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VIDEO: Tom de Swaan, CEO a.i. On Zurich's Annual Results 2015

Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) reported a business operating profit (BOP) of USD 2.9 billion and net income attributable to shareholders of USD 1.8 billion for the full-year ended December 31, 2015.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer ad interim Tom de Swaan said, “This is a disappointing result, reflecting the previously announced challenges in our General Insurance business and restructuring charges, and we have taken rigorous actions to improve profitability. This includes re-underwriting or exiting unprofitable portfolios, increasing cost efficiency and further simplifying the organization. The remainder of the Group continues to perform well, with both Global Life and Farmers making further progress in the execution of their strategies.”

“Given the challenges within General Insurance, it is unlikely that the Group will achieve its target of a business operating profit after tax return on equity of 12-14% in 2016. Nevertheless, Zurich is on track to achieve its other targets for 2014 to 2016. The Zurich Economic Capital Model ratio stood at 114% as at the end of September, within our target range, and the Group expects to deliver cash remittances in excess of USD 10 billion for the period, well ahead of our target.”

“Given the Group’s healthy cash generation and the strong capital position the Board proposes an unchanged dividend of CHF 17 per share. The Board has also concluded that it is important to maintain the Group's capital strength and flexibility in the current circumstances and has, therefore, decided not to return additional capital to investors at this time.”

“We have accelerated our efficiency program and now aim to exceed the previously communicated cost savings target for 2016 of USD 300 million, and are on our way to achieving group-wide cost savings of more than USD 1 billion by the end of 2018. These savings will be achieved through the application of new technology, lean processes and the offshoring and near shoring of some activities. We estimate that as a result of these necessary measures around 8000 roles across Zurich will be affected by the end of 2018. This figure includes initiatives completed or announced in 2015.”

“Our key priorities in 2016 will be turning around our General Insurance business and continuing actions to position the Group for 2017 and beyond, including enhancing efficiency and sharpening the Group’s retail footprint. We have an excellent management team in place that will be further strengthened with the arrival of Mario Greco, who will lead preparations for the new strategic cycle.”

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Preventing Payment Fraud In The Air Travel Industry

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced it is expanding its activities to prevent payment fraud in the air travel industry. Payment fraud costs the industry an estimated $858 million annually, approximately $639 million of which is borne by airlines and the remainder by other participants in the travel value chain, including travel agents. IATA is cooperating with Ypsilon Net AG to make IATA Argus Fraud Manager (IATA Argus) available to airlines and travel agents.

While some airlines already use a range of systems to reduce fraud activity in their direct sales, IATA Argus offers a unique, fully-integrated and automated payment fraud detection and management solution for both travel agents and airlines.

“IATA is committed to helping the industry fight fraud. Our partnership with Ypsilon Net AG brings a modern fraud prevention solution that meets the needs of both airlines and travel agents to reduce fraud and increase the confidence in generating new sales via all available distribution channels,” said Aleks Popovich, IATA’s Senior Vice President Financial and Distribution Services.

By accessing information available in global distribution systems, IATA Argus is able to detect suspect transactions from as early as the booking request stage, and flag them or even cancel them as appropriate. It can notify the agent or airline of a suspicious booking, and automatically take action to void, suspend or cancel a ticket.

“You cannot segregate fraud occurring on airline direct channels from fraud generated through travel agency or online travel agency channels. IATA Argus combines ease of implementation and cost efficiency in a system that protects all channels effectively and provides full automation,” said Hans-Joachim Klenz, CEO of Ypsilon Net AG.

IATA Argus can also integrate systems including, but not limited to, IATA Perseuss and Ethocaand uses the provided information to enhance fraud scoring.

