Chubb Europe chooses Societas Europaea Legal Entity Form for European Operations
Chubb Europe announced in July 2018 that it has chosen the Societas Europaea (SE) legal entity form for its future Continental European operations. Societas Europaea is Latin for “European company.”
Brexit prompted Chubb to move its European businesses from London to France in September 2017. The firm chose to become an SE legal entity rather than a “société anonyme”, or joint stock company, with its headquarters in France. This gives Chubb three main advantages:
- Symbolic as it points to Chubb Europe’s EU-wide remit.
- Mobile: Moving headquarters to another EU city outside of France is possible. A “local” legal form can only be transferred inside its home country. Therefore, changing countries requires creating a new legal entity, getting proper licenses, a transfer all assets and liabilities to the new entity, and a winding down of the old company; a costly and lengthy process.
- Finally, an SE can easily merge with companies in other member states, which facilitates external growth inside the EU.
From a regulatory standpoint, an SE has no particular advantage over any “local” legal form such as a French or Belgian SA, a German Aktiengesellschaft (AG), a Dutch Naamloze vennootschap (NV), an Italian Societa per Azioni (SpA), etc.
Few large companies have chosen to become SEs despite these advantages. Among global insurers, Allianz stands out, while Hannover Rueck and SCOR are other notable examples.