GREENWICH — Insurer W.R. Berkley is joining the S&P 500, one of the world’s leading stock indexes, the S&P’s parent company has announced.
Greenwich-based Berkley this week replaces entertainment-giant Viacom, which is being acquired by another S&P 500 member, CBS Corp.
The move from the S&P MidCap 400 index highlights the growth of Berkley, which ranks No. 397 on this year’s Fortune 500 list. The company’s third-quarter revenues totaled about $2.1 billion, up about 1 percent from the same period last year. Profits for the quarter came to about $165 million, compared with $162 million a year ago.
“Inclusion in the S&P 500 is a milestone for our company and reflects the tireless efforts of the many people who have contributed to our growth and success for more than 50 years,” CEO and President W. Robert Berkley said in a statement. “As always, we remain focused on delivering outstanding risk adjusted returns and superior value creation to our shareholders by offering valuable products and services to our customers and creating a rewarding environment for our employees, while supporting the communities in which we live and work.”
The company will officially join the S&P 500 before the start of trading Thursday.
S&P SmallCap 600 index member RLI Corp., a Peoria, Ill.-based insurer, will succeed Berkley in the MidCap 400, while Watersound, Fla.-based real estate firm The St. Joe Co. will replace RLI in the SmallCap 600.
Berkley becomes one of about a dozen Connecticut-based companies in the S&P 500, which features many of the world’s largest companies. It joins the Stamford-based quartet of Charter Communications, Gartner, Synchrony and United Rentals; Hartford-based Hartford Financial Services Group; Bloomfield-based Cigna; Farmington-based United Technologies; Wallingford-based Amphenol; New Britain-based Stanley, Black & Decker; and Norwalk-based Xerox.
A record-breaking rally has lifted the S&P’s return so far this year to nearly 25 percent — gains that could fuel another robust performance in 2020.
Berkley shares closed Monday at about $68, compared with a 52-week high of nearly $78.
Among other recent moves, the firm announced last month that it would combine its two health care-focused businesses.
Berkley is headquartered at 475 Steamboat Road, yards from Greenwich Harbor.
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