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M&A, Reorganizations and other Corporate News

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

French life/health mutuals Humanis and AG2R La Mondiale in May 2018 announced they would merge their employee savings activities. French “employee savings” plans (“plans d’épargne salariale”) come under two guises, PEE  – Plan d’épargne entreprise (“corporate savings plans”) and PERCO – Plan d’épargne pour la retraite collectif (“group pension savings plan”), and are tax-advantaged, employer-sponsored investment vehicles run by, but legally separate from, insurance groups or banks. Tax advantages

Aon is reported to have made an offer to acquire French broker SIACI Saint Honoré (SSH). SSH caters to the needs of corporations and SMBs. Since 2015, SSH is controlled by venture capital firm Ardian which owns 57% of the firm. Managers control a further 23% and Edmond de Rothschild 20%. SSH chairman Pierre Donnersberg in late April 2018 denied any plans to sell. Instead, SSH is looking to

AIA Hong Kong in May 2018 announced a partnership with online health care services firm We Doctor. AIA’s customers will gain preferred access to WeDoctor’s healthcare services including appointment, online consultation and offline clinics, as well as its network of 2,700 hospitals, 220,000 doctors, and over 15,000 pharmacies in 30 provinces across China. AIA will become WeDoctor’s preferred provider of life and health insurance solutions. WeDoctor has over 110

Anbang Insurance’s founder and former chairman Wu Xiaohui in May 2018 was sentenced to 18 years in prison after being convicted of fraud in fundraising and of embezzlement by the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court. Anbang’s fast growth was driven by high-yield, investment-type insurance products with redemption options. Its asset management practices may have resulted in a duration mismatch between assets and liabilities. Wu in June 2017 was

Aon in May 2018 announced it will retire business unit brands Aon Risk Solutions and Aon Benfield, after the retirement of the Aon Hewitt brand in 2017. It will appear simply as Aon. In addition to the creation of an integrated global Operating Committee, the move is designed to make it easier for Aon team members to work together. The company previously announced a single P&L structure, “part of

Allianz in May 2018 finalized the sale of part of its Taiwan business’s traditional life insurance portfolio to China Life Insurance. The deal had been announced in January 2018. The portfolio includes around $1.4 billion of reserves in guaranteed interest contracts (GIC) that carry a 4 percent or higher guarantee. Under the Solvency II (S2) regime, GICs are particularly expensive in terms of capital requirement, especially when market rates

ECA Italy in June and July 2018 organizes three training sessions for HR professionals, covering tax, benefits, employment law and immigration. The destinations addressed are Asia, the U.S., and the Balkans. The Asia session (China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam) is scheduled on 6 June 2018 from 09:30 to 17:00 U.S.A. session: June 20, 2018 from 09:30 to 13:30 Balkans session (Romania, Serbia, Bosnia, and Montenegro) – 4 July 2018

The Worldwide Broker Network (WBN) in April 2018 announced the election of three Board members, Susan Murphy from Canada, Matteo Scagliarini from Italy, and Markham McKnight from the U.S.A. Susan Murphy is President & CEO of Totten Insurance Group of Canada (a Hub International owned company), a national managing general agent focusing on niche and specialty products. She is a member of the WBN US and Canada Steering Committee.

WBN in April 2018 announced that global mobility specialist Globiana will join the network as its 11th Associate Member. Globiana helps multinational organizations train, guide and support their globally mobile employees and their families.  The company has a global footprint that spans over 140 countries, with offices in San Francisco, California and Stuttgart, Germany. The role of WBN’s Associate Members is to provide WBN Partner Companies with specialized support

Worldwide Broker Network (WBN) in April 2018 added three new members to its 112-strong network. All three firms focus on employee benefits; their addition is consistent with WBN’s strategy of enhancing its capabilities beyond its traditional P/C business. EBCG is based in Illinois and has four field offices across the U.S. It focuses on employee benefits. GBS Benefits is based in Utah, with seven other U.S. offices. It offers

Consulting firm HR Path in May 2018 acquired Ataraxis, headquartered in Belgium and operating in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Spain and France. Ataraxis is a Workday specialist (Workday is a provider of enterprise cloud software for finance and human resources). Ataraxis will become the dedicated Workday practice of HR Path. The senior management team, Tom Hillen, Wouter Van den Avont and Jan Snyers will become HR Path partners. Ataraxis

Generali in April 2018 sold Generali Belgium to Athora Holding for EUR 540 million. Generali Belgium is primarily focused on the life segment but also offers P/C products. After the sale, Generali will remain present in Belgium through its Global Business Lines and especially Generali’s multinational pooling network GEB as well as through Europ Assistance. Athora is likely to rename the company after completion of the deal; it will

The Blockchain Insurance Industry Initiative (B3i) in March 2018 incorporated B3i Services AG in Zürich, Switzerland. B3i has been a collaborative initiative of 15 global insurers and reinsurers who came together in late 2016 to explore and test the potential of using Distributed Ledger Technologies within the re/insurance industry. B3i Services will provide insurance solutions on a blockchain platform, striving for improved speed, transparency, quality, security, and cost. It

In the wake of Brexit and of the introduction of Solvency II, global actuarial firm Milliman in April 2018 opened an office in Luxembourg. Led by consulting actuary Olivier Mahieux, Milliman Luxembourg is one of the three components of Milliman Benelux. Their offices in Amsterdam, Brussels and Luxembourg cooperate together and consist of around 50 actuarial, quantitative risk and health consultant. As a PSA (Professionnel du Secteur de l’Assurance),

Vistra in April 2018 acquired Radius, a U.S.-based provider of international expansion services. Vistra is a provider of international incorporations, trust, fiduciary, private office and fund administration services, and will be acquiring Radius from the private equity firm Hg. Radius provides managed services, advisory services and OverseasConnect, its integrated cloud-based software platform, to more than 500 clients operating in 80 countries. The firm is headquartered in Boston with offices

Monument Re acquired a run-off portfolio of flexible premium retail life insurance contracts from Ethias in Belgium and will transfer it to its subsidiary Laguna Life DAC, domiciled in Ireland. The transfer will result in the loss of the savings (invested capital) guarantee in Belgium up to a maximum of EUR 100,000; Ireland has no equivalent system. Regarding returns, and according to Ethias CEO Philippe Lallemand, “The payment of

Generali in April 2018 completed the sale of its operations in Panama and Colombia. The Panamean subsidiary was sold to local insurer ASSA and Colombia to German insurer Talanx. Generali Employee Benefits (GEB), Generali’s multinational pooling network, remains unaffected. In addition to GEB, Generali will still be present in both countries through Generali Global Corporate & Commercial and Generali Global Health as well as through Europ Assistance.

Sompo International in April 2018 won regulatory approval in Luxembourg for its E.U. subsidiary, SI Insurance – Europe. The legal entity was set up in January 2018. In the context of Brexit, Sompo intends to write commercial property/ casualty lines in the European Union from Luxembourg, as announced in a November 2017 post.

In the wake of Brexit, AIG in April 2018 announced it has established and received authorization for new insurance companies in the U.K. (American International Group UK Limited) and Luxembourg (AIG Europe S.A.). AIG Europe S.A. will have branches across the European Economic Area and Switzerland. The existing carrier, AIG Europe Limited, will transfer all of its existing insurance business to the new entities well ahead of the U.K.