AIG snaps up UK life insurance business from Munich Re

Ellipse covers around 370,000 people from its London base

AIG recently acquired a Bermuda reinsurer, Validus, for $5.6 billion. Photograph: iStock

AIG recently acquired a Bermuda reinsurer, Validus, for $5.6 billion. Photograph: iStock

 

AIG has purchased a UK life insurance business from Munich Re, the latest deal by the expanding New York-based insurance company.

Ellipse, based in London’s Bermondsey Square, was launched in 2006 and provides employers with life, critical illness and income protection cover for workers.

About 370,000 people are covered by the company. Terms of the AIG deal were not disclosed.

While smaller than Validus, the Bermuda reinsurer that AIG agreed to buy for $5.6 billion (€4.82 billion) in January, the purchase is the latest sign of the group’s renewed appetite to expand under chief executive Brian Duperreault.

Acquisition

Earlier this month Mr Duperreault said he would do another multibillion-dollar acquisition “in a heartbeat” if he could find the right target, as he eyes potential expansion of the US insurer’s life and retirement business overseas.

Speaking of the Validus deal he said: “If I could find another one like that I’d do it in a heartbeat.”

The remarks underscore the change in direction at AIG under Mr Duperreault, whose predecessors shrank the company after its $185 billion bailout in the financial crisis.

AIG remains a powerhouse in US life and commercial insurance and has a chunky presence in some other countries including Japan and the UK. However, Mr Duperreault said of the group’s footprint: “If I could expand it and go into other places where it makes sense I would do that.”

The insurer’s life division has performed far better than its property and casualty business, where a series of reserving charges and muted profitability have undermined investor confidence. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2018