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Admin Re® To Buy Guardian Financial Services For GBP 1.6 Billion

Swiss Re's business unit Admin Re® has agreed to acquire Guardian Holdings Europe Limited, the holding company for operations trading under the name Guardian Financial Services ("Guardian") from private equity company Cinven for GBP 1.6 billion. The acquisition will extend Admin Re®'s position as a leading closed life book consolidator in the UK, with over four million policies in force. As a result of the acquisition, Admin Re® will further diversify its current business and increase its assets and reserves. Closing of the acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and could be completed in early 2016.

Michel M. Liès, Swiss Re's Group Chief Executive Officer, says, "This acquisition is an excellent opportunity for Admin Re® to further enlarge its successful business and diversify its portfolio. It is proof that we can deliver on our ambitions to seek profitable growth opportunities for Admin Re® in the UK. The expected returns exceed our profitability targets for new business and represent an excellent fit with our Group strategy as well as with Admin Re®'s capabilities and existing infrastructure."

Admin Re® and Guardian are both buyers and consolidators of blocks of in-force life and pension insurance business. With this acquisition of Guardian, Admin Re® will add 900 000 annuity, life insurance and pension policies in the UK and Ireland. This will bring the policy count of Admin Re®'s UK business to over four million and strengthen its established business.

David Cole, Swiss Re's Group Chief Financial Officer, says, "This acquisition is in line with Admin Re®'s strategic goals as well as with our multi-year financial planning. We will continue to remain well capitalised and our economic solvency ratio will remain comfortably above our risk tolerance. This acquisition is also in line with the Swiss Re Group's capital management priorities and, accordingly, does not alter our view of the share buy-back programme, which was authorised by our shareholders at the 2015 Annual General Meeting. The transaction is of a scale that was already contemplated when we evaluated the scope of the share buy-back programme. The launch of the programme remains subject, as previously said, to the availability of excess capital, and any decision to launch it will also take into account other potential business opportunities meeting Swiss Re's strategic and financial objectives and major loss events."

The acquisition is an attractive opportunity for Swiss Re to deploy part of its excess capital above the Group’s hurdle rate of 11% ROE. Admin Re® is expected to generate around USD 1.7 billion of gross cash, including capital synergies, over the first three years. In addition, the assets under management of the Swiss Re Group will increase by GBP 12.5 billion, or approximately 15%. Under US GAAP accounting standards, the acquired business will be accretive to the Group's net income. Under Swiss Re's proprietary economic value management (EVM) framework, the acquisition is expected to result in an EVM loss of approximately USD 0.9 billion at inception. It is however expected to generate a positive contribution to EVM economic net worth over time, supporting Swiss Re's focus on long-term value generation.

Bob Ratcliffe, CEO of Admin Re®, says, "We're very proud to be taking on Guardian's policyholders and staff delivering the same seamless service that we bring to our current 3.4 million customers. Admin Re®has an expert team and the infrastructure in place to ensure we can bring the benefits of scale that make a closed life book consolidator successful. Admin Re® has a long track record of migrating life portfolios and maintaining a high level of customer service for policyholders. We expect that after this acquisition, we will continue to seek growth via other acquisition opportunities, developing further our leading consolidation franchise."

The acquisition will be financed from cash on the balance sheet as well as debt financing. Swiss Re believes that significant growth opportunities are still available as vendors seek to refocus on new products and release capital from legacy books.

Table1: Admin Re®'s exceptional execution capability

Acquired business

Transaction type

Date of completion

Guardian

Share Acquisition

Exp. early 2016*

HSBC UK Life

Reinsurance and Part VII Transfer

August 2015

Alico UK Life

Reinsurance and Part VII Transfer

July 2012

Barclays Life

Share Acquisition

October 2008

GE Life's new business platform

Share and Business Disposal

December 2007

Zurich's immediate pensions annuities

Reinsurance and Part VII Transfer

June 2007

Friends Provident

Longevity Swap

April 2007

Aviva

Reinsurance and Administration

March 2007

GE Life

Share Acquisition

December 2006

Virgin Money Life

Share Acquisition

December 2005

Life Assurance Holding Company

Share Acquisition

August 2004

Zurich Life Assurance Company

Share Acquisition

October 2003

*Expected closing date subject to regulatory approval
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Robust Passenger Demand Continues

Global passenger traffic results for July showing robust demand growth compared to July 2014 for both domestic and international traffic.

Total revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) rose 8.2%, which was an improvement on the June year-over-year increase of 5.5%. July capacity (available seat kilometers or ASKs) increased by 6.5%, and load factor rose 1.4 percentage points to 83.6%. Results were given a boost by the timing of Ramadan which fell partly in July this year but took place mostly in July in 2014. The holy month tends to subdue demand for air travel.

“July results were strongly positive but slowing global trade and the wild gyrations of stock exchanges around the globe suggest that we may be in for some turbulence in coming months,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

July 2015 vs. July 2014RPK GrowthASK GrowthPLF
International 8.6% 6.5% 83.5
Domestic 7.6% 6.5% 83.6
Total Market 8.2% 6.5% 83.6

 

YTD 2015 vs. YTD 2015RPK GrowthASK GrowthPLF
International 6.6% 6.2% 79.4
Domestic 6.4% 5.7% 81.2
Total Market 6.5% 6.0% 80.1

International Passenger Markets

July international passenger demand rose 8.6% compared to the same month in 2014, with airlines in all regions recording growth, including Africa for the first time this year. Total capacity climbed 6.5%, pushing load factor up 1.6 percentage points to 83.5%.

Asia-Pacific airlines saw July traffic increase 8.5% compared to the year-ago period. Capacity rose 6.5% and load factor climbed 1.5 percentage points to 80.3%. The strong performance occurred despite notable declines in trade as well as slower than expected growth in China.

European carriers’ demand increased by 6.7%, reflecting economic recovery in the Eurozone, while capacity climbed 4.0% and load factor rose 2.2 percentage points to 87.3%, highest among the regions.

North American airlines’ traffic rose 5.3% compared to July a year ago, which was more than double the 2.6% rise achieved in June year over year. Capacity climbed 3.5% and load factor rose 1.4 percentage points to 86.5%. Expectations for better economic performance are supporting travel demand.

Middle East carriers experienced a 19.8% demand surge in July over the same month in 2014 buoyed by the timing of Ramadan. Capacity rose 17.7% and load factor climbed 1.5 percentage points to 79.6%.

Latin American airlines’ July traffic climbed 8.5% compared to July 2014. Capacity increased by 8.0% and load factor rose 0.4 percentage points to 82.7%. Despite recessionary conditions in Brazil and Argentina trade volumes in the region showed strong improvement during the first half of the year, providing a boost to business-related international travel.

African airlines’ traffic moved into positive territory for the first time this year, rising 4.9% in July over July 2014. However, the result could be owing to volatility in reported volumes, as fundamental economic drivers remain weak. Capacity rose 3.9%, with the result that load factor improved 0.6 percentage points to 70.9%.

Domestic Passenger Markets

Domestic travel demand rose 7.6% in July compared to July 2014. All markets showed growth with the strongest increases occurring in India and China. Domestic capacity climbed 6.5%, and load factor improved 0.8 percentage points to 83.6%.

July 2015 vs July 2014RPK GrowthASK GrowthPLF
Australia 2.8% 1.9% 79.8
Brazil 6.6% 5.7% 82.7
China P.R 10.9% 9.5% 81.7
India 28.1% 10.4% 80.7
Japan 0.4% -0.1% 65.5
Russian Federation 8.8% 12.2% 82.7
US 5.9% 5.5 88.4
Domestic 7.6% 6.5 83.6

India’s domestic demand soared 28.1% in July compared to a year ago likely owing to significant increases in service frequencies and improvements in economic growth.

China domestic traffic climbed 10.9% year-over-year. Recent developments in the Chinese economy, including deep declines in the country’s stock exchange, have increased concerns about a further slowdown in the economy.

