Zurich sells general insurance operations in Taiwan

Added 17th June 2016

Zurich Insurance Group has sold its general insurance operations in Taiwan as part of its efforts to reshape its global organisation and stem a decline in profitability.

Zurich sells general insurance operations in Taiwan

The operations have been sold to Taiwan’s largest automobile company, Hotai Motor Co. following a rigorous bidding process, and will become part of the Hotai Group subject to approvals and conditions from the supervisory regulator.

Zurich said on Friday the decision to sell the business followed a comprehensive assessment that found while the market in Taiwan remains attractive, there was limited scope for Zurich’s general insurance business to achieve an operating scale that warranted continued investment.

“The sale of our general insurance business in Taiwan marks an important milestone in our efforts to solidify our geographical footprint in Asia Pacific. We are proud of Zurich Taiwan’s heritage and pleased that such a respected company as Hotai is the buyer,” said Stuart Spencer, Zurich General Insurance Asia Pacific chief executive.

Zurich Taiwan chief executive Eva Ip said Hotai Motor was a highly reputable brand name in Taiwan’s motor vehicle industry, and she sees great synergy with its current business operations as it seeks to establish a multi-line insurance platform.

Global restructure

In a bid to rebuild Zurich’s reputation with investors, following large losses and two profit warnings in 2015, the company is in the process of undergoing cost-cutting and efficiency drive aimed at saving over $1bn (£700m, €900m) that will impact around 8,000 of Zurich’s 55,000 employees by the end of 2018.

Zurich Insurance Group’s existing operations in Hong Kong and Singapore have emerged intact from the current global review into the company’s operations. However it has announced plans to cut back its general insurance operation in the Middle East as part of the restructuring plan.

Zurich Insurance Group is a leading multi-line insurer with around 55,000 employees, which provides a wide range of general insurance and life insurance products and services. 

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Richard Hubbard

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Richard Hubbard is the group editor at Last Word. He is responsible for the editorial content of International Adviser, Portfolio Adviser, Expert Investor and Fund Selector Asia. Richard previously worked for Thomson Reuters and has covered the financial services industry and investment themes from its offices in London, Singapore, Hong Kong and New York. Richard started his career at the Australian Financial Review in Sydney.

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