BANCASSURANCE

Barclays gives Prudential annuities preferred
status
Barclays Bank and UK insurer Prudential have
signed an agreement that makes Prudential the preferred supplier of
conventional annuity products to the bank’s UK retail clients. The
agreement takes effect in late 2007 and will run for five
years.

 

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS

AIG position in German SME market

US insurer American International Group (AIG) has agreed to acquire
Wurttembergische und Badische Versicherungs (Wuba), a Germany-based
health and general insurer, for an undisclosed sum. “The
transaction both reaffirms AIG’s commitment to growing in the
German marketplace and greatly enhances our insurance offerings to
small- and medium-sized companies,” said AIG’s president and CEO,
Martin J Sullivan. Wuba’s vendor is JC Flowers, a US private equity
firm.

COMPANIES

MMC begins $1.5bn share buy-back

US insurance brokerage firm Marsh & McLennan (MMC) has entered
into an agreement with an un-named financial institution by which
it will repurchase $800 million worth of outstanding MMC ordinary
shares. The arrangement forms part of a share buy-back programme
totalling $1.5 billion that will be financed out of proceeds of the
sale of MMC’s investment management unit, Putnam Investments, to
Canadian insurer Great-West Lifeco for $3.9 billion in February
2008. The sale was completed in August and netted MMC $2.5 billion
in cash after taxes and minority interest payments.

PENSIONS

Citigroup enters UK buyout market

US bank Citigroup has marked its entrance into the UK pension
buyout market with the acquisition of the £200 million ($402
million) Thomson Regional Newspapers closed pension scheme. The
scheme will be managed by Citigroup’s European Insurance and
Pensions Structured Solutions group, running across its fixed
income, equities and banking divisions.

PENSION FUNDS

AEGON launches Vital in Romania

Private pension fund administrator BT AEGON, a joint venture
between Romanian bank Banca Transilvania and Netherlands’ insurer
AEGON, has been licensed to launch Vital, a private pension fund
for Romania’s private pensions market.