Centricus, the U.K. investment firm that helped SoftBank Group Corp. raise its $100 billion Vision Fund, is entering the insurance industry by forming a joint venture with former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner Chris Milner.
The new venture with Milner’s firm, European Insurance Consolidation Group, will focus on acquiring and managing legacy life insurance and annuities portfolios across Europe, Centricus said in an emailed statement. Centricus is targeting for the business to manage about $100 billion of assets under management for the unit and is already scouting for deals in Europe, co-founder Dalinc Ariburnu said in a phone interview Thursday.
Centricus is seeking to replicate the model that Apollo Global Management Inc. created with Athene Holding Ltd., Ariburnu said. Apollo set up Ahene in 2009 and built it into one of the top fixed-annuity providers in the U.S. It has also made Apollo the envy of private equity rivals, who have since tried to build up their own insurance businesses.
Milner, who previously headed Goldman’s Pension and Insurance Strategy Group in Europe, set up EICG in 2017 with a target of acquiring the books of large insurers. It’s been going up against companies like Phoenix Group Holdings Plc, which bought Standard Life Aberdeen Plc’s insurance unit last year.
Centricus, which manages more than $25 billion in assets, was founded by former Deutsche Bank AG banker Nizar Al-Bassam and Ariburnu, a former partner at Goldman Sachs. The firm focuses on investments in sectors such as financial services and infrastructure, as well as offering advisory services.
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