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.

Artex Risk Solutions, a provider of insurance, reinsurance, and alternative risk management solutions, in March 2019 announced that Peter Mullen has re-joined the company as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He takes over from former CEO David McManus, who will assume the new role of Chairman going forward. Mullen has been CEO at Aon Captive & Insurance Management for the last seven years, and will begin his position with Artex

HX Global, the Americas division of Healix International, in March 2019 appointed Tim Crockett as senior vice president, U.S. Business Operations. Crockett joined HX Global in 2016 as vice president of security. In that role, he was tasked with designing and providing security and risk management solutions for multinational organizations. Prior to joining HX Global, Crockett worked as senior director of global security operations for media conglomerate Turner. He

Alliant Insurance Services in March 2019 announced it had added Lee Doble as Consultant as of January 2019. He is based in Huntington Beach, California. He comes to Alliant from Crystal and Company, where he spent eighteen years as Managing Director. Prior to that, Doble was Managing Director at Frank Crystal & Co., Inc. for twelve years, and a senior account executive at Aetna for over thirty years. Doble

New GDP data published in March 2019 by the Conference Board shows that growth has slowed to 2.6 per cent in the United States for the final quarter of the year, despite growing at nearly four per cent last year. Growth is still above the U.S. economy’s long-term two-per cent trend. The U.S. can expect a further slowdown in growth due to fading effects of an anemic fiscal stimulus,

OECD in March 2019 released a new survey, “Risks that Matter”, which asked over 22,000 people aged 18 to 70 years old in 21 countries* about their worries and concerns, and their opinions on how well they think their governments help them tackle social and economic risks. The nationally-representative survey finds that many people in OECD countries believe public services and social benefits are difficult to reach and inadequate.

Munich Re-owned ERGO Group, which includes ERGO Deutschland, ERGO International, and ERGO Digital Ventures, in March 2019 sold four ERGO International subsidiaries to the Euroins Insurance Group (EIG) for an undisclosed amount. The sale involves ERGO’s life and non-life subsidiaries in Romania and the Czech Republic as well as its non-life company in Belarus. In 2017 they had a combined gross written premium of €72 million. The purchase agreement

Aon in March 2019 announced, then cancelled plans to merge with Willis Towers Watson (WTW) in what would have been the industry’s largest ever merger. The cancellation announcement was made just one day after Aon announced it was considering a takeover bid for WTW. According to a statement released on Tuesday, March 5, Aon was in the early stages of exploring an all-share tie-up with WTW, and indicated that

Randstad in March 2019 released the first quarter 2019 edition of its Workmonitor report. Workmonitor’s Mobility Index, which tracks employee confidence and captures the likelihood of an employee changing jobs within the next six months, provides a comprehensive understanding of sentiments and trends in the job market. Besides mobility, the survey addresses employee satisfaction and personal motivation as well as a rotating set of themed questions. The report for

People respond to voice warnings, not to standard fire alarms, and evacuations are speedier when timely information is communicated, according to a study released in March 2019 by Siemens Building Technologies. It has been noted many times, in multiple studies, that building occupants often ignore or are slow to respond to standard fire alarm sounders. There is even a tendency for people to continue with their activities, oblivious to

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)’s and Interim Economic Outlook published in March 2019, global growth is slowing, showing signs of decoupling, with greater concern for Europe than the US, which is experiencing a slight slowdown. The slowdown has been faster than anticipated a few months ago; growth in Europe has been particularly disappointing, as trade growth both within the EU and with external partners

Emerging markets will remain the growth engine for the global economy and the insurance industry over the next decade, according to the latest sigma report from Swiss Re Institute, published in March 2019. The study explores how the seven largest emerging markets will contribute more than 40% of global growth in the next decade, with China accounting for over a quarter of the global output. (The seven largest emerging

Robert Bauer in March 2019 joined insurance broker Marsh to lead its U.S. Sharing Economy & Mobility Practice. He is based in San Francisco and reports to Jeffrey Alpaugh, Growth & Industry leader for Marsh’s U.S. and Canada division. Bauer will focus on developing and delivering products and services to companies operating in the new economy, working with others across Marsh including Marsh’s Digital, Data & Analytics team. Bauer

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in February 2019 released a new paper, titled “Trends in life expectancy in EU and other OECD countries” that reports on trends in life expectancy in the 28 EU countries and some other high-income OECD countries, and examines potential explanations for the slowdown in improvements in recent years. The slowing of improvements, which has been measured since 2011, has been greatest

