Drawing on its traditional strength in the sector, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A) (NYSE:BRK-B) has launched a specialty insurance group. The unit, which is headquartered in Boston, offers a menu of insurance products, including property, casualty, and executive liability.

Specialty insurance, true to its name, is aimed at a specific corner of the domestic market, namely excess and surplus lines products. In the press release announcing the commencement of the unit's operations, Berkshire Hathaway waxed enthusiastic about the "growing importance of this market segment in providing tailored solutions to customers."

Berkshire Hathaway's fortunes turned around in the late 1960s when the company's guiding light, Warren Buffett, started to buy insurance providers. This provided much of the capital the firm needed to make its many acquisitions over the decades, and helped it grow to its current size and prominence.