and, consequently, reduce the demand for financial guaranty insurance and reinsurance of such obligations.

Changes in U.S. federal, state or local laws that materially adversely affect the tax treatment of municipal securities or the market for those securities, or other changes negatively affecting the municipal securities market, also may adversely impact the Company's investment portfolio, a significant portion of which is invested in tax-exempt instruments. These adverse changes may adversely affect the value of the Company's tax-exempt portfolio, or its liquidity.

Certain of the Company's foreign subsidiaries may be subject to U.S. tax.

The Company manages its business so that AGL and its foreign subsidiaries (other than AGRO and AGE) operate in such a manner that none of them should be subject to U.S. federal tax (other than U.S. excise tax on insurance and reinsurance premium income attributable to insuring or reinsuring U.S. risks, and U.S. withholding tax on certain U.S. source investment income). However, because there is considerable uncertainty as to the activities which constitute being engaged in a trade or business within the U.S., the Company cannot be certain that the IRS will not contend successfully that AGL or any of its foreign subsidiaries (other than AGRO and AGE) is/are engaged in a trade or business in the U.S. If AGL and its foreign subsidiaries (other than AGRO and AGE) were considered to be engaged in a trade or business in the U.S., each such company could be subject to U.S. corporate income and branch profits taxes on the portion of its earnings effectively connected to such U.S. business.


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AGL, AG Re and AGRO may become subject to taxes in Bermuda after March 2035, which may have a material adverse effect on the Company's results of operations and on an investment in the Company.

The Bermuda Minister of Finance, under Bermuda's Exempted Undertakings Tax Protection Act 1966, as amended, has given AGL, AG Re and AGRO an assurance that if any legislation is enacted in Bermuda that would impose tax computed on profits or income, or computed on any capital asset, gain or appreciation, or any tax in the nature of estate duty or inheritance tax, then subject to certain limitations the imposition of any such tax will not be applicable to AGL, AG Re or AGRO, or any of AGL's or its subsidiaries' operations, shares, debentures or other obligations until March 31, 2035. Given the limited duration of the Minister of Finance's assurance, the Company cannot be certain that it will not be subject to Bermuda tax after March 31, 2035.

U.S. Persons who hold 10% or more of AGL's shares directly or through foreign entities may be subject to taxation under the U.S. controlled foreign corporation rules.

Each 10% U.S. shareholder of a foreign corporation that is a CFC for an uninterrupted period of 30 days or more during a taxable year, and who owns shares in the foreign corporation directly or indirectly through foreign entities on the last day of the foreign corporation's taxable year on which it is a CFC, must include in its gross income for U.S. federal income tax purposes its pro rata share of the CFC's "subpart F income," even if the subpart F income is not distributed. In addition, upon a sale of shares of a CFC, 10% U.S. shareholders may be subject to U.S. federal income tax on a portion of their gain at ordinary income rates.

The Company believes that because of the dispersion of the share ownership in AGL, provisions in AGL's Bye-Laws that limit voting power, contractual limits on voting power and other factors, no U.S. Person who owns AGL's shares directly or indirectly through foreign entities should be treated as a 10% U.S. shareholder of AGL or of any of its foreign subsidiaries. It is possible, however, that the IRS could challenge the effectiveness of these provisions and that a court could sustain such a challenge, in which case such U.S. Person may be subject to taxation under U.S. tax rules.

U.S. Persons who hold shares may be subject to U.S. income taxation at ordinary income rates on their proportionate share of the Company's related person insurance income.

If the following conditions are true, then a U.S. Person who owns AGL's shares (directly or indirectly through foreign entities) on the last day of the taxable year would be required to include in its income for U.S. federal income tax purposes such person's pro rata share of the RPII of such Foreign Insurance Subsidiary (as defined below) for the entire taxable year, determined as if such RPII were distributed proportionately only to U.S. Persons at that date, regardless of whether such income is distributed:

the Company is 25% or more owned directly, indirectly through foreign entities or by attribution by U.S. Persons;

the gross RPII of AG Re or any other AGL foreign subsidiary engaged in the insurance business that has not made an election under section 953(d) of the Code to be treated as a U.S. corporation for all U.S. tax purposes or are CFCs owned directly or indirectly by AGUS (each, with AG Re, a "Foreign Insurance Subsidiary") were to equal or exceed 20% of such Foreign Insurance Subsidiary's gross insurance income in any taxable year; and

direct or indirect insureds (and persons related to such insureds) own (or are treated as owning directly or indirectly through entities) 20% or more of the voting power or value of the Company's shares.

In addition, any RPII that is includible in the income of a U.S. tax-exempt organization may be treated as unrelated business taxable income.

The amount of RPII earned by a Foreign Insurance Subsidiary (generally, premium and related investment income from the direct or indirect insurance or reinsurance of any direct or indirect U.S. holder of shares or any person related to such holder) will depend on a number of factors, including the geographic distribution of a Foreign Insurance Subsidiary's business and the identity of persons directly or indirectly insured or reinsured by a Foreign Insurance Subsidiary. The Company believes that each of its Foreign Insurance Subsidiaries either should not in the foreseeable future have RPII income which equals or exceeds 20% of its gross insurance income or have direct or indirect insureds, as provided for by RPII rules, that directly or indirectly own 20% or more of either the voting power or value of AGL's shares. However, the Company cannot be certain that this will be the case because some of the factors which determine the extent of RPII may be beyond its control.


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U.S. Persons who dispose of AGL's shares may be subject to U.S. income taxation at dividend tax rates on a portion of their gain, if any.

The meaning of the RPII provisions and the application thereof to AGL and its Foreign Insurance Subsidiaries is uncertain. The RPII rules in conjunction with section 1248 of the Code provide that if a U.S. Person disposes of shares in a foreign insurance corporation in which U.S. Persons own (directly, indirectly, through foreign entities or by attribution) 25% or more of the shares (even if the amount of gross RPII is less than 20% of the corporation's gross insurance income and the ownership of its shares by direct or indirect insureds and related persons is less than the 20% threshold), any gain from the disposition will generally be treated as dividend income to the extent of the holder's share of the corporation's undistributed earnings and profits that were accumulated during the period that the holder owned the shares. This provision applies whether or not such earnings and profits are attributable to RPII. In addition, such a holder will be required to comply with certain reporting requirements, regardless of the amount of shares owned by the holder.

In the case of AGL's shares, these RPII rules should not apply to dispositions of shares because AGL is not itself directly engaged in the insurance business. However, the RPII provisions have never been interpreted by the courts or the U.S. Treasury Department in final regulations, and regulations interpreting the RPII provisions of the Code exist only in proposed form. It is not certain whether these regulations will be adopted in their proposed form, what changes or clarifications might ultimately be made thereto, or whether any such changes, as well as any interpretation or application of the RPII rules by the IRS, the courts, or otherwise, might have retroactive effect. The U.S. Treasury Department has authority to impose, among other things, additional reporting requirements with respect to RPII.

U.S. Persons who hold common shares will be subject to adverse tax consequences if AGL is considered to be a "passive foreign investment company" for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

If AGL is considered a PFIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes, a U.S. Person who owns any shares of AGL will be subject to adverse tax consequences that could materially adversely affect its investment, including subjecting the investor to both a greater tax liability than might otherwise apply and an interest charge. The Company believes that AGL is not, and currently does not expect AGL to become, a PFIC for U.S. federal income tax purposes; however, there can be no assurance that AGL will not be deemed a PFIC by the IRS.

There are currently no final or temporary regulations regarding the application of the PFIC provisions to an insurance company. The IRS recently issued proposed regulations intended to clarify the application of the PFIC provisions to an insurance company. These proposed regulations provide that a non-U.S. insurance company may only qualify for an exception to the PFIC rules if, among other things, the non-U.S. insurance company’s officers and employees perform its substantial managerial and operational activities.  This proposed regulation will not be effective until adopted in final form.  In addition, Senator Wyden recently introduced the “Offshore Reinsurance Tax Fairness Act” that, if enacted, would characterize a non-U.S. insurance company with insurance liabilities of 25% or less of such company’s assets as a PFIC unless it can qualify for a temporary exception which would require its insurance liabilities to equal or exceed 10% of its assets and the satisfaction of a facts and circumstances test. Because of the legal uncertainties relating to how the proposed regulations will be interpreted and the form in which such regulations or any legislative proposal may be finalized, the Company cannot predict what impact, if any, such guidance or legislation would have on an investor that is subject to US federal income tax.

