Investors Juggle Axis, Flagstone and XL Stakes in Second Quarter

Reinsurers Endurance Speciality, Axis Capital and XL Group saw big swings in sentiment in the period ending June 30 as hedge funds and other large investors changed positions.

Global equity boutique manager Tradewinds Global Investors was active seller of its reinsurance holdings in the second quarter, dumping nearly half its stake in Axis — 3.6 million shares — while also pairing its investment in Endurance by 947,500 shares, according to the latest Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The firm, however, remains a substantial equity investor in both reinsurers.

Despite the sales, Axis saw Clearbridge Advisors step in and almost double its stake in the firm during the quarter, brining the total market value held in the reinsurer to $102.7 million as of June 30. Endurance saw investor interest from American Beacon Advisors, Deutsch Bank and Vanguard Group that all increased their stakes.

Hedge fund titan John Paulson slashed his XL Group investment by over 6 million shares during the period, cutting his stake in the company to $118 million. JPMorgan Chase also sold over 5 million shares of XL, although it continues to hold at least 8 million shares valued at $194 million, according to the filing.

Mutual fund manager T. Rowe Price used the second quarter to solidify its position as a major shareholder in XL, purchasing over 10 million shares and brining its investment in the reinsurers to $520 million.

Robeco Investment Management slashed its holdings in Flagstone Reinsurance by 2.4 million shares, bringing the market value of its stake in the firm to $12.6 million, based on June 30th market prices. Value investing shop Donald Smith & Co. was the big buyer of Flagstone during the quarter, adding 785,916 shares to to $40.9 million stake.

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