In March 2017, Travelers agreed to acquire UK-based Simply Business from Aquiline Capital Partners for approximately $490 million. Simply Business is a leading U.K. distributor of small business insurance policies, offering products online on behalf of a broad panel of carriers. It has more than 425,000 microbusiness customers covering more than 1,000 classes of business, and was named “Best Company to Work For” by The Sunday Times in 2015 and 2016. The transaction adds to Travelers' digital capabilities.
The team track down Simon (Traveler 0004), a specialist who developed the consciousness transfer technology in the future, who was sent into a host body that developed schizophrenia after arrival. Simon, who set up the Travelers' communications system in the 21st, is haunted by hallucinations of Vincent, who previously convinced an institutionalized Simon that the Director wanted him to next build transfer technology in the 21st.
Travelers was founded in 1864 in Hartford. It was founded to provide travel insurance to railroad travelers at a time when travel was far more risky and dangerous than today, hence the name. Along the way it had many industry firsts, including the first automobile policy, the first commercial airline policy, and the first policy for space travel. In 1954 it established the world's first privately owned weather research facility, the Travelers Weather Research Center, the first organization to make weather predictions using probabilities ("20% chance of rain"). By the early 1990s, Travelers was predominantly a general property and casualty insurer that also happened to do some travel insurance on the side, and it quietly exited its original business in 1994. What was left of Travelers' travel insurance business was acquired by three former employees and is now known as Travel Insured International, a Crum and Forster Company.
Many of Travelers' ancestor companies, such as St. Paul and USF&G, are technically still around today, and still write policies and accept claims in their own names (under the overarching Travelers brand name). As is typical of most insurers in the United States, Travelers never dissolved the various companies it acquired, but simply made them wholly owned subsidiaries and trained its employees to act on behalf of those subsidiaries. This is a common risk management strategy used by U.S. insurance groups. If any one company in the group gets hit with too many claims, the situation can be easily contained to that one company (which is placed in runoff and allowed to run its policies to completion), while the remainder of the group continues to operate normally.
The capital may be set on banks of the Potomac, but it’s never had a reputation as a great waterfront city. That could all be about to change, thanks to the $2.5 billion, 24-acre District Wharf, which opened in October just south of the National Mall. The shiny new InterContinental Washington D.C.-The Wharf offers access to the development’s new parks, music venues, 50-plus shops, and 20 restaurants — which include projects from area chefs like Fabio Trabocchi, Mike Isabella, and wunderkind Kwame Onwuachi. This is also set to be a banner year for culture: the Freer and Sackler galleries, sister museums that champion Asian art, recently reopened after a 20-month renovation, the National Gallery of Art will host the first-ever show dedicated to Cézanne’s portraits from March to July, and the Kennedy Center continues its inaugural season of hip-hop programming curated by Q-Tip. —Brooke Porter Katz
The first season of Travelers has a score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes based on nine reviews with an average rating of 8.0/10. Neil Genzlinger, writing for The New York Times, described the first season as "tasty", and "enjoyable science fiction", with "some attention-grabbing flourishes and fine acting". Hanh Nguyen, writing for IndieWire, describes the series as "fun and freaky," finding the series' appeal "in how the core group of five travelers adjust to life in our present," noting the "human nature in the travelers". Lawrence Devoe, of TheaterByte.com, called the series "tautly paced and suspenseful" with "well-developed characters", declaring that "Brad Wright has a real knack for creating futuristic series". Evan Narcisse, reviewing the first five episodes for io9, appreciated the moral dilemmas offered by the series premise and the awkwardness presented by the characters' interactions with their hosts' friends, colleagues, lovers, or caretakers: "This is a superhero show in double disguise, offering up clever explorations of the secret identity concept that touch on the guilt and contortions that come with living a double life." Netflix announced that the series was one of its "most devoured" series in 2017.
Thai tourism is as robust as ever: more than 21 million international visitors poured into the capital in 2016, making it the world’s most visited city. To accommodate all those arrivals, the metropolis is welcoming a bevy of posh new hotels in the coming year. The Waldorf Astoria Bangkok will have a spa, rooftop bar, and outdoor infinity pool overlooking the Royal Bangkok Sports Club, while the 155-room Bangkok Edition will open this summer in MahaNakhon, a towering skyscraper with a swirl of cubical cutouts wrapping around the building. Four Seasons and Capella both have properties in the works on the Chao Phraya Estate, a lush riverfront development that’s part shopping and dining destination, part tropical escape. The Michelin Guide will make its long-awaited debut here this year, drawing attention to one of the world’s most dynamic culinary scenes. And for art lovers, there’s a flock of brand-new multipurpose creative spaces to explore, including the Thailand Creative & Design Center, which just relocated to a former General Post Office on historic Charoen Krung Road; Warehouse 30, a series of World War II-era warehouses revamped by starchitect Duangrit Bunnag; and ChangChui, an immense complex of bars, shops, and restaurants constructed out of upcycled materials, including an airplane salvaged from the scrap pile. —Diana Hubbell
In November 2010, Travelers entered into a joint venture agreement under which the company would invest in J. Malucelli Participações em Seguros e Resseguros S.A., the market leader in the surety insurance business in Brazil. The transaction closed in June 2011 with Travelers acquiring a 43.4 percent interest. Travelers' investment in newly issued shares significantly increased J. Malucelli's capital level, positioning it for substantial growth in Brazil. At the time, Travelers had the option to increase its investment to retain a 49.5 percent interest, which the company later did in 2012.
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