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News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

University of Utah professors Bradley R. Cairns, professor and chair of Oncological Sciences and senior director of Basic Science; Dana Carroll, distinguished professor of Biochemistry; and Christopher D. Hacon, distinguished professor of Mathematics, were raised to a high honor in science today with their election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The three scientists join 225 U.S. scholars, scientists, writers, artists, as well as civic, business and philanthropic leaders, elected by the Academy, which is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. Members of the 2017 class include winners of the Pulitzer Prize and the Wolf Prize, MacArthur Fellows, Fields Medalists, Presidential Medal of Freedom and National Medal of Arts recipients, and Academy Award, Grammy Award, Emmy Award and Tony Award winners. Bradley R. Cairns was honored for his work examining how chromatin, the structures that package chromosomal DNA, switch genes on or off. He is working to understand how changes in chromatin affect cellular mechanisms that can lead to cancer development. As an investigator at the Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah, Cairns is using zebrafish to study genes associated with many types of cancers. Along with this latest honor, Cairns has been a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator since 2000. "Dr. Cairns has made fundamental discoveries in the areas of DNA remodeling and regulation of gene expression that are influencing how we think about human development and disease," said Mary Beckerle, CEO and director of HCI. "In addition to his innovative and high-impact scientific work, Dr. Cairns is also an exceptional leader who has built a culture of excellence and collaboration at Huntsman Cancer Institute and the University of Utah. The American Academy of Arts and Sciences couldn't have chosen a better person to honor with membership in this distinguished society." Dana Carroll has been on the faculty at the U of U Health for 42 years. Starting 21 years ago, he developed the earliest of the precise genome editing platforms, zinc-finger nucleases. He has worked with ZFNs and the successor technologies, TALENs and CRISPR-Cas, all of which are being used around the world to learn the consequences of specific mutations, to improve agricultural plant and animals, and to develop treatments for human diseases. Carroll received both the 2012 Edward Novitski Prize from the Genetics Society of America and the 2014 Herbert Sober Lectureship from the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He also received the 2016 Distinguished Innovation and Impact Award from the University of Utah. "I am ecstatic to hear that Dr. Dana Carroll has been elected into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences," said U of U Vice President for Research Andrew Weyrich. "Dr. Carroll is a pioneer in the research community for his groundwork in genome editing platforms, which have been used effectively to modify the genomes of over 80 organisms. This is a great honor for his continuous dedication and contribution to research and science." Christopher Hacon is a scholar of algebraic geometry, the field of mathematics that studies geometric objects defined by polynomial equations. He is particularly interested in objects that exist in more than three dimensions, and he and his colleagues have applied studies of these objects to extend the "minimal model program," a foundational principle of algebraic geometry, into higher dimensions. The American Mathematical Society has lauded the work of Hacon and his colleagues as "a watershed in algebraic geometry." Hacon is a fellow of the American Mathematical Society and recipient of the 2016 EH Moore Research Article Prize, the 2015 Distinguished Scholarly and Creative Research Award from the University of Utah, the 2011 Antonio Feltrinelli Prize in Mathematics Mechanics and Applications, the 2009 Frank Nelson Cole Prize in Algebra and the 2007 Clay Research Award. "Hacon's election as a member of the AAAS stands in recognition of his towering stature as a research mathematician and his deep contributions not only to the discipline of mathematics, but also to the University of Utah," said Peter Trapa, chair of the Department of Mathematics. "It is an honor to welcome this new class of exceptional women and men as part of our distinguished membership," said Don Randel, Chair of the Academy's Board of Directors. "Their talents and expertise will enrich the life of the Academy and strengthen our capacity to spread knowledge and understanding in service to the nation." This release and associated images can be found here.


