Letter is focus of dispute between surety and Maine town | Fla. city's lawsuit alleges developer didn't obtain bond | Regulators' demands block N.C. county's plans for bond payout
January 24, 2013
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Industry News
Letter is focus of dispute between surety and Maine town
The town of Westport Island, Maine, contends that a letter at the center of a lawsuit brought by a surety is invalid. The surety says the town was supposed to pay it $250,000 but instead made that payment directly to a contractor. The town seemed to agree to make the payment to the surety in a 2009 letter that was signed by a selectman, according to this article. The official, however, was not authorized to sign the letter, the town's attorney has said. Wiscasset Newspaper (Maine) (1/16)
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Fla. city's lawsuit alleges developer didn't obtain bond
Jacksonville, Fla., has filed a countersuit against a company that was supposed to work on a restaurant project on land owned by the city. Work originally was scheduled to be finished in September 2006, but the city says the developer violated the contract by failing to post a bond for the project, which is still not complete. The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville) (1/16)
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Regulators' demands block N.C. county's plans for bond payout
An unfinished development project has left Henderson County, N.C., in a tough spot, according to this opinion piece. A bond was obtained for the project, but the $6 million in proceeds may be insufficient to complete the remaining work. Meanwhile, the county is being pressured by the Army Corps of Engineers and the state's Division of Water Quality to make other payments. The county has decided to file a lawsuit if an agreement cannot be reached about how to spend the money from the bond. Times-News (Hendersonville, N.C.) (1/20)
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Differing priorities can complicate carrier-agent relationships
Insurance carriers and producers can have conflicting priorities regarding product-distribution channels, causing a strain on insurer-agent relationships, according to one expert. Insurers are concerned about profitability and want a single system, while agents have a variety of portals, she said. "The conflicting objectives almost become an anchor in holding the industry back. Insurers are pushing technology, and it's causing business to be more complex," she said. PropertyCasualty360 (1/18)
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Other News
Policy Update
A guide to N.C. Transportation Department's revised road standards
The North Carolina Department of Transportation issued a new version of its specifications for highway projects last year. The new standards address requirements for contractors' proposed progress schedules, add more provisions on liability insurance and outline factors that can cause bids to be disqualified by the department. N.C. Construction Law blog (1/23)
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Association News
Registration for April 21 to 24 NASBP Annual Meeting & Expo
in San Francisco is now open -- book your hotel today

Registration is now open for the 2013 NASBP Annual Meeting & Expo, which will take place April 21 to 24 at the Fairmont San Francisco hotel. Renowned financial expert and commentator John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics will deliver an entertaining and informative presentation titled "Where Are We on the Road to the End of the Debt Super-Cycle?" Be sure to attend the educational sessions NASBP has organized, which will address topics including procurement and execution of federal projects with emphasis on the SBA 8(a) program; risks of commercial surety, presented by executives from Liberty Mutual Surety, Arch Insurance Group, Chubb Surety and HCC Surety; mobile technology trends and tools; and coaching techniques for executives and leaders. Also, the NASBP CEO will make a presentation on the state of the association and will moderate a discussion about the current state of and outlook for the industry, which will include perspectives of executives from Chubb Surety, The Hartford and Liberty Mutual Surety. In addition, licensed agents are invited to attend a continuing education (CE) session titled "Bonding and Public-Private Partnerships," presented by Zurich Surety executives. Preregistration is required for this CE session. Please plan to join us at the Annual Meeting in San Francisco. Register now.
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NASBP Feb. 5 Virtual Seminar: "Understanding the How and Why
of ESOP Transactions"

Join us from 2 to 3 p.m. Eastern time Feb. 5 for the NASBP Virtual Seminar titled "Understanding the How and Why of ESOP Transactions" and learn why surety professionals should understand employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), an increasingly popular exit strategy for many construction companies. Of more than 12 million privately owned businesses in the U.S., 70% will be changing hands in the next 10 to 15 years. Many owners of these companies will have spent little time planning for retirement and even less time planning for how they will sell or transfer ownership of their companies. This presentation will examine case studies highlighting challenges faced by newly formed ESOP companies and how the adversity was managed, how the surety industry should be involved in the process, how the "fiscal cliff" and tax changes in 2013 could affect ESOPs, the terms of the transaction and how the valuation is performed, and how a company is affected before and after a leveraged ESOP transaction. Presenters from the CPA firm of Moss Adams include the firm's partners Elaine Ervin, CPA, and Dena Herbolich, CPA, as well as Wayne D. Fjeld, CFA, ASA, a senior manager of the firm's advisory services. Register now.
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Market Trends
Bonds are required for solar-array project in Mass.
The planning board of Rochester, Mass., has approved plans for a solar-array project. The deal involves a construction bond and a work performance surety bond designed to ensure that a berm will be created and that trees planted at the site will survive. Construction is scheduled to begin next month and conclude before the end of the summer. Wicked Local/Marion, Mass. (1/21)
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Other News
An exaggeration is a truth that has lost its temper.
Kahlil Gibran,
Lebanese-American artist, poet and writer
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Founded in 1942, NASBP is the association of and resource for surety bond producers and allied professionals. NASBP producers specialize in providing surety bonds for construction contracts and other purposes to companies and individuals needing the assurance offered by surety bonds.
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