Changes in U.S. federal income tax law could materially adversely affect an investment in AGL's common shares.

Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Congress intended to eliminate certain perceived tax advantages of companies (including insurance companies) that have legal domiciles outside the U.S. but have certain U.S. connections. For example, legislation has been introduced in Congress to limit the deductibility of reinsurance premiums paid by U.S. insurance companies to foreign affiliates and impose additional limits on deductibility of interest of foreign owned U.S. corporations. Another legislative proposal would treat a foreign corporation that is primarily managed and controlled in the U.S. as a U.S. corporation for U.S federal income tax purposes. Further, legislation has previously been introduced to override the reduction or elimination of the U.S. withholding tax on certain U.S. source investment income under a tax treaty in the case of a deductible related party payment made by a U.S. member of a foreign controlled group to a foreign member of the group organized in a tax treaty country to the extent that the ultimate foreign parent corporation would not enjoy the treaty benefits with respect to such payments. It is possible that this or similar legislation could be introduced in and enacted by the current Congress or future Congresses that could have an adverse impact on the Company or the Company's shareholders.

U.S. federal income tax laws and interpretations regarding whether a company is engaged in a trade or business within the U.S. is a PFIC, or whether U.S. Persons would be required to include in their gross income the "subpart F income" of a CFC or RPII are subject to change, possibly on a retroactive basis. There currently are only recently proposed regulations

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regarding the application of the PFIC rules to insurance companies, and the regulations regarding RPII have been in proposed form since 1991. New regulations or pronouncements interpreting or clarifying such rules may be forthcoming. The Company cannot be certain if, when, or in what form such regulations or pronouncements may be implemented or made, or whether such guidance will have a retroactive effect.

Recharacterization by the Internal Revenue Service of the Company's U.S. federal tax treatment of losses on the Company's CDS portfolio can adversely affect the Company's financial position.

As part of the Company's financial guaranty business, the Company has sold credit protection by insuring CDS entered into with various financial institutions. Assured Guaranty's CDS portfolio has experienced significant cumulative fair value losses which are only deductible for U.S. federal income tax purposes upon realization and, consequently, generate a significant deferred tax asset based on the Company's intended treatment of such losses as ordinary insurance losses upon realization. The U.S. federal income tax treatment of CDS is an unsettled area of the tax law. As such, it is possible that the Internal Revenue Service may decide that the losses generated by the Company's CDS business should be characterized as capital rather than ordinary insurance losses, which could materially adversely affect the Company's financial condition.

An ownership change under Section 382 of the Code could have adverse U.S. federal tax consequences.

If AGL were to issue equity securities in the future, including in connection with any strategic transaction, or if previously issued securities of AGL were to be sold by the current holders, AGL may experience an "ownership change" within the meaning of Section 382 of the Code. In general terms, an ownership change would result from transactions increasing the aggregate ownership of certain stockholders in AGL's stock by more than 50 percentage points over a testing period (generally three years). If an ownership change occurred, the Company's ability to use certain tax attributes, including certain built-in losses, credits, deductions or tax basis and/or the Company's ability to continue to reflect the associated tax benefits as assets on AGL's balance sheet, may be limited. The Company cannot give any assurance that AGL will not undergo an ownership change at a time when these limitations could materially adversely affect the Company's financial condition.

AGMH likely experienced an ownership change under Section 382 of the Code.

In connection with the acquisition of AGMH, AGMH likely experienced an "ownership change" within the meaning of Section 382 of the Code. The Company has concluded that the Section 382 limitations as discussed in "An ownership change under Section 382 of the Code could have adverse U.S. federal tax consequences" are unlikely to have any material tax or accounting consequences. However, this conclusion is based on a variety of assumptions, including the Company's estimates regarding the amount and timing of certain deductions and future earnings, any of which could be incorrect. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that these limitations would not have an adverse effect on the Company's financial condition or that such adverse effects would not be material.

A change in AGL’s U.K. tax residence or its ability to otherwise qualify for the benefits of income tax treaties to which the U.K. is a party could adversely affect an investment in AGL’s common shares.
AGL is not incorporated in the U.K. and, accordingly, is only resident in the U.K. for U.K. tax purposes if it is “centrally managed and controlled” in the U.K. Central management and control constitutes the highest level of control of a company’s affairs. AGL believes it is entitled to take advantage of the benefits of income tax treaties to which the U.K. is a party on the basis that it is has established central management and control in the U.K. AGL has obtained confirmation that there is a low risk of challenge to its residency status from HMRC under the facts as they stand today. The board of directors intends to manage the affairs of AGL in such a way as to maintain its status as a company that is tax-resident in the U.K. for U.K. tax purposes and to qualify for the benefits of income tax treaties to which the U.K. is a party. However, the concept of central management and control is a case-law concept that is not comprehensively defined in U.K. statute. In addition, it is a question of fact. Moreover, tax treaties may be revised in a way that causes AGL to fail to qualify for benefits thereunder. Accordingly, a change in relevant U.K. tax law or in tax treaties to which the U.K. is a party, or in AGL’s central management and control as a factual matter, or other events, could adversely affect the ability of Assured Guaranty to manage its capital in the efficient manner that it contemplated in establishing U.K. tax residence.
Changes in U.K. tax law or in AGL’s ability to satisfy all the conditions for exemption from U.K. taxation on dividend income or capital gains in respect of its direct subsidiaries could affect an investment in AGL’s common shares.
As a U.K. tax resident, AGL is subject to U.K. corporation tax in respect of its worldwide profits (both income and capital gains), subject to applicable exemptions. The main rate of corporation tax is currently 20%.

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With respect to income, the dividends that AGL receives from its subsidiaries should be exempt from U.K. corporation tax under the exemption contained in section 931D of the Corporation Tax Act 2009.
With respect to capital gains, if AGL were to dispose of shares in its direct subsidiaries or if it were deemed to have done so, it may realize a chargeable gain for U.K. tax purposes. Any tax charge would be based on AGL’s original acquisition cost. It is anticipated that any such future gain should qualify for exemption under the substantial shareholding exemption in Schedule 7AC to the Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992. However, the availability of such exemption would depend on facts at the time of disposal, in particular the “trading” nature of the activities of the Assured Guaranty group and of the relevant subsidiary. There is no statutory definition of what constitutes “trading” activities for this purpose and in practice reliance is placed on the published guidance of HMRC.
A change in U.K. tax law or its interpretation by HMRC, or any failure to meet all the qualifying conditions for relevant exemptions from U.K. corporation tax, could affect Assured Guaranty’s financial results of operations or its ability to provide returns to shareholders.
Assured Guaranty's financial results may be affected by measures taken in response to the OECD BEPS project.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development published its final reports on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (the “BEPS Reports”) in October 2015. The recommended actions include an examination of the definition of a “permanent establishment” and the rules for attributing profit to a permanent establishment. There are also recommended actions relating to the goal of ensuring that transfer pricing outcomes are in line with value creation, noting that the current rules may facilitate the transfer of risks or capital away from countries where the economic activity takes place. In response to this, the U.K. Government has already made changes to transfer pricing. Other recommendations have been published with respect to hybrid financial instruments and the deductibility of intra-group interest and the U.K. Government has launched consultations with respect to both these matters. Any further changes in U.K. tax law or changes in U.S. tax law in response to the BEPS Reports could adversely affect Assured Guaranty’s tax liability.
A new U.K. tax, the diverted profits tax ("DPT"), which is levied at 25%, came into effect from April 1, 2015, and, in substance, effectively anticipated some of the recommendations emerging from the BEPS Reports. This is an anti-avoidance measure, aimed at protecting the U.K. tax base against the diversion of profits away from the U.K. tax charge. In particular, DPT may apply to profits generated by economic activities carried out in the U.K., that are not taxed in the U.K. by reason of arrangements between companies in the same multinational group and involving a low-tax jurisdiction. It is currently unclear whether DPT would constitute a creditable tax for U.S. foreign tax credit purposes. If any member of the Assured Guaranty group is liable to DPT, this could adversely affect the Company's results of operations.
An adverse adjustment under U.K. legislation governing the taxation of U.K. tax resident holding companies on the profits of their foreign subsidiaries could adversely impact Assured Guaranty’s tax liability.
Under the U.K. “controlled foreign company” regime, the income profits of non-U.K. resident companies may, in certain circumstances, be attributed to controlling U.K. resident shareholders for U.K. corporation tax purposes. The non-U.K. resident members of the Assured Guaranty group intend to operate and manage their levels of capital in such a manner that their profits would not be taxed on AGL under the U.K. CFC regime. Assured Guaranty has obtained clearance from HMRC that none of the profits of the non-U.K. resident members of the Assured Guaranty group should be subject to U.K. tax as a result of attribution under the CFC regime on the facts as they currently stand. However, a change in the way in which Assured Guaranty operates or any further change in the CFC regime, resulting in an attribution to AGL of any of the income profits of any of AGL’s non-U.K. resident subsidiaries for U.K. corporation tax purposes, could adversely affect Assured Guaranty’s financial results of operations.

