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Bain completes £1.2B Esure takeover; Generali transfers UK portfolio

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

Deals, stakes and transfers

* The scheme of arrangement by which entities affiliated with Bain Capital Private Equity LP will acquire U.K.-based insurer Esure Group PLC became effective, marking the completion of the £1.21 billion takeover.

* Generali completed the transfer of the nonlife legacy portfolio of its U.K. branch to London-based Compre Holdings Ltd., having received approval from Italian regulators.

* Prestige Insurance Holdings bought U.K.-based Autoline Direct Insurance Consultants Ltd. and the full shareholding of its parent company, subject to regulatory approval.

* Specialty insurance managing general agent Nexus Group acquired Hiscox Global Flying through an asset purchase into Millstream Underwriting Ltd., a Nexus Group company.

* The European Commission approved China Reinsurance (Group) Corp.'s planned takeover of Lloyd's of London business Chaucer PLC. China Re will acquire Chaucer from Hanover Insurance Group Inc. for $950 million.

* Japan's MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings Inc. sealed an agreement with Swiss Re AG to invest an additional £315 million in ReAssure, the latter's U.K. closed life book consolidator, subject to regulatory approvals. Upon closing of the deal, MS&AD will hold a 25% minority stake in ReAssure, up from 15%.

* The sale process for Liberty Mutual Holding Co. Inc.'s Lloyd's platform Pembroke Managing Agency Ltd. is reportedly in its second round. Hamilton Insurance Group and Cinven Capital Management (V) General Partner Ltd. are among the bidders.

* Direct Line Insurance Group PLC is weighing whether to make a £400 million offer for the general insurance business of Legal & General Group PLC. Direct Line's interest in Legal & General's home and contents cover division is still in the early stages and may not result in a formal bid, Sky News reported.

Staff shuffling

* Lloyd's of London named Sonja Rottiers CEO of its Brussels unit, set up to ensure that the marketplace can continue to serve EU-based customers after Brexit.

* Paris-based insurer Monceau Assurances Mutuelles Associées SAS appointed Frédéric Channac head of its life and property and casualty insurance operations in France, effective Jan. 2, 2019. Frédéric Channac will report to Monceau President and Director General Gilles Dupin, who will retain responsibility for international activities, finance and central functions.

* U.S. insurance broker Marsh LLC named various key European posts that will take effect after the deal between parent Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. and JLT closes.

* Hiscox appointed Bob Thaker CEO of its U.K. operations, effective March 2019. Bob Thaker's appointment is subject to relevant regulatory approvals.

Authorities take action

* The Maritime and Commercial High Court in Denmark declared Qudos Insurance A/S bankrupt.

* The Central Bank of Ireland imposed a €3.5 million penalty on RSA Insurance Ireland DAC. for regulatory breaches related to large loss claims and accounting irregularities from 2009 to October 2013. The company did not establish and maintain technical reserves in respect of all underwriting liabilities assumed by it, the regulator said.

Other news

* Insurtech investments during the third quarter were at just over $1.3 billion, double the figure from the previous quarter, according to a quarterly briefing from Willis Towers Watson PLC. The number of transactions reported declined 20% to 57 during the quarter, but individual investment rounds were larger.

* Global insured losses in 2018 are estimated to be about $79B billion, down from $150 billion in 2017 but higher than the previous 10-year annual average of $71 billion, according to preliminary estimates from Swiss Re AG.

* RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. will partner with Dutch pension fund manager and service provider Pggm Coöperatie U.A. to launch a property catastrophe reinsurer. PGGM Coöperatie will invest up to $1 billion in the new vehicle, to be known as Vermeer Reinsurance.

Featured during the week on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Lloyd's moves to reassure reinsurance buyers after report of Covéa snub: The London-based insurance market has insisted that European insurers can "safely" continue to buy reinsurance from its syndicates despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

Reinsurance prices flat for now, but ILS-fueled retrocession crunch looms: Ahead of the crucial Jan. 1 renewals, market participants have seen little evidence of rate increases so far for non-loss-affected reinsurance business, but a shortage of retrocession capacity could push up prices.

Homeowners loss ratios improve, premiums increase in Q3: This past quarter, 14 of the top 20 homeowners writers saw improvement in their direct incurred loss ratios on a year-over-year basis.