News Briefs

JOINT VENTURES

GE ties up with China Life

US conglomerate General Electric (GE) and China’s largest life
insurer, China Life, have forged a strategic alliance under which
they will join forces to develop and launch yet-to-be specified
retail financial products. Products of GE Money, which is GE’s
financial services division, include credit cards, personal loans,
mortgages, corporate travel and purchasing cards, and home equity
loans.

NEW VENTURES

Baloise enters Liechtenstein

Swiss composite insurer Baloise Group has announced plans to
establish a life insurance company in Liechtenstein, a move it said
was aimed at increasing its share of the fast-growing market for
investment-linked life insurance in Europe. Baloise added that it
has already been operating successfully in the investment-linked
life insurance business in Luxembourg for many years.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

Munich Re acquires US speciality insurer

In a $1.3 billion cash deal, German reinsurer and composite insurer
Munich Re is to acquire The Midland Company (TMC), a US speciality
insurance products provider. TMC’s products include credit life,
collateral protection and cover for watercraft, heavy vehicles and
manufactured housing.

HEALTH INSURANCE

WellCare looking sickly

About $3 billion was wiped off US health insurer WellCare Health
Plan’s market capitalisation when its share price fell almost
two-thirds in late October following a raid on its head office in
Tampa, Florida by 200 agents from the Federal Bureau of
Investigation and state officials. WellCare has 2.3 million members
of its Medicaid and Medicare health plans.

TECHNOLOGY

MassMutual goes green

Two pressing environmental issues – climate change and habitat loss
– are being used constructively by US mutual life insurer
MassMutual’s Retirement Services Division to promote electronic
prospectus delivery. For every plan sponsor who replaces paper
delivery with electronic prospectus delivery, MassMutual has
pledged to make a donation to non-profit organisation The
Conservation Fund to plant a tree in a protected forest on their
behalf.