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Internal, identifying news published in the magazine

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

I would like to share some insights with you about new innovative healthcare service design and how technological solutions (eHealth) can help address prevention matters.eHealth & prevention programs

The Retire Vitally conference, where participants gathered to discuss best practices pertaining to retiring in good health in the European Union, was held 24 January 2019 at PGGM headquarters in Zeist, the Netherlands. The event was organized by AEIP, TELA (Finland) and PGGM (The Netherlands).

Home to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, South Asia is one of the most dynamic regions in the world, with a population of 1.67 billion people and economic growth of 7.1 percent over the last decade, according to the World Bank. With growth topping 6.9 percent in 2018 and set to accelerate to 7.1 percent this year, South Asia is firming up its position as the world’s fastest-growing region, further extending its lead over East Asia and the Pacific, according to a World Bank regional economic update.

The Indian employee benefits landscape has undergone rapid and dramatic transformation over the past two decades, hastened by economic growth, amendments to and increases in statutory benefits, new benefits paradigms introduced by Multinational Corporations (MNCs), and legislative and judiciary action. Employee Benefits stakeholders, in order to keep up with the times, must continue to evolve their benefits offerings to ensure compliance as well as competitiveness.

A kidnapper’s phone call announcing that a family member or employee has been abducted is the stuff of nightmares – as is the eye-watering ransom demand that often accompanies this news. How should you respond?Most kidnappings take place in countries where governments are weak and territory is disputed. Without a police force able to help, you will need to negotiate to get your loved one back. So, what is the “right” price for their life?

Light is important for more than just vision. Tackling circadian rhythm disruption is crucial to increasing productivity in the workplace. Thanks to extensive scientific research, we now know that light is one of the main factors controlling our circadian rhythm, the natural body clock that regulates our energy levels and the quality of our sleep. Light stimulates the production of sleep and energy hormones, and is the biggest influencer of our sleep quality, productivity and well-being.

In Europe and around the world, many people are delivering fast food on bicycles or acting as taxi drivers in their own cars, not quite employees and not quite self-employed. Following recent legal judgements in France, the UK and in other countries, the contractual status of these “gig workers” is again being questioned. We hear of the benefits of the flexible lifestyles afforded to workers in the “gig economy” but also complaints about precariousness and exploitation.

Bruno Gabellieri is Secretary General of AIEP, the European Association of Paritarian Institutions. Global Benefits Vision: Thank you, Bruno, for being with us again, three and a half years after our first interview. Can you recap AEIP’s mission today and how it relates to our industry?

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