The Bottom Line

“Following a strong summer the outlook heading into autumn is unsettled to say the least. While passenger demand remains healthy, air cargo growth turned negative in July. The downward movement in stock markets around the globe reflects investors’ growing concerns about slowing trade and economic growth in emerging economies, as well as China’s continued shift towards domestic markets. Aviation’s connectivity creates economic opportunities and contributes to job creation. Governments looking to shore up consumer confidence and encourage spending should be encouraging greater connectivity by removing barriers to growth such as heavy taxes and charges and infrastructure constraints,” said Tyler.

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Control Risks Strengthens Its Technology And Information Security Services With Two Key Hires

Control Risks is expanding its technology and information security offerings with the addition of two seasoned experts. Kate Yamashita joins as Managing Director for Cyber Security, and Rith Kem joins the company as Managing Director for Technology.

“We are seeing a growing number of companies looking for ways to use corporate data to drive strategic insights,” says Jim Brooks, CEO of Control Risks in the Americas. “But the same systems that capture and store that data also pose new risks. Cyber security is now consistently a board-level concern for our clients. Kate and Rith add to Control Risks’ expertise for these critical issues.”

Ms. Yamashita has more than 15 years of experience in security and specializes in cyber intelligence and information security strategy. She comes to Control Risks from CrowdStrike, where she oversaw a range of services including incident response and remediation, forensic and intelligence investigations, and threat and maturity assessments. The addition of Ms. Yamashita highlights the growth of Control Risks’ cyber security service offerings, which include strategic cyber threat intelligence, pre-incident assessment and prevention, and postincident response and remediation. Ms. Yamashita will oversee these services in the Americas region.

Mr. Kem has more than a dozen years of experience in applying technology solutions, helping companies to manage their own technology infrastructures and develop information governance strategies. He comes to Control Risks from FTI Consulting, where his focus included e-discovery, litigation support and data analytics. Mr. Kem’s arrival is the latest indication of Control Risks’ expanding technology services. These services now include e-discovery and litigation support, technology-assisted investigations and forensics, and advanced data analytics that offer strategic insights across complicated and disparate data sets.

“New technologies continue to create new and previously unforeseen risks for businesses,” says Brooks. “Control Risks is continuously enhancing its expertise to ensure that we remain ahead of these new challenges.”

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Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2015 Results

Health Insurance Innovations, Inc. announced financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2015. 

Second Quarter 2015 Consolidated Financial Highlights

  • Revenue was $22.7 million, an increase of 8.6% over $20.9 million in the second quarter of 2014.
  • Total collections from customers, which our industry refers to as premium equivalents, was $38.5 million, an increase of 3.5% over $37.2 million in the second quarter of 2014.
  • Adjusted EPS was $0.08, compared to $0.09 in the second quarter of 2014. EPS per diluted share was a net loss of $0.04, compared to net income of $0.05 in the second quarter of 2014.
  • Adjusted EBITDA was $1.8 million, compared to $2.1 million in the second quarter of 2014.
  • Record policies in force as of June 30, 2015, totaled 113,000, a 14.1% increase from 99,000 as of June 30, 2014.

"By the end of the second quarter 2015, our sales were in line with our growth expectations, and we expect this trend to continue for the remainder of 2015. Our overall sales results for the quarter reflect the adverse impact of the government's annual enrollment period and the one-time special tax enrollment period for ACA plans, which ended on April 30th. We now have better knowledge and data of sales trends during the open enrollment period that will reflect in future forecasts. In addition, the next ACA open enrollment period is expected to be 90 days shorter, and we expect additional growth as a result. I am pleased with the investments and progress that HII is making in building the leading innovative, consumer- and technology-centric platform in the affordable individual health insurance market," said Michael Kosloske, HII's Chief Executive Officer.