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Risks Related to AGL's Common Shares

The market price of AGL's common shares may be volatile, which could cause the value of an investment in the Company to decline.

The market price of AGL's common shares has experienced, and may continue to experience, significant volatility. Numerous factors, including many over which the Company has no control, may have a significant impact on the market price of its common shares. These risks include those described or referred to in this "Risk Factors" section as well as, among other things:

investor perceptions of the Company, its prospects and that of the financial guaranty industry and the markets in which the Company operates;

the Company's operating and financial performance;

the Company's access to financial and capital markets to raise additional capital, refinance its debt or replace existing senior secured credit and receivables-backed facilities;

the Company's ability to repay debt;

the Company's dividend policy;

future sales of equity or equity-related securities;

changes in earnings estimates or buy/sell recommendations by analysts; and

general financial, economic and other market conditions.

In addition, the stock market in recent years has experienced extreme price and trading volume fluctuations that often have been unrelated or disproportionate to the operating performance of individual companies. These broad market fluctuations may adversely affect the price of AGL's common shares, regardless of its operating performance.

Furthermore, future sales or other issuances of AGL equity may adversely affect the market price of its common shares.

AGL's common shares are equity securities and are junior to existing and future indebtedness.

As equity interests, AGL's common shares rank junior to indebtedness and to other non-equity claims on AGL and its assets available to satisfy claims on AGL, including claims in a bankruptcy or similar proceeding. For example, upon liquidation, holders of AGL debt securities and shares of preferred stock and creditors would receive distributions of AGL's available assets prior to the holders of AGL common shares. Similarly, creditors, including holders of debt securities, of AGL's subsidiaries, have priority on the assets of those subsidiaries. Future indebtedness may restrict payment of dividends on the common shares.

Additionally, unlike indebtedness, where principal and interest customarily are payable on specified due dates, in the case of common shares, dividends are payable only when and if declared by AGL's board of directors or a duly authorized committee of the board. Further, the common shares place no restrictions on its business or operations or on its ability to incur indebtedness or engage in any transactions, subject only to the voting rights available to stockholders generally.

Provisions in the Code and AGL's Bye-Laws may reduce or increase the voting rights of its common shares.

Under the Code, AGL's Bye-Laws and contractual arrangements, certain shareholders have their voting rights limited to less than one vote per share, resulting in other shareholders having voting rights in excess of one vote per share. Moreover, the relevant provisions of the Code may have the effect of reducing the votes of certain shareholders who would not otherwise be subject to the limitation by virtue of their direct share ownership.

More specifically, pursuant to the relevant provisions of the Code, if, and so long as, the common shares of a shareholder are treated as "controlled shares" (as determined under section 958 of the Code) of any U.S. Person (as defined below) and such controlled shares constitute 9.5% or more of the votes conferred by AGL's issued shares, the voting rights with

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respect to the controlled shares of such U.S. Person (a "9.5% U.S. Shareholder") are limited, in the aggregate, to a voting power of less than 9.5%, under a formula specified in AGL's Bye-Laws. The formula is applied repeatedly until the voting power of all 9.5% U.S. Shareholders has been reduced to less than 9.5%. For these purposes, "controlled shares" include, among other things, all shares of AGL that such U.S. Person is deemed to own directly, indirectly or constructively (within the meaning of section 958 of the Code).

In addition, the Board of Directors may limit a shareholder's voting rights where it deems appropriate to do so to (1) avoid the existence of any 9.5% U.S. Shareholders, and (2) avoid certain material adverse tax, legal or regulatory consequences to the Company or any of the Company's subsidiaries or any shareholder or its affiliates. AGL's Bye-Laws provide that shareholders will be notified of their voting interests prior to any vote taken by them.

As a result of any such reallocation of votes, the voting rights of a holder of AGL common shares might increase above 5% of the aggregate voting power of the outstanding common shares, thereby possibly resulting in such holder becoming a reporting person subject to Schedule 13D or 13G filing requirements under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. In addition, the reallocation of votes could result in such holder becoming subject to the short swing profit recovery and filing requirements under Section 16 of the Exchange Act.

AGL also has the authority under its Bye-Laws to request information from any shareholder for the purpose of determining whether a shareholder's voting rights are to be reallocated under the Bye-Laws. If a shareholder fails to respond to a request for information or submits incomplete or inaccurate information in response to a request, the Company may, in its sole discretion, eliminate such shareholder's voting rights.

Provisions in AGL's Bye-Laws may restrict the ability to transfer common shares, and may require shareholders to sell their common shares.

AGL's Board of Directors may decline to approve or register a transfer of any common shares (1) if it appears to the Board of Directors, after taking into account the limitations on voting rights contained in AGL's Bye-Laws, that any adverse tax, regulatory or legal consequences to AGL, any of its subsidiaries or any of its shareholders may occur as a result of such transfer (other than such as the Board of Directors considers to be de minimis), or (2) subject to any applicable requirements of or commitments to the NYSE, if a written opinion from counsel supporting the legality of the transaction under U.S. securities laws has not been provided or if any required governmental approvals have not been obtained.

AGL's Bye-Laws also provide that if the Board of Directors determines that share ownership by a person may result in adverse tax, legal or regulatory consequences to the Company, any of the subsidiaries or any of the shareholders (other than such as the Board of Directors considers to be de minimis), then AGL has the option, but not the obligation, to require that shareholder to sell to AGL or to third parties to whom AGL assigns the repurchase right for fair market value the minimum number of common shares held by such person which is necessary to eliminate such adverse tax, legal or regulatory consequences.

Existing reinsurance agreement terms may make it difficult to effect a change of control of AGL.

Some of the Company's reinsurance agreements have change of control provisions that are triggered if a third party acquires a designated percentage of AGL's shares. If a change of control provision is triggered, the ceding company may recapture some or all of the reinsurance business ceded to the Company in the past. Any such recapture could adversely affect the Company's shareholders' equity, future income or financial strength or debt ratings. These provisions may discourage potential acquisition proposals and may delay, deter or prevent a change of control of AGL, including through transactions that some or all of the shareholders might consider to be desirable.

ITEM 1B.
UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
None.
ITEM 2.
PROPERTIES

The principal executive offices of AGL and AG Re consist of approximately 8,250 square feet of office space located in Hamilton, Bermuda; the lease for this space expires in April 2021 and is renewable at the option of the Company.


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In addition, the Company has been occupying offices at 31 West 52nd Street in New York City. In September 2015, the Company entered into a lease for 88,000 square feet of office space at 1633 Broadway in New York City; the new lease expires in February 2032, with an option, subject to certain conditions, to renew for five years at a fair market rent. The Company agreed to terminate its existing lease in August 2016 and plans to relocate its U.S. affiliates into the new office space in the summer of 2016.

Furthermore, the Company has offices in San Francisco and London. Previously, the Company had an office in Sydney, which it closed in March 2015, and in Irvine, California, which it closed in July 2015.

Management believes its office space is adequate for its current and anticipated needs.

