Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited is a holding company which, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in property and casualty insurance and reinsurance and investment management. Fairfax’s corporate objective is to achieve a high rate of return on invested capital and build long-term shareholder value. Fairfax seeks to differentiate itself by combining disciplined underwriting with the investment of its assets on a total return basis, which Fairfax believes provides above-average returns over the long-term.
Fairfax was founded in 1985 by the present Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, V. Prem Watsa. The company has been under present management since 1985 and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada. Its common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol FFH and in U.S. dollars under the symbol FFH.U.
Fairfax’s insurance and reinsurance companies operate on a decentralized basis, with autonomous management teams applying a focused underwriting strategy to their markets. Fairfax subsidiaries provide a full range of property and casualty products, maintaining a diversified portfolio of risks across all classes of business, geographic regions, and types of insureds.
Since 1985, investments have been centrally managed for all of the Fairfax group companies by Hamblin Watsa Investment Counsel Ltd. (www.hwic.ca), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fairfax. Hamblin Watsa emphasizes a conservative value investment philosophy, seeking to invest assets on a total return basis, which includes realized and unrealized gains over the long-term.