Hiscox, the specialist insurance group, has completed the sale of the Hong Kong division of its DirectAsia business to Well Link Group Holdings Ltd., having received regulatory approval from the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) in Hong Kong.
The business will continue to operate under the DirectAsia brand in Hong Kong for a transitional period of up to 12 months.
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The Hong Kong division of DirectAsia was established in 2012. It generated US$8 million of GWP in 2015, serves 29,000 customers and employs 40 people. Its primary business is motor, with ancillary lines in travel. As a direct-to-consumer insurance provider supported by call centers, it is a differentiated model in a market where agent-based channels predominate, said Hiscox in a statement when the deal was first announced in March 2016.
Its new owner, Well Link Group Holdings Ltd., is backed by an investor group with interests in insurance broking, corporate and customer finance, securities and futures brokerage, and asset management. Its acquisition of the Hong Kong division of DirectAsia will complement its existing businesses and provide it with broader product opportunities.
When the acquisition was first announced in March 2016, Bob Thaker, managing director, DirectAsia Group, commented: “The Hong Kong division of DirectAsia is a business with a great team and a distinctive business model, which has grown its premium income strongly since launch. However the focus for DirectAsia is on our core Singapore and Thailand markets where we see significant growth opportunities, and this transaction allows us to focus our energy and investment on those markets. Well Link is a great fit in terms of values and culture for the people and customers of the Hong Kong business unit, and this transaction gives them an attractive platform for growth in the region.”
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