Pat McNamee, HII's President, commented, "I am excited by the opportunities available to HII to meaningfully penetrate the large market for affordable health insurance products. Since my joining the company two months ago, we have been rebuilding the team at HII to support our growth strategies with a focus on core execution, distribution and product expansion. In the second quarter, we have already expanded and diversified our distribution network, adding two new key components including a brokerage distribution network and a new direct-to-consumer network, AgileHealthInsurance.com. We now have four distinct channels of distribution: owned call centers, non-owned call centers, brokerages, and online direct-to-consumer via AgileHealthInsurance.com."

Mr. McNamee continued, "We are setting the stage for 2016 by layering new opportunities over our core business, including AgileHealthInsurance.com, our brokerage distribution channel, new and expanded products, and leveraging our technology solutions to meet the consumer needs of the vast and growing base of customers in need of affordable health insurance alternatives. We believe we are making the right investments at the right time for the long-term benefits of all our stakeholders – our shareholders, partners, employees and customers."

2015 Full Year Guidance

For the full year 2015 we expect revenue between $97 million - $103 million and adjusted earnings per share between $0.18 - $0.25.

Second Quarter Financial Discussion

During the second quarter of 2015, we changed the structure of our operating segments to a single reportable segment. HealthPocket is no longer a separate reportable segment. We believe one segment is more appropriate as a result of our anticipated internal fulfillment of HealthPocket's client referral leads by HII's owned call centers and the launch of AgileHealthInsurance.com.

Second quarter revenues of $22.7 million and premium equivalents of $38.5 million increased by 8.6% and 3.5%, respectively, as compared to the second quarter of 2014. The increases were primarily due to the increase in the total number of policies in force as a result of our continuing expansion of our distribution network and continued success in providing quality ancillary insurance products as supplements to our individual and family plans ("IFP"). We have consolidated short term medical and hospital indemnity policies which have a similar financial profile as IFP. Going forward we will report two categories: IFP and ancillary products. By policy type, the 2015 second quarter mix of revenues was as follows: 71% IFP and 29% ancillary products. A reconciliation of premium equivalents to revenues for the three and six months ended June 30, 2015 and 2014 is in the financial supplement included in this press release.

Adjusted gross margin, which is calculated starting with revenues and then adjusted for third party commissions, and credit card and ACH fees, increased to $11.0 million or 28.6% of premium equivalents for the second quarter of 2015, compared to $10.1 million of adjusted gross margin and 27.2% of premium equivalents in the same period in 2014. A reconciliation of premium equivalents to revenues and adjusted gross margin for the three and six months ended June 30, 2015 and 2014 is included within this press release.

Selling, general and administrative ("SG&A") expenses were $10.4 million in the second quarter of 2015, compared to $8.6 million in 2014. The increase in SG&A expense was primarily driven by the impact of acquisitions and investments in innovations to drive sustainable growth in 2015 and beyond, as well as restructuring costs in our continued effort to control future SG&A costs.

EBITDA was $0.6 million in the second quarter of 2015, compared to $1.6 million in the same period in 2014. Adjusted EBITDA is calculated starting with EBITDA, which is then further adjusted for items that are not part of regular operating activities, including acquisition costs and other non-cash items such as stock-based compensation. Adjusted EBITDA was $1.8 million in the second quarter of 2015, compared to $2.1 million in the same period in 2014. A reconciliation of net (loss) income to EBITDA and adjusted EBITDA for the three and six months ended June 30, 2015 and 2014 is included within this press release.

Cash and short term investments totaled $8.8 million at the end of the second quarter of 2015, and the Company has no debt. Cash decreased by $1.7 million during the quarter primarily due to a $2.0 million increase in advanced commissions that we provide to our distributors. As of the end of the second quarter of 2015, our advance commissions totaled $10.0 million.