ITEM 3.
LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

Lawsuits arise in the ordinary course of the Company's business. It is the opinion of the Company's management, based upon the information available, that the expected outcome of litigation against the Company, individually or in the aggregate, will not have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial position or liquidity, although an adverse resolution of litigation against the Company in a fiscal quarter or year could have a material adverse effect on the Company's results of operations in a particular quarter or year.

The Company establishes accruals for litigation and regulatory matters to the extent it is probable that a loss has been incurred and the amount of that loss can be reasonably estimated. For litigation and regulatory matters where a loss may be reasonably possible, but not probable, or is probable but not reasonably estimable, no accrual is established, but if the matter is material, it is disclosed, including matters discussed below. The Company reviews relevant information with respect to its litigation and regulatory matters on a quarterly, and annual basis and updates its accruals, disclosures and estimates of reasonably possible loss based on such reviews.

In addition, in the ordinary course of their respective businesses, certain of the Company's subsidiaries assert claims in legal proceedings against third parties to recover losses paid in prior periods or prevent losses in the future. For example, as described in the "Recovery Litigation," section of Note 5, Expected Loss to be Paid, of the Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, in January 2016 the Company commenced an action for declaratory judgment and injunctive relief in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico to invalidate executive orders issued by the Governor of Puerto Rico directing the retention or transfer of certain taxes and revenues pledged to secure the payment of certain bonds insured by the Company. Also, in December 2008, the Company filed a claim in the Supreme Court of the State of New York against an investment manager in a transaction it insured alleging breach of fiduciary duty, gross negligence and breach of contract. The amounts, if any, the Company will recover in proceedings to recover losses are uncertain, and recoveries, or failure to obtain recoveries, in any one or more of these proceedings during any quarter or year could be material to the Company's results of operations in that particular quarter or year.


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Proceedings Relating to the Company's Financial Guaranty Business

The Company receives subpoenas duces tecum and interrogatories from regulators from time to time.

On November 28, 2011, Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (in administration) ("LBIE") sued AG Financial Products Inc. ("AGFP"), an affiliate of AGC which in the past had provided credit protection to counterparties under credit default swaps. AGC acts as the credit support provider of AGFP under these credit default swaps. LBIE's complaint, which was filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, alleged that AGFP improperly terminated nine credit derivative transactions between LBIE and AGFP and improperly calculated the termination payment in connection with the termination of 28 other credit derivative transactions between LBIE and AGFP. Following defaults by LBIE, AGFP properly terminated the transactions in question in compliance with the agreement between AGFP and LBIE, and calculated the termination payment properly. AGFP calculated that LBIE owes AGFP approximately $29 million in connection with the termination of the credit derivative transactions, whereas LBIE asserted in the complaint that AGFP owes LBIE a termination payment of approximately $1.4 billion. On February 3, 2012, AGFP filed a motion to dismiss certain of the counts in the complaint, and on March 15, 2013, the court granted AGFP's motion to dismiss the count relating to improper termination of the nine credit derivative transactions and denied AGFP's motion to dismiss the counts relating to the remaining transactions. On February 22, 2016, AGFP filed a motion for summary judgment on the remaining causes of action asserted by LBIE and on AGFP's counterclaims. LBIE’s administrators disclosed in an April 10, 2015 report to LBIE’s unsecured creditors that LBIE's valuation expert has calculated LBIE's damages in aggregate for the 28 transactions to range between a minimum of approximately $200 million and a maximum of approximately $500 million, depending on what adjustment, if any, is made for AGFP's credit risk and excluding any applicable interest. Notwithstanding the range calculated by LBIE's valuation expert, the Company cannot reasonably estimate the possible loss, if any, that may arise from this lawsuit.

On September 25, 2013, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., as trust administrator of the MASTR Adjustable Rate Mortgages Trust 2007-3, filed an interpleader complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against AGM, among others, relating to the right of AGM to be reimbursed from certain cashflows for principal claims paid in respect of insured certificates. The Company estimates that an adverse outcome to the interpleader proceeding could increase losses on the transaction by approximately $10 - $20 million, net of expected settlement payments and reinsurance in force.

Proceedings Resolved Since September 30, 2015

On May 28, 2014, Houston Casualty Company Europe, Seguros y Reseguros, S.A. (“HCCE”) notified Radian Asset that it was demanding arbitration against Radian Asset in connection with housing cooperative losses presented to Radian Asset by HCCE under several years of quota-share surety reinsurance contracts. Through November 30, 2015, HCCE had presented AGC, as successor to Radian Asset, with approximately €15 million in claims.  In January 2016, Assured Guaranty and HCCE settled all the claims related to the Spanish housing cooperative losses.

Proceedings Related to AGMH's Former Financial Products Business

The following is a description of legal proceedings involving AGMH's former Financial Products Business. Although the Company did not acquire AGMH's former Financial Products Business, which included AGMH's former GIC business, medium term notes business and portions of the leveraged lease businesses, certain legal proceedings relating to those businesses are against entities that the Company did acquire. While Dexia SA and Dexia Crédit Local S.A., jointly and severally, have agreed to indemnify the Company against liability arising out of the proceedings described below in the "—Proceedings Related to AGMH's Former Financial Products Business" section, such indemnification might not be sufficient to fully hold the Company harmless against any injunctive relief or civil or criminal sanction that is imposed against AGMH or its subsidiaries.

Governmental Investigations into Former Financial Products Business

AGMH and/or AGM have received subpoenas duces tecum and interrogatories or civil investigative demands from the Attorneys General of the States of Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Texas and West Virginia relating to their investigations of alleged bid rigging of municipal GICs. AGMH has been responding to such requests. AGMH may receive additional inquiries from these or other regulators and expects to provide additional information to such regulators regarding their inquiries in the future. In addition, AGMH received a subpoena from the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice in November 2006 issued in connection with an ongoing criminal investigation of bid rigging of awards of municipal GICs and other municipal derivatives. Pursuant to that subpoena, AGMH has furnished to the Department of Justice records and other information with respect to AGMH’s municipal GIC business. The ultimate loss that may arise from these investigations remains uncertain.

65



Lawsuits Relating to Former Financial Products Business

During 2008, nine putative class action lawsuits were filed in federal court alleging federal antitrust violations in the municipal derivatives industry, seeking damages and alleging, among other things, a conspiracy to fix the pricing of, and manipulate bids for, municipal derivatives, including GICs. These cases have been coordinated and consolidated for pretrial proceedings in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York as MDL 1950, In re Municipal Derivatives Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 1:08-cv-2516 (“MDL 1950”). Five of these cases named both AGMH and AGM: (a) Hinds County, Mississippi v. Wachovia Bank, N.A.; (b) Fairfax County, Virginia v. Wachovia Bank, N.A.; (c) Central Bucks School District, Pennsylvania v. Wachovia Bank, N.A.; (d) Mayor and City Council of Baltimore, Maryland v. Wachovia Bank, N.A.; and (e) Washington County, Tennessee v. Wachovia Bank, N.A. In April 2009, the MDL 1950 court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss on the federal claims for these five cases, but granted leave for the plaintiffs to file an amended complaint. The Corrected Third Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint, filed on October 9, 2013, lists neither AGM nor AGMH as a named defendant or a co-conspirator. The complaint generally seeks unspecified monetary damages, interest, attorneys’ fees and other costs. The other four cases named AGMH (but not AGM) and also alleged that the defendants violated California state antitrust law and common law by engaging in illegal bid-rigging and market allocation, thereby depriving the cities or municipalities of competition in the awarding of GICs and ultimately resulting in the cities paying higher fees for these products: (f) City of Oakland, California v. AIG Financial Products Corp.; (g) County of Alameda, California v. AIG Financial Products Corp.; (h) City of Fresno, California v. AIG Financial Products Corp.; and (i) Fresno County Financing Authority v. AIG Financial Products Corp. When the four plaintiffs filed a consolidated complaint in September 2009, the plaintiffs did not name AGMH as a defendant. However, the complaint does describe some of AGMH’s and AGM’s activities. The consolidated complaint generally seeks unspecified monetary damages, interest, attorneys’ fees and other costs. In April 2010, the MDL 1950 court granted in part and denied in part the named defendants’ motions to dismiss this consolidated complaint. On September 22, 2015, the remaining parties to the putative class action reported to the MDL 1950 Court that settlements in principle had been reached, and a motion for preliminary approval of those putative class claims was filed on February 24, 2016. The parties have reported that final settlement with those remaining defendants would resolve the putative class case. The Company cannot reasonably estimate the possible loss, if any, or range of loss that may arise from these lawsuits.
 
