Two private firms supplement the work of the U.S. Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im) and facilitate international trade finance for U.S. exporters. These are the Foreign Credit Insurance Association (FCIA) and the Private Export Funding Corporation (PEFCO). FCIA is the subject of this chapter. PEFCO and its operations will be the topic of Chapter 6.
FCIA was established in 1961 during the presidency of John F. Kennedy by 50 leading insurance firms. President Kennedy believed that U.S. exports were vital to the U.S. balance of international payments, that these exports had to be financed, that Ex-Im needed assistance in this area, and that private enterprise should be more involved in financing U.S. export trade. FCIA has pioneered export credit insurance in the United States. 1
FCIA is backed by the economic strength of Great American Insurance Company. The latter is a specialty and multi-line property and casualty insurer and is part of the Great American Insurance Group, a consortium of some four dozen United States-based insurance companies which provide property and casualty insurance coverage. Great American is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, and oversees property and casualty insurers throughout the United States. Great American is owned by American Financial Group, a New York Stock Exchange-listed corporation. 2 Great American Insurance Company also operates three other divisions, which provide ocean and inland marine insurance, surety bonds covering contractors and subcontractors, and fidelity