Keep up with the market – May 2022

Every month we help you keep up with the Belgian and Luxembourg insurance market.

Mergers & Buy-out

Ageas & Ageas Federal Life Insurance Company Ltd

Ageas  is strengthening its position in the Indian life insurance joint venture Ageas Federal Life Insurance Company Ltd. The insurance group is buying the 25% stake held by IDBI Bank for some 69 million euros. Thus, Ageas now owns 74% of the shares. Regarding other shareholders,  IDBI is  withdrawing but remains a distribution partner. For its part, Federal Bank, retains a 26% stake.

Ageas had already strengthