Insurers List Top Restructuring Strategies

July 30, 2002

In a departure from traditional corporate restructuring strategies, insurers are choosing ventures, alliances and outsourcing over mergers and acquisitions as their preferred vehicles for corporate restructuring, according to new research from Accenture.

Accenture surveyed executive decision-makers at 68 major property & casualty (P&C) and life insurance institutions in 16 countries regarding their plans for restructuring their business models in response to current economic and industry challenges.

Asked to rate the “most likely” restructuring vehicles insurers will use, 36 percent of respondents rated joint ventures, strategic alliances or co-sourcing most likely, followed by 33 percent who rated outsourcing, in-sourcing, or net- sourcing most likely. That compared with only 18 percent who rated mergers and acquisitions highest and 13 percent who rated divestments highest.

Among other findings of the survey, 97 percent of respondents said they believe that restructuring will continue in the insurance industry. Nearly 90 percent of respondents said they are specifically planning to undertake Capability-Based Restructuring (CBR)(a) initiatives within the next five years.

Asked to evaluate the objectives of CBR from five options, 40 percent of respondents rated “reducing costs” as most important, followed by 26 percent who rated “increasing growth and market share” highest and 21 percent who rated “allocating capital to maximize returns” highest. In aggregate, only 13 percent of respondents rated the remaining options, “altering risk” and “reducing capital investments,” as their most important objectives.

When asked to rate the environmental factors driving CBR, 20 percent of respondents scored traditional “competition” highest, followed by 19 percent who scored “more sophisticated customers” and 15 percent who scored “increased shareholder demands for improved returns,” as their top three out of 10 options.

The survey was completed in July, and the findings are founded on structured questionnaire-based interviews conducted by Accenture with CEOs, CFOs, COOs and senior executives from 68 major insurance institutions in 16 countries, eliciting both qualitative and quantitative data.

Thirty-seven percent of survey respondents were from the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, 54 percent were from continental Europe, and the remainder were from Asia. Fifty-four percent of the respondents were from P&C/ general insurance companies.

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