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May 29, 2019

Singapore Life secures $7.3m investment from Ion Pacific

Technology-focused life insurance company Singapore Life has secured a $7.3m investment in a funding round led by Hong Kong-based asset management firm Ion Pacific.

The round was joined by the company’s other existing investors including American insurer Aflac and Scottish investment firm Aberdeen Standard Investments.

So far, the company has raised more than $100m in funding.

The transaction gives Ion Pacific exposure to the life insurance market in Southeast Asia, which is considered to be one of the fastest-growing regions across the globe.

Ion Pacific principal Kristaps Ronis said: “Ion Pacific continues to support exceptional businesses and strong founding teams as a part of its mandate to provide creative financing solutions to the global innovation economy.”

Singapore Life was established in 2014 by Walter de Oude, former CEO of HSBC Insurance Singapore.

The life insurer acquired Zurich Life’s life assurance business in Singapore in 2017 to further bolster its operations in the country.

Previously, it was believed that British entrepreneur and businessman Michael Spencer was in negotiations to a acquire controlling stake in Singapore Life.

Spencer, who built and sold his broking firm Nex Group for £3.9bn in March, is planning to invest approximately $50m in the insurance start-up.

If the proposed transaction materialises, it will boost Spencer’s stake in Singapore Life to over 60%. The start-up is currently valued nearly $150m.

Spencer is developing a portfolio of finance and digital businesses through IPGL, his own investment company.

He has already invested in UK-based hedge fund Viewforth Investment Partners, as well as in DDCap, an Islamic finance company, besides in wine trader BI Group.

Now, Spencer is targeting Singapore Life which was the first local insurance company to be granted a licence in Singapore since 1970.

Founded in 2014 by former HSBC executive Walter de Oude, Singapore Life commenced its operations in June last year. It sells insurance products including term life and universal life policies, online as well as through some private banks and brokers.

Singapore Life emerged as the country’s fastest growing life insurer and has sold S$6.6bn ($4.8bn) of coverage so far, according to the publication.

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