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Internal, identifying news published in the magazine

The European Association of Paritarian Institutions (AEIP); pension funds PFZW and PGGM from the Netherlands; the Finnish Pension Alliance TELA from Finland; and social protection group Humanis from France on January 24, 2019 organize a conference on the topic of “Retire Vitally” in the European Union. To kick off forthcoming discussions on “vital retirement”, i.e. retirement in a state of good health, the conference will analyze the current situation; discuss

French insurance group Apicil in January 2019 announced it has completed the acquisition of Luxembourg life insurance company OneLife. Luxembourg regulator CAA has granted its approval. OneLife has more than €5.2 billion in assets under management and employs more than 150 staff across Europe. It focuses on wealth management and asset management services to ultra-high-net-worth (UHNW), high-net-worth (HNW) and highly affluent clients. Apicil, the fourth largest social protection group

Bermuda-based Athora Holdings in January 2019 completed the acquisition of Generali Belgium, first announced in April 2018. The final consideration paid is approximately €540 million. Generali Belgium has 530,000 customers and sells a range of life and non-life insurance policies through around 1,000 independent brokers. In 2017, total premium income amounted to €640 million and assets to €6.5 billion. The company will be rebranded to Athora Belgium in the

Hong Kong-based property and infrastructure group New World Development (NWD) in January 2019 acquired FTLife Insurance, Hong Kong, from JD Group. NWD, through its subsidiary NWS Holdings, paid HK$21.5 billion (US$2.75 billion) for FTLife. The deal is one of the top five insurance M&As ever in Hong Kong. Beijing-based Chinese financial firm JD Group in November 2018 had put FTLife up for sale. It was reported to be looking for

Replicating an earlier deal in 2017 between the European Union (E.U.) and the United States (U.S.), the latter in January 2019 signed a “covered agreement” with the United Kingdom (UK) that protects their respective international insurers and reinsurers when doing business with each other. The new covered agreement basically provides for a limited but very useful form of mutual recognition of reinsurance companies and of (re)insurance regulators. The existing

American International Group (AIG) in December 2018 announced that it has completed the acquisition of Ellipse, a specialist group life, critical illness and income protection carrier in the UK, from Munich Re. Ellipse CEO Lee Lovett reports to Adam Winslow, CEO, International at AIG Life & Retirement. AIG expects Ellipse’s expertise in group protection and its technology to significantly enhance existing AIG Life operations. AIG Life will now distribute

AIG Life Limited (UK) in December 2018 announced the appointment of Philip Willcock as CEO, effective March 1, 2019. He will be based in London and report to Adam Winslow, CEO, International, Life & Retirement. Willcock spent over 20 years with Aviva holding various senior positions in the UK life & health businesses. Most recently, he was CEO and President of Aviva’s joint venture in Indonesia and CEO of

Lloyd’s Brussels in December 2018 announced the appointment of Delphine Marchessaux as chief underwriting officer. Delphine previously was head of underwriting, Cargo at Axa Corporate Solutions (now AXA XL) in France. Earlier, she was head of Marine claims (cargo and hull), having started her career as a Marine claims executive and team leader at AXA Corporate Solutions. She holds a Master of Science degree in Law from IFURTA (Institut

Lloyd’s in December 2018 appointed Sonja Rottiers as CEO of Lloyd’s Brussels and regional director for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). She reports to Lloyd’s CEO John Neal. Lloyd’s Brussels was launched in November 2018 to ensure that Lloyd’s syndicates can continue to write policies in the E.U. after Brexit. Before joining Lloyd’s, Rottiers was a non-executive board member for ING Belgium; Belgian cinema chain Kinepolis; and Leasinvest

Published in December 2018, the OECD Pensions Outlook 2018 report examines how national pension systems are adapting to improve retirement outcomes. This has direct implications for the design and implementation of occupational pension plans. The report focuses on funded pensions and discusses how different pension tools can be combined to meet certain goals. It also considers how countries can improve financial, i.e. tax, incentives. This edition draws lessons from

Willis Towers Watson (WTW) in December 2018 announced the appointment of Pam Enright as Senior Director and leader of its Expat Benefits Solutions business. She will report to Francis Coleman, managing director, Global Services and Solutions, and be based in Chicago. Pam has been in the employee benefit industry for over 25 years. Prior to joining WTW, she was a senior vice president and director of global benefits at

French insurer Apicil in December 2018 launched an EUR 10 million insurtech fund along with private equity firm Odysseus Alternative Ventures (OAV). The fund will invest in European startups “seeking to develop new technologies, new business models and new forms of delivery for the insurance sector”. APICIL Group is France’s 4th largest provider of occupational health, life, and retirement plans. OAV is the private equity and venture capital arm

Andy Stocker in December 2018 became Head of Employee Benefits Gulf at MetLife, based in Dubai. He has spent his entire career at MetLife, where he previously was Head of distribution, MetLife Global Employee Benefits and Maxis GBN; Vice President and head of distribution for MetLife Global Employee Benefits; head of Global Relationship Management; and Regional director of Employee Benefit sales, based in Dallas, Texas. He holds a Bachelor