In 2008, AGMH and AGM also were named in five non-class action lawsuits originally filed in the California Superior Courts alleging violations of California law related to the municipal derivatives industry: (a) City of Los Angeles, California v. Bank of America, N.A.; (b) City of Stockton, California v. Bank of America, N.A.; (c) County of San Diego, California v. Bank of America, N.A.; (d) County of San Mateo, California v. Bank of America, N.A.; and (e) County of Contra Costa, California v. Bank of America, N.A. Amended complaints in these actions were filed in September 2009, adding a federal antitrust claim and naming AGM (but not AGMH) and AGUS, among other defendants. These cases have been transferred to the Southern District of New York and consolidated with MDL 1950 for pretrial proceedings. In late 2009, AGM and AGUS, among other defendants, were named in six additional non-class action cases filed in federal court, which also have been coordinated and consolidated for pretrial proceedings with MDL 1950; one was voluntarily dismissed with prejudice in October 2010, leaving five that are currently pending: (f) City of Riverside, California v. Bank of America, N.A.; (g) Los Angeles World Airports v. Bank of America, N.A.; (h) Redevelopment Agency of the City of Stockton v. Bank of America, N.A.; (i) Sacramento Suburban Water District v. Bank of America, N.A.; and (j) County of Tulare, California v. Bank of America, N.A. The MDL 1950 court denied AGM and AGUS's motions to dismiss the eleven complaints that were pending as of April 2010. Amended complaints were filed in May 2010. The complaints in these lawsuits generally seek or sought unspecified monetary damages, interest, attorneys’ fees, costs and other expenses. The Company cannot reasonably estimate the possible loss, if any, or range of loss that may arise from the remaining lawsuits.
 
In May 2010, AGM and AGUS, among other defendants, were named in five additional non-class action cases filed in federal court in California: (a) City of Richmond, California v. Bank of America, N.A. (filed on May 18, 2010, N.D. California); (b) City of Redwood City, California v. Bank of America, N.A. (filed on May 18, 2010, N.D. California); (c) Redevelopment Agency of the City and County of San Francisco, California v. Bank of America, N.A. (filed on May 21, 2010, N.D. California); (d) East Bay Municipal Utility District, California v. Bank of America, N.A. (filed on May 18, 2010, N.D. California); and (e) City of San Jose and the San Jose Redevelopment Agency, California v. Bank of America, N.A (filed on May 18, 2010, N.D. California). These cases have also been transferred to the Southern District of New York and consolidated with MDL 1950 for pretrial proceedings. In September 2010, AGM and AGUS, among other defendants, were named in a sixth additional non-class action filed in federal court in New York, but which alleges violation of New York’s Donnelly Act in addition to federal antitrust law: Active Retirement Community, Inc. d/b/a Jefferson’s Ferry v. Bank of America, N.A. (filed on September 21, 2010, E.D. New York), which has also been transferred to the Southern District of New York and consolidated with MDL 1950 for pretrial proceedings. In December 2010, AGM and AGUS, among other defendants, were named in a seventh additional non-class action filed in federal court in the Central District of California, Los Angeles Unified School District v. Bank of America, N.A., and in an eighth additional non-class action filed in federal court in the Southern District of New York, Kendal on

66


Hudson, Inc. v. Bank of America, N.A. These cases also have been consolidated with MDL 1950 for pretrial proceedings. The complaints in these lawsuits generally seek unspecified monetary damages, interest, attorneys’ fees, costs and other expenses. The Company cannot reasonably estimate the possible loss, if any, or range of loss that may arise from these lawsuits.
 
In January 2011, AGM and AGUS, among other defendants, were named in an additional non-class action case filed in federal court in New York, which alleges violation of New York’s Donnelly Act in addition to federal antitrust law: Peconic Landing at Southold, Inc. v. Bank of America, N.A. This case has been consolidated with MDL 1950 for pretrial proceedings. The complaint in this lawsuit generally seeks unspecified monetary damages, interest, attorneys’ fees, costs and other expenses. The Company cannot reasonably estimate the possible loss, if any, or range of loss that may arise from this lawsuit.
 
In September 2009, the Attorney General of the State of West Virginia filed a lawsuit (Circuit Ct. Mason County, W. Va.) against Bank of America, N.A. alleging West Virginia state antitrust violations in the municipal derivatives industry, seeking damages and alleging, among other things, a conspiracy to fix the pricing of, and manipulate bids for, municipal derivatives, including GICs. An amended complaint in this action was filed in June 2010, adding a federal antitrust claim and naming AGM (but not AGMH) and AGUS, among other defendants. This case has been removed to federal court as well as transferred to the S.D.N.Y. and consolidated with MDL 1950 for pretrial proceedings. AGM and AGUS answered West Virginia's Second Amended Complaint on November 11, 2013. The complaint in this lawsuit generally seeks civil penalties, unspecified monetary damages, interest, attorneys’ fees, costs and other expenses. The Company cannot reasonably estimate the possible loss, if any, or range of loss that may arise from this lawsuit.

ITEM 4.
MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not applicable.

Executive Officers of the Company

The table below sets forth the names, ages, positions and business experience of the executive officers of Assured Guaranty Ltd.

Name
Age
 
Position(s)
Dominic J. Frederico
63
 
President and Chief Executive Officer; Deputy Chairman
James M. Michener
63
 
General Counsel and Secretary
Russell B. Brewer II
58
 
Chief Surveillance Officer
Robert A. Bailenson
49
 
Chief Financial Officer
Bruce E. Stern
61
 
Executive Officer
Howard W. Albert
56
 
Chief Risk Officer

Dominic J. Frederico has been a director of AGL since the Company's 2004 initial public offering and the President and Chief Executive Officer of AGL since December 2003. Mr. Frederico served as Vice Chairman of ACE Limited from 2003 until 2004 and served as President and Chief Operating Officer of ACE Limited and Chairman of ACE INA Holdings, Inc. from 1999 to 2003. Mr. Frederico was a director of ACE Limited from 2001 through 2005. From 1995 to 1999 Mr. Frederico served in a number of executive positions with ACE Limited. Prior to joining ACE Limited, Mr. Frederico spent 13 years working for various subsidiaries of American International Group.

James M. Michener has been General Counsel and Secretary of AGL since February 2004. Prior to joining Assured Guaranty, Mr. Michener was General Counsel and Secretary of Travelers Property Casualty Corp. from January 2002 to February 2004. From April 2001 to January 2002, Mr. Michener served as general counsel of Citigroup's Emerging Markets business. Prior to joining Citigroup's Emerging Markets business, Mr. Michener was General Counsel of Travelers Insurance from April 2000 to April 2001 and General Counsel of Travelers Property Casualty Corp. from May 1996 to April 2000.

Russell B. Brewer II has been Chief Surveillance Officer of AGL since November 2009 and Chief Surveillance Officer of AGC and AGM since July 2009 and has also been responsible for information technology at Assured Guaranty since April 2015. Mr. Brewer has been with AGM since 1986. Mr. Brewer was Chief Risk Management Officer of AGM from September 2003 until July 2009 and Chief Underwriting Officer of AGM from September 1990 until September 2003. Mr. Brewer was also a member of the Executive Management Committee of AGM. He was a Managing Director of AGMH

67


from May 1999 until July 2009. From March 1989 to August 1990, Mr. Brewer was Managing Director, Asset Finance Group, of AGM. Prior to joining AGM, Mr. Brewer was an Associate Director of Moody's Investors Service, Inc.

Robert A. Bailenson has been Chief Financial Officer of AGL since June 2011. Mr. Bailenson has been with Assured Guaranty and its predecessor companies since 1990. Mr. Bailenson became Chief Accounting Officer of AGM in July 2009 and has been Chief Accounting Officer of AGL since May 2005 and Chief Accounting Officer of AGC since 2003. He was Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of AG Re from 1999 until 2003 and was previously the Assistant Controller of Capital Re Corp., the Company's predecessor.

