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M&A, Reorganizations and other Corporate News

In a  major restructuring effort, financially challenged Zurich Group in December 2015 said it will eliminate or move as many as 1,800 jobs, and announced the resignation of CEO Martin Senn. Tom de Swaan, the Chairman of the Board of Directors since 2013, has been appointed CEO ad interim. Zurich cited the August explosions at the port in Tianjin, China, and a poorly performing U.S. auto book of business

Human-resources startup Zenefits may be falling short of its revenue targets and has apparently started to curb expenses, as it struggles to meet investor expectations. Zenefits had announced a target of USD 100m in annualized revenues to be reached by January 2016 but may fall short as August 2015 actuals are understood to be slightly under USD 45m, still a large increase compared to USD 20m in January 2015.

According to traditional financial theory, a firm’s value is a function of its existing net worth and of its future profits. The way in which stock markets value large, traditional, listed brokers appears to be consistent with this. The table below includes some of the largest brokerages / consulting firms in the world and was compiled on November 23, 2015. As of late November 2015, the five firms exhibit

Signaling an increased commitment to the global employee benefits industry, global insurance powerhouses MetLife and AXA in late October 2015 announced they will combine their existing MAXIS Global Benefits Network (MAXIS GBN) operations in a new co-owned joint venture company based in London. Mauro Dugulin, formerly CEO of Generali Employee Benefits Network (GEB), will serve as CEO. MAXIS has been headquartered in Paris and New York since its inception

From the October 2015 Baden-Baden Reinsurance Meeting. The consolidation of the reinsurance industry that is being observed in 2015 apparently is driven by capacity overload, successive years of rate declines and persistently falling profitability. But are mergers and acquisitions (M&As) the right answer? Of course, sheer scale matters but the upside of better mutualization hits its limits fairly quickly and unmanaged diversification is fraught with dangers. In fact, new

Shareholders of Aetna and Humana in October 2015 voted separately and approved overwhelmingly the health insurers’ proposed $37 billion merger. Aetna shareholders approved the issuance of up to 127 million common shares to Humana stockholders, who agreed to the terms of the July 2015 merger agreement with Aetna as finalized in July. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2016 after the approval of state

Health benefits startup Collective Health, a third-party administrator (TPA), in October 2015 raised USD 81 million in additional private investments for a total of 119 million since 2013 to support its plans to begin offering group health care products to self-insured employers in the U.S.A.. Principal investors in Collective Health include Google Ventures, Maverick Capital, Redpoint Ventures, RPE Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and Founders Fund. Based in California, Collective

Swan Insurance is the new IGP partner in Mauritius, providing employee benefits: health, life and retirement as well as P&C coverage. Mauritius has thriving BPO and textile sectors in addition to tourism. The partnership with Swan gives IGP the possibility to pursue fronting arrangements in several East African countries.

Most Western Europeans underestimate their personal risk of becoming unable to work, according to an August 2015 survey by Zurich covering six European countries. Respondents generally tend to overestimate accidents as a leading cause of disability. But at the same time, they are unaware that the probability of becoming work-disabled during one’s working lifetime – whether due to an accident or other causes – may be as high as

As of January 1, 2016, American International Group (AIG) will freeze defined benefit (DB) pension plans for its U.S. employees and enhance its offering of 401(k) defined contribution (DC) plans. In so doing, AIG ceases incurring additional pension liabilities and transfers risk onto the shoulders of its employees. De-risking pensions by reducing DB exposure is a common course of action since the mid-2000s, recommended by insurers and consultants alike.

Chubb do Brasil joined the AIG Global Benefits Network in July 2015. Chubb has been present in Brazil since 1845 and has been developing an Employee Benefits desk since the 1970’s. Chubb will pool Group Life and its riders in Brazil. With this addition, AIG GBN continues its expansion in Latin America.

LaLux insurance company has acquired a further 75% stake in health insurance carrier DKV Luxembourg which it nows wholly owns. LaLux will implement a full operational integration of DKV Luxembourg in the coming months. The second-largest domestic insurer in Luxembourg behind Le Foyer, LaLux is the AIG Global Benefits Network partner for Luxembourg and offers a full range of group life, health and pension benefits as well as other

As of June 2015, Candriam – BIL Pension Fund is still the Luxembourg representative at AEIP (Association Européenne des Institutions Paritaires, or European Association of Paritarian Institutions), even after its former owner, leading Luxembourg bank Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (BIL) separated from Dexia group and was acquired by Precision Capital of Qatar and Candriam was sold in February 2014 to New York Life Insurance Company, the largest U.S. mutual

In a August 5, 2015 press release, New York-based insurance brokerage Integro said it has reached an agreement to be acquired by PE firm Odyssey Investment Partners. Odyssey re-enters the insurance industry after previous investments in Montpelier Re, OneCall Medical and York Insurance Services.  

