Mehr Übernahmen und Fusionen bei Versicherern

01.12.2014 – Fusion_Tony Hegewald_pixelioDie Aktivitäten im Bereich Fusionen und Übernahmen (M&A) bei den europäischen Versicherern werden aller Voraussicht nach 2015 wieder ansteigen. Zu dieser Prognose kommen die Versicherungsanalysten von Fitch Ratings. Auch die Regulierungsvorgaben von Solvency II seien dafür verantwortlich.

Low interest rates probably contributed to Aviva’s recent preliminary agreement to buy rival Friends Life for example, which should help generate economies of scale for the combined business and would also be modestly positive for the sector as a whole by reducing competition following the pension reforms.

Saturated markets in most big European countries will make buying market share through consolidation an attractive option for some insurers. But we believe deals are most likely among smaller insurers because the upcoming transition to Solvency II regulations is likely to be less problematic for bigger firms.

The rules do take account of an insurer’s size using the principle of proportionality, which allows smaller, less complex firms to use approximations (for example to value their liabilities), but we believe the sharp increase in costs associated with Solvency II will be a greater burden for smaller firms, which are also likely to be less well prepared.

From a credit perspective, M&A can be positive if it increases diversification, market share and leads to economies of scale. But often execution risks such as failure to realise expected cost synergies, lower profits than forecast, poor integration of businesses and systems, and subsequent strategy changes leading to losses on disposal prove the overriding rating factors. (vwh/ku)

Bildquelle: Tony Hegewald/ pixelio

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