Zurich Insurance Group has announced that it has completed the acquisition of the life insurance businesses of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. (ANZ), making a major player in the life insurance industry for retail customers in the Australian market.
The A$2.85 billion (US$2 billion) deal to purchase OnePath Life, which was first announced in December 2017, has hereby expanded Zurich’s bank distribution footprint by providing access to up to 6 million new customers in Australia, the company said in a weekend newspaper.
According to Zurich, this acquisition will strengthen their strategy of giving more attention to less capital-intensive savings products.
As confirmed from Zurich, this expansion is in line with their merger and acquisition strategy with aim to have a leading role in attractive markets while they release funds from non-core operations.
As a result of this acquisition, Zurich will have a market share of around 20 percent in retail life and 6 percent in the local group life market.
Zurich is strengthening its business in Australia and we can now engage with up to 6 million new customers with this acquisition of OnePath Life and the access to ANZ’s distribution channels,” said Group Chief Executive Officer Mario Greco.
Asia Pacific is a key region for Zurich and this deal adds further complementary products and additional bancassurance distribution capacity in the region,” he added. “OnePath Life’s retail business, focused on protection and savings products, is perfectly aligned with our strategy in life insurance and should further add to our strong cash remittances.”
As part of the transaction, Zurich’s existing independent financial adviser (IFA) and bank distribution channels in Australia will be broadened by a 20-year agreement with ANZ to distribute life insurance products through bank channels.
This cooperation agreement strengthens Zurich’s business by giving it access to ANZ’s customer base served through more than 630 branches, and additional capabilities in independent distribution channels.
Since Zurich laid out its strategic three-year plan in November 2016, Zurich said it has made significant progress in improving the overall business mix and has strengthened its customer focus.
During the past few years, Zurich affirmed that it has released capital through the exit of a number of non-core businesses, while reinvesting in a series of bolt-on acquisitions.
These acquisitions have been focused on creating leadership positions in chosen market segments in key geographies, including Australia, Argentina, Indonesia and the U.S.