Author Archive

Eric Muller-Borle

Eric Muller-Borle

Global Benefits Vision founder and expert in global compensation & employee benefits, global mobility and insurance at large. A former industry executive and management consultant, Eric leads a team dedicated to provide accurate, high value business information to today's practitioners.

U.S. reinsurer TransRe in September 2018 announced plans to redomicile its continental European legal entity TransRe Zurich to Luxembourg and change its name. The continental European offices in Munich, Paris and Zurich, as well as Dubai, will become branch offices of Luxembourg. Commenting on the move, Paul Bonny, President TransRe Europe and Asia Pacific, said: “we are now simplifying our corporate structure [for] our European, Middle Eastern and North

Gallagher in September 2018 acquired Wheatman Insurance Services from Woodland Hills, California, a retail property/casualty broker that also offers employee benefits consulting services. Since January 1, 2018, Gallagher has closed 26 acquisitions for an total amount of approximately $240 million.

Jacqueline Carter and Rasmus Hougaard, authors of new book, “The Mind of the Leader”, published by Harvard Business Press in March 2018, will be on hand and present their key messages at the launch event supported by Generali Employee Benefits – GEB. According to the authors’ research, organizations and leaders are not meeting employees’ basic human needs of finding meaning, purpose, connection, and genuine happiness in their work. Furthermore,

Gallagher in September 2018 acquired Australian brokers Super-Advice Corporate Services and Personal Advice Services, based in Perth, Western Australia and Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Super-Advice is an employee benefit consultants and corporate advisory group, expanding Gallagher’s superannuation (employer-funded occupational pension programs) and employee benefit consulting service capabilities across Australia. Robert O’Shea, Dean Lawson and their associates will continue to work from their current locations in Perth and Sydney

Generali Global Assistance (GGA) in September 2018 appointed Philippe Gervais as President of GGA’s Travel Insurance company. Gervais, located at the Travel Insurance headquarters in San Diego, California, reports to Chris Carnicelli, CEO of GGA North America, who oversees the travel insurance and assistance, identity theft protection, and medical risk management business lines. Prior to joining GGA, he was CEO of Europ Assistance Belgium. Generali operates its assistance businesses

U.S. insurance carrier Travelers in August 2018 acquired a reported 60% stake in Canadian insurtech broker Zensurance. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Zensurance offers online commercial lines broker services and will continue to work independently. Founded in 2016, Zensurance creates segmented insurance packages for each industry. It says it has more than 2,500 clients in Canada and works with over 40 insurers. Zensurance CEO Danish Yusuf and CTO Sultan Mehrabi keep

Global broking network Brokerslink in August 2018 announced it was considering a private share placement for third-party investors. The purpose of the expected capital increase is to support growth. Operating from Portugal and incorporated in Zug, Switzerland, Brokerslink features cross-shareholdings between the network and its partners, to create “a unity of purpose and vision”. Since an October 2016 private stock offering, Brokerslink has 55 independent shareholders in 40 countries;

U.S. insurance carrier Allstate in August 2018 acquired identity theft services company InfoArmor for $525 million. Allstate’s stated intent is to grow its employee benefits business. According to Tom Wilson, Chairman, President and CEO of Allstate, in 2017 “there were over 16 million victims of identity fraud [in the U.S.], which resulted in over $16 billion of losses.” InfoArmor is a private company with headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona. Its

Allianz Partners in August 2018 announced the establishment of three new innovation centers focusing on travel, health and assistance. The automotive innovation center was launched in 2014. Allianz Partners is Allianz’s B2B2C provider of assistance, international health & life, automotive, and travel insurance products. They combine insurance, service and technology. They are distributed through partners or via direct and digital channels under four commercial brands: Allianz Assistance, Allianz Care,

T&D Holdings, a Japanese listed life insurance holding company, and Swiss digital health platform company dacadoo in July 2018 announced that they will cooperate in the development of digital life insurance products for Japan. Dacadoo develops and operates a digital Health Engagement Platform to motivate users to achieve and maintain healthy lifestyle habits. Additionally, dacadoo offers a risk engine for underwriting. T&D Holdings owns three life insurers: Taiyo Life

Global brokerage Gallagher in August 2018 acquired Leystone Insurance & Financial, based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Leystone offers employee benefits and retirement consulting services, focusing on the province of Ontario. David McCulloch, Darryl Phippen and their team will continue to work from their current location. They now report to Leslie Lemenager, head of Gallagher’s international employee benefits consulting and brokerage operations. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Aon is offering 10 tips to help organizations maximize the use of occupational health (OH) programmes. Generally, employers use occupational health to be responsible and compliant, while also reducing costs. Aon’s 2018 Benefits and Trends survey released in August 2018 found that 96% of employers agree that they have a responsibility to influence employee health, although only 65% access occupational health services. The authors explain that a common theme

Gallagher has released its 2018 Human Capital Insights Report, Identify the Trends, a 40-page document that looks at the changing landscape of human capital Framework for the Future initiative, which addresses the challenges to employers in a rapidly-changing workplace. The report identifies four areas impacting the change in workplace environments: The transformation of the global business marketplace may mean a more affordable cost structure for talent management The shifting