Swiss Re in December 2018 appointed Paul Murray as Global Head of Life and Health, based in London, UK. He succeeds Swiss Re’s CEO of reinsurance for the EMEA region, Russell Higginbotham. Murray previously was global chief pricing officer for the L&H business; head of Swiss Re’s global L&H Products Center; managing director, Life & Health Products, Asia; managing director, Life & Health Products, UK, Ireland and Africa; director,

French regulator ACPR in November 2018 gave its final approval to the merger between Malakoff Médéric and Humanis, effective January 1, 2019. Both companies are paritarian institutions and offer supplementary pensions and life and health insurance. The new leadership team announced in December 2018 includes: Thomas Saunier, CEO Michel Estimbre, Deputy CEO, in charge of supplementary pensions, Human Resources, IT, underwriting, and operations; Christophe Scherrer, Deputy CEO, in charge

Aon in December 2018 released a paper, The Contemporary Drivers of Mental Health, detailing factors driving poor employee mental health in the UK. Debt, separation and bullying are the personal issues of most concern to employers when it comes to employee mental health, according to a poll of employers. Of the 92 employers surveyed, 39 stated that money and debt were their biggest concerns for employee mental health, 27

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in November 2018 released the 2018 edition of Health at a Glance: Europe. This report is led by the European Commission and designed to assist member states in improving the health of their citizens and the performance of their health systems. The report cites “two overarching trends [that] warrant special mention”: [T]he steady increase in life expectancy has slowed considerably in

Generali in November 2018 launched Generali Global Pension (GGP), a global business unit dedicated to pensions. The initiative is in line with Generali’s strategic targets of “consolidating its global leadership in Employee Benefits, and accelerating the growth of its asset management business.” GGP will provide multinational corporations with pensions de-risking solutions and cross-border plans. It will also create an additional distribution channel for Generali’s multi-boutique asset-management platform and develop

Accounting standard setting body IASB (International Accounting Standards Board) in November 2018 decided to defer the effective date for International Financial Reporting Standard (IFRS) 17 – Insurance Contracts – to January 1, 2022. IFRS 17 deals with the recognition of income arising from insurance contracts and its presentation in annual accounts. At the same time, the temporary exemption to IFRS 9 that was included in IFRS 4 also was

Employer-provided health care benefits costs are expected to increase modestly around the globe in 2019, according to the 2019 Global Medical Trends Survey of medical insurers published in November 2018 by Willis Towers Watson (WTW). Insurers blame the high cost of medical technology and the overuse and overprescribing of services as major factors in escalating costs and caution that soaring pharmacy costs will become a significant factor over the

Aon has identified that many UK employees do not accurately record sickness absence. Published in November 2018, this insight was obtained by conducting group risk market reviews for employers. Group risk insurers require information on who is absent, the reason for their absence, duration, and more information such as prognosis. Aon, through its market review activity, has seen that some employers either do not record their employees’ absences or

We study how the flu virus spreads between people. While we strongly encourage everyone to get the flu vaccine, the findings from our study on the stability of flu viruses in the air can provide useful information for parents, teachers and health care officials to limit the spread of flu in the community.

Cross Border Benefits Alliance Europe was launched on 6 December 2017 in Brussels, and advocates and lobbies for easing cross border pensions and benefits across EU borders. They hold an annual plenary conference in Brussels each year and hold local seminars and meetings such as this one, in different cities in the European Union.

We are ten years on from the Financial Crisis and I’m sure many readers of this article will think of the television pictures of the Lehman Brothers‘ bankers clearing their desks into cardboard boxes and leaving their building on 14 September 2008. That was one of the immediate physical manifestations of the crisis that had started in 2007 and whose root cause were the losses in the US sub-prime crisis (see “The Big Short” movie for a full explanation of it). But what exactly is the legacy of the Financial Crisis? It is tempting to answer, like others have done to past revolutions, that it’s too early to tell…

The mandatory pension plan in Mexico is, as of today, a Defined Contribution (DC) type. This plan was formally introduced in 1997; before this, the mandatory pension plan was a Defined Benefit (DB) type on a PAY-AS-YOU-GO basis. Workers who entered this mandatory pension plan after July 1, 1997 had to join the new plan. On the other hand, workers who were already in the labour market before that date could choose between either of the plans to retire.

For over a century, we have relied on a simplistic measure to determine if someone is a “healthy” weight or not. This is the body mass index (BMI) – the ratio of a person’s weight to the square of their height. The limits of this ratio are clearly demonstrated by professional rugby players; most of whom would be classified as “overweight”, despite having less than 10% body fat.

In the early 20th century, the leading cause of death was infectious disease. Epidemics erupted with little warning, seemingly out of the blue. When the “Great Influenza” struck in 1918, it killed thousands of people a week in American cities and spread like wildfire around the globe. My great aunt, still a teenager, and living in the San Francisco area, was one of its estimated 50 to 100 million victims worldwide.