Willis announced the appointment of Brian Shea as Head of Europe for Willis Capital Markets & Advisory, its insurance investment banking division, based in London, effective August 24, 2015. Brian joins from reinsurer  SCOR, where he was Chief Corporate Strategy Officer after 20 years as an investment banker with Salomon Brothers and Merrill Lynch.

IGP welcomes Gothaer Lebensversicherung AG as their new Network Partner in Germany. Previously, Victoria Lebensversicherung -part of Ergo group and no longer in existence as a separate brand- was IGP’s German partner. Ergo Germany is no longer a member of a pooling network. Gothaer Germany remains a member of the new AIG network (formerly known as ING Global Network).  

Aetna will acquire Humana for cash and stock valued at $37 billion. The acquisition will push Aetna’s Medicare Advantage membership to  4.4 million and make it possible for the two companies to share knowledge and innovations in order to create better healthcare products, the company said. The deal is subject to regulatory and other approvals; it is expected to be completed in late 2015.

Willis appointed Simon Weaver as CEO of its Singapore office, as well as to the newly-created role of regional CEO for South-East Asia.

AIG in early May 2015 announced that it has acquired a controlling stake in Brussels-based ING Employee Benefits Global Network and renamed it AIG Global Benefits Network (AIG GBN). AIG’s American General Life Insurance Company unit joined the pooling network as the new US partner, taking the place of ING USA, recently spun-off and renamed VOYA. VOYA, in turn, exits the US global employee benefits market in order to

Vittorio Zaniboni has been appointed in April 2015 as Chief Technical Officer at GEB. Based in Brussels, Vittorio has been with GEB since early 1998, first as an actuary, then reinsurance manager and as chief actuary since late 2006. He joined Generali in 1996 after graduating from Trieste University with an MSc in actuarial sciences.

GEB launched GEB Horizon Plan, an international retirement and savings product for its small and medium-sized corporate clients.

Willis in July announced three new members to Willis Network, bringing the total number to 119. The three new members are: Smith England Ltd (Cheshire), Bluestone Insurance Services Ltd (Gloucestershire) and Rankin Risk Solutions Ltd (Perthshire). The news follows the addition earlier in the year to the network of Allianz Business Services Ltd and Clark Thomson Insurance Brokers.

Willis confirmed that Steve Hearn, Deputy CEO, will leave  to join Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford at the beginning of November, 2015.

Willis combines with Towers Watson to create a new $18 billion insurance, personnel, and risk company. Willis shareholders will own 50.1% of the new Ireland-based company, Willis Towers Watson. The new $18-billion company has annual revenue of about $8.2 billion and 39,000 staff in 120 countries, and advises more than 80% of the world’s top 1,000 companies.

Dr. Manfred Knof has become CEO of Allianz Deutschland, succeeding Dr. Markus Riess, who joins Ergo as CEO and Munich Re’s management board. Ergo is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Munich Re that operates under the brand names Ergo, Victoria, DKV, and others.

Willis announced in July 2015 the appointment of Cedric Luah as Asia Head of Human Capital and Benefits, to lead its Asia regional operations based in Singapore. Cedric joins Willis from the AIA group office in Hong Kong where he was responsible for multinational strategies, corporate clients relationships and multinational pooling. Prior to AIA, he spent seven years with the Swiss Life network, where he was the Head of Sales

In another instance of the on-going consolidation of the life insurance sector in Europe and of European banks selling their insurance subsidiaries, Monceau Assurances, a French composite insurer, announced the acquisition of Vitis Life Luxembourg from KBL European Private Bankers on July 7, 2015. KBL is owned by Precision Capital, based in Qatar. Vitis Life specializes in life insurance for high net-worth individuals (HNWI) and sells mostly unit-linked products

Generali announced in June 2015 a reorganization of its corporate structure in the Central & Eastern European (CEE) region. Generali increased its ownership of Generali PPF Holding B.V. (GPH) to 100% by acquiring the remaining 24% minority share held by PPF Group, in line with the agreements signed on January 8, 2013. The holding company operating in Central-Eastern Europe changes its name to Generali CEE Holding B.V. The CEE