 

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VIDEO: Aegon CEO Alex Wynaendts Reports Increase In Earnings

 

Solid underlying earnings


Underlying earnings increase to EUR 549 million as fee business growth and the stronger US dollar were partly offset by lower US life & protection results, including adverse mortality of EUR 17 million
Equity and interest rate hedging programs main drivers of fair value losses of EUR 293 million
Net income amounts to EUR 350 million
Return on equity of 8.2% and 8.9% excluding capital allocated to run-off businesses

Continued strong profitable sales

US retirement plans and asset management main drivers behind gross deposits of EUR 16.8 billion and net deposits of EUR 3.2 billion
New life insurance sales level at EUR 518 million
Accident & health and general insurance sales stable at EUR 248 million
Market consistent value of new business of EUR 183 million impacted by low interest rates

Increase in interim dividend supported by strong cash flows

Operational free cash flows excluding market impacts and one-time items of EUR 388 million
Holding excess capital of EUR 1.5 billion and gross leverage ratio improves to 27.7%
Interim dividend increases to EUR 0.12 per share; dilutive effect of stock dividend to be neutralized
More clarity obtained on Solvency II; ratio expected to be in the range of 140 - 170%

Alex Wynaendts, CEO said, "Aegon's businesses delivered solid results this quarter, despite adverse mortality experience in the United States and the negative impact from our hedging programs on net income. At the same time, we are pleased with the high level of sales as we continue to secure new distribution agreements and reach many new customers in all our markets.

"Executing on our strategy to ensure our businesses support our long-term growth ambitions, we sold our Canadian operations as well as Clark Consulting in the US. In addition, we have further improved our risk profile by hedging EUR 6 billion of longevity reserves in the Netherlands and by reducing balances of our legacy variable annuity products in the US.

"While uncertainties on Solvency II remain, we have obtained clarity on a number of items - including treatment of the US - which allows us to tighten the range of expected outcomes. Furthermore, we have applied for the use of our internal model and are currently awaiting regulatory approval.

"I am also pleased to announce that our strong capital position and growing cash flows enable us to raise the interim dividend to 12 eurocents." 

 

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Vitality Increases Executive Staff to Capitalize On Market Growth

 The Vitality Group, part of the world's longest-standing and largest incentive-based workplace health promotion and prevention program, has expanded its executive team following the successful launch of its partnership with John Hancock Insurance and exceeding the three-fourth million member milestone in the United States (US).

"These additions and new appointments of our executive staff strengthen our ability and capacity for growth," said Alan Pollard, CEO, The Vitality Group (TVG). "We are well-positioned to continue developing the most actuarially-sound and effective wellness program to help our clients have healthy and productive employees."

Executive Promotions

  • Derek Yach, Chief Health Officer
    Previously Executive Director of the Vitality Institute and Senior Vice President of TVG, Derek will serve as the Chief Health Officer for Vitality. He will continue to oversee a team invested in building out the science and evidence underpinning health promotion and workplace well-being and applying it in practical ways to improve overall health. Derek will represent Vitality externally from a health perspective and lead interactions with business, global media and NGOs globally.
  • Steve van der Watt, CEO of new Vitality entity
    Previously Chief Sales Officer, Steve will be the CEO of a new entity within TVG that will be announced later this year which represents an exciting and substantial growth opportunity for the organization. Steve has led the remarkable revenue growth for Vitality's corporate channels over the past few years.
  • Stephen Mitchley, Chief Strategy Officer
    Promoted from Chief Operating Officer to Chief Strategy Officer, Stephen is spearheading the development of common Vitality capabilities across the various partner markets in which Discovery operates.
  • Sean Katz, Chief Information Officer
    Previously Senior Vice President, Systems and Technology, Sean is responsible for systems and technology delivery for TVG.
  • Brad Beckman, Chief Operating Officer
    Promoted from Senior Vice President, Servicing and Human Resources, Brad will lead the execution of strategy and operations for TVG.

