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M&A, Reorganizations and other Corporate News

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,

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

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

U.S. virtual care provider Teladoc in June 2018 acquired Advance Medical, a virtual care provider with strong presence outside of the United States, creating a global virtual care platform. Advance Medical adds its suite of international clinical capabilities to Teladoc’s technology and scale. The new company is now equipped to meet the needs of U.S. multinational employers, for whom one-third of all employees live abroad. Advance Medical is present

Privately held broker Lockton in July 2018 announced posted record revenue of $1.57 billion in its recently completed fiscal 2018, a 9.9 percent increase above fiscal 2017. This is the 52nd consecutive year of revenue growth for Lockton. The company posted organic growth in the U.S. of $84 million, or 7.7%, with the employee benefits business leading the way with 14.1% year-over-year revenue growth. Lockton’s international operations grew 10.9

MassMutual’s international insurance holding company MassMutual International and Nippon Life, Japan’s leading life insurer, have announced the completion of the sale of 85.1 percent of MassMutual Japan, its Japanese life insurance and wealth management subsidiary, to Nippon Life. The transaction was first announced in March 2018. MassMutual International will retain 15 percent of the company and receive approximately JPY 104.2 billion (about USD 955 million) in cash. MassMutual Japan

International Benefits Network – IBN in June 2018 added Dutch broker Van Lanschot Chabot / Mandema and Partners to its network as member for Netherlands. Van Lanschot Chabot / Mandema and Partners is the largest Dutch broker in risk and benefits management. They have access to national and international insurance markets with 250 employees (including lawyers, economists, engineers, risk analysts, actuarial advisors and trainers). Mandema and Partners work with clients

American International Group (AIG) and Munich Re in June 2018 announced that AIG Life Ltd. (AIGLL), a UK subsidiary of AIG Life & Retirement, has agreed to acquire Ellipse, a specialist provider of group life risk protection in the UK, from Munich Re. Ellipse’s group protection products, which include life, critical illness and income protection, along with its technology-enabled business model with high levels of straight through processing (STP),

Ardian and Edmond de Rothschild in June 2018 announced they would transfer control of French brokerage Siaci Saint Honoré (SSH) to its management with the support of investment fund Charterhouse. Investment fund Ardian now owns 51% and Edmond de Rothschild 19% of the company. The value of the deal, which is expected to close in September 2018, has not been disclosed but is understood to stand at a little

RSA Insurance Group in June 2018 said it received regulatory approval for its new insurance subsidiary in Luxembourg from the Commissariat aux Assurances (CAA). RSA, a P/C carrier, previously operated outside of the UK by way of an EU branch, focusing on large commercial clients. It writes approximately £350m in GWP and has over 5,000 commercial policyholders including the UK. Richard Turner, who currently oversees EU business from the UK

AXA in June 2018 announced it had sold its UK whole-of-market intermediary, The Health Insurance Group (THIG), to U.S. private equity firms Highbridge Principal Strategies and Madison Dearborn Partners. Acquired by AXA in 2008, The Health Insurance Group provides individual and corporate health and well-being products. Highbridge Principal Strategies and Madison Dearborn Partners already own several UK broking brands, including The Ardonagh Group. A “whole of market intermediary” is

Castel Underwriting Agencies, a managing general agent (MGA) formation platform, has opened its first branch office in Amsterdam, Netherlands to support plans to expand its operations in Europe as the UK leaves the EU. Castel’s European office will offer a platform to develop and launch specialty underwriting cells, as well as support individual underwriters with books of niche business across Europe, the company said. Castel Transact, a division of

ANZ Bank New Zealand in June 2018 announced that Cigna will acquire OnePath Life for NZ$700 million. According to ANZ, the transaction is made at a “slight premium to embedded value and is expected to generate a gain on sale of around NZ$50 million.” The agreement also includes a 20-year partnership whereby Cigna will provide insurance policies for ANZ bank customers. ANZ said it intends for all staff involved

WellCare Health Plans in June 2018 announced that it has acquired Meridian Health Plan of Michigan, Meridian Health Plan of Illinois, and MeridianRx, a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) for $2.5 billion in cash. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2018. Meridian expects to generate more than $4.3 billion in total revenue in 2018. As a result of this transaction, WellCare will diversify its Medicaid portfolio through the addition of Michigan state, where

Gallagher in May 2018 announced several acquisitions in the United States and England to bolster its retail property/casualty brokerage operations and employee benefits consulting services. Simi Valley, California-based Thomas Costello Insurance Agency is a retail property/casualty broker, and employee benefits consultant and broker, offering commercial and personal coverages to clients primarily across Southern California. Tom Costello and his associates will continue to operate from their current location under the direction of Scott

Aon in May 2018 announced the launch of its Carrier Solutions group, which will support and grow Aon’s network of Managing General Agents (MGAs) and Managing General Underwriters (MGUs) to better deliver innovative products, streamline transaction processes and give access to new and diverse sources of risk capital. Karl Hennessy has been named CEO. He brings more than 25 years of global insurance market experience and most recently served

AIG, after reaching agreement on the two largest plan termination transactions of 2017, in June 2018 announced that it has further expanded its presence in the pension risk transfer market. The two transactions, entered into by American General Life Insurance Company, part of AIG’s Life & Retirement business, represented over $1.5 billion in pension plan obligations covering more than 24,000 retirees, beneficiaries, deferred and active members. Pension risk transfer

Swiss Re and SoftBank in May 2018 agreed to end discussions about a potential minority investment of SoftBank in Swiss Re. No explanation was given. However, SoftBank was originally considering a stake of up to 33%, as well as several seats on the Swiss Re board of directors, whilst Swiss Re said the holding would probably not exceed 10%. GBV had reported SoftBank’s push to increase its revenue stream

Swiss Life Global Solutions in April 2018 signed a new partnership in Singapore with FWD, a provider of group life and group medical plans, in addition to the existing partnership with Prudential Singapore. The partnership with network partner Dubai Insurance Company has also been increased, leading to an enlarged collaboration in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region with countries such as Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. By

Swiss Life Network (SLN) in April 2018 announced a new internal structure with dedicated client relationship managers organized by geography. The international service desk led by Michael Gubser operates out of Luxembourg and is responsible for business analysis and network partners management, cooperating closely with the underwriting team. SLN is still strengthening its team in Luxembourg as nine positions were open as of late May 2018, according to the

AXA in May 2018 completed the initial public offering (IPO) of its U.S. individual life insurance unit, formerly known as The Equitable Life Assurance Society of America and based in New York, NY. Total proceeds are estimated at $4 billion. AXA had demutualized and recapitalized the failed U.S. mutual life insurance company, The Equitable, to the tune of $1 billion in July 1991. Back then, the company had $5.9

Generali’s Trieste, Italy-based mother company Assicurazioni Generali SpA in May 2018 announced it would set up a new branch in Luxembourg, dedicated to the global employee benefits business. It will operate as the insurance and reinsurance operation of Generali Group serving global companies and their employees from the multinational corporate as well as the international middle market segments. The Luxembourg branch also will be used as a base to

Where are the headquarters of the world’s eight pooling networks? Brussels used to be the location of choice for multinational pooling networks, owing to its status as (one of) the capital(s) of the European Union. It is still is home to three networks, but Luxembourg appears to gain traction as GEB in May 2018 followed Swiss Life in relocating there. Network City / Cities IGP Brussels BE, Boston MA