Based on brisk business in motor insurance and the expanding health insurance industry in India, Bharti Axa seeks to hire 2,000 new employees to capitalize on growth opportunities.
Bharti Axa, which is a joint venture between Bharti Enterprises and international insurance company AXA Group, had earned INR 3.2 billion (USD 68.7 million) in the 2010 financial year, a 1000 percent increase over the INR 320 million (USD 6.87 million) earned the previous year. Much of that growth was due to expansions in Bharti Axa’s retail distribution network, bringing in more customers; and the fact that the motor insurance sector in India is growing by 20-25 percent every year.
Bharti Axa currently employs 1,300 people throughout 57 offices in India, with a further presence in 116 locations. The company has set aside INR 2.5 billion (USD 53.7 million) for further growth, aiming to hire 2,000 more people to take advantage of expanding markets. The industrial, manufacturing, motor and health insurance industries are expected to double in the next 5-6 years to about INR 700 billion (USD 15 billion).
Amarnath Ananthanarayanan, the Managing Director and CEO of Bharti Axa said that “With the health and auto sectors poised to grow rapidly in the country, there is a lot of scope for general insurance players. We are looking at expanding our retail operations in the country and hiring more people this year. By this year, we will have 3,000 people,”
Bharti Axa is also awaiting Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) approval for 62 new insurance products, which it will add to its lineup of 56 non-unit linked insurance plans (ULIPs) within the next few years.
Insurance Companies Mentioned:
Bharti Axa General Insurance
Bharti AXA General Insurance is a joint venture between Bharti Group and AXA Group. Founded in July 2007 in Bangalore, India it now has over 40 branches across India offering a variety of insurance products for retail, commercial and rural customers.
The UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) has given authorisation to Allianz for the launch of Rosenberg Capital Management (RCM) fund in Brazil on 07 October 2010. The fund will be actively managed by a UK-domiciled Brazilian Open Ended Investment Company (OEIC), something that had never been done before.
Starting from 30 September, for eight consecutive days there will be a fixed-price offer at GBP 1.00 (EUR 1.20) per share with zero initial charges applying until 29 October. The fund will be invested in its majority towards Brazil, and nearly one third of the fund may be invested in other Latin American and international companies, provided they generate a significant proportion of their sales and earnings in Brazil.
From the investment strategy viewpoint the timing of Brazilian addition to the Allianz portfolio adds diversification and promising potential returns; given all the positive factors currently enjoyed by Brazil in terms of its economy and investment perspective. In addition to a stable government, the economy in Brazil is strong and growing at a fast pace; fuelled by a large and increasingly affluent young population, massive commodity resources and a well-developed equity market facilitating accessing these opportunities to investors.
Looking forward to next year, the earnings growth estimates of Brazilian companies rank among the highest in the world at 26 percent, whilst the market currently trades on a modest price to earnings ratio of 8.6 percent, based on the earnings estimates for 2011.
Insurance Company mentioned:
Allianz Group is one of the leading global services providers in insurance and asset management. With approximately 153,000 employees worldwide, the Allianz Group serves approximately 75 million customers in about 70 countries. On the insurance side, Allianz is the market leader in the German market and has a strong international presence.
China-based Sun Life Everbright Life Insurance announce that China insurance regulators have approved the insurers proposed restructuring. The revamp will result in additional strategic investors buying shares in the joint venture, increasing operating capital.
China Everbright formed a joint venture with Canadian owned Sun Life in 2002, resulting in Sun Life Everbright. A venture which resulted in both companies expanding their exposure across China. This provided a broad range of individual products including life and health insurance. The partnership between Everbright and Sun Life resulted in 18 offices within China
The revamp of Sun Life Everbright ends the Sino-foreign joint venture and opens the doors that will eventually turn the company into a Chinese-owned entity. China Life Everbright will retain a 50% share, while China North Industries Group Corporation and Anshan Iron and Steel Group Corporation each obtain 12.5% of the life insurer. Sun Life still retain a 325% interest in Sun Life Everbright after the company has fully completed the repositioning. The Canadian-based Sun Life will also continue to provide services – such as risk management and actuarial services – to Sun Life Everbright.
When plans were first announced, CEO of Sun Life Financial, Donald Stewart, Said “This strategic restructuring is in the best long-term interest of our shareholder and secures out participation in the tremendous growth and promise of China life insurance and broader financial services market.”
At present Sun Life Everbright is ranked 15th largest life insurer in China, although with the restructuring Sun Life Everbright aims to rapidly expand its market penetration across China. In recent years the financial and insurance industry has seen considerable action from foreign and domestic firms competing to strengthen their participation in the profitable far-east economy.
Tang Shuangning, Chairman of China’s Everbright Group, said when first announcing the restructuring plans in 2009: “This important agreement strengthens the strategic partnership between Sun Life and China Everbright. It will advance mutual support and the common interests of both companies to grow, to serve Chinese consumers, and to achieve a larger share of the Chinese domestic protection market.”
Sun Life Everbright’s new business model paves the way for the company to take a more aggressive approach to business opportunities in China and its hinterland. The revamp comes at a time when insurance and financial sectors are seeing increased activity from local Chinese companies and foreign firms looking to take full advantage of the growth opportunities in the Chinese economy. Demand for insurance products – particularly health insurance – is a key source of activity for new business.
Sun Life Everbright Life already has a strong presence in major areas within China – including: Beijing, Zhejing, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Guangdong and Chongqing.
Insurance Companies Mentioned:
Sun Life Financial
Sun Life Everbright Life Insurance Co. Ltd
Sun Life Everbright Life Insurance was established in April 2002. It’s shareholders include China Everbright Group, Canada’s Sun Life Financial Group, China North Industries Group Corporation and Anshan Iron and Steel Groups, based in Tianjin
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has released the results of the developmental framework to provide high quality healthcare through insurance in a document titled “Health Insurance Report, 2010”. Among the recommendations to give a boost to the health insurance sector, the report highlights the need for creating consumer awareness and satisfaction, quality healthcare delivery, improved insurance services, and an increased level of trust between insurers and healthcare providers.
FICCI includes in the report the results of deliberations from three working groups identified as follows;
(1.) ‘Promoting Quality in Health care through Health Insurance’,
(2.) ‘Standardisation of Billing Procedures in Hospitals and Contents of Discharge Summary Format,’ and
(3.) ‘Standardisation of Third Party Administrator (TPA) and Insurer’ and ‘TPA and Hospital Contracts’.
The working group on topic (1.) proposes to develop a framework leading to ‘Pay for Quality’ by achieving a common approach to promote and measure the quality of the healthcare services delivered in the country, through the development of an incentive and disincentive mechanism applied by the insurance industry, using a uniform approach with standard parameters for Quality across the healthcare industry. Implemented over a number of years, the Group recommends a staged and transparent process, whereby providers are informed upfront on the quality expectations. Another objective is to bring small-, medium-, and large-sized healthcare providers into a uniform quality control process covering and leading towards accreditation and beyond, allowing them sufficient time to implement the essential criteria in a gradual manner, and develop their Quality systems and processes, having disclosed to them upfront the expectations and stages.
The part of the report by the working group on topic (2.) suggests standardising the billing formats and enabling the mapping of the hospital information systems in accordance with the specific data requirements of the insurance companies, in order to achieve a faster claims processing time and an enhanced analysis of information handled by all the healthcare providers in the country.
On topic (3.) the working group proposes the development of a basic template for TPA and insurer contract in order to achieve uniformity across the industry and avoid multiple versions in the clauses of the agreement.
With the goal of customer satisfaction at its core, the FICCI Report envisions an ideal universe of health insurance business, greater penetration of health insurance products and affordable quality healthcare for everybody.
Established in 1927, FICCI is the largest and oldest apex business organisation in India. Its history is closely interwoven with India’s struggle for independence and its subsequent emergence as one of the most rapidly growing economies globally. FICCI plays a leading role in policy debates that are at the forefront of social, economic and political change. Through its 400 professionals, FICCI is active in 39 sectors of the economy. FICCI has joint business councils with 79 countries around the world.
Ping An Health Insurance Company of China, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, has received approval from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) to set up a new branch in Zhejiang province.
Earlier this year, Ping An Health Insurance was also given approval by the central Chinese insurance regulator to open a branch in Jiangsu province. With the approval of the two new branches, Ping An Health Insurance now has 5 branches in China, although the CIRC says that both of the new branches in Zhejiang and Jiangsu will require operational licenses issued by the local insurance bureaus in the respective provinces.
Ping An Health Insurance already had branches located in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangdong, and the approval for the two new branches will allow them to expand into the coastal provinces of Zhejiang, the province directly to the south of Shanghai, and Jiangsu, directly to the north of Shanghai. This will afford China Ping An Health Insurance the opportunity to enter into the markets in the relatively affluent cities of Nanjing in Jiangsu and Hangzhou in Zhejiang.
Original premium income in Zhejiang province between January and May, 2010 was RMB 33.04 billion (USD 4.87 billion), of which accident insurance comprised RMB 727 million (USD 107.2 million), health insurance made up RMB 1.05 billion (USD 154.9 million), property insurance RMB 10.86 billion (USD 1.6 billion), and life insurance making up the lion’s share of RMB 20.4 billion (USD 3 billion).
Similarly, the insurance industry in Jiangsu Province generated RMB 57.47 billion (USD 8.48 billion) in cumulative original premium income. Accident insurance accounted for RMB 1.16 billion (USD 171 million), health insurance RMB 1.91 billion (USD 281.8 million), property insurance RMB 13.08 billion (USD 1.93 billion), and life insurance constituting RMB 41.32 billion (USD 6.1 billion).
According to the Chinese Insurance Regulatory Commission, China Ping An Health Insurance received original premium income of RMB 64.38 billion (USD 9.5 billion) between January and May, 2010.
Insurance Company mentioned:
Ping An Insurance Company
Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (Ping An) is engaged in providing a range of financial products and services. The Company focuses on three businesses: insurance, banking and investment. The Company operates in five business segments: life insurance business, property and casualty insurance business, banking business, securities business, corporate and other businesses. The Company’s subsidiaries include Ping An Life Insurance Company of China, Ltd. (Ping An Life), Ping An Property & Casualty Insurance Company of China, Ltd. (Ping An Property & Casualty), China Ping An Trust & Investment Co., Ltd. (Ping An Trust), Ping An Securities Company, Ltd. (Ping An Securities), Ping An Bank Co., Ltd. (Ping An Bank), Ping An Annuity Insurance Company of China, Ltd. (Ping An Annuity) and Ping An Health Insurance Company of China, Ltd. (Ping An Health), among others.
Reliance Life Insurance, an Indian life insurance company owned by the Reliance – Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, is planning on hiring large numbers of new sales managers and insurance agents to meet its ambitious goals for expansion.
Reliance Life Insurance intends on hiring 3,000 new sales managers and 150,000 new insurance agents by the end of the Indian fiscal year, which runs from April 2010 to March 2011. While the sales managers will be on the payroll as permanent staff, the insurance agents are to be considered part-time employees and will be paid commission on any customers brought in.
Reliance Life, which crossed the 6,000,000 policy threshold within five years, recorded INR 66.05 billion (USD 1.42 billion) in premiums in the 2009-2010 fiscal year. Reliance Life has plans to take in INR 200 billion (USD 4.29 billion) in premiums by 2012-2013, and hopes to bring in INR 100 billion (USD 2.15 billion) by the end of the current fiscal year.
Executives at Reliance Life Insurance have future growth plans of attaining 10 percent market share overall; at the moment they currently capture 10.2 percent of the private life insurance market, while making up only 5.5 percent of India’s overall domestic life insurance market. Further growth plans for Reliance depend on the second half of the Indian fiscal year, with the possibility of enlarging their branch network from 1,247 to 1,500 if economic trends permit. There are also plans to expand into the Indian health insurance market, with hopes of selling 1 million policies by the end of the fiscal year.
President and Executive Director of Reliance Life Insurance, Malay Ghosh said “We are raising the headcount by 20 percent in the current fiscal. We have already hired 2,000 sales managers in the first three months of 2010-11, and will add another 1,000 in the coming months. This human capital addition will increase the company’s total strength to 18,000.”
Insurance Company Mentioned:
Reliance Life Insurance
Indian life insurance company, Reliance Life Insurance, is an associate company of Reliance Capital. Reliance Capital is one of India’s top 3 financial services companies by net worth. Both Reliance Life Insurance and Reliance Capital are part of the Reliance – Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group.
Zurich Financial Services Group (Zurich) has appointed Dan Dunmoyer as the new Head of Government And Industry Affairs (GAIA) for the Americas, with his base located in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Dunmoyer as the Chairman for Zurich GAIA will be reporting to both Paul Hopkins, Regional Chairman of Zurich in the Americas and Peter Buomberger, Group Head of GAIA International. Mr. Dunmoyer will lead all the state and federal legislative and regulatory affairs activities for Zurich.
Back in December 2008, Mr. Dunmoyer joined Zurich as Senior Vice-President of government and industry affairs and head of state legislative and regulatory affairs.
Before joining Zurich, Mr. Dunmoyer was chief cabinet secretary and deputy chief of staff at the California Government. During the period from 1996 to 2005 Mr. Dunmoyer worked in the private sector and was president and CEO of the Personal Insurance Federation of California.
Mr. Dunmoyer was alumni of the University of Southern California, where he obtained a bachelors degree in political science and a masters degree in public administration.
Insurance Company mentioned:
Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, Zurich Financial Services Group is an insurance-based financial services provider with a network of subsidiaries and offices in North America and Europe and also in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and other markets. Zurich is one of the world’s largest insurance groups, and one of the few to operate on a truly global basis. With 60,000 employees serving customers in more than 170 countries, our business is concentrated in three business segments: General Insurance, Global Life, and Farmers.
On Monday July 26th 2010, Fortis Healthcare Ltd. rescinded its SGD 3.2 billion (USD 2.3 billion) offer to buy remaining Parkway shares, leaving the subsidiary of Malaysian sovereign fund Khazanah, Integrated Healthcare Holdings, free to purchase all outstanding Parkway Holdings shares.
Khazanah, through Integrated Healthcare, had originally offered SGD 1.18 billion (USD 835 million) to increase their stake in Parkway Holdings from 23.9 to 51.5% in May 2010. Fortis then offered SGD 3.78 (US2.71) per share for all remaining shares. However, since Fortis dropped their plans for taking over Parkway on Monday, Khazanah has offered SGD 3.5 billion (USD 2.57 billion) for all outstanding shares in Parkway, making it three times larger than their previous offer for a simple majority stake.
Fortis has come to an agreement with Khazanah to sell its 282.7 million share stake in Parkway at a price of SGD 3.95 (USD 2.9) per share, translating to a total of approximately SGD 1.12 billion (USD 822.3 million). The deal will give Khazanah the keys to the Parkway kingdom, which includes 16 hospitals throughout Asia, offering more than 3,400 beds in places like Singapore, China, Malaysia, Brunei and India.
Malvinder Mohan Singh, the Chairman of Fortis and Parkway said that “After considered and deliberate discussions, we have decided to divest our strategic stake in Parkway and have reached an agreement with Khazanah to accept their voluntary general offer. Our decision to exit our investments took into account the interest of all stakeholders of Fortis. It was made after careful assessment of the intrinsic value of Parkway and in light of other growth opportunities available to us across the region and globally.”
The offer made through Integrated Healthcare will close on August 16th, with a Director of Integrated Healthcare Holdings, Ahmad Shahizam Mohd Shariff, saying that “If our voluntary general offer is successful, then we will be able to achieve the vision we outlined when we launched our partial offer, to create Asia’s premier regional healthcare platform,”
Founded in India in 1999, Fortis Healthcare International is a healthcare provider that currently operates 46 hospitals in India, which are organized as a hub and spoke model around their specialty hospitals. They offer laboratory, wellness, information technology, travel and financial services through the wholly owned Religare Enterprises Limited.
As Malaysia’s state investment company, Khazanah Nasional Berhad is responsible for managing the Malaysian Government’s investments as well as strategically investing in new sectors and markets. Khazanah Nasional was incorporated as a public limited company in September 1993 and started operations the following year. All shares are owned by the corporate body of the Minister of Finance Incorporated, except for one owned by Pesuruhjaya Tanah Persekutuan, the Federal Land Commissioner. Khazanah holds investments in more than 50 companies, including but not limited to companies engaged in aviation, banking, electronics, healthcare, manufacturing, and telecommunications.
First listed on the Singaporean stock exchange in 1975, Parkway Holdings has become one of the top-quality integrated healthcare providers in Asia in the intervening years. Parkway now operates 16 hospitals in Asia, with over 3,400 beds throughout Singapore, China, Malaysia, India, Brunei, and the UAE. Parkway also boasts a nursing and health science college, extensive diagnostic, imaging and laboratory resources and the largest foreign owned medical network in Shanghai.
Manulife Life Insurance Company (Manulife Japan) has recently launched a new variable individual annuity insurance type V product which will be sold through the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.
The name of the new product is Ashita-no-Nenkin and it is an investment-type annuity insurance product, tailored to meet the needs of customers wanting to start accumulate funds in preparation for retirement.
According to Manulife Japan the appealing characteristics of this new product include features that are easy to understand, and a death benefit guarantee that the beneficiary of the policy will receive no less than 100% of the basic benefit amount. As such, the new product being offered by Manulife is a Japan-specific variant of traditional whole-of-life insurance plans.
With this new insurance product, customers may choose to opt for either a 'step-down life annuity' or a 'fixed-term annuity' taking into consideration their plans for retirement, plus the provision of a minimum guarantee of the total amount that the customer is likely to receive.
Customers can opt to start receiving annuity payments as early one year after commencing the plan, or they may choose the length of the payment deferral period.
Manulife Japan is a subsidiary of Manulife Financial, the financial services group based in Canada. In addition to asset management services, Manulife Financial also provides reinsurance solutions specialising in life and property and casualty retro-cession, as well as financial protection and wealth management products and services.
Insurance Company mentioned:
Manulife Life Insurance Company, Japan. Manulife Financial was one of the first foreign life insurance companies to establish operations in Japan, entering the market in 1901. Manulife re-entered Japan in 1999, laying the foundation for the establishment of Manulife Life Insurance Company (Manulife Japan). The vision of Manulife Japan is to be the most professional life insurance company in Japan, providing leading financial protection and wealth management products and services, and learning from and quickly adapting to its customers? changing needs.
MetLife announces the opening of its third Provincial branch in Sichuan. The unveiling of the new Sichuan branch is the first since United Metlife disclosed its plans to merge with Sino-US MetLife insurance business.
The planned merger between United MetLife and its Sino-US MetLife Insurance Company Limited is the first sign that MetLife is preparing for the two MetLife subsidiary’s to amalgamate; this follows the announcement by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) that foreign investors should only have one insurance operation on the mainland.
The Beijing based Sino-US MetLife insurance subsidiary planned merger with the Shanghai based United MetLife – creating Sino-US United MetLife Insurance – will ensure that MetLife follows the Chinese Authorities guidelines for foreign insurance investors in China.
In order for MetLife to meet its obligations – to become a single operating insurance provider in China – requires Capital Airport Holding to sell its 50% stake in Sino-US MetLife to Shanghai Alliance Investment which is MetLife’s JV partner in United MetLife.
Mr Marks, head of the Asia-Pacific region for MetLife said “China is a key strategic market for MetLife. By having a single partner across the country we can create a stronger brand and portfolio of offerings for the market. This will allow us to accelerate growth and in turn provide increased value to our customers.”
The opening of the new branch in the Sichuan province – together with the Chongqing branch – means MetLife continues to build the foundations in second-tier cities in western China, expanding its presence in the country; this has been a key focus for MetLife in recent years.
Sino-US MetLife Insurance Company Limited provides life, accident and health insurance to individuals in Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Sheyang and Dalian. While United MetLife Insurance Company Limited offers life and accidental insurance products in Shanghai, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Ningbo and Wuxi.
The announcement of the Sichuan province branch comes at a time for MetLife when foreign investors in China, aim to strengthen their presence in this prosperous country. The growing demand for insurance products – to cover accident and health in China – is a key revenue stream for MetLife since they acquired the American Life Insurance Company.
The Asian insurance industry – especially China – has been transformed in recent years, with foreign investors competing for a percentage of this profitable market. MetLife’s activities in China was estimated to generated Yuan 3 billion (US$442 billion) in 2009 – a figure accounting for less than 1% of the Chinese insurance market.
Insurance company mentioned:
Possessing over 140 years of insurance expertise, MetLife aims to be an innovator in the field of international Life insurance. Globally, MetLife is able to offer its clients accident and health insurance, life insurance, disability income protection, and retirement and savings products.
Baloise Insurance Group of Switzerland has recently announced their acquisition of Belgian insurance company “Avéro Schadeverzekering Benelux N.V.” (Avero) in a deal valued at US$97 million (EUR 75 million). Avero is a subsidiary of the Dutch Eureko Group.
With this acquisition Baloise strengthens its market position, becoming the sixth-largest non-life insurance business in Belgium. With a share of around 5 percent Baloise is gaining a foothold in the French-speaking region of Belgium. The expected completion date for this acquisition is towards the end of 2010, once the corresponding approval by the regulatory authorities is obtained.
Baloise intends to gradually remove from the Belgian market the brand name Avero. Currently, Avero trades in the non-life insurance segment, with focus on the property and transport insurance markets. Using exclusively a network of brokers, Avero sells its products to over 100,000 private and corporate customers. It is estimated to hold a 13 percent market share in the transport sector.
With a 177-strong staff, Avero recorded a US$160 million (EUR 124 million) premium volume in 2009.
For Baloise, this acquisition represents another step towards the expansion of their international business.
Insurance Companies mentioned:
Headquartered in Basel, Switerland, the Baloise Group is a European provider of insurance and pension solutions. In Switzerland Baloise operates as a focused financial services provider, combing insurance and banking. Further markets are Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia and Serbia. The sales network comprises the company’s own sales organisation, brokers and further partners. Baloise operates its business in innovative pension products for private customers all over Europe and has competence centres in Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. The Baloise Group employs approximately 9,400 people.
Avéro Insurance is a member of the Eureko group, a major financial services provider, fully expanding in quantity in European markets. Avéro is active in the nonlife sector and focuses primarily on the property and transport insurance areas. It holds a market share of 13% in the transport sector. It sells its products to more than 100,000 private and corporate customers exclusively via a network of brokers. Avéro has 177 employees.
On the 19th July 2010, the Indian based company Larsen & Toubro (L&T) received final approval from Indian insurance regulators to start commencing business through it’s subsidiary, L&T Insurance. The newly formed general insurer is supported by L&T, valued at US$9.8 billion. The Indian conglomerate – L&T – will have 100% equity in L&T Insurance.
Larsen & Toubro is one the largest private sector conglomerates in India, and the decision to enter into the insurance industry comes at a time when L&T aim to strengthen their position in the Indian financial service industry. Already established in the non-banking financial sector, with L&T Finance Ltd, the move into the general insurance sector meets L&T’s aim to diversify the company’s financial services offerings, and create a bigger corporate presence in the Indian financial market.
Mr Joydeep Roy, CEO of L&T said that “we should begin operations within the next six to ten weeks”. L&T Insurance are waiting for the necessary license from the Regulatory Authority to enable business to commence. L&T Insurance intend to offer more than 20 insurance products, including the provision of high quality health insurance coverage with which they plan to support gaps in the existing Indian healthcare sector. However, L&T do not plan to enter into the life insurance market at this time.
With health insurance as the key focus of its entry to the insurance business, the company plans to emphasize the importance of their offerings in this area. As such, the long term aim for L&T Insurance is the development of its own health insurance claim management team.
Initial plans are for L&T Insurance to open branches in the major cities of India, identified as ‘Tier-One’ locations, which include: Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Coimbatore and Kolkata. Plans include expansion into Tier-Two and Tier-Three Indian cities at a later date. L&T Insurance will initially employ 100 staff, increasing that number to 300 by the end of 2010. L&T Finance already has a presence in 230 locations throughout India, including rural and sub-urban areas, meaning that the company is well placed to leverage their existing assets in order to capitalize in the consumer uptake of the India health insurance market.
Senior Vice President of L&T, Mr Sivaraman, said “As a part of our long term vision, we identified general insurance operation in India. …We identified general insurance business as a vital component for profitable growth.”
Larsen & Toubro (L&T) is a multinational conglomerate company, with its headquarters based in Mumbai, India. Predominately a construction and engineering firm, L&T’s venture into the non-life insurance sector comes at a time when the company’s financial subsidiaries – L&T Finance (LTF), L&T Infrastructure Finance (LTIF) and L&T Mutual Fund – are recognized as key parts of this leading non-banking financial company in India. L&T Finance Ltd has penetrated the non-banking financial sector throughout India, with a national distribution network.
L&T Insurance entered into the non-life insurance sector, which is comprised of 22 competitors, including 4 public sector companies.
Insurance Company mentioned:
L&T Insurance is a subsidiary of Indian based Larsen & Toutbro (L&T). L&T Insurance received approval from the Indian regulatory authority in July 2010 to commence trading in the insurance sector. L&T insurance will become a general insurer, with no plans to enter into the life market.
Transamerica Reinsurance has recently announced the appointment of Mr. Alfonso Lombao as Managing Director for Latin American Business. Among his regional duties, Mr. Lombao will coordinate sales, marketing and business development strategies, including customised product programmes and traditional reinsurance solutions. Transamerica Reinsurance is a division of Transamerica Life Insurance Company, a major worldwide supplier of life insurance with headquarters in North Carolina, USA.
Mr. Lombao brings on board his extensive expertise in life insurance business, encompassing both the direct and reinsurance sides. With four years of experience in bancassurance retail insurance, plus 14 years with Swiss Re, where Mr. Lombao played several roles, including the management of the Latin American business of the company, both from the Zurich headquarters as well as from the office of Swiss Re in Mexico City.
The academic credentials of Mr. Lombao include a master’s degree in Physics Science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Switzerland, where he graduated in 1992, and has memberships in the Swiss Association of Actuaries and the Latin American Chamber of Commerce in Switzerland.
For Transamerica Reinsurance, the Latin American markets are vital to their long-term growth objectives. Taking advantage of the experience and the understanding of the markets that Mr. Lombao possesses, Transamerica aims to be well-positioned to offer reinsurance solutions in Brazil, Chile and Mexico.
It is generally admitted in economic circles that Latin American markets emerged relatively unscathed from the global financial tsunami and as a result, there are strong growth prospects for the region. Transamerica enjoys close working relationships in Latin America and that gives them the edge to help local life insurers to develop and execute their product and marketing strategies.
Insurance Company mentioned:
Transamerica Reinsurance is a division of Transamerica Life Insurance Company, an AEGON company. It is one of the largest life reinsurers in the U.S., offering broad capabilities in risk, capital and expense managements to help companies improve the competitiveness and profitability of their life and annuity products. Transamerica Reinsurance supplies automatic and facultative reinsurance, product consulting and development and alternative underwriting solutions to more than 500 companies in North America, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Europe.
Blue Cross Blue Shield, the major American health insurance provider, has been rated as having the highest brand equity in the USA’s national insurance market according to a recent report released by Harris Interactive, a leading international market research company.
During Harris’ 2010 EquiTrend survey, the company found that Blue Cross Blue Shield has the highest brand equity in the industry. The report discovered that Aetna and United Healthcare rank second and third, respectively. This is the first year in which Harris Interactive has looked at the American Insurance industry during the annual study, which has previously been limited to major financial services companies.
The study follows in the wake of recent developments in the American health insurance market, including the recent legislation passed by President Obama in an attempt to reform healthcare in the USA. As such, American consumers are expected to be more discriminating with their choice of health insurance plan, which could be a major boon for Blue Cross Blue Shield in light of the company’s higher visibility in the market.
Insurance companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield, who have focused on, and actively managed their brand identities, will be better able to capitalize on the extraordinary influx of potential business in the coming months, according to Harris Interactive Vice President Debra Richman. However, Harris has also noticed an increasing trend of consumers switching to cheaper insurance cover from 2008 – 2009 with 11% of all health insurance purchasers, up 3% from the previous year, opting to obtain a plan that was less expensive.
This increase in price-conscious consumers means that despite Blue Cross Blue Shield having the most visible brand within the USA’s insurance industry, there may be more factors to consider than simply being noticeable; policy benefits, renewability, and international portability will all affect the decision of the aware consumer to purchase a medical insurance policy.
One of the reasons that Blue Cross Blue Shield may have the best brand equity within the US insurance market is due to their overwhelming market share. The company, its subsidiaries, and partners have the largest share of the health insurance market in 36 states according to a June 2009 survey released by the Center for American Progress.
Lloyd’s of London Syndicate 1221, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of US-based Navigators Group Inc., has recently announced the appointment of a representative in Brazil.
Lloyd’s was initially granted re-insurer status in Brazil during April of 2009, and the company has had a representative office in the country since then.
Commenting on the appointment of the Brazilian representative of the Lloyd’s syndicate, Stephen Coward, president of Navigators Technical Risk, said: “Having a qualified local representative in Rio de Janeiro will significantly improve our prospects of developing reinsurance business in the energy industry segment in which we specialise. Brazil is an attractive market opportunity for Navigators because of its rapidly expanding economy.”
