Great Eastern gets Vietnam
go-ahead…
War rages in US term life
sector…
What’s in a
name?…
Aon snaps up Gallagher
Re…

DEVELOPING MARKETS

Great Eastern gets Vietnam go-ahead

Singapore-based Great Eastern Life Assurance has been granted a
licence to establish a wholly owned life insurance company in
Vietnam, a development that will increase the number of life
insurers in the country to eight. To be named Great Eastern Life
(Vietnam), the insurer will have an initial capital of VND600
billion ($60 million) and is due to commence writing business in
the second half of 2008. According to the Vietnam Insurance
Association, Vietnam’s life insurers recorded total premium income
of VND9.5 trillion in 2007, up 12 percent over 2006.

LIFE SETTLEMENTS

What’s in a name?

A trans-Atlantic row between two life settlements firms has been
resolved by a name change, ending a furore that began in January
this year with the launch of Abacus Life Settlements Management, a
Netherlands-based firm targeting the US life settlements market.
The snag was that a life settlements firm with a similar name
already existed in the US: Abacus Settlements, founded in 2004. An
irate Abacus Settlements demanded a name change. Its European
namesake obliged, changing its trading name to European Life
Settlement Management Company.

TERM LIFE

War rages in US term life sector

The price war raging in the US term life sector will heat up
further this year, predicts internet-based term life broker
AccuQuote. Despite term life premiums already being at their lowest
levels, AccuQuote believes the price war will drive them even
lower. Providing an example, AccuQuote estimates that the annual
premium for a 40-year-old, non-smoking male in good health buying a
$500,000, 20-year term level term life insurance policy in 2008
will be $345. According to AccuQuote, the comparative premium ten
years ago was $515.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

Aon snaps up Gallagher Re

Reinsurance intermediary Aon Re Global, a unit of insurance and
reinsurance broker Aon, is to buy what it termed “substantially
all” of Gallagher Re’s US and UK reinsurance brokerage business in
a deal worth about $30 million. Formed in 2005, Gallagher Re is
active in the US life health and accident, insurance markets, and
in the UK speciality and casualty insurance markets. Gallagher Re
is a unit of US insurance brokerage Arthur J Gallagher &
Co.