Industry mergers and acquisitions heating up as 2017 winds down

Merger and acquisition activity in the insurance industry should increase for the rest of 2017 and several years to come, according to a report issued Tuesday by Willis Towers Watson P.L.C.
The report, Hitting the Right Targets: How Insurers Are Optimizing Their Capital Strategies and What This Means for the M&AS Market, prepared in conjunction with Mergermarket Ltd. surveyed 200 companies, including 85 in the property/casualty insurance industry: 28 markets in the Americas, 28 in the Asia-Pacific region and 29 in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. There were also 30 reinsurers, 10 in each region.
“After 2015 — a year in which insurance deals defied gravity — M&A activity came back down to earth last year,” the report said. “However, we anticipate robust activity for the remainder of 2017 after a solid first half of year.”
Deals are predicted to continue and generally be larger rather than smaller.
“Looking ahead, we expect a healthy level of activity skewed toward the larger end of the market. In addition, the majority of respondents tell us that they intend to engage in M&A over the next three years,” the report said.
The report did show that firms are taking input from risk managers in capital strategy development, with 79% of respondents saying the risk management department has some responsibility for designing and executing the company’s capital management strategy, and 16% saying the risk management department was the most important in designing and executing the strategy.

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