Given the recent announcements made by the Brazilian government in relation to their plans to invest in Brazilian infrastructure and energy industry over the next 10 years, the country makes for an attractive market opportunity for Navigators, especially considering that Brazil will play host to the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games of 2016.
With those two world-class events in the horizon, Navigators sees expanded opportunities across the market and expects to introduce other insurance-related products through its newly-created channel.
Insurance Company mentioned:
Established in 1974, Navigators is one of the largest and most profitable ocean marine underwriters in the United States. The Navigators Group, Inc., publicly traded since 1986, is an international specialty insurance holding company. Head-quartered in New York City, the Group consists of a number of wholly owned subsidiaries including Navigators Insurance Company, the Navigators Agencies, and operations at Lloyds of London. The Group’s wholly owned subsidiary, Navigators Underwriting Agency Limited, is a Lloyd’s of London marine and D&O underwriting managing agency which manages Navigators Syndicate 1221 at Lloyd’s.
Mr Sadler will oversee the operations from Hong Kong, as CIGNA aim to further expand the business globally. As from the 19th of July, 2010, the former HSBC MD will take the reins of CIGNA in Hong Kong, to lead the Health, Life & Accident (HL&A) push for growth in the international market.
CIGNA International President William L. Atwell said “ With his breadth of experience and strong leadership skills, I’m confident he’ll be a great success in leading our team to meet our aggressive growth objectives – particularly in Asia.”
The appointment of Mr Sadler, follows an aggressive business strategy which has been implemented by CIGNA early this year. The experience of the new CEO is likely going to play a pivotal role in the drive to augment the global reach of the health service company.
Prior to becoming CEO of IH&A, Mr Sadler spent 16 years with HSBC serving in the UK, Singapore and Hong Kong. Recently he held the position of managing director of the HSBC insurance business for Hong Kong, responsible for the life, general, medical and corporate retirement business.
With a total of 21 years of experience in the industry, Mr Sadler’s appointment as CEO of CIGNA International Health, Life & Accident comes at a critical time, as the company accelerates their global operations, with particular focus on the Asian market. Mr Sadler is leaving the post of Insurance Business Managing Director for HSBC in Hong Kong, Insurance Asian Limited, a position he has held since 2007; previously he was CEO of HSBC Singapore Pte Limited.
Mr Sadler graduated from Swansea University, United Kingdom with a Bachelor of Science in Business Studies. Previously Sadler held management positions in the UK, with AXA insurance and Zurich Financial Services.
The appointment of Mr Sadler comes as CIGNA aim to increase their market share, especially in Asia. As the Asian healthcare market expands – particularly in China – CIGNA plans to implement an aggressive strategy that aims to take advantage of the rapidly increasing demand for insurance packages that provide better coverage than the government-provided plans.
Insurance Companies mentioned:
CIGNA- A global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well being and sense of security. CIGNA Corporation’s operating subsidiaries provide an integrated suite of medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, as well as group life, accident and disability insurance, to approximately 46 million people throughout the United States and around the world.
HSBC- Is one of the largest banks and financial services organizations in the world. It has a global presence that consists of 9,500 offices across 86 countries and territories in Europe, the Americas, the Asian- Pacific region, the Middle East and Africa. HSBC Insurance (Asia-Pacific) Holdings Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, the founder member of HSBC Holdings plc, the London-based holding company of the HSBC Group. Three insurance underwriters collectively form HSBC Insurance (Asia-Pacific) Holdings Limited: HSBC Insurance (Asia) Limited, HSBC Life (International) Limited and HSBC Insurance (Singapore) Pte Limited.
Chaucer Holdings Plc, the diversified insurance group which is a subsidiary of Lloyd’s of London, has recently announced the opening of a new office in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. This new office will operate on behalf of Chaucer Syndicate 1084, and is aiming to get a share of the facultative property and related risks in the Latin American market.
The new office will start underwriting business effective 01 October 2010. The core of the management team is formed by Uwe Fischer, as general manager, plus Alejandro Ferrin and Guido Wolman, all three of whom formerly worked with Glacier Re, which is an established European Specialty reinsurer head-quartered and regulated in Switzerland.
Chaucer is confident in the extensive property facultative abilities of the new team to develop a high-quality and successful business in Latin America. In response to that trust, Uwe Fischer reaffirmed their confidence by saying: “As a team, we recognise the importance of being able to offer clients regional service and international underwriting excellence, underpinned by the secure financial strength of Lloyd’s.
“This initiative provides an excellent opportunity for Chaucer to develop our underwriting in Latin America.”
With the opening of this new office in Latin America, Chaucer extends the reach of its international operations.
Insurance Company mentioned:
Chaucer Holdings PLC is a diversified insurance group listed on the London Stock Exchange. Chaucer underwrites business at Lloyd’s, the world’s leading insurance and reinsurance market. Chaucer deploys specialist underwriters in over 28 major insurance and reinsurance classes, balancing global marine, energy, non-marine and aviation with UK motor and nuclear. Head-quartered in London, Chaucer has international operations in Copenhagen, Houston and Singapore.
