Global foreign direct investment (FDI) flows fell by 23% in 2017, to $1.4 trillion from $1.9 trillion in 2016, according to UNCTAD’s World Investment Report 2018 that was released in June 2018. The decline contrasts with other macroeconomic variables, which saw substantial improvement in 2017. The global fall was caused in part by a 22% decrease in the value of cross-border mergers and acquisitions (M&As). But even discounting the

ANZ Bank New Zealand in June 2018 announced that Cigna will acquire OnePath Life for NZ$700 million. According to ANZ, the transaction is made at a “slight premium to embedded value and is expected to generate a gain on sale of around NZ$50 million.” The agreement also includes a 20-year partnership whereby Cigna will provide insurance policies for ANZ bank customers. ANZ said it intends for all staff involved

WellCare Health Plans in June 2018 announced that it has acquired Meridian Health Plan of Michigan, Meridian Health Plan of Illinois, and MeridianRx, a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) for $2.5 billion in cash. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2018. Meridian expects to generate more than $4.3 billion in total revenue in 2018. As a result of this transaction, WellCare will diversify its Medicaid portfolio through the addition of Michigan state, where

The former president of the People’s Insurance Company of China (PICC) in May 2018 was jailed for 11 years for taking bribes. Wang Yincheng, who was also a Communist Party vice-secretary at state-owned PICC, was convicted of receiving 8.7 million yuan ($1.4 million) in bribes from 2006 to 2016, in exchange for helping individuals and firms with project contracts, giving staff promotions, and hiring their children, the official People’s

Gallagher in May 2018 announced several acquisitions in the United States and England to bolster its retail property/casualty brokerage operations and employee benefits consulting services. Simi Valley, California-based Thomas Costello Insurance Agency is a retail property/casualty broker, and employee benefits consultant and broker, offering commercial and personal coverages to clients primarily across Southern California. Tom Costello and his associates will continue to operate from their current location under the direction of Scott

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

Swiss Re in June 2018 published its SONAR Report, which identifies emerging geopolitical risks, the re-emergence of asbestos, especially in high growth markets, and the risks arising from new technologies such as cyber risks, biased algorithms, and the erosion of risk diversification as some of the key risks facing the re/insurance industry as well as society at large. The SONAR report is a publication based on the SONAR process,

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 announced the appointment of Arne Schweikhart as Relationship Manager in charge of multinationals based in Germany, strengthening its presence in the German market. Arne has a strong background in the German market as well as in the expatriate and cross-border business. He previously was corporate distribution manager Europe with Zurich Eurolife in Luxembourg; senior key account manager with IT services firm acarda;

Multinational pooling network MAXIS GBN, an AXA-MetLife joint venture, in May 2018 announced three appointments in its distribution department, all promotions of MAXIS team members. David Schupak to head Western Europe as well as the UK, Middle East & Africa David Schupak adds Western Europe to his current role leading the UK, Middle East & African region, reporting to Head of Distribution Andrew Stocker. In other words, his area of

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

Laurence Nicolet in May 2018 was promoted to Sales Manager at BNP Paribas Cardif Lux Vie in Luxembourg, in charge of developing the local market in Employee Benefits and in individual life. She previously was Business Development Manager, Employee Benefits at Cardif Luxembourg and had worked at Axa Assurance Vie Luxembourg and Swiss Life Luxembourg. Laurence is a graduate from HEC Liège (Belgium) business school.

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

Workforce Sustainability & the Death of HR – Paul Pittman Why Are We So Sleep Deprived? – Michael S. Jaffee Six Misconceptions About Meditation – Dusana Dorjee AIG GBN Conference Report

Aon in May 2018 announced that Eric Andersen, CEO of Aon Benfield, and Michael O’Connor, CEO of Aon Risk Solutions, have been appointed Co-Presidents of the firm; they will continue to report to CEO Greg Case. Aon also announced it will create an integrated global Operating Committee, co-led by Andersen and O’Connor. More Changes Further changes at Aon include the introduction of a single P&L structure “to increase colleague

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

Workforce Sustainability & the Death of HR Paul Pittman Why Are We So Sleep Deprived? Michael S. Jaffee Six Misconceptions About Meditation Dusana Dorjee AIG GBN Conference Report  

AIA Singapore and Medix in May 2018 announced an exclusive partnership to offer Personal Medical Case Management Services (PMCM) to AIA customers. The service is said to be the first of its kind in Singapore and will help customers facing serious medical conditions by making sure they get the right diagnosis as fast as possible, have access to optimal treatment, and are supported through their treatment journey until recovery.

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