Magazine article American Banker

French Group Enters 3d-Party Marketing in U.S

Magazine article American Banker

French Group Enters 3d-Party Marketing in U.S

Article excerpt

Last week's acquisition of Duerr Financial Corp. by IBIS Group Inc., an Irvine, Calif.-based consortium, marks the first foray by foreign players into the U.S. third-party marketing business.

Though based in California, IBIS Group is mostly owned by two units of the French banking company Paribas and a French reinsurance company.

Paribas Principal Inc., the New York-based investment arm of Paribas; Cardif SA, Paribas' insurance arm; and Scor SA, a Paris-based reinsurance company, teamed up to buy a majority stake from Roger Duerr, Duerr's chief executive officer and outright owner.

Terms of the transaction, which closed Sept. 8, were not disclosed. However, Kenneth Kehrer, a Princeton, N.J.-based consultant who brokered the deal, said the acquisition price for a company like Duerr is typically 1% to 3% of sales. According to a survey of third-party marketers conducted by Kenneth Kehrer Associates, Duerr's sales totaled $548 million in 1998.

Cardif operates in 19 countries, mainly in Europe and South America; this is its first foray into the United States market. Based in Rueil Malmaison, France, it develops, manages, and distributes insurance products.

Duerr, located in Irvine, provides securities, mutual funds, annuities, and other insurance products to financial institutions, including over 30 banking companies.

Douglas P. Jackson, Duerr's president, said the company's management would not change.

As a bank subsidiary, under U. …

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