Alan Merten has been appointed by Manulife Financial Group as the new Chief Executive Officer and President Director of PT Asuransi Jiwa Manulife Indonesia (Manulife Indonesia).
Alan Merten has over 20 years of experience working with life insurance, international health insurance, wealth management and pensions. His new position will see him take responsibility for growing Manulife Indonesia’s business by using their sales force, partnerships and bancassurance distribution channels to develop their individual insurance, group insurance, pensions and wealth management offerings.
Mr. Merten previously spent three years as the Chief Executive Officer of Manulife Provident Funds Trust Company in Hong Kong, successfully growing their Group Insurance and Provident Fund business to where it now manages USD 8 billion (EUR 6.3 billion) in funds for approximately 1 million customers.Read the rest of the Alan Merten Appointed New Chief Executive of Manulife Indonesia article.
AIG has named former Prudential Chief Executive Mark Tucker as the head of AIA, the company’s Asian life insurance business. The move sees the replacement of existing CEO Mark Wilson, who was instrumental in stabilizing the company when AIG was on the brink of collapse.
While no comment was available from AIA with regards to the replacement of Wilson, reports from individuals familiar with the internal situation of the company say that Wilson had threatened to resign his post if the Prudential deal had gone forward. Despite the failure of the Prudential acquisition, Wilson’s position placed him in a contrary position to that of AIA’s upper management and may be a key reason for his replacement.
The ousting of Wilson comes less than a week after AIG Chairman, Harvey Golub, resigned the company following a disagreement with AIG’s CEO, Robert Benmosche.
Analysts are speculating that the nomination of Mark Tucker as the head of AIA is the latest incident of Benmosche asserting his control over the AIG group of companies. Reports of heightened Boardroom friction following the collapse of the US$ 35.5 billion deal with Prudential have been rife, leading to concern about the company ahead of an estimated US$15 billion AIA IPO, scheduled for later this year.
Benmosche is optimistic about the nomination of the new AIA Chief Executive, stating; “Mark Tucker has the public company experience, track record, relationships … that will help us accomplish our ambitious goals of not just taking a company of AIA’s size and scope public, but building on this great platform for the long term to create Asia’s pre-eminent, publicly traded insurance company.”
Mr Tucker is 53 years old. A certified chartered accountant, he initially joined Prudential in 1986 as part of Prudential Portfolio Managers Limited. Becoming Chief Executive for Prudential Corporation Asia in 1993, Mr Tucker held the post for a decade, during which time he evaluated the acquisition of AIA by Prudential. However, that deal ultimately fell through without the backing of AIG. Mr Tucker left the prudential group for HBOS Plc in 2004, where he took a position as the company’s finance director. However, that position was short lived as he returned to Prudential in 2005 as CEO. Mr Tucker left Prudential in 2009 when he resigned from the company.
Chartis is now offering two new cancer care insurance products in the UK Private Medical Insurance (PMI) market through their voluntary benefits website; the WellWoman and CancerCare plans do not cover the medical expenses associated with cancer, but provide extra financial resources for patients.
Both the WellWoman and CancerCare plans are designed to operate alongside to private medical insurance products which would cover medical treatment of cancers. The benefits offered are a way to ameliorate financial difficulties that may arise from cancer diagnosis and treatment by offering lump sum cash payment upon diagnosis of a covered cancer of GBP 25,000 (USD 38, 282) on the standard cover and GBP 50,000 (USD 76,563) on premium cover. In some cases such as slow growing cancers or early stage cancers, Chartis may give a cash payment of GBP 1,000 (USD 1,531).
The CancerCare Plan covers Leukemia, Carcinoma in situ, Skin cancer, Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and any malignant tumors that are neither pre-malignant nor non-invasive. WellWoman covers cancers affecting the reproductive organs including; one or both of the breasts, fallopian tubes and ovaries, the cervix, the uterus, the vagina, and vulva on women and one or both breasts and testes, as well as the prostate and the penis for men. Chartis places no restrictions on the spending of the lump sum cash payments, so the customer may use the money for whatever they deem necessary, whether that is paying for extra childcare, transport or household expenditures.
The Head of Broker Relationships for Chartis’ Accident and Health division, Kim Gilbert said “As employers look to reduce and control benefits costs, there is an increasing trend towards PMI plans that no longer provide cancer cover.
“By making the WellWoman and CancerCare products available through their voluntary benefits scheme, employers can help their employees to address the cancer care options available and signpost them to the cover available.
“When you consider that someone is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes in the UK, helping employees to find ways to limit the financial and emotional costs associated with such a life changing event is an invaluable service.”
Insurance Company Mentioned:
A leading property-casualty and general insurance company, Chartis has over 40 million policyholders in 160 countries worldwide. With more than 90 years experience in the insurance industry, and a range of progressive products, Chartis aims to help clients comprehensively manage risk.