Liquidator close to finalising deal on IBRC Assurance

New owner said to be a large European investor

The liquidator of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation has secured a preferred bidder to acquire the assurance arm of the former Anglo Irish Bank.

The new owner of the unit is understood to be a large European investor, though the deal remains the subject of final due diligence and regulatory approval.

The Department of Finance has to approve any major sale of the bank, whose liquidation is being handled by accountancy firm KPMG.

IBRC Assurance has a range of property investments made on behalf of the self-administered pension funds of hundreds of clients. Property investments marketed by Anglo’s wealth management division were wrapped into unit-linked funds from the assurance company, making them more attractive from a tax and pension perspective. Investments were primarily in office and mixed-used developments in London and Dublin.


IBRC Assurance was restructured as a stand-alone unit by management in the nationalised bank under its then chief executive Mike Aynsley in order to prepare it for sale.

A number of clients of the former bank have initiated legal actions in relation to alleged poor investments. This will have to be dealt with by the division’s new owner.

IBRC Assurance earned €12 million in fees in 2013. It has net assets for policy-holders worth €187.5 million and has substantial cash reserves for regulatory purposes.

Macquarie Group, PartnerRe, Swiss Re, Brehon Capital Partners, Investec and others all have been rumoured to have looked at acquiring the business. A price of over €25 million is expected to be required to secure it.