New Staff Appointments & Promotions

  • Karen Kaplan, Vice President of Product Development
    Karen has been a core member of the Vitality team in the US for 12 years. She has driven successful launches of many strategic partnerships and projects. As Vice President of Product Development, her focus will be on further developing Vitality's product roadmap to support both our partnerships and corporate clients.
  • Keith Karem, Vice President of Marketing
    Having previously led business and partnership marketing for Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Keith brings a wealth of experience in business-to-consumer and business-to-business marketing, new product development and brand management. Keith is charged with developing a new brand strategy for the company.
  • Kenneth Sloan, Vice President of Sales
    With more than 20 years' experience in sales and management leadership in health plan consulting and wellness, Ken held sales positions most recently with 5Star Life Insurance Company (an Armed Forces Benefit Association enterprise) and United Healthcare. Ken will play a key role in furthering Vitality's relationships with brokers and consultants.
  • Mark Smith, Chief Sales Officer
    Mark joins Vitality from HealthMarkets (a Blackstone Portfolio Company) where he was Executive Vice President and Chief Agency Officer, leading one of the largest distribution businesses in the individual health insurance space. Prior to that he held various senior regional and national positions at United Healthcare and was previously part of the Discovery family, having worked for Destiny Health. Mark is charged with leading the recently enlarged sales team.

Evolving Role of the Vitality Institute
The Vitality Institute was launched two years ago by Discovery Ltd, the South African insurance company, as part of its commitment to health promotion and well-being programs that advance social good. The Institute's dual purpose was strengthening the science underpinning prevention and health promotion, and elevating the discourse to reflect a more evidence-based approach to chronic disease prevention. The Institute has become accepted by lead media, government, corporations and academics as a "go-to" place for leadership and insights on adult health promotion, prevention and workplace health.

"The Institute has made enormous progress during its tenure and after careful consideration, we've determined that the time is ripe for the Institute to evolve to a new phase for optimal global impact," said Adrian Gore, CEO of Discovery. "Current initiatives run by the Vitality Institute will be completed towards the end of 2015, at which point key projects will be internalized within Vitality to take implementation to the next level both in the US and across our other markets."

Derek Yach, Chief Health Officer, Vitality, noted "As a first flagship initiative the Institute convened a Commission on Health Promotion and the Prevention of Chronic Disease in Working-Age Americans which brought together leading experts from multiple sectors, ranging from public health to finance and technology. Specific recommendations, published in a report launched in June 2014, are being implemented which we believe will have a profound effect on the way prevention is viewed and managed both in the US and beyond."

Examples of actions coming from the Commission are:

  • The call for prevention science has led to the deans of schools of public health and the National Institutes of Health starting new advocacy and analytic work to redress underspending in this field,
  • the importance of getting evidence-based health metrics included in integrated reporting frameworks has led to an initiative that involves large corporations, workplace health experts, standard-setting bodies linked to the Dow Jones and other stock exchanges; and
  • the need to address data/privacy concerns around the use of personalized health technology (including wearable devices) has led to draft responsibility guidelines for the design and implementation of such technologies.

About Vitality
The Vitality Group is a member of Discovery Ltd., a global financial services organization offering an incentive-based wellness program to employers as part of their benefits program. With a foundation based on actuarial science and behavioral economic theory, Vitality encourages changes in lifestyle that reduce health care costs, both in the short run and long term, by rewarding members for addressing their specific health issues. Vitality wellness programs serve companies in a wide range of sizes and industries, improving individuals' health and wellbeing as well as employers' bottom lines.

Vitality brings a global perspective through successful partnerships with large employers and best-in- class insurers around the world, in countries including the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, China, Singapore and Australia. Additional information can be found at thevitalitygroup.com.

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Willis Drives Human Capital And Benefits Presence In UK Through Acquisition Of PMI Health Group

Willis Group Holdings plc has announced its agreement to acquire PMI Health Group a leading independent healthcare adviser and broker in the UK.

The deal will significantly raise Willis's presence in the UK employee benefits and healthcare market, and will add greater depth and range to its product offering and skills base.

