Based on the aggregated intelligence of 180,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, specialty insurer Markel (NYSE:MKL) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at Markel and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

Markel facts

Headquarters (founded)

Glen Allen, Va. (1930)

Market Cap

$4.8 billion


Property and casualty insurance

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$3.0 billion


Chairman/CEO Alan Kirshner
President/CIO Thomas Gayner

Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)



CNA Financial 
Meadowbrook Insurance Group
Travelers Companies

Sources: S&P Capital IQ and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 98% of the 2,824 members who have rated Markel believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward.

Just last week, one of those Fools, TempoAllegro, succinctly summed up the bull case for our community:

Markel is a powerhouse because as a specialty insurer, they both know how to underwrite and how to invest their float. Tom Gayner is doing a great job investing mostly in equities, and buying Markel today is essentially like buying a concentrated hedge fund run by Mr. Gayner, which is why Markel is often compared to Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B). ...

It would seem to me that Mr. Gayner is both learning from his picks, meaning he is associating himself with the right potential mentors by going all in on those stocks, or buying companies with pristine balance sheets or irreplaceable assets or management teams. The sum total is that Markel, itself, becomes irreplaceable.

Want to see how well (or not so well) the stocks in this series are performing? Follow the TrackPoisedTo CAPS account.