Zurich sells Singapore life business

The newest player to enter Singapore's life insurance market is acquiring the business portfolio of Zurich Life Singapore.

Singapore Life, which launched in June 2017 as the first new local life insurer to be licensed in Singapore since 1970, will acquire the business portfolio of Zurich Life in Singapore estimated to be worth about $5.75 billion (SGD6 billion).

Under the agreement, Singapore Life will become responsible for all of Zurich Life Singapore's existing life, critical illness and disability policies. It follows Zurich's decision in December 2015 to close its books to new business.

The sale will not impact any of Zurich's other life or commercial insurance businesses in the country and all policyholders that transfer to Singapore Life will have the terms and conditions of those policies upheld, as will all existing relationships with financial advisers and policyholders.

Zurich Life Singapore chief executive David Kneale said the decision to sell its business portfolio is in line with Zurich's broader strategy to optimise its portfolio and geographical footprint.

"We are confident our customers will continue to enjoy a high level of service and security with Singapore Life. We remain fully committed to growing our commercial insurance business in Singapore and maintaining excellent customer service for our international life customers who are not impacted by the transfer," Kneale said.

Singapore Life chief executive Walter de Oude said the insurer is thrilled to offer a new home to Zurich Life Singapore's customers.

"Singapore Life is built on the belief that technology will create a better kind of insurance company. Everybody needs life insurance and Singapore Life, being a digital insurer, makes it a better and easier experience," he said.

He said the acquisition forms a key part of Singapore Life's strategy to quickly become a preferred life insurer in the local market.

"With the strong support from our shareholders, we are confident that this agreement will demonstrate Singapore Life's aspirations for significant growth and positively contribute to Singapore's insurance industry and beyond. We will continue to look for further acquisitions over time," de Oude said.

The transfer of all Zurich Life Singapore's policies to Singapore Life is expected to be complete by mid-2018, subject to High Court approval.

Read more: ZurichSingapore LifeZurich Life Singaporelife insuranceDavid KnealeWalter de Oude
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