Validus Holdings, Ltd. was incorporated under the laws of Bermuda on October 19, 2005. Hereinafter, "the Company", "us" or "we" are used to describe any or all of Validus Holdings, Ltd. and its subsidiary companies. The Company conducts its operations worldwide through four operating segments which have been determined under U.S. GAAP segment reporting: Validus Re, Talbot, Western World, and AlphaCat. Validus Re is a Bermuda-based reinsurance segment focused on treaty reinsurance. Talbot is a specialty insurance segment, primarily operating within the Lloyd's insurance market through Syndicate 1183. Western World is a U.S. based specialty excess and surplus lines insurance segment operating within the U.S. commercial market. AlphaCat is a Bermuda-based investment adviser, managing capital for third parties and the Company in insurance linked securities and other investments in the property catastrophe reinsurance space.
We seek to establish ourselves as a leader in the global insurance and reinsurance markets. Our principal operating objective is to use our capital efficiently by underwriting primarily short-tail insurance and reinsurance contracts with superior risk and return characteristics. Our primary underwriting objective is to construct a portfolio of short-tail insurance and reinsurance contracts that maximizes our return on equity subject to prudent risk constraints on the amount of capital we expose to any single event. We manage our risks through a variety of means, including contract terms, portfolio selection, diversification criteria, including geographic diversification criteria, and proprietary and commercially available third-party vendor catastrophe models.
Since our formation in 2005, we have been able to achieve substantial success in the development of our business. Selected examples of our accomplishments are as follows: