S&P Global Market Intelligence offer our top picks of insurance news stories and more published throughout the week.
* Ageas SA/NV and Helvetia Holding AG made it to the final stages of the auction for Caser Seguros — valuing it at €1 billion — and the Spanish insurer is set to evaluate their proposals at its Dec. 18 board meeting. However, a final decision may not be made until January considering the company's fragmented shareholder structure.
* U.K.-based PIB Group Ltd. completed the acquisition of retail automotive industry-focused Cooper Solutions Ltd, which offers a daily rate insurance product and other online services. PIB Group also acquired credit insurer CMR Insurance Services Ltd. and health and safety consultancy Sue Smith Ltd.
* Monument Re Ltd. is acquiring Ireland-domiciled life insurer Cattolica Life DAC from Società Cattolica di Assicurazione - SC. Terms and conditions of the deal, which is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2020, were not disclosed. The transaction will not affect the clients and policyholders of Cattolica Life since it ceased new activity in 2017.
* Munich Re Co.'s supervisory board appointed Achim Kassow to the board of management, effective May 1, 2020. Kassow will succeed Hermann Pohlchristoph and will be responsible for Asia-Pacific and Africa, as well as for the central procurement and services divisions.
* Saga PLC appointed Euan Sutherland group CEO, effective Jan. 6, 2020.
* Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Ltd., which trades as LV=, said CEO and board member Richard Rowney resigned and will leave the company Dec. 31. The process to find a successor is underway and expected to complete by year-end.
In other news
* Moody's said the outlook for the global life insurance sector in 2020 is stable, as low interest rates continue to challenge the industry. The rating agency said insurers are moving to adapt their products to low interest rates, noting that less interest rate sensitive, fee-based and capital-light products such as unit-linked and protection policies create some security against the prevailing environment.
* Brit Ltd. has launched Sussex Specialty Insurance Fund, an insurance-linked securities fund that will offer institutional investors direct access to Lloyd's of London-underwritten specialty insurance and reinsurance.
* Swiss Life Holding AG has completed its share buyback program and repurchased 2,208,715 of its shares for an average purchase price of CHF452.75 apiece. The company said it achieved its target size of CHF1 billion.
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