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Generali selling German unit; Irish insurer probes CEO; global premiums tick up

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

Industry updates

* Global insurance premiums continued to rise in 2017, albeit at a somewhat slower pace than a year earlier.

* U.K. banks could be liable for a further £18 billion in payouts to victims of missold payment protection insurance after a court ruling.

Done deals

* Zurich Insurance Group AG subsidiary Zurich U.K. completed its purchase of Oak Underwriting PLC from RSA Insurance Group PLC.

* Insurance Linx Ltd. has acquired U.K.-based SP Roberts Insurance Services for an undisclosed sum.

* PIB Group Limited bought U.K. childcare insurance provider Albany Childcare.

* AFL Insurance Brokers Ltd. has acquired a controlling stake in London-based Concordia Employment Services Ltd. for an undisclosed sum.

Deal table

* PFP Holdings Pte. Ltd. agreed to sell its U.K.-based fee protection insurance business, Professional Fee Protection Ltd., to U.S. private equity firms Highbridge Principal Strategies and Madison Dearborn Partners LLC.

* French private equity firm Eurazeo SA is in talks to acquire Albingia Compagnie D'Assurance, and has entered into exclusive discussions with Chevrillon & Associés and IDI over the takeover.

* Swedish lender Nordea Bank AB (publ) signed an agreement with Gjensidige Forsikring ASA to acquire 100% of the share capital of unit Gjensidige Bank ASA for an estimated cash consideration of 5.50 billion Norwegian kroner.

Sale in mind

* Generali and Generali Deutschland AG agreed to sell an 89.9% stake in Generali Lebensversicherung AG to Viridium Group GmbH & Co. KG.

* Munich Re Co. is selling Beaufort Underwriting Agency Ltd., more than a decade after acquiring the managing agency.

Capital related

* Allianz Group will launch a fresh buyback of up to €1 billion in shares.

* U.K. insurtech firm Bought By Many Ltd. raised £15 million in a series B funding round.

* Swiss Reinsurance Co. Ltd. plans to redeem $750 million of perpetual subordinated capital instruments with stock settlement on Sept. 1.

Executive appointments

* DUAL International Ltd., the underwriting division of U.K.-based Hyperion Insurance Group Ltd., named Richard Clapham group CEO and Darren Doherty vice chairman and commercial director. Doherty's appointment is effective Sept. 1 and is subject to regulatory approval and discharge of his duties to his current employer. He was formerly CEO of Pioneer Underwriters. Clapham will become group CEO on Oct. 1, and will retain his role as group chief underwriting officer and CEO for the U.K. and Europe.

* Pool Reinsurance Co. Ltd. appointed Tracey Paul to the newly created role of chief strategy and communications officer. Paul previously worked for the Ministry of Housing and Local Government.

* DARAG Deutsche Versicherungs-und Rückversicherungs-AG appointed Tom Booth CEO of the group, effective July 23. Previously, Booth was group CFO of Bermuda-based Randall & Quilter Investment Holdings Ltd.

About allegations

* FBD Holdings Plc hired law firm William Fry to look into internal allegations made against the company's CEO, Fiona Muldoon. The insurer confirmed that it was investigating Muldoon.

ESG talk

* Swiss Re AG will no longer provide insurance and reinsurance to companies with more than 30% exposure to thermal coal, beginning July 2.

In other news

* Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group PLC published a restatement of its full-year 2017 and second-half 2017 financial results, following the implementation of IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers, effective Jan.1, and the new segmental reporting structure adopted April 1.

* The Italian Competition Authority, or Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, is reviewing an appeal by Mediobanca-Banca di Credito Finanziario SpA to cancel certain conditions set in the 2012 merger of insurers Unipol Gruppo SpA and Fondiaria Sai to create UnipolSai Assicurazioni SpA.

* Ageas SA/NV received approval from the Belgian central bank to organize and operate reinsurance activities.

Featured during the week on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Sudden interest rate jump could cause insurance firms to fail, BIS warns: A sharp jump in interest rates after a prolonged period of ultra-loose monetary policy could trigger liquidity problems at insurers and pension funds, and possible failures.

Lloyd's of London must follow through on syndicate closure threats, CEOs say: Bosses of Lloyd's insurers have welcomed the crackdown on syndicate and business line profitability but say they are not the sole answer to the 330-year-old insurance market's problems.