INTEGRO TO BE ACQUIRED BY ODYSSEY INVESTMENT PARTNERS Investment Strongly Endorses Specialty Growth Strategy New York, NY (August 5, 2015) – Integro Ltd., an international insurance brokerage and risk management firm, today announced that it has reached an agreement to be acquired by entities affiliated with Odyssey Investment Partners, LLC, positioning Integro for continued growth. Financial details of the investment were not disclosed. Founded in 2005, Integro has evolved

Willis announced the acquisition of PMI Health Group, an independent healthcare adviser and broker in the U.K. The deal will  raise Willis’s presence in the U.K. employee benefits and healthcare market, and  enhance its product offerings and skills base.

IGP welcomes Gothaer Lebensversicherung AG as their new Network Partner in Germany. Previously, Victoria Lebensversicherung -part of Ergo group and no longer in existence as a separate brand- was IGP’s German partner. Ergo Germany is no longer a member of a pooling network. Gothaer Germany remains a member of the new AIG network (formerly known as ING Global Network).  

Aetna will acquire Humana for cash and stock valued at $37 billion. The acquisition will push Aetna’s Medicare Advantage membership to  4.4 million and make it possible for the two companies to share knowledge and innovations in order to create better healthcare products, the company said. The deal is subject to regulatory and other approvals; it is expected to be completed in late 2015.

AIG in early May 2015 announced that it has acquired a controlling stake in Brussels-based ING Employee Benefits Global Network and renamed it AIG Global Benefits Network (AIG GBN). AIG’s American General Life Insurance Company unit joined the pooling network as the new US partner, taking the place of ING USA, recently spun-off and renamed VOYA. VOYA, in turn, exits the US global employee benefits market in order to

Willis in July announced three new members to Willis Network, bringing the total number to 119. The three new members are: Smith England Ltd (Cheshire), Bluestone Insurance Services Ltd (Gloucestershire) and Rankin Risk Solutions Ltd (Perthshire). The news follows the addition earlier in the year to the network of Allianz Business Services Ltd and Clark Thomson Insurance Brokers.

Willis combines with Towers Watson to create a new $18 billion insurance, personnel, and risk company. Willis shareholders will own 50.1% of the new Ireland-based company, Willis Towers Watson. The new $18-billion company has annual revenue of about $8.2 billion and 39,000 staff in 120 countries, and advises more than 80% of the world’s top 1,000 companies.

In another instance of the on-going consolidation of the life insurance sector in Europe and of European banks selling their insurance subsidiaries, Monceau Assurances, a French composite insurer, announced the acquisition of Vitis Life Luxembourg from KBL European Private Bankers on July 7, 2015. KBL is owned by Precision Capital, based in Qatar. Vitis Life specializes in life insurance for high net-worth individuals (HNWI) and sells mostly unit-linked products

Generali announced in June 2015 a reorganization of its corporate structure in the Central & Eastern European (CEE) region. Generali increased its ownership of Generali PPF Holding B.V. (GPH) to 100% by acquiring the remaining 24% minority share held by PPF Group, in line with the agreements signed on January 8, 2013. The holding company operating in Central-Eastern Europe changes its name to Generali CEE Holding B.V. The CEE

AXA has announced in June 2015 the creation of AXA Lab Asia in Shanghai, identical to AXA Lab in the Silicon Valley. Led by Frank Desvignes, it will act as a business-focused center of expertise on data analytics and foster Research & Development. Meanwhile, AXA Strategic Ventures will open a new office in Hong Kong, so as to be in the best position to seize the numerous investment opportunities

Since October 2014, Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC) is the IGP network partner for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It offers group health and life policies. ADNIC is a composite insurance carrier and is publicly listed.

Since November 2014, Industrial Alliance is a network partner in Canada for Allianz Global Benefits Network. Industrial Alliance has operations in Canada and in the United States and offers group health, dental, optical, disability and life covers, as well as individual products. Industrial Alliance is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

A new member of the AXA group, Mansard Insurance plc is the new Insurope network member in Nigeria. Mansard is a composite, generalist insurance carrier offering life and non-life insurance to individuals, corporations and institutions. Through subsidiaries, it also offers pensions, asset management and health maintenance solutions.