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17. W.R. Berkley
W.R. Berkley
Fortune 500 rank: 490
2008 revenue: $4.7 billion
2008 total shareholder return: 4.9%

Insurance holding company W.R. Berley's net income fell sharply to $281 million from $766 million in 2007, largely from exposures to the troubled stock and debt markets. But because of its relative strength among underwriters, the insurer's stock rose in the 4th quarter, only to fall again in 2009 as the safety of its $13 billion investment portfolio in niche property and casualty markets remains uncertain.

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Last updated April 20 2009: 1:34 PM ET
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