Bermuda’s ACE Ltd. announced that it has entered into a strategic business partnership with Huatai Insurance Company, China’s fourth largest property/casualty insurer, and “will acquire 22% of Huatai’s outstanding shares for total consideration of approximately $150 million.”
The investment will give the ACE Group an immediate entry into China’s growing p/c market, avoiding the necessity of applying for and waiting to receive licenses from Chinese regulators. “The partnership will allow both companies to develop jointly new products and services for delivery nationally in China, and establish a framework for expansion into other key financial services areas,” said the announcement.
ACE explained that the actual procedure is complicated by Chinese regulations, and that it will make three separate investments by subsidiaries: ACE INA, ACE Tempest Re and ACE US Holdings. Three ACE nominees, Group Chairman and CEO Brian Duperreault, ACE INA Chairman Dominic Frederico, and ACE INA Executive Vice President Peter O’Connor been elected to Huatai’s Board of Directors.
The bulletin explained that, “In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, Mr. O’Connor will become a full-time senior advisor to Huatai based in Beijing. Mr. O’Connor has 39 years of international insurance experience and will report to ACE Limited Vice Chairman Evan Greenberg, who is head of ACE’s international operations.”
Commenting on the deal, Duperreault stated that, “We are very pleased to be entering into a partnership with Huatai, a unique company operating in an exciting marketplace. Our business partnership with Huatai will allow us to offer our global clients a local partner allied with the ACE Group of Insurance and Reinsurance Companies. It will also provide ACE with nationwide access to China and enable us to provide our products and services to the largest and fastest growing market in the world. We are confident that together we have a compelling business proposition for our clients.”
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