AXA has announced in June 2015 the creation of AXA Lab Asia in Shanghai, identical to AXA Lab in the Silicon Valley. Led by Frank Desvignes, it will act as a business-focused center of expertise on data analytics and foster Research & Development. Meanwhile, AXA Strategic Ventures will open a new office in Hong Kong, so as to be in the best position to seize the numerous investment opportunities

AIG USA launched a new product, AIG Home Protection, a voluntary employee benefit that covers out-of-pocket expenses related to repairing or replacing home appliances. Available to groups with at least 2,500 employees, it covers parts and labor for repairing or replacing mechanical and electrical failures on products within the home, up to USD 5000/year. The program is an interesting example of B2B2E (business-to-business-to-employee) marketing and of leveraging P/C capabilities

French wholesale broker APRIL Group released in June 2015 a service card for employees facing hardship such as divorce,accident, death of a relative, etc. “April for Me” allows employers to support these employees through help with administrative procedures, hands-on assistance (babysitting, cleaning services, etc.), and support (social worker, psychologist, etc.) in case of a traumatic event. This is expected to drive greater employee engagement and a quicker return to

Since October 2014, Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC) is the IGP network partner for the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It offers group health and life policies. ADNIC is a composite insurance carrier and is publicly listed.

Since November 2014, Industrial Alliance is a network partner in Canada for Allianz Global Benefits Network. Industrial Alliance has operations in Canada and in the United States and offers group health, dental, optical, disability and life covers, as well as individual products. Industrial Alliance is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

A new member of the AXA group, Mansard Insurance plc is the new Insurope network member in Nigeria. Mansard is a composite, generalist insurance carrier offering life and non-life insurance to individuals, corporations and institutions. Through subsidiaries, it also offers pensions, asset management and health maintenance solutions.  

EB growing in Turkey’s private sector, attracting major players Ms. Sema Gökdemir joined Towers Watson (TW), now WTW (Willis Towers Watson) in Turkey to lead its newly launched employee benefits consulting division, focusing on healthcare, life and retirement. TW’s move is in response to the rapid growth in employee benefits offered to private-sector Turkish employees. Sema Gökdemir has 17 years of experience in local and international employee benefits and

Mansard Insurance, a leader in the Nigerian employee benefits market, joins the MAXIS Global Benefits Network as a result of the acquisition by AXA of 100%  of Assur African holdings, which holds a 77% stake in Mansard Insurance plc. Through this acquisition, AXA has become the #4 insurance player in Nigeria. Interestingly, Mansard announced its joining of the Insurope pooling network on May 29, 2015.

In March 2015, Fabrice Maraval was appointed Chief Financial and Insurance Officer of April Group, in charge of financial and technical activities on a global basis, as well as M&A, legal, and control of April Group’s insurance companies. Fabrice began his career with AXA, then spent 13 years with CNP Assurances, France’s #1 life insurer, lastly as CEO of CNP Caution, providing individual and professionals sureties.

Margrit Schmid leaves Swiss Life. Her future position was unknown as of early May 2015. Margrit was the CEO of the Swiss Life pooling network and the head of Head Corporate Clients for Swiss Life International since June 2006. She had joined Swiss Life in 1998. Although no comment was offered upon her leaving, it is likely that the forthcoming relocation of Swiss Life’s global employee benefits operations to

Lockton hosts its Global Benefits Forum May 4 – 6, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. This annual event brings together employee benefits professionals from around the globe interested in enhancing their international benefits acumen. The event provides continuing education credits for attendees with professional designations such as Global Professional in Human Resources.

Cigna in April 2015 named Javier Cano as managing director of its global healthcare benefits business in Europe. While he continues to be based in Madrid, Javier leads a team operating across Europe with three key operational hubs located in the U.K., Belgium, and Spain. He joined Cigna in 2006 as sales director, having been previously with Oliver Wyman (Marsh McLennan group). He holds an MBA from INSEAD and

On April 1, 2015, Generali appointed three new regional Chief Executive Officers: Jack Howell for Asia, Antonio Cassio dos Santos for the Americas, and Jaime Anchustegui for the EMEA region. Jack Howell, 44, a U.S. citizen, holds an MBA from the University of Chicago School of Business. Howell worked for AIG, where he held several positions including Deputy Chairman of Strategic Operations and Chairman and CEO of Philam Plans,