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Swiss Re Invests Usd 493 Million For A 4.9% Stake In New China Life

Swiss Re has announced that it has entered into a transaction with Zurich Insurance Company Ltd to acquire a 4.9% stake in New China Life Insurance Company Ltd, reaffirming Swiss Re's commitment to high growth markets.

New China Life is a Chinese company which provides life and health insurance products. Headquartered in Beijing, New China Life is the third largest life insurer in China based on gross premium. Swiss Re is acquiring directly from Zurich Insurance Company 152.9 million New China Life H shares (which are listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong), representing 4.9 % of the total issued share capital of New China Life (which includes both H shares listed in Hong Kong and A shares listed in Shanghai). The total consideration of the transaction is HKD 3,821 million (USD 493 million).

John R. Dacey, Swiss Re's Group Chief Strategy Officer, says "China is the fifth largest life insurance market in the world, but its penetration is still relatively low. Investing in New China Life enables us to tap into this growth potential. It also reaffirms Swiss Re's commitment to the high growth markets and its strategy of making investments in leading insurance franchises."

The transaction is expected to complete on 25 November 2013.


Vertafore Further Automates Producer Sales Authorizations with Producer Manager

Vertafore have announced Producer Sales Authorizations in Producer Manager, which uses producer credentials to help insurers determine if a producer holds the required credentials to sell their products.

Producer Manager is an automated solution for just-in-time producer sales authorizations, supplying actionable insight into producer status to improve time-to-market while lowering costs and compliance risk. In an April 2013 survey of insurance professionals conducted by Vertafore regarding producer lifecycle management, nearly 65 percent of respondents said new business had been delayed due to authorization gaps.

A centralized rules engine ensures that policies are being followed consistently, and is easier to use by underwriting techs that often are not familiar with licensing and related producer sales authorization compliance issues and requirements. For carriers wanting to know if a producer is authorized to sell, the solution can automatically turn a “no” answer into “yes” so that business is not interrupted while waiting for manual appointment processing.

This is the ideal solution for carriers seeking to implement a just-in-time appointment process. For agencies, it delivers visibility into sales agent activity so that the licensing department can be proactive about solving issues.

“Managing producer sales authorizations is a critical requirement in the business of insurance. Without it, the risk of compliance fines increase, growth can stall due to reputation issues and operational bottlenecks, and more importantly insurance issuance can be delayed negatively affecting customer satisfaction,” said Tim Owen, vice president of product management at Vertafore. “Vertafore delivers one of the most complete processes and technology packages to ensure agencies and carriers remain compliant and are well positioned for the future.”


Willis North America Appoints Eric Joost Chief Operating Officer

Willis North America, a unit of Willis Group Holdings (NYSE:WSH), the global risk advisor, insurance and reinsurance broker, today announced the appointment of Eric Joost as Chief Operating Officer.

Joost has been serving as Chief Executive of Willis North America's Specialty Practices since 2009. He will report to Todd Jones, CEO, Willis North America. Willis North America is the North American retail brokerage business of Willis Group Holdings. The business, which in 2012 reported revenues of more than $1.3 billion, has more than 100 local offices across the United States, Canada and Mexico, offering a full range of insurance and risk management services, specialist expertise and global resources to large corporate, middle-market and small business clients. In this newly created role, Joost will lead the development and execution of Willis North America's growth and operational strategies.

He will work closely with business unit leaders across North America and collaborate with Willis Group leadership to ensure Willis has the proper specialization, structure and operating models in place to support growth. Joost will continue to lead the North American Specialty Practices, which feature dedicated specialty brokers serving key marketplace sectors including construction, health care, financial services, real estate and life sciences; as well as dedicated insurance products to protect unique risks such as executive risk and environmental liabilities.

Commenting on the appointment, Todd Jones said, "Eric is well-suited to lead our operational strategies in North America. His experience aligning our specialty practices and product capabilities with our business platforms combined with his strong leadership skills and client focus makes him ideally suited to help us achieve our goal of improving connectivity across all of Willis to ensure we are positioned to support a much deeper and broader delivery to each and every client."

New York-based, Joost joined Willis in 2006 and has more than 25 years of experience in the insurance industry as a specialist broker and underwriter. Prior to joining Willis he held leadership positions at Allianz and Aon. He received his M.B.A. from Kellogg School of Management and his B.S. in industrial engineering from Northwestern University. 


