New Hampshire-based White Mountains is the latest insurer to announce that it will capitalize on the hardening market by setting up a reinsurance operation. The company plans to establish a Bermuda-based reinsurance arm to target the property and casualty market, and to “respond to the current favorable underwriting and pricing environment”. This comes on the heels of new reinsurers being established by several other companies, including MMC Capital, parent of Marsh, and Renaissance Re. The MMC Capital venture, AXIS Specialty, is also Bermuda-based and will write both reinsurance and insurance covers. It will “respond to the capacity shortage in the insurance industry resulting from the events of September 11”, the company says. “MMC is sponsoring the formation of AXIS Specialty in response to demand for reinsurance and insurance capacity at a time when it is most needed in the marketplace,” said J.W. Greenberg, chairman and CEO of MMC. Renaissance Re’s Bermuda-based operation, to be called DaVinci Re, is also backed by State Farm. The company will focus on the property catastrophe market.