Swiss Re in August 2018 appointed Russell Higginbotham as CEO Reinsurance EMEA and Regional President EMEA; he joins the Group Executive Committee. He succeeds Jean-Jacques Henchoz, who leaves for Hannover Re. Russell Higginbotham most recently led Swiss Re’s global Life & Health (L&H) Products Division. Previously, he was CEO of Swiss Re UK & Ireland, CEO of Swiss Re Australia and New Zealand and led the company’s L&H businesses

Hannover Re in August 2018 announced Jean-Jacques Henchoz would become its CEO in May 2019 upon Ulrich Wallin’s retirement. Henchoz leads Swiss Re’s reinsurance division in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), having responsibility both for life and for non-life. Previously, he was Managing Director, Client Markets; led Swiss Re Canada as President & CEO; and held positions as Head of Strategic Planning for P&C; Underwriting Manager, Financial Reinsurance;

The UK’s Home Office in August 2018 unveiled a package of briefing packs, posters and leaflets, the “EU Settlement Scheme: employer toolkit” to help staff from the EU to register for a new immigration status that will be legally required after Brexit. An estimated 3.5 million to 3.8 million EU citizens live and work in the UK. Among the employers and groups present at the launch were the British

German HR consulting firm Lurse in August 2018 announced the acquisition of the business interest of one of the partners of pension software provider Deutsche Pensions Group (DPG) who is retiring, while majority shareholders Ulrich Mix and Dr. Otmar Stüpp stay with the company. DPG will continue to be managed independently and be headed by Mr. Mix. A member of the Worldwide Broker Network (WBN), Lurse is an HR

The European Commission in August 2018 announced the names of the ten members of its recently established “High Level Group on [supplementary] pensions”. The mission of the group is “to provide policy advice to the Commission on matters related to ways of improving the provision, safety through prudential rules, inter-generational balance, adequacy and sustainability of supplementary (occupational and personal) pensions in light of the challenges in the Union and

Marsh & McLennan (MMC)’s health, wealth and career consulting arm Mercer in August 2018 acquired the investment consulting, alternatives consulting and wealth management operations of Pavilion Financial. Pavilion is a global investment services firm with about 300 employees, headquartered in Winnipeg, Canada. It has offices across North America, in London, U.K., and in Singapore. In the U.S., Pavilion focuses on the defined contribution (D.C.), endowment and foundation, healthcare and

Current Swiss Life Group Chief Risk Officer Matthias Aellig in March 2019 will take over as Group CFO. He then will also become a member of Swiss Life’s Corporate Executive Board, succeeding current CFO Thomas Buess who is taking on non-executive duties. Matthias Aellig studied physics at the University of Bern, Switzerland. After receiving his doctorate in the field of solar wind and completing a research visit at the

Employers with operations in the U.S. should not underestimate current difficulties in hiring workers. Gad Levanon, chief economist for North America at The Conference Board, in August 2018 commented on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Report. “The [U.S.] labor market is tightening with the unemployment rate declining by 0.1 percentage points and the broader U-6 measure dropping by 0.3 percentage points.” The U.S. unemployment rate fell

Issiah Sakhabuth in August 2018 joined Mercer as a Principal in the Multinational Client Group based in London. Issiah worked previously for Aon as a Principal Consultant in the International Retirement Practice and for KPMG as a Senior Manager in the Tax & Pensions Practice, after beginning her career as an actuarial trainee for Lloyds Banking Group. She has extensive experience in advising companies on their international retirement and

AIG in August 2018 announced the appointment of Thomas Lillelund as CEO of AIG Europe, based in Luxembourg and reporting to Chris Townsend, CEO, International General Insurance. He will be responsible for Continental Europe and Ireland. Anthony Baldwin, now CEO of AIG Europe Limited, will become CEO of AIG’s new UK entity, American International Group UK Limited, and will continue to report to Townsend. Headquartered in Luxembourg, AIG Europe

Conduent, itself a 2017 Xerox spinoff, in May 2018 announced and in August 2018 completed the spin-off of its consulting business formerly known as Buck Consultants. Private equity investment firm H.I.G. Capital acquired Conduent’s human resources consulting and outsourcing businesses in the U.K. and in Canada as well as its U.S. human resources consulting and actuarial business, forming again what once was actuarial firm Buck Consultants. The new-old firm

Zurich Canada in August 2018 appointed John Thain as Vice President, Travel, Accident & Sickness. He is based in Toronto and reports to Greg Irvine, head of Specialty Products for Canada. He will be responsible for launching personal leisure travel, business travel accident and supporting accident and sickness products in Canada. Zurich Canada expects to begin selling personal travel products by the start of 2019. According to Zurich, the

Zurich Insurance in August 2018 appointed Saad Mered as chief executive officer and chief agent of Zurich Canada, based in Toronto, Ontario. He will report to Zurich North America CEO Kathleen Savio. Zurich North America focuses on workers’ compensation, liability, property, specialty and F&I (finance and insurance); as well as life insurance and disability (in the United States only). It employs approximately 9,000 people out of the Zurich group

Aegon in August 2018 sold the last block of its life reinsurance business to French reinsurer Scor Global Life. Aegon’s U.S. subsidiary Transamerica will reinsure an additional USD 700 million of liabilities through Scor Global Life. In December 2017, Aegon had agreed to divest USD 750 million of life reinsurance liabilities to Scor. It also dissolved a related captive insurance company. Technically, Aegon’s Transamerica life subsidiaries reinsured about half