Jubilee Insurance and Bupa International Launch a Regional International Private Health Insurance Product

Jubilee Insurance and Bupa International Launch a Regional International Private Health Insurance Product

East Africa’s largest insurance group, Jubilee Insurance and leading international healthcare company, Bupa International, today launched a new international health insurance product dubbed Explorer Health Plan. Explorer will seek to provide health insurance services to the growing middle-class, mid-level executives, and expatriates living in Kenya and travelling in and around Africa, including those seeking treatment in South Africa, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The new healthcare insurance product will be available under the Business Explorer Health Plan for corporates and Explorer Health Plan targeting individual clients. {gallery}news-photos{/gallery}

Speaking during the launch, Jubilee Holdings Chairman Mr. Nizar Juma said, “Explorer is a regional plan from an international company designed to bring it within the reach of senior and middle executives specifically designed for the Africa market and it offers great value for money by providing both individual and corporate access to world class medical facilities.”

He added that the partnership with Bupa will enable Jubilee Insurance to meet the growing demand for international medical insurance products and provide a one-stop shop for medical cover to major corporations, private individuals and families in the region. Some of the unique benefits of Explorer Plan include a full range of health screening providing valuable early detection of conditions such as cancer, without lifetime limits for eligible treatment for chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes, ensuring continued access to treatment for as long as a customer is on the plan.

Other benefits include cover for eligible treatment for HIV and AIDS including related conditions and drug therapy, In addition the product has no maximum age limit for new policy holders or those renewing the policy.

Bupa International’s Global Sales & Commercial Director, Tim Slee said, “we are delighted to be launching this new health insurance product, Explorer, adapted for the African market with Jubilee Insurance. Our experience in serving the African market for over 30 years and our global network expertise in designing world-class health insurance products for both individual and corporates will be key in providing access to high-quality international healthcare to the people of Kenya. Under the plan, Jubilee Insurance customers will receive full cancer treatment to ensure that customers are supported at every stage of the treatment. In addition, there will be a cover available for eligible congenital conditions such as heart defects."

“The new international health insurance product will offer our customers, locally and regionally, an expansive range of international medical health-care services through Bupa International, a health insurer of considerable repute and further demonstrates our aim to provide to the people of this region comprehensive benefits together with affordable, high quality healthcare service,” said Chairman of Jubilee Holdings, Mr. Nizar Juma.

The launch of the Explorer Health plan follows the strategic partnership that the two organizations, Bupa International & Jubilee Insurance launched in February this year which brings together Jubilee’s local knowledge with Bupa’s global healthcare expertise.


International SOS acquires Haugaland HMS in Norway

International SOS is proud to announce that Haugaland HMS joined its group of companies on 1st August 2013. Together with Kokstad BHT (KBHT) in Bergen and Stavanger, and Stavanger BHT (SBHT) in Stavanger, which became part of the company in March 2013, Haugaland HMS will combine with them to form the International SOS business in West Norway. This new business will focus on providing medical services to local and international clients. The new International SOS team now consists of 150 people providing occupational health, work environment and medical staffing services. It will work for customers in and around Haugesund, Stavanger and Bergen.

This includes off-shore operations in the Oil and Gas industries. There are also branch offices in Sauda, Sand, Husnes, Leirvik, and Austevoll. These additions to International SOS’ Norwegian-based capability strengthen its’ global platform for growth and will enable the company to provide its’ clients with wider levels of service. The creation of new job opportunities will also be announced in the coming weeks, providing more diverse career opportunities for all of our Norwegian-based employees.

Haugaland HMS’s operations will continue under the managing directorship of Roar Storrø, who will also take up the role of General Manager for the new combined business. Steinar Kobbeltvedt, who has been fulfilling the General Manager role since March, will move to head up client management and business development for the new combined business.

Arnaud Vaissié, Co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of International SOS says: “Haugaland HMS perfectly complements our existing capability in Norway and the North Sea. All three of these companies have hard-earned reputations for quality and customer-led service in challenging environments. This acquisition enables us to continue to extend the reach and delivery capability for our clients, as well as offering the global capability of International SOS. In the short time since March we have already seen the evidence of the value this brings, with new clients joining us in Norway and Norwegian clients becoming international clients to the group. ”

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