Bruce E. Stern has been Executive Officer of AGC and AGM since July 2009. Mr. Stern was General Counsel, Managing Director, Secretary and Executive Management Committee member of AGM from 1987 until July 2009. Prior to joining AGM, Mr. Stern was an associate at the New York office of Cravath, Swaine & Moore. Mr. Stern has served as Chairman of the Association of Financial Guaranty Insurers since April 2010.

Howard W. Albert has been Chief Risk Officer of AGL since May 2011. Prior to that, he was Chief Credit Officer of AGL from 2004 to April 2011. Mr. Albert joined Assured Guaranty in September 1999 as Chief Underwriting Officer of Capital Re Company, the predecessor to AGC. Before joining Assured Guaranty, he was a Senior Vice President with Rothschild Inc. from February 1997 to August 1999. Prior to that, he spent eight years at Financial Guaranty Insurance Company from May 1989 to February 1997, where he was responsible for underwriting guaranties of asset-backed securities and international infrastructure transactions. Prior to that, he was employed by Prudential Capital, an investment arm of The Prudential Insurance Company of America, from September 1984 to April 1989, where he underwrote investments in asset-backed securities, corporate loans and project financings.


68


PART II
 
ITEM 5.
MARKET FOR REGISTRANT'S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES

AGL's common shares are listed on the NYSE under symbol "AGO." The table below sets forth, for the calendar quarters indicated, the reported high and low sales prices and amount of any cash dividends declared.

Common Stock Prices and Dividends

 
2015
 
2014
 
Sales Price
 
Cash
 
Sales Price
 
Cash
 
High
 
Low
 
Dividends
 
High
 
Low
 
Dividends
First Quarter
$
26.96

 
$
24.21

 
$
0.12

 
$
26.76

 
$
20.44

 
$
0.11

Second Quarter
29.75

 
22.55

 
0.12

 
26.78

 
23.10

 
0.11

Third Quarter
26.87

 
22.86

 
0.12

 
24.91

 
21.61

 
0.11

Fourth Quarter
29.62

 
24.39

 
0.12

 
26.79

 
20.02

 
0.11


On February 23, 2016, the closing price for AGL's common shares on the NYSE was $23.81, and the approximate number of shareholders of record at the close of business on that date was 81.

AGL is a holding company whose principal source of income is dividends from its operating subsidiaries. The ability of the operating subsidiaries to pay dividends to AGL and AGL's ability to pay dividends to its shareholders are each subject to legal and regulatory restrictions. The declaration and payment of future dividends will be at the discretion of AGL's Board of Directors and will be dependent upon the Company's profits and financial requirements and other factors, including legal restrictions on the payment of dividends and such other factors as the Board of Directors deems relevant. For more information concerning AGL's dividends, please refer to Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations under the caption "Liquidity and Capital Resources" and Note 11, Insurance Company Regulatory Requirements, of the Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.

2015 Share Purchases

In 2015, the Company repurchased a total of 21.0 million common shares for approximately $555 million, at an average price of $26.43 per share. After additional repurchases in 2016, the Company exhausted its previous $400 million authorization to repurchase common shares on February 9, 2016. On February 24, 2016, the Board of Directors approved a $250 million share repurchase authorization. The Company expects future common share repurchases under the current authorization to be made from time to time in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions. The timing, form and amount of the share repurchases are at the discretion of management and will depend on a variety of factors, including availability of funds at the holding companies, market conditions, the Company's capital position, legal requirements and other factors. The repurchase authorization may be modified, extended or terminated by the Board of Directors at any time. It does not have an expiration date.

69


Issuer’s Purchases of Equity Securities
 
The following table reflects purchases of AGL common shares made by the Company during Fourth Quarter 2015.
 
Period
 
Total
Number of
Shares
Purchased
 
Average
Price Paid
Per Share
 
Total Number of
Shares Purchased as
Part of Publicly
Announced Program (1)
 
Maximum Number (or Approximate Dollar Value)
of Shares that
May Yet Be
Purchased
Under the Program(2)
October 1 - October 31
 
1,660,310

 
$
27.10

 
1,660,310

 
$
145,035,556

November 1 - November 30
 
1,628,406

 
$
27.63

 
1,628,406

 
$
100,036,984

December 1 - December 31
 
1,746,921

 
$
25.76

 
1,746,921

 
$
55,035,579

Total
 
5,035,637

 
$
26.81

 
5,035,637

 
 

____________________
(1)
After giving effect to repurchases since the beginning of 2013 through February 9, 2016, the Company has repurchased a total of 60.2 million common shares for approximately $1,464 million, excluding commissions, at an average price of $24.33 per share. On February 24, 2016, the Company's Board of Directors approved a $250 million share repurchase authorization; as of the filing date, the Company has not repurchased any common shares under this authorization.

(2)
Excludes commissions.

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Performance Graph

Set forth below are a line graph and a table comparing the dollar change in the cumulative total shareholder return on AGL's common shares from December 31, 2010 through December 31, 2015 as compared to the cumulative total return of the Standard & Poor's 500 Stock Index and the cumulative total return of the Standard & Poor's 500 Financials Index. The chart and table depict the value on December 31, 2010, December 31, 2011, December 31, 2012, December 31, 2013, December 31, 2014 and December 31, 2015 of a $100 investment made on December 31, 2010, with all dividends reinvested:

 
Assured Guaranty
 
S&P 500 Index
 
S&P 500
Financial Index
12/31/2010
$
100.00

 
$
100.00

 
$
100.00

12/31/2011
75.22

 
102.11

 
82.94

12/31/2012
83.62

 
118.44

 
106.78

12/31/2013
141.19

 
156.79

 
144.78

12/31/2014
158.40

 
178.24

 
166.76

12/31/2015
163.95

 
180.66

 
164.15

___________________
Source: Bloomberg


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ITEM 6.
SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The following selected financial data should be read together with the other information contained in this Form 10-K, including "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" and the consolidated financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this Form 10-K.

 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
 
2011
 
(dollars in millions, except per share amounts)
Statement of operations data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenues:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net earned premiums
$
766

 
$
570

 
$
752

 
$
853

 
$
920

Net investment income
423

 
403

 
393

 
404

 
396

Net realized investment gains (losses)
(26
)
 
(60
)
 
52

 
1

 
(18
)
Realized gains and other settlements on credit derivatives
(18
)
 
23

 
(42
)
 
(108
)
 
6

Net unrealized gains (losses) on credit derivatives
746

 
800

 
107

 
(477
)
 
554

Fair value gains (losses) on committed capital securities
27

 
(11
)
 
10

 
(18
)
 
35

Fair value gains (losses) on financial guaranty variable interest entities
38

 
255

 
346

 
191

 
(146
)
Bargain purchase gain and settlement of pre-existing relationships
214

 

 

 

 

Other income (loss)
37

 
14

 
(10
)
 
108

 
58

Total revenues
2,207

 
1,994

 
1,608

 
954

 
1,805

Expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Loss and loss adjustment expenses
424

 
126

 
154

 
504

 
448

Amortization of deferred acquisition costs(1)
20

 
25

 
12

 
14

 
17

Interest expense
101

 
92

 
82

 
92

 
99

Other operating expenses(1)
231

 
220

 
218

 
212

 
212

Total expenses
776

 
463

 
466

 
822

 
776

Income (loss) before (benefit) provision for income taxes
1,431


1,531


1,142


132


1,029

Provision (benefit) for income taxes
375

 
443

 
334

 
22

 
256

Net income (loss)
1,056

 
1,088

 
808

 
110

 
773

Earnings (loss) per share:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
$
7.12

 
$
6.30

 
$
4.32

 
$
0.58

 
$
4.21

Diluted
$
7.08

 
$
6.26

 
$
4.30

 
$
0.57

 
$
4.16

Dividends per share
$
0.48

 
$
0.44

 
$
0.40

 
$
0.36

 
$
0.18


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As of December 31,
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
2012
 
2011
 
(dollars in millions, except per share amounts)
Balance sheet data (end of period):
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Assets:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Investments and cash
$
11,358

