Insurance Firms Look to Developing Countries
Major European insurance firms, including Royal & Sun Alliance, GGNU and Prudential, are looking to developing economies such as China, Poland and Brazil for future growth, according to a new survey by Andersen.
As part of a three-pronged growth strategy, they are also planning to extend their product ranges and increase their customer base.
The survey found that among Europe's largest 50 insurers, a major concern was how best to use their capital strength. They are under pressure from shareholders and stakeholders to demonstrate they are using capital wisely and well. Options include alliances, joint ventures and acquisitions, with many favouring acquisitions as the most logical use of capital in the current market.
Alongside geographical expansion in countries with scope for significant growth, many European insurers are looking for growth in their home markets. As well as developing new insurance and insurance related services, some are moving into areas such as banking services and asset management. However, many insurers saw alliances with banks and other financial institutions as important for the future, and so preferred to grow by enlarging their customer base.
Commented George Campion, senior partner at Andersen in Birmingham: 'What matters to insurers is reaching the customer in anyway they can. …