MetLife in March 2019 announced changes to its Executive Group in connection with its CEO transition. As a reminder, Michel Khalaf, now president, U.S. Business and EMEA, will become MetLife president and CEO on May 1, 2019. U.S. Business, EMEA Ramy Tadros, currently executive vice president and Chief Risk Officer, will become president, U.S. Business, reporting to Khalaf. Tadros joined MetLife from Oliver Wyman, where he was a partner,

MAXIS Global Benefits Network (MAXIS GBN) in March 2019 appointed Ricardo Almeida as its new head of distribution, reporting to MAXIS GBN CEO Mauro Dugulin. He succeeds Andy Stocker who in December 2018 became head of employee benefits at MetLife Gulf, based in Dubai. Prior to his new position, Ricardo was regional sales leader for the Americas at MAXIS GBN; VP and Latin America Employee Benefits Head at MetLife

Swiss Life in March 2019 announced that it has increased its net profit by 7% from CHF 1013 million to CHF 1080 million for the year 2018. Adjusted profit from operations increased by 4% to CHF 1553 million with a result in the savings segment of CHF 889 million. The risk segment result was CHF 410 million. Swiss Life achieved an increase of 8% over the previous year in

Allianz in February 2019 announced it had increased the size of its Insurtech venture capital fund Allianz X to €1 billion. Allianz Group’s initial investment in Allianz X was €430 million in 2016. The funds will be used to make more direct investments in digital companies that are strategically relevant for Allianz. To date, Allianz X has made more than 15 direct investments. For example, Allianz X invested $96.6

Max India in February 2019 sold its 51% stake in Max Bupa Health Insurance to private equity firm True North for USD 72 million. Max Bupa Health was co-owned by Max India, itself owned by Max Group. The Max Group is an Indian conglomerate with a presence in life insurance, health and related businesses, as well as in manufacturing. Max Group also owns Max Life Insurance through its Max

Willis Towers Watson (WTW) in February 2019 published the 2019 edition its annual “Global benefits financing matrix and poolable coverages” table. An indispensable tool of the trade for global employee benefits practitioners, it is available for download as a PDF. The matrix “provides a complete listing of the eight global benefits networks, and their affiliated insurers across 200 countries and the offshore (third-country national or expat) capabilities for each.”

Swiss Re in February 2019 reported it had realized an overall full-year net income of USD 421 million in 2018. The result includes estimated large claims of USD 3.0 billion, net of retrocession and before tax, which significantly affected both Property & Casualty Reinsurance (P&C Re) and Corporate Solutions’ segment earnings. In addition, an estimated pre-tax USD 599 million impact due to a change in US GAAP accounting guidance

Global broker Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC) in February 2019 announced the appointment of Martine Ferland as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Mercer. Ferland reports to MMC President and CEO Dan Glaser and joins the company’s Executive Committee. She joined Mercer in 2011 as Retirement Business Leader for Europe and Pacific regions.  She then served as Europe and Pacific Region President and Co-President, Global Health, before being

The European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) has issued recommendations for the insurance sector in case the United Kingdom (UK) withdraws from the European Union without a withdrawal agreement.

Great podcast with OECD Head of Social Policy, Monika Queisser, on social protection for gig workers. A great overview of the issues at hand.

Mercer Marsh Benefits (MMB), Marsh & McLennan Companies’ (MMC) international employee benefits business, in February 2019 appointed Hervé Balzano as Leader of MMB International, based in London. He reports to Flavio Piccolomini, President of Marsh’s International Division, and Martine Ferland, President and CEO-elect of Mercer. Balzano will be responsible for ensuring MMB meets increasing demand for health and employee benefits, especially in global growth markets, as well as enabling firms

A London judge in February 2019 ruled that a European Union agency, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), could not use Brexit to break its lease. The EMA is moving its 900-people headquarters to Amsterdam, The Netherlands as a direct result of Brexit. It has a 25-year lease for 10 floors in a building in London’s Eastern financial district, Canary Wharf, with 21 years to run. The European agency pays

AXA XL in February 2019 announced it would shed over 700 jobs in Europe. AXA XL has 9,500 staff worldwide. AXA’s business insurance division will end 275 positions in the UK, 222 in France, 140 in Germany, 41 in Italy, and 33 more across the rest of Europe. The move is a step in the integration of XL Catlin, AXA Corporate Solutions, and other AXA entities into AXA XL.

Fitbit in February 2019 launched a new fitness tracker, the Inspire, which is available through health and wellness providers only. From a consumer perspective, the Inspire is a fully subsidized (i.e. free) product intended to be distributed in mass quantities and is promoted “as a way to encourage the well-being of health care recipients”. The tracker monitor activity and sleep, calories burned, and prompts wearers with reminders to get