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.

French social protection group Apicil in August 2018 acquired Luxembourg-based individual life insurance carrier OneLife from its owner, U.S. private equity firm J.C Flowers. Apicil has a €2.4 billion turnover and specializes in health and life insurance, pensions, as well as savings and financial services. As a paritarian institution, Apicil is akin to a mutual that is co-managed by trade unions and employers’ representative bodies. Headquartered in Lyon, France,

Brokerage group Ascoma’s employee benefits unit, Ascoma EB, in August 2018 joined global employee benefits broker network IBN (International Benefits Network) as a member for Morocco, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Cameroon, Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, and Congo DRC. Based in Monaco, Ascoma Group has 34 locations in 24 countries, including 22 in Africa, and more than 700 employees (600 in Africa). Ascoma was the first independent broker network in

CNA Hardy, a commercial insurer operating within the Lloyd’s market, in August 2018 was granted its insurance license by the Luxembourg regulator, Commissariat aux Assurances (CAA). It is to write business across continental Europe from Luxembourg through a network of offices in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, but also through its Lloyd’s of London platform. The company had announced in June of 2017 that it would set

CFO Jörg Schneider to hand over to Christoph Jurecka at the end of 2018 Munich Re CFO Jörg Schneider in December 2018 will retire from Munich Re after more than 18 years on the Board. His successor Christoph Jurecka is 43 years old and comes from ERGO Group AG, Munich Re’s primary insurance subsidiary, where he served as CFO. Christoph Jurecka studied technical physics at the Technical University (TU)

Gallagher in July 2018 acquired employee benefits, group retirement, and individual insurance broker and consultant Belton Boisselle in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada). Belton Boisselle has clients across Western Canada, primarily in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The broker provides group benefit and retirement plans, individual life and living benefits, as well as investment strategies. Belton Boisselle president Roger Belton, president of group benefits and pensions Kasey Boisselle, and their associates will stay

Economic growth is picking up and unemployment has reached record lows in some OECD countries but wages continue to stagnate. Unless countries can break this cycle, public belief in the recovery will be undermined and labor market inequality will widen, according to a new report, published in July 2018 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The OECD Employment Outlook 2018 states that the employment rate for

E.U. regulator EIOPA (the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority) in July 2018 announced the new composition of the Insurance and Reinsurance Stakeholder Group (IRSG) and the Occupational Pensions Stakeholder Group (OPSG). The two stakeholder groups are renewed every 30 months. The new rosters show a more balanced approach in regard to gender and national diversity as well to a diversity for different types of stakeholders. In total, 16

Broker APRIL UK in July 2018 announced that it is closing its private medical insurance (PMI) plans to new business and will be withdrawing from the UK PMI market. The announcement has been made following the decision by its insurance partner to stop bearing risks of its private medical insurance portfolio. As far as we know, the insurance partner in question is Malta-based Axeria Insurance, another member of the

British insurtech firm Bought By Many in July 2018 raised £15 million (approximately USD 20 million) when insurance broker Marsh announced it was investing in the peer-to-peer insurtech startup firm. Bought by Many’s concept is bringing together groups of insurance buyers via its online platform and getting better terms and/or perks from insurance carriers for these blocks of clients. To date, the website offers standardized coverage for individuals, sole

Employee retention and recruiting are hot topics in Germany today. But exactly which long-term benefits should be offered by employers to attract new employees in times of acute shortages of skilled workers? The August 7, 2018, “Zurich Employee Benefits Dialog” seminar will focus on these issues. Topics include the Income Protection Gap Study together with Oxford University, Brexit and the impact on HR, current trends in occupational pension provision

Risk Strategies, a privately held U.S. brokerage and risk management firm, in July 2018 acquired Oxford Risk Management Group, a Sparks, Maryland-based provider of alternative risk and captive insurance and consulting. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Established in 2010, Oxford Risk Management Group specializes in conducting captive feasibility analysis, coordination and management of turn-key captive insurance company arrangements, both domestically and internationally. The company is led by

E.U. regulator European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) in July 2018 announced the new composition of its stakeholder groups and in particular, the Occupational Pensions Stakeholder Group (OPSG). The OPSG now includes as many as three representatives from the European Association of Paritarian Institutions (AEIP) and from AEIP’s member organizations: AEIP Secretary General Bruno Gabellieri; Philip Neyt, Chairman of PensioPlus – Belgian Association of Pension Institutions; and Sibylle

Chubb Europe announced in July 2018 that it has chosen the Societas Europaea (SE) legal entity form for its future Continental European operations. Societas Europaea is Latin for “European company.” Brexit prompted Chubb to move its European businesses from London to France in September 2017. The firm chose to become an SE legal entity rather than a “société anonyme”, or joint stock company, with its headquarters in France. This gives