 
$
11,459

 
$
10,969

 
$
11,223

 
$
11,314

Premiums receivable, net of commissions payable
693

 
729

 
876

 
1,005

 
1,003

Ceded unearned premium reserve
232

 
381

 
452

 
561

 
709

Salvage and subrogation recoverable
126

 
151

 
174

 
456

 
368

Credit derivative assets
81

 
68

 
94

 
141

 
153

Total assets(2)
14,544

 
14,919

 
16,285

 
17,240

 
17,705

Liabilities and shareholders' equity:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Unearned premium reserve
3,996

 
4,261

 
4,595

 
5,207

 
5,963

Loss and loss adjustment expense reserve
1,067

 
799

 
592

 
601

 
679

Reinsurance balances payable, net
51

 
107

 
148

 
219

 
171

Long-term debt(2)
1,300

 
1,297

 
814

 
834

 
1,034

Credit derivative liabilities
446

 
963

 
1,787

 
1,934

 
1,457

Total liabilities(2)
8,481

 
9,161

 
11,170

 
12,246

 
13,053

Accumulated other comprehensive income
237

 
370

 
160

 
515

 
368

Shareholders' equity
6,063

 
5,758

 
5,115

 
4,994

 
4,652

Book value per share
43.96

 
36.37

 
28.07

 
25.74

 
25.52

Consolidated statutory financial information:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Contingency reserve
$
2,263

 
$
2,330

 
$
2,934

 
$
2,364

 
$
2,571

Policyholders' surplus
4,550

 
4,142

 
3,202

 
3,579

 
3,116

Claims-paying resources(3)
12,306

 
12,189

 
12,147

 
12,328

 
12,839

Outstanding Exposure:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Net debt service outstanding
$
536,341

 
$
609,622

 
$
690,535

 
$
780,356

 
$
844,447

Net par outstanding
358,571

 
403,729

 
459,107

 
518,772

 
556,830

___________________
(1)
Accounting guidance restricting the types and amounts of financial guaranty insurance contract acquisition costs that may be deferred was adopted and retrospectively applied effective January 1, 2012.
(2)
Accounting guidance (a) requiring that debt issuance costs related to a recognized debt liability be presented in the balance sheet as a direct deduction from the carrying amount of that debt liability and (b) resulting in reclassification of its debt issuance costs from other assets to long-term debt, was adopted and retrospectively applied effective December 31, 2015.
(3)
Prepared in accordance with accounting practices prescribed or permitted by U.S. insurance regulatory authorities, for all insurance subsidiaries. Claims-paying resources is calculated as the sum of statutory policyholders' surplus, statutory contingency reserve, statutory unearned premium reserves, statutory loss and LAE reserves, present value of installment premium on financial guaranty and credit derivatives, discounted at 6%, and standby lines of credit/stop loss. Total claims-paying resources is used by the Company to evaluate the adequacy of capital resources. The December 31, 2015 amount includes an aggregate $360 million excess-of-loss reinsurance facility for the benefit of AGC, AGM and MAC, which became effective January 1, 2016. The facility terminates on January 1, 2018 unless AGC, AGM and MAC choose to extend it. The December 31, 2014 amount includes an aggregate $450 million excess-of-loss reinsurance facility for the benefit of AGC, AGM and MAC. The December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011 amounts include an aggregate $435 million excess-of-loss reinsurance facility for the benefit of AGC and AGM.


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ITEM 7.
MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

The following discussion and analysis of the Company’s financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the Company’s consolidated financial statements and accompanying notes which appear elsewhere in this Form 10-K. It contains forward looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Please see “Forward Looking Statements” for more information. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward looking statements as a result of various factors, including those discussed below and elsewhere in this Form 10-K, particularly under the headings “Risk Factors” and “Forward Looking Statements.”

Introduction
 
The Company provides credit protection products to the U.S. and international public finance (including infrastructure) and structured finance markets. The Company applies its credit underwriting judgment, risk management skills and capital markets experience to offer financial guaranty insurance that protects holders of debt instruments and other monetary obligations from defaults in scheduled payments. If an obligor defaults on a scheduled payment due on an obligation, including a scheduled principal or interest payment, the Company is required under its unconditional and irrevocable financial guaranty to pay the amount of the shortfall to the holder of the obligation. The Company markets its financial guaranty insurance directly to issuers and underwriters of public finance and structured finance securities as well as to investors in such obligations. The Company guarantees obligations issued principally in the U.S. and the U.K., and also guarantees obligations issued in other countries and regions, including Australia and Western Europe.
 
Executive Summary
  
This executive summary of management’s discussion and analysis highlights selected information and may not contain all of the information that is important to readers of this Annual Report. For a more detailed description of events, trends and uncertainties, as well as the capital, liquidity, credit, operational and market risks and the critical accounting policies and estimates affecting the Company, this Annual Report should be read in its entirety.

Economic Environment
 
The overall U.S. economic environment continued improving during 2015 by a number of measures. The U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that gross domestic product increased 2.4% during 2015. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ("BLS"), the estimated unemployment rate fell to 5.0% in each of the last three months of 2015, down six-tenths of a percentage point since December 2014 and the lowest monthly level since April 2008. The BLS also reported that the U.S. economy added more than 2.6 million jobs during 2015, with the greatest quarterly growth occurring in the fourth quarter. U.S. home prices, as measured by the Case-Shiller index, rose in the first several months of the year, subsequently stabilized, and then resumed growth, continuing the generally positive trend that emerged at the beginning of 2012.

The Federal Open Market Committee ("FOMC") maintained the target range for the federal funds rate near zero for most of the year, as inflation remained below the committee’s 2% target, but raised the target range by one-quarter point in December 2015. Also during 2015, the benchmark interest rates reflected by the MMD Index fluctuated in a narrow range bordering historic lows. Overall, the Company believes that the MMD Index will gradually rise further as the economy continues to improve, but the prospects for such additional economic recovery and higher interest rates are clouded by weak global economic performance and geopolitical risk, accompanied by strengthening of the dollar, deflationary pressure arising from a drop in global oil prices, and volatility in the U.S. and international stock markets. Therefore, the Company believes that the FOMC is likely to exercise caution in 2016, and that the pace of further rate increases is uncertain.
     
The City Fiscal Condition survey of city finance officers conducted in the fall of 2015 and published by the National League of Cities showed continued improvement in cities’ fiscal health. The same survey concluded that, at the state level, revenues continued to grow in 2015. In general, however, the Company believes that states and cities face long-term spending pressures in areas such as health care, education, infrastructure, and pensions.

Outside the U.S., the number of new infrastructure financings coming to market, including those appropriate for financial guarantees, remained limited. In an effort to stimulate growth as well as inflation, the European Central Bank continued its program of quantitative easing and held its interest rates for bank deposits below zero. The United Kingdom's Office for National Statistics reports that, in the United Kingdom, the pace of economic growth was slightly slower in 2015 than in 2014, and while the employment rate reached a record high, inflation was generally flat.

74



Financial Performance of Assured Guaranty
 
Financial Results

 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
(in millions, except per share amounts)
Net income (loss)
$
1,056

 
$
1,088

 
$
808

Operating income(1)
699

 
491

 
609

 
 
 
 
 
 
Net income (loss) per diluted share
7.08

 
6.26

 
4.30

Operating income per share(1)
4.69

 
2.83

 
3.25

Diluted shares
149.0

 
173.6

 
187.6

 
 
 
 
 
 
Present value of new business production (“PVP”)(1)
179

 
168

 
141

Gross par written
17,336

 
13,171

 
9,350

 
 
As of December 31, 2015
 
As of December 31, 2014
 
 
Amount
 
Per Share
 
Amount
 
Per Share
 
 
(in millions, except per share amounts)
Shareholders' equity
 
$
6,063

 
$
43.96

 
$
5,758

 
$
36.37

Operating shareholders' equity(1)
 
5,946

 
43.11

 
5,933

 
37.48

Adjusted book value(1)
 
8,439

 
61.18

 
8,495

 
53.66

Common shares outstanding (2)
 
137.9

 
 
 
158.3

 
 
____________________
(1)
Please refer to “—Non-GAAP Financial Measures” for a definition of the financial measures that were not determined in accordance with GAAP and a reconciliation of the non-GAAP financial measure to the most directly comparable GAAP measure, if available.

