AXA sells EQH stake for $3.1 billion

AXA | November 11, 2019

AXA is saying goodbye to its remaining stake in AXA Equitable Holdings (EQH) to the tune of $3.1 billion. In a release, the Paris-headquartered insurance giant said it sold 144 million shares of common stock of EQH to Goldman Sachs at a net price of $21.80 per share. The investment bank acts as the sole underwriter in a registered public offering of the shares. According to AXA, the offering is expected to close on November 13. “EQH’s effective registration statement, including a prospectus, relating to the offering was previously filed by EQH with the US Securities and Exchange Commission,” stated the French insurance group, whose stake sale means its exit from the US life insurer.

Spotlight

The IPMI market is large, growing and profitable for insurers driven by strong underlying demand from key customer segments. The market is also geographically diverse which creates business model complexity but mitigates volume risk for those willing to participate across multiple regions. Distribution is highly fragmented (Figure 2) and challenging as most intermediary firms view IPMI as a secondary product behind group, local PMI or wealth management products.

Spotlight

The IPMI market is large, growing and profitable for insurers driven by strong underlying demand from key customer segments. The market is also geographically diverse which creates business model complexity but mitigates volume risk for those willing to participate across multiple regions. Distribution is highly fragmented (Figure 2) and challenging as most intermediary firms view IPMI as a secondary product behind group, local PMI or wealth management products.

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Manulife enters agreement to reinsure over 75% of U.S. Variable Annuity block to Venerable Holdings Inc.

Markel Corporation | November 16, 2021

Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL) announced that it is winding down Lodgepine Capital Management Limited (Lodgepine), its retrocessional Insurance Linked Securities (ILS) fund manager based in Bermuda. Markel launched Lodgepine in 2019, with product offerings focused on property catastrophe retrocessional investments. In 2021, Lodgepine wrote a portfolio of property retrocessional business that consisted of approximately $230 million of initial limits. The Lodgepine Fund launched July 1, 2021 with initial investor capital of $98.9 million, including an initial investment by Markel of $18.9 million. Despite best efforts and in light of headwinds in the retrocessional ILS market, including a challenging fundraising environment, Lodgepine will cease to write any new business and commence the orderly run-off of its existing portfolio and the return of capital to investors. The company has entered into a consultation period with Lodgepine's 18 employees and will look for redeployment opportunities for these employees within Markel's operations. About Markel Corporation Markel Corporation is a diverse financial holding company serving a variety of niche markets. The Company's principal business markets and underwrites specialty insurance products. In each of the Company's businesses, it seeks to provide quality products and excellent customer service so that it can be a market leader. The financial goals of the Company are to earn consistent underwriting and operating profits and superior investment returns to build shareholder value.

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Zywave Named in 2021 Now Tech Report as Large Established Digital Insurance Agency Platform

Zywave | January 05, 2022

Leading insurtech provider, Zywave, has been named as one of two large established vendors in the end-to-end solution functionality segment for digital insurance agency platform providers, according to Forrester's "Now Tech: Digital Insurance Agency Platforms, Q4 2021" report. The report overviewed 13 digital insurance agency platform providers based on market presence and functionality. Zywave is categorized as one of two large established vendors within the digital insurance agency platform space that were classified in the end-to-end solution functionality segment. "We are pleased to be named in this Forrester report, Over the past few years, Zywave has made significant investments in research and development, as well as in the acquisitions of new technologies. Today, we are proud of this recognition in the end-to-end provider functionality segment." -Eric Rentsch, Zywave senior vice president of product management. The Forrester report is a vital industry resource offering precise insights on the technology services that agencies can use to operate more efficiently. The report helps to assess the value digital insurance agency platforms can provide and further breaks them down by size and functionally, enabling businesses to make more informed decisions. A key benefit of Zywave's platform is the ability to scale to the needs of their customers, no matter their size and across personal lines, commercial lines and employee benefits. As an end-to-end solution, Zywave enables agencies and carriers to simplify digital transformation as a platform that offers marketing automation applications, integrated digital client experience software, employee mobile apps, insurance knowledge base toolkits, and distribution and compliance management offerings. About Zywave Zywave leads the insurtech industry, fueling business growth for its partners with cloud-based sales management, client delivery, content and analytics solutions. Zywave's all-in-one platform provides customizable, user-friendly options that enable insurance professionals to build a unique solution to fit their specific growth goals—their own Modern RevOps Machine. More than 15,000 carriers, agencies and brokerages worldwide—including all of the top 100 U.S. insurance brokerages—use Zywave solutions to enhance client services, achieve business growth and promote greater health, wellness, risk management and safety.

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Lenders Service Corporation (LSC) Joins Unitas Financial Services

Unitas Financial Services | September 27, 2021

Lenders Service Corporation (LSC) is excited to announce its merger with Unitas Financial Services (Unitas) whose mission is to provide the nation's simplest portfolio protection to lenders and real estate investors across the country. LSC is a licensed Managing General Insurance Agency that has served the insurance needs of the lending community since 1981. Unitas, pronounced [YOO-ni-tahs], is a Latin word that means "Oneness or Unity". The merger with Unitas serves to provide an even broader range of highly specialized lender and real estate investor protection programs to all clients, backed by exceptional customer service. The merger of LSC with Unitas brings together a total of 14 insurance carriers and 510 clients across 30 states. LSC is based in Louisville, KY, and Unitas is based in Dublin, OH with offices in Debary, FL, and representatives across the United States. The merger builds upon the "customer first" service philosophy that has guided both companies to success. Clients will also have access to a robust range of new products, including insurance tracking, mortgage settlement solutions, blanket mortgage, blanket consumer protection (VSI), blanket equipment coverage, and more. In addition, the merger between LSC and Unitas brings unmatched claims handling experience, better coverage for lenders, and a depth of leadership and staff experience that is unmatched in the industry. Previously, LSC had acquired the Financial Products Division of Assured Partners NL, LLC's Lexington, KY office. The merger with LSC is a clear signal of Unitas's dedication to the lender protection market, as well as its commitment to provide the most up-to-date and innovative products, services, and concepts in financial institution coverage. With the talent, industry knowledge, and carrier access that comes with our combined organizations, we will be able to provide our clients with a more diverse, creative, and comprehensive lineup of products and services. We cannot say thank you enough for your loyalty to our agency over these last 40 years. We will continue to work hard in earning that loyalty as we move into the future as a part of the Unitas family. - LSC President Gary Criscillis About Unitas Unitas was formed in 2020 when Golden Eagle Insurance, founded in 1995, merged with Innovative Risk Solutions, founded in 2005. Unitas provides portfolio protection services for lenders, such as vendor's single interest (VSI), blanket mortgage hazard, blanket commercial equipment, collateral protection insurance (CPI), lender-placed hazard and flood coverage, loan default coverage (Protequity), tax tracking, guaranteed asset protection (GAP), as well as portfolio protection for real estate investors. Lenders in the property and automotive sectors will benefit from a combined 82 years of industry experience from LSC and Unitas. The merged companies will be in a strong market position to offer their services to lenders and real estate investors going forward.

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