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NN Group to book €852M merger charge; L&G mulling sale of general insurance arm

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NN Group to book €852M merger charge; L&G mulling sale of general insurance arm

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

Merger charges

* Dutch insurer NN Group NV expects to take an €852 million goodwill impairment charge against its IFRS profit in the fourth quarter in connection with the merger of two life insurance units. The group noted, however, that the charge will not affect its operating results and does not have an economic or Solvency II impact.

M&A buzz

* Legal & General Group PLC is considering selling its general insurance business in a deal that could be worth more than £300 million, insiders told Sky News.

* Rosgosstrakh Insurance Co. PJSC took 100% ownership of fellow Russian insurer Ergo Life after completing the acquisition of the company from ERGO Group AG, the primary insurance business of Munich Re Co. Rosgosstrakh also appointed a new supervisory board for Ergo Life, which will be chaired by Rosgosstrakh general director Nikolaus Frei.

* U.K. wealth manager St. James's Place PLC acquired life insurance broker Future Proof Ltd. for an undisclosed sum.

* AnaCap Financial Partners LLP has signed an exclusivity arrangement to sell French digital insurance broker AssurOne Group SA to French holding company Societe Centrale Prevoir SA for an undisclosed amount.

Executive moves

* Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Ltd. CEO Philip Loney will stand down by the end of 2019, with Chairman Rupert Pennant-Rea also set to leave the company at the end of December. Pennant-Rea will be succeeded by Kevin Parry, who will lead the search for a new CEO.

* U.K. insurance broker Ed Broking Group Ltd. named Andrew Draycott CEO-designate, with Draycott to take up the role once U.S. brokerage BGC Partners Inc. completes its acquisition of the company. Steve Hearn, currently Ed Broking's group CEO, will become the head of BGC Partners' insurance division. Ed Broking also announced that it is opening a new broking platform in Bermuda.

* London-based Hyperion Insurance Group Ltd. appointed Richard Houghton interim CFO, replacing Oliver Corbett, who is leaving the group later in December.

* American International Group Inc.'s U.K. life division AIG Life Ltd. named Philip Willcock CEO, effective March 1, 2019.

In other news

* The U.S. and U.K. have finalized the terms of a so-called covered agreement under which insurers and reinsurers from one country will be able to write business in the other without certain restrictions that usually apply to foreign companies.

* U.K.-based specialist insurer Pension Insurance Corp. PLC completed a £1.2 billion longevity reinsurance deal with French reinsurer Scor SE.

* Bermuda-based Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings Ltd.'s board changed its expected date of receipt of regulatory approvals for the acquisition of Global U.S. Holdings Inc. and unit Global Reinsurance Corp. of America from a division of French insurer Axa to early 2019 from before the end of 2018.

Featured during the week on S&P Global Market Intelligence:

US LTC insurers likely to converge around removal of 'key' morbidity assumption: Accounting actions taken by U.S. life insurance giants Prudential Financial and CNA Financial earlier in 2018 could have major ramifications for the rest of the industry.

'Huge relief' for UK life insurer Just Group after regulator's 'about-turn': Shares in Just Group jumped after the U.K.'s Prudential Regulation Authority softened proposed rules about the capital that life insurers need to support their holdings of equity release mortgages.