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Davies Group acquires admin; AXA to sell businesses; MS Amlin exits aviation

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of insurance news stories and more published throughout the week.

M&A

* U.K.-based Davies Group Ltd. acquired Alternative Service Concepts LLC, a U.S.-based workers' compensation and property and casualty third-party administrator. Alternative Service will join Davies Group's newly formed North American claims solutions business as a third-party administrator arm in tandem with its independent adjusting business.

* Generali will acquire Croatia-based non-life insurance provider Izvor osiguranje dd's business through a part-of-enterprise transaction, for undisclosed financial terms, to further consolidate its position in the Croatian market.

* Russian insurer AlfaStrakhovanie PLC finalized the acquisition of a 100% stake in regional insurance company Nadezhda. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Nadezhda will retain its brand and product line and operate as a company within the Alfa Insurance Group during a transition period until a special team prepares an integration plan for it.

* Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has acquired Sweden-based insurance broker Proinova for an undisclosed amount.

People moves

* Norway-based Assuranceforeningen Gard Gjensidig appointed Christian Pritchard-Davies CFO, effective Jan. 1, 2020. He is the company's vice president and head of infrastructure and operations.

* Margaret Kathanga resigned as CEO at the general insurance segment of Britam Holdings PLC. The company's COO, Jackson Theuri, was named acting CEO.

* AXA SA appointed Group CFO and Deputy CEO Gérald Harlin as chairman of the board of directors for unit AXA Investment Managers SA, effective Oct. 14. He will also serve as the unit's executive chairman from Dec. 1. The appointment came after the unit's CEO Andrea Rossi and Chairman Christof Kutscher decided to leave their roles. Rossi will become an adviser to Harlin on Dec. 1. Meanwhile, Harlin will continue to serve as the group's deputy CEO after the transition of his group CFO duties to Etienne Bouas-Laurent at the end of 2019.

In other news

* AXA SA is planning to off-load its businesses in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia in a deal that could be worth between €400 million and €800 million in an effort to contend with the impact of negative interest rates. AXA is looking to exit markets where it lacks scale, strengthen its health and property and damage insurance businesses and expand in Asia.

* Munich Re Co. expects to report a consolidated result of approximately €850 million in the third quarter, despite "high major-loss expenditure." The German reinsurer attributed its expected earnings figures to "good operational performance, strong currency gains and a very good investment result."

* MS Amlin PLC will cease underwriting aviation insurance renewals or new business, effective Oct. 14, confirming its exit from the aviation insurance market. The company said the decision will enable it to devote more capital, investment and management time on areas of focus to support its growth plan.

Featured during the week on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Insurance M&A valuations nearing cyclical highs, RBC investment banker says: Niche specialty lines are seeing more activity than the rate-sensitive businesses in the life and annuity sector.

Blockchain initiative's reinsurance trading platform just the start, says CEO: The industry-backed B3i wants third-party companies to build applications on its platform as it aims to cut the "super-inefficient" insurance industry's administration costs.