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Winterthur buys into Japanese market

The Winterthur Insurance Group, one of the world's top ten international insurance groups, has announced it is entering the Japanese life insurance market. It is acquiring Nicos Life from Nippon Shinpan for around SFr260 million.

This content was published on January 12, 2000 - 14:56

The Winterthur Insurance Group, one of the world's top ten international insurance groups, has announced it is entering the Japanese life insurance market. It is acquiring Nicos Life from Nippon Shinpan for around SFr260 million.

Nicos Life, which has some 250 employees and 450 sales consultants, is expected to achieve gross premiums of SFr447 million in the current business year.

In a statement, Winterthur said Nicos Life sells a wide range of life insurance products and has a strong emphasis on innovative asset accumulation products. In 1986, it was the first to introduce unit-linked life insurance policies in Japan and continues to be one of the market leaders in this area.

"The acquisition of Nicos Life is another step in the implementation of our strategy of expanding our position in selected financial service markets and gives us direct access to a market potential," says Thomas Wellauer, Chief Executive Officer of the Winterthur Group.

The Japanese life insurance market is the world's largest, and deregulation of the Japanese financial service sector is opening up new opportunities for life insurance providers.

Nicos Life will continue to operate as a legally independent company using its present name. Winterthur will assume the operational management of the company on March 31.

Winterthur is negotiating additional agreements, including market and distribution arrangements, with Nippon Shinpan, one of the leading Japanese credit card companies with 28 million credit card customers.

The transaction is still subject to regulatory approval.

www.winterthur.com

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