Generali in July 2018 sold Generali Worldwide Insurance Company and Generali Link to Life Company Consolidation Group (LCCG). LCCG is based in London and owns Utmost Wealth Solutions and Reliance Life. Utmost, a provider of international savings, protection and investment solutions into the UK, Continental Europe and Asia, operates from Ireland and the Isle of Man. It manages over £22bn of assets. Reliance Life is a London-based run-off manager

Assicurazioni Generali in July 2018 sold an 89.9% stake in Generali Leben life insurance to a partnership which includes Viridium Gruppe and Hannover Re.  Viridium is owned by London-based private equity firm Cinven (80%) and global German reinsurer Hannover Re (20%). Generali Leben is valued at up to € 1 billion, including €125 million as earn-out in case of changes in the rules regulating the allocation to ZZR1 technical

Fueled by large life deals, the U.K. insurance sector saw more mergers and acquisitions activity in the first half of 2018 than in either the full year of 2017 and 2016, according to consultant Ernst & Young (EY). U.S. Tax Reform One of Many Drivers Telecommunications, automotive and healthcare top the list of sectors for deals with the highest value, with strong levels of UK/U.S. M&A expected to continue,

Allianz Global Benefits, Allianz’s global employee benefits network, in July 2018 announced a new network partner in Canada, SSQ Insurance. SSQ Insurance’s Canadian prospects and existing clients will have access to a worldwide benefits network offering optimization tools, including Multinational Pooling, Captive Fronting and Global Underwriting. Based in Quebec, SSQ Insurance, a mutual insurance carrier, offers health and dental care, EAP, disability and life insurance. Key figures : gross

AIA Group in July 2018 completed the acquisition of Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s life insurance businesses in Australia and New Zealand. According to AIA Group regional chief executive Bill Lisle, the acquisition will significantly transform and expand the company’s presence in New Zealand. The combined business, according to Lisle, will transform AIA’s scale and reach to become the market leader in New Zealand’s life insurance market. In September 2017,

Manulife Hong Kong in July 2018 announced the promotions of Raymond Ng to Vice President and Head of Employee Benefits of Manulife (International), and Ellen Leung to Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Provident Funds Trust Company.. Raymond Ng heads the strategic development and operation of both the pensions (MPF and ORSO) and group benefits (Life & Health) business of Manulife Hong Kong. He is responsible for

Global broker Gallagher in July 2018 announced the acquisitions of three firms: Chicago-based Reassurance Holdings, including its subsidiaries Coverdell and Carefree Marketing. Founded in 1963, Coverdell is a licensed insurance broker, discount medical plan organization and third-party administrator, providing direct marketing of insurance and membership programs to many of the largest financial services institutions in the U.S. and Canada. Vince Di Benedetto and his associates will continue to work

Next Insurance in July 2018 raised $83 million in new financing, money it said will fuel its continued U.S. expansion as a full-service digital insurance carrier focused on the small business market. A California-based startup, Next Insurance debuted in 2016 as a digital insurance agency for small to midsize businesses. The new financing will allow Next to add more lines of insurance. The firm changed its agency status in

The OECD in July 2018 released its Annual Survey of Investment Regulations of Pension Funds 2018, which describes the main quantitative investment regulations that pension funds are subject to in OECD and a selection of IOPS member countries. It covers all types of pension plans, and concerns all forms of quantitative portfolio restrictions applied to pension funds at different legal levels. The 356-page survey’s findings conclude, in part, that:

Preliminary data, released in July 2018 by the OECD, shows an increase in life and/or non-life gross premiums of domestic insurance companies for 2017, with 40 out of 43 countries reporting. Gross premiums of domestic insurance companies rose in real terms in 15 countries in both the life and non-life sectors, and in 10 other countries in the life sector only, while another 15 reported rises in the non-life

AXA in July 2018 announced its business insurance operations would trade under the new AXA XL brand once the acquisition of XL Group is completed. The master brand AXA remains untouched. AXA XL will combine existing P&C commercial lines and specialty risks into a new entity. It will include four main business units: XL Insurance, XL Reinsurance, XL Art & Lifestyle, and XL Risk Consulting. The new entity will

Digital insurance company ONE in July 2018 entered into a new joint venture with Swiss geolocation experts Axon Vibe, and Munich Re. The joint venture, called “ONE Coach,” is poised to use encryption technology, a novel approach, within the insurance domain. ONE is based in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, and operates in the German market. After launching in February 2018, ONE has become the fastest-growing digital insurance company in Europe. Using