(2)
Please refer to "Key Business Strategies – Capital Management" below for information on common share repurchases.

 Year Ended December 31, 2015

There are several primary drivers of volatility in net income or loss that are not necessarily indicative of credit impairment or improvement, or ultimate economic gains or losses: changes in credit spreads of insured credit derivative obligations; changes in fair value of assets and liabilities of financial guaranty variable interest entities ("FG VIEs") and committed capital securities ("CCS"); changes in the Company's own credit spreads; and changes in risk-free rates used to discount expected losses. Changes in credit spreads generally have the most significant effect on the fair value of credit derivatives and FG VIE assets and liabilities. In addition to non-economic factors, other factors such as: changes in expected losses, the amount and timing of refunding transactions and terminations, realized gains and losses on the investment portfolio (including other-than-temporary impairments), the effects of large settlements and transactions, acquisitions, and the effects of the Company's various loss mitigation strategies, among others, may also have a significant effect on reported net income or loss in a given reporting period. 

Net income for 2015 was $1.06 billion compared with $1.09 billion in 2014. Higher loss expense attributable mainly to Puerto Rico and lower fair value gains in FG VIEs in 2015 were mostly offset by the bargain purchase gain and settlement of pre-existing relationships from the acquisition of Radian Asset and higher net earned premiums due to refundings and terminations.

Non-GAAP operating income in 2015 was $699 million, compared with $491 million in 2014. The increase in operating income was primarily due to the acquisition of Radian Asset, including the bargain purchase gain and settlement of pre-existing relationships, and higher net earned premiums and credit derivative revenues due to refundings and terminations, offset in part by higher losses attributable primarily to Puerto Rico. Operating income in 2015 was the highest that the Company has reported.
    

75


Key Business Strategies

The Company continually evaluates its primary business strategies. Currently. the Company is pursuing the following primary business strategies, each described in more detail below:

New business production
Capital management
Alternative strategies to create value, including through acquisitions and commutations
Loss mitigation

New Business Production

The Company believes high-profile defaults by municipal obligors, such as Detroit, Michigan and Stockton, California, both of which filed for protection under chapter 9 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, and the deteriorating financial condition of Puerto Rico, have led to increased awareness of the value of bond insurance and stimulated demand for the product. The Company believes there will be continued demand for its insurance in this market because, for those exposures that the Company guarantees, it undertakes the tasks of credit selection, analysis, negotiation of terms, surveillance and, if necessary, loss mitigation. The Company believes that its insurance: encourages retail investors, who typically have fewer resources than the Company for analyzing municipal bonds, to purchase such bonds; enables institutional investors to operate more efficiently; and allows smaller, less well-known issuers to gain market access on a more cost-effective basis.
On the other hand, the persistently low interest rate environment continues to dampen demand for bond insurance and, after a number of years in which the Company was essentially the only financial guarantor, there are now two other financial guarantors active in one of its markets.

U.S. Municipal Market Data
Based on Sale Date

 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
Par
 
Number of
issues
 
Par
 
Number of
issues
 
Par
 
Number of
issues
 
(dollars in billions, except number of issues)
New municipal bonds issued
$
377.6

 
12,076

 
$
314.9

 
10,162

 
$
311.9

 
10,558

Total insured
25.2

 
1,880

 
18.5

 
1,403

 
12.1

 
1,025

Insured by Assured Guaranty
15.1

 
1,009

 
10.7

 
697

 
7.5

 
488



Industry Penetration Rates
U.S. Municipal Market

 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
Market penetration based on par
6.7%
 
5.9%
 
3.9%
Market penetration based on number of issues
15.6
 
13.8
 
9.7
% of single A par sold
22.1
 
19.7
 
11.0
% of single A transactions sold
54.1
 
49.3
 
30.6
% of $25 million and under par sold
18.7
 
16.5
 
10.9
% of $25 million and under transactions sold
17.6
 
15.4
 
10.7

 

76


New Business Production

 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
 
(in millions)
PVP(1):
 
 
 
 
 
Public Finance—U.S.
$
124

 
$
128

 
$
116

Public Finance—non-U.S.
27

 
7

 
18

Structured Finance—U.S.
22

 
24

 
7

Structured Finance—non-U.S.
6

 
9

 

Total PVP
$
179

 
$
168

 
$
141

Gross Par Written:
 
 
 
 
 
Public Finance—U.S.
$
16,377

 
$
12,275

 
$
8,671

Public Finance—non-U.S.
567

 
128

 
392

Structured Finance—U.S.
327

 
418

 
287

Structured Finance—non-U.S.
65

 
350

 

Total gross par written
$
17,336

 
$
13,171

 
$
9,350

____________________
(1)
PVP represents the present value of estimated future earnings primarily on new financial guaranty contracts written in the period, before consideration of cessions to reinsurers. PVP and Gross Par Written in the table above are based on "close date," when the transaction settles. See “– Non-GAAP Financial Measures – PVP or Present Value of New Business Production.”

For the year ended December 31, 2015 compared with the year ended December 31, 2014, excluding business written in 2014 as part of the restructuring of Detroit's water and sewer bonds, the Company's U.S. public finance PVP increased, primarily due to higher issuance and greater bond insurance penetration in the U.S. public finance market. Issuance for 2015 in the U.S. public finance market increased approximately 20% compared with 2014, primarily driven by refundings. Insured municipal par for the same period was up 36% and represented a 6.7% market penetration, compared with 5.9% in 2014. The Company wrote 60% of the total insured par and 54% of the total number of new issues in 2015.

Outside the U.S., the Company's public finance PVP also increased, due to an increase in European infrastructure transactions. The Company believes the U.K. currently presents the most new business opportunities for financial guarantees of infrastructure financings, which have typically required such guarantees for capital market access. These transactions typically have long lead times. The Company believes it is the only company in the private sector offering such financial guarantees outside the United States.

Structured finance PVP decreased slightly in both U.S and non-U.S. markets. Structured finance transactions tend to be large with long lead times and vary from period to period. In general, the Company expects that structured finance opportunities will increase in the future as the global economy recovers, interest rates rise, more issuers return to the capital markets for financings and institutional investors again utilize financial guaranties. The Company considers its involvement in both structured finance and international infrastructure transactions to be beneficial because such transactions diversify both the Company's business opportunities and its risk profile beyond public finance.

Capital Management
    
In recent years, the Company has developed strategies to manage capital within the Assured Guaranty group more efficiently.

In 2013, AGL became tax resident in the United Kingdom, while remaining a Bermuda-based company and continuing to carry on its administrative and head office functions in Bermuda. As a U.K. tax resident company, AGL is subject to the tax rules applicable to companies resident in the U.K. More information about AGL becoming a U.K. tax resident is set out in the "Tax Matters" section of "Item 1. Business."
    
In 2014, AGUS issued 5.0% Senior Notes for net proceeds of $495 million. The net proceeds from the sale of the notes were used for general corporate purposes, including the purchase of common shares of AGL.


77


In 2015, the Company repurchased a total of 21 million common shares for approximately $555 million at an average price of $26.43 per share. Year to date through February 9, 2016, the Company repurchased a total of 2.3 million common shares for $55 million at an average price of $24.37 per share. With the purchase of common shares in 2016, the Company exhausted the share repurchase authorization that its Board of Directors approved in May 2015.

On February 24, 2016, the Board of Directors approved a $250 million share repurchase authorization. The Company expects the repurchases to be made from time to time in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions. The timing, form and amount of the share repurchases under the program are at the discretion of management and will depend on a variety of factors, including free funds available at the parent company, market conditions, the Company's capital position, legal requirements and other factors. The repurchase program may be modified, extended or terminated by the Board of Directors at any time. It does not have an expiration date. See Note 18, Shareholders' Equity, of the Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, for additional information about the Company's repurchases of its common shares.

Summary of Share Repurchases

 
Amount
 
Number of Shares
 
Average price per share
 
(in millions, except per share data)
2013
$
264

 
12.5

 
$
21.12

2014
590

 
24.4

 
24.17

2015
555

 
21.0

 
26.43

2016 (through February 9, 2016)
55

 
2.3

 
24.37