PMIHG was established in 1986 and is the UK's largest independent provider of employee healthcare and risk management services. It offers a range of health and protection insurance, including services targeting absence management and occupational health. One in five of its 128 staff is medically-trained.

Willis will be able to draw on the client-facing infrastructure and marketing expertise of PMIHG, while existing clients at both businesses will benefit from access to a wider range of services and products.

Nicolas Aubert, CEO of Willis GB, said, "This deal is a major step forward for our human capital and benefits business, and offers strong synergies and future strategic opportunities. Both Willis Employee Benefits and PMI Health Group are recognised for their expertise and outstanding client service, and uniting these two wholly complementary businesses will enhance our competitive edge further."

Tony Powis, CEO of Willis Employee Benefits, said, "PMI Health Group is a leading healthcare adviser, with great people and a proven track record. This is a pivotal and exciting time for both businesses. Our combined team will provide the scale, technology and expertise to deliver innovative and compelling value propositions. Organisations of all sizes are struggling to manage their employee risks such as absenteeism and presenteeism, and we are determined to shake this market up through innovative propositions."

Matthew Baldwin, CEO of PMI Health Group, said, "PMI Health Group has become a leading adviser in the employee healthcare market by having a great team and a unique proposition. We work to keep organisations and employees fit for business through the delivery of employee healthcare advice and services, nurse-led claims management and occupational health services. Joining with Willis will bring significant strategic opportunities and enable the PMI Health Group team and proposition to be an integral part of a growing, exciting and international business to service our clients."

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in Q3 2015. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. After completion, PMIHG will use the Willis brand and maintain its operations at its current base in Wincham, Cheshire.

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AIG To Sell Taiwan Consumer And SME Businesses To Nan Shan Life Insurance

American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG) today announced that Nan Shan Life Insurance Co., Ltd. has agreed to purchase AIG Taiwan Insurance Co. Ltd.'s consumer and small to mid-size enterprise (SME) businesses for US$158 million (NT$4.923 billion).

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2016, subject to necessary regulatory approvals.

This transaction reflects AIG's intent to focus on its robust commercial insurance presence in Taiwan, while realizing the value of its strong consumer operation through this divestiture to Nan Shan. AIG has a long-standing relationship with Nan Shan and the two companies expect to remain business partners in the future.

"After careful review, AIG has decided to concentrate on its commercial business here in Taiwan. This sale ensures our existing consumer and SME customers will continue to be supported by a leading insurer in Nan Shan," said Kian Tiong Lim, Country Manager of AIG Taiwan.

"AIG's ongoing commitment to serve commercial clients in Taiwan, from multinational companies to local businesses, is stronger than ever. This transaction should have no effect on our commercial clients," Mr. Lim said. "AIG will continue to leverage its underwriting expertise and multinational network to service its commercial operations with innovative products and customer-focused service in Taiwan."

Subject to the relevant regulatory approvals, AIG, through AIG Asia Pacific Insurance Pte. Ltd., will establish a branch office in Taipei to enhance its focus on commercial insurance operations, including property, casualty, financial lines, marine, and trade credit.

AIG Taiwan, which has operated for more than 50 years, is a leader in underwriting, distribution and marketing, and operates a strong network of strong commercial and consumer insurance relationships.

AIG Taiwan Insurance Co., Ltd. is part of the American International Group Inc.

American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading global insurance organization serving customers in more than 100 countries and jurisdictions. AIG companies serve commercial, institutional, and individual customers through one of the most extensive worldwide property-casualty networks of any insurer. In addition, AIG companies are leading providers of life insurance and retirement services in the United States. AIG common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

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Medical, Healthcare, Expatriate And Travel Insurance

A guide to leading international medical, healthcare, expatriate and travel insurance underwriters, companies, providers, operating within leisure, expatriate and corporate travel business markets, globally.

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