News Article | May 2, 2017
Site: www.realwire.com

Wien/Walldorf, May 2nd 2017 – On the 11th and 12th of May of this year, over 3,000 developers, IT specialists, IT managers, and IT leaders, will come together at Austria’s largest developers conference (www.wearedevelopers.org), discussing the newest developments on the Web, as well as on the software market. The aicomp group is a strongly growing software and consulting company, and as a partner, exhibitor, and presenter, we bring information and information seekers together. Inspiration through exchange On both days, developers will meet with one another in their own specially selected network, sharing stories and ideas. Ideas require growth and need space. As an expanding company, that is exactly what aicomp group offers developers for SAP configuration and solutions. Rainer Förster, COO of the aicomp group, explains: “We’re looking forward to meeting interested applicants, who would like to come to our stand, C1.02, and learn more about the attractive job offers in the aicomp universe.” On May 12th at 9:30 a.m., in IGLOO 2, there will be a workshop, “Differences between Cloud and OnPrem Software solutions,” which will shed some light on the various software architectures, development cycles and methods, maintenance, further development, implementation, and the world of support. The foundation of the scheduled aicomp group workshops will be provided through the presentations of aicomp group members Matthias Waltz (Partner & Head of Product Development), Michael Ramirez Ziegler (Head of Cloud Solutions ERP), and Teona Burdiladze (Developer & Product Manager C4C and SAP ByD). Further information can be found on the event organizer’s website. http://www.wearedevelopers.org/ About the aicomp group The aicomp group is a software and consulting company with locations worldwide. We are the global leader in offering complex SAP variant configuration solutions. As one of the fastest growing SAP Cloud providers, aicomp group is an implementation, distribution, and development partner for Successfactors, SAP Business ByDesign, and SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer. The aicomp group helps its customers, from mid-sized companies to globally active corporations, in individually configuring and implementing offering and ordering processes. Our software add-on, VCPowerPack, supports innovative and complex product configurations within the staple SAP technologies (ERP, S/4 HANA, HCI/HCP). Our Cloud portfolio offers small and mid-sized companies software as a service, at low, attractive, monthly prices. Consulting, Software, Cloud – all from one source. With nearly 90 employees at eight locations throughout Europe and North America, the aicomp group offers personal, custom solutions.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: www.techrepublic.com

The popularity of cloud computing has created a demand in on-premises data centers to abstract physical hardware from the computing and storage resources that hardware provides, in order to ease the utilization of those resources as well as the administrative and lifecycle tasks that come with hardware deployments. Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) is the next logical step in furthering this abstraction. TechRepublic's smart person's guide to hyperconverged infrastructure is a quick introduction to this new trend in virtualization. This "living" guide will be updated periodically as advances and alternative technologies are developed. SEE: All of TechRepublic's smart person's guides HCI is effectively the on-premises answer to the ease of resource allocation and lifecycle management that cloud computing provides. Rather than utilizing each unit of computing or storage as a separate entity, the array of processors and storage are treated as a single gestalt entity, making the whole deployment greater than the sum of its parts. Storage and compute tasks are containerized on HCI, using a combination of vendor-specific management software, and industry standard APIs. From a different perspective, HCI is a superset of software defined storage (SDS). Software defined storage is an inherent component of HCI, though HCI adds the same automation and management for computing tasks in addition to storage. Some vendors offer a feature-reduced version of their HCI management software for use in a software defined data center (SDDC) deployment. As advances in processor performance, storage capacities, and networking ability have resulted in dramatically lower hardware costs, the focus in data center deployments is less on squeezing every millisecond of performance out of hardware, and more focused on how to create a scalable, easy to manage system, which, through the use of software, will ideally manage itself. Compared to traditional server management, the use of server management software in HCI can decrease downtime, and can increase the speed with which applications are developed and deployed. Because less human intervention is needed to administer the system, this also allows for cost reductions in infrastructure and staff costs. Similar to cloud computing, HCI is easily capable of scaling with your organization as it grows. Rather than needing to manually configure and deploy additional hardware as needed, scaling with HCI is typically as easy as powering on additional nodes and connecting them to your network—the management software takes over the rest of the work. Any organization can use an HCI deployment, though the primary benefit likely skews toward SMBs or satellite offices of larger organizations. Generally, any organization with five or fewer IT staffers would greatly benefit from HCI, as the automated management aspect of this computing model frees IT staff to handle other tasks. There are some practical limitations to hyperconverged infrastructure, however. For example, EMC's VSPEX BLUE does not scale beyond 8 appliances / 32 nodes per cluster, making it a poor candidate for larger deployments. Software defined data centers (SDDCs), both a technical predecessor and a contemporary of HCI, started seeing appreciable mass-market adoption in 2013. While the first HCI solutions were introduced in 2014, they have only become a particularly hot topic since late 2016. SEE: Ebook—Executive's guide to the software defined data center (TechRepublic) For organizations with a tight IT budget, the ease of automation and potential cost savings in an HCI deployment are garnering increased attention, as roadmaps are being plotted for upgrade paths from currently deployed systems. Because of the tightly integrated nature of software and hardware in HCI, there is not an open-source package that replicates this model of computing. As a result, HCI deployments basically consist of prequalified hardware bundled with licenses for proprietary software developed by your vendor of choice. For what HCI lacks in open-ness, it compensates for in competition. Numerous vendors, including Dell EMC, HP Enterprise, NetApp, Cisco, Scale, and Nutanix, have introduced HCI solutions.


In the wake of HPE's recent acquisition of two storage infrastructure companies, Datrium today announces its call out to all Nimble Storage and Simplivity channel partners to consider a radical new way to converge compute, flash and persistent storage. This breakthrough goes beyond hyperconvergence to simplify private clouds and provide an effortless, efficient and elastic path to a hybrid cloud. Datrium, named Gartner’s Cool Vendor in Storage in 2016, announces today it’s official call out to channel partners for infrastructure vendors Simplivity and Nimble Storage. Partners may be happy to discover there’s a new wave of convergence in the market that eliminates the rigidity of traditional converged infrastructure as well as the lock-in and scaling unpredictability of hyperconvergence (HCI). This new approach, open convergence, can provide their clients with an effortless approach to private cloud deployments while avoiding the challenges associated with a large direct channel sales force, an overly complicated partner program and an over-distributed product. Too often the resellers that built companies worthy of acquisition are not the same as those who will cash in on any subsequent rise. In a recent blog titled “12 Ways The Channel Loses when Companies Get Acquired,” Datrium discusses the downsides of acquisitions to resellers, integrators and OEMs. The blog covers: 1.    Losing a trusted vendor sales team  2.    Weakening product support  3.    Slowing or stagnating pace of innovation  4.    Increased direct channel competition  5.    Escalating turf wars and more… Furthermore, channel partners could also benefit from Datrium’s recently announced blanket encryption technology, another industry-first software product that combines always-on efficient deduplication and compression technology with high-speed, end-to-end encryption. “HPE’s acquisition of Simplivity and most recently Nimble Storage throws a wrench into growth plans for hundreds of resellers,” said Craig Nunes, Datrium VP of Marketing. “We are already getting calls from channel business owners who know how this movie ends, and are instead looking for their next growth play in private and hybrid cloud infrastructure.”


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 500.00K | Year: 2012

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will deliver a mobile payment communications infrastructure, mobile device apps for utilizing that payment infrastructure, point-of-sale solutions for merchants that utilize the payment infrastructure, and will establish the framework for a local advertising network. The mobile payment system takes advantage of the speed of contemporary mobile devices to enable secure web-based transactions. This payment system revolutionizes payment by bypassing existing legacy credit and debit card infrastructure. New security algorithms and models will be developed to enable the secure transfer of banking information. The proposed payment system empowers consumers to control privacy, security, and localization settings in their mobile payment apps. The local advertising network changes the value proposition for both merchants and consumers with respect to ads and coupons, creating an environment in which merchants ?push? ads to ?pulling? customers. The local advertisement network will fundamentally alter the way users think about localization, privacy, and data anonymity. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project includes the creation of a payment system that revolutionizes commerce. The system will dramatically reduce or eliminate payment interchange fees for merchants, will move consumers much closer to the concept of a fully digital wallet, and will create a new level of engagement between merchants and consumers that is mutually beneficial. Small, independent merchants will immediately realize many of the benefits of the payment network. These merchants typically pay between $15,000 and $200,000 annually in credit and debit card interchange fees. The proposed payment system will reduce or eliminate these fees enabling business expansion and job creation. The payment system effectively creates local commerce zones where ?buying local? is implicitly strongly encouraged through in-network, in-app local advertising, coupons, and loyalty programs. The payment system includes seamless peer-to-peer digital funds transfers. The ultimate goal is a payment system to make all commerce - all transfers of funds - frictionless, fast, simple, and easy. The mobile commerce market is expected to grow from over $200B this year to over $600B by 2015. The technology developed herein will be a vital driver of that growth.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2011

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will determine the feasibility of using secure text messages (short messaging service, SMS) for mobile commerce. Mobile commerce - payment and messaging done via a mobile device such as a smartphone - is technically challenging because of the competing requirements of security, ease of use, and cost to implement. For mass market adoption, transaction speed plays an additional, important role. While mobile devices have tremendous computational power, the challenge is to provide adequate security at sufficient speed in an application that is convenient and usable. Costs, such as application costs, infrastructure costs, and payment clearing system costs are also important for adoption. There are three aspects of SMS-based mobile commerce technology that Hermes Commerce, Inc. will assess in this Phase I research project. First, Hermes will assess the security-speed-usability trade-offs of a secure SMS application. Second, system infrastructure will be evaluated for technical, deployment, and cost considerations. Last, Hermes will evaluate security-speed benefits that might be realized through the transaction clearing system. If successful, this project will have a broad impact by enabling mobile commerce. Competing mobile commerce technologies include: Smartcards, Near Field Communication-enabled cell phones, and Radio Frequency ID-enabled payment cards. All of these face the challenge of getting customers or equipment manufacturers to implement hardware retroactively in existing devices or design and sell new devices. The company?s secure SMS solution requires very little change by the end user ? only an application downloaded to the mobile device. The simplicity of the approach has the potential to drive wide-spread adoption.


TAMPA, FL / ACCESSWIRE / February 20, 2017 / HCI Group, Inc. (NYSE: HCI) will host a conference call and live webcast to discuss the results of the fourth quarter 2016, to be held Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 4:45 PM Eastern Time. To participate, connect approximately 5 to 10 minutes before the beginning of the event. The replay will be available beginning approximately 2 hours after the completion of the live event, ending at midnight Eastern on March 21, 2017. HCI Group, Inc. owns subsidiaries engaged in diverse, yet complementary business activities, including homeowners' insurance, reinsurance, real estate, and information technology. The company's largest subsidiary, Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Company, Inc., is a leading provider of property and casualty insurance in the state of Florida. The company's common shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "HCI" and are included in the Russell 2000 and S&P SmallCap 600 Index. Its 8% Senior Notes trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "HCJ." For more information about HCI Group, visit www.hcigroup.com. TAMPA, FL / ACCESSWIRE / February 20, 2017 / HCI Group, Inc. (NYSE: HCI) will host a conference call and live webcast to discuss the results of the fourth quarter 2016, to be held Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 4:45 PM Eastern Time. To participate, connect approximately 5 to 10 minutes before the beginning of the event. The replay will be available beginning approximately 2 hours after the completion of the live event, ending at midnight Eastern on March 21, 2017. HCI Group, Inc. owns subsidiaries engaged in diverse, yet complementary business activities, including homeowners' insurance, reinsurance, real estate, and information technology. The company's largest subsidiary, Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Company, Inc., is a leading provider of property and casualty insurance in the state of Florida. The company's common shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "HCI" and are included in the Russell 2000 and S&P SmallCap 600 Index. Its 8% Senior Notes trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "HCJ." For more information about HCI Group, visit www.hcigroup.com.


News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 16, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HCI Group, Inc. (NYSE:HCI), a holding company primarily engaged in homeowners’ insurance, with additional operations in reinsurance, real estate and information technology, plans to participate at the Association of Insurance and Financial Analysts (AIFA) Conference to be held March 5 – 7, 2017 at the Boca Raton Resort and Club in Florida. HCI Group Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Paresh Patel is scheduled to hold one-on-one meetings throughout the day to discuss the company’s recent operational developments and financial performance. The conference is designed to provide a forum to address the issues, challenges, and opportunities facing the property and casualty insurance, life insurance, reinsurance, and insurance brokerage industries. Over 250 investors and analysts and 100 industry participants are expected to attend the event which will feature over 50 companies and 15 industry panels. To learn more about the conference or to schedule a one-on-one meeting, please contact your AIFA representative or visit www.aifa-insurance.com. About HCI Group, Inc. HCI Group, Inc. owns subsidiaries engaged in diverse, yet complementary business activities, including homeowners insurance, reinsurance, real estate and information technology. The company's largest subsidiary, Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Company, Inc., is a leading provider of property and casualty insurance in the state of Florida. The company's common shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "HCI" and are included in the Russell 2000 and S&P SmallCap 600 Index. Its 8% Senior Notes trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "HCJ." For more information about HCI Group, visit www.hcigroup.com.


TAMPA, FL / ACCESSWIRE / February 20, 2017 / HCI Group, Inc. (NYSE: HCI) will host a conference call and live webcast to discuss the results of the fourth quarter 2016, to be held Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 4:45 PM Eastern Time. To participate, connect approximately 5 to 10 minutes before the beginning of the event. The replay will be available beginning approximately 2 hours after the completion of the live event, ending at midnight Eastern on March 21, 2017. HCI Group, Inc. owns subsidiaries engaged in diverse, yet complementary business activities, including homeowners' insurance, reinsurance, real estate, and information technology. The company's largest subsidiary, Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Company, Inc., is a leading provider of property and casualty insurance in the state of Florida. The company's common shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "HCI" and are included in the Russell 2000 and S&P SmallCap 600 Index. Its 8% Senior Notes trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "HCJ." For more information about HCI Group, visit www.hcigroup.com.


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

TAMPA, Fla., Feb. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HCI Group, Inc. (NYSE:HCI), a holding company primarily engaged in homeowners insurance, with additional operations in reinsurance, real estate and information technology, reported results for the three and twelve months ended December 31, 2016. Fourth Quarter 2016 - Financial Results Net income totaled $4.6 million or 47 cents diluted earnings per share compared with $11.1 million or $1.05 diluted earnings per share in the fourth quarter of 2015. Gross premiums earned totaled $92.4 million compared with $101.9 million in the same period in 2015. The decrease was attributable to expected policy attrition as well as a previously announced rate decrease that went into effect January 1, 2016. Premiums ceded decreased to $29.1 million or 31.4% of gross premiums earned from $40.3 million or 39.6% of gross premiums earned in the fourth quarter of 2015. The decrease was attributable to the lower cost of the 2016/17 reinsurance program which began June 1, 2016, as compared with the 2015/16 program, which began June 1, 2015. Net premiums earned (defined as gross premiums earned less premiums ceded to reinsurance companies) were $63.4 million compared with $61.6 million in the same period in 2015. Investment related income increased to $4.8 million compared with $1.2 million in the same period in 2015. The increase in 2016 was primarily due to $1.2 million of income from limited partnership investments in 2016 versus losses of $0.4 million in 2015 as well as net realized gains from investment sales of $1.7 million in 2016 as compared with $45,000 of net realized investment losses for the quarter ended December 31, 2015.  Additionally, the company recognized net non-cash charges of $1 million in the fourth quarter of 2016 and $0.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 due to declines in the fair value of securities determined to be other than temporary. A remeasurement gain of $4 million resulted from the company’s real estate division, Greenleaf Capital, acquiring full ownership of a shopping center property in which it had previously held a 90% non-controlling interest. Subsequent to the acquisition, the company incurred an impairment loss of approximately $0.4 million due to the unexpected closure of one tenant’s business. Losses and loss adjustment expenses were $45.4 million compared with $21.4 million in the same period in 2015.  The increase was due primarily to the impact of Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew, the latter accounting for approximately $21 million in losses and loss adjustment expenses. In addition, we continued to strengthen reserves in response to trends involving assignment of insurance benefits and related litigation. Policy acquisition and other underwriting expenses were $10.1 million compared with $11.1 million in the comparable period in 2015. Salaries and wages were $2 million compared with $5 million in the same period in 2015. The reduction was primarily attributable to a decrease in discretionary incentive pay in 2016. The level of discretionary incentive pay in 2016 was influenced in large part by the company’s financial results for the year, which were negatively impacted by Hurricane Matthew in the fourth quarter. During the fourth quarter of 2016 the company repurchased 68,852 common shares through a share repurchase plan approved by the Board of Directors in December 2015. The shares were repurchased at an average price, inclusive of fees and commissions, of $29.09 per share. Fourth Quarter 2016 - Financial Ratios The loss ratio (defined as losses and loss adjustment expenses related to net premiums earned) was 71.7% compared with 34.8% in 2015. The increase is primarily due to losses from Hurricane Matthew and reserve strengthening. The expense ratio (defined as underwriting expenses, salaries and wages and other operating expenses, impairment losses, and interest expense related to net premiums earned) was 33.2% compared with 39.5% in the same prior year period. The decrease during the quarter was primarily due to the decrease in compensation expense described above. Expressed as a total of all expense, including losses and loss adjustment expenses, related to net premiums earned, the combined loss and expense ratio was 104.9% compared with 74.3% in the same prior year period. The combined ratio was negatively impacted by losses and loss adjustment expenses related primarily to Hurricane Matthew. Due to the impact reinsurance costs have on net premiums earned from period to period, the company believes the combined ratio measured to gross premiums earned is more relevant in assessing overall performance. The combined ratio to gross premiums earned was 71.9% compared with 44.9% for the fourth quarter of 2015. The increase during the quarter was primarily due to losses and loss adjustment expenses related to Hurricane Matthew. Full Year 2016 - Financial Results Net income totaled $29 million or $2.92 diluted earnings per common share compared with $65.9 million or $5.90 diluted earnings per common share for 2015. Gross premiums earned totaled $378.7 million compared with $423.1 million in 2015. The decrease was primarily attributable to expected policy attrition as well as a rate decrease effective on new and renewal policies beginning in January 2016. Premiums ceded were $135.1 million or 35.7% of gross premiums earned compared with $140.6 million or 33.2% of gross premiums earned during 2015. The decrease was primarily attributable to the lower costs of the 2016/17 reinsurance program which began June 1, 2016, as compared with the costs of the 2015/16 program, which began June 1, 2015. Net premiums earned decreased to $243.6 million from $282.5 million in 2015. Investment related income increased to $11.7 million compared with $3.4 million in 2015. The increase in 2016 was primarily due to $1.2 million of income from limited partnership investments in 2016 versus losses of $3.2 million in 2015 as well as net realized gains from investment sales of $2.6 million in 2016 as compared with $0.6 million of net realized investment losses for the year ended December 31, 2015.  Additionally, the company recognized net non-cash charges of $2.5 million in 2016 and $4.7 million in 2015 due to declines in the fair value of securities determined to be other than temporary. Losses and loss adjustment expenses for 2016 and 2015 were $124.7 million and $87.2 million, respectively. The increase was due to the impact of weather-related events and continued reserve strengthening in response to trends involving assignment of insurance benefits and related litigation. Policy acquisition and other underwriting expenses were $42.6 million compared with $42 million for 2015. Salaries and wages were $19 million compared with $20.1 million in 2015. The reduction was primarily attributable to a decrease in incentive pay as described above offset by an increase in headcount at the Tampa headquarters location. Full Year 2016 - Financial Ratios The loss ratio was 51.2% compared with 30.9% in 2015. The increase is primarily due to losses and loss adjustment expenses in 2016 from Hurricane Matthew and other weather-related events, and reserve strengthening throughout 2016. The expense ratio was 38.1% compared with 32.8% in 2015. The increase was primarily attributable to the reduction in net premiums earned during 2016. Expressed as a total of all expenses, including losses and loss adjustment expense, related to net premiums earned, the combined loss and expense ratio to net premiums earned was 89.3% compared with 63.6% in 2015. The combined ratio was negatively impacted by increased losses and loss adjustment expenses and the reduction in net premiums earned during 2016. The combined ratio to gross premiums earned was 57.5% compared with 42.5% in 2015. The increase in 2016 was due to the factors described above. Management Commentary “Despite approximately $21 million of losses and expenses related to Hurricane Matthew, we produced profitable results for the fourth quarter of 2016 – our 37th consecutive profitable quarter,” said Paresh Patel, the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. “A multitude of factors contributed to our fourth quarter profit, including continued strong operating performance by our core insurance business, lower reinsurance costs, one real estate related gain and improved investment income, all of which resulted from our long-term strategic plans to manage our risks, manage our costs and expenses, diversify our business operations, develop and deploy new technologies, maintain a strong balance sheet and pursue accretive growth opportunities as they arise.  We continue to focus on the bottom line rather than the top line. Conference Call HCI Group will hold a conference call later today (February 21, 2017) to discuss these financial results. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Paresh Patel and Chief Financial Officer Richard Allen will host the call starting at 4:45 p.m. Eastern time. A question and answer session will follow management's presentation. Interested parties can listen to the live presentation by dialing the listen-only number below or by clicking the webcast link available on the Investor Information section of the company's website at www.hcigroup.com. Please call the conference telephone number 10 minutes before the start time. An operator will register your name and organization. If you have any difficulty connecting with the conference call, please contact Liolios Group at (949) 574-3860. A replay of the call will be available by telephone after 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on the same day as the call and via the Investor Information section of the HCI Group website at www.hcigroup.com through March 21, 2017. About HCI Group, Inc. HCI Group, Inc. owns subsidiaries engaged in diverse, yet complementary business activities, including homeowners' insurance, reinsurance, real estate, and information technology services. The company's largest subsidiary, Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty Insurance Company, Inc., is a leading provider of property and casualty insurance in the state of Florida. The company's common shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "HCI" and are included in the S&P SmallCap 600 Index. Its 8% Senior Notes trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "HCJ." For more information about HCI Group, visit www.hcigroup.com. Forward-Looking Statements This news release may contain forward-looking statements made pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "anticipate," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "plan," "confident," "prospects" and "project" and other similar words and expressions are intended to signify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future results and conditions but rather are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Some of these risks and uncertainties are identified in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Should any risks or uncertainties develop into actual events, these developments could have material adverse effects on the company's business, financial condition and results of operations. HCI Group, Inc. disclaims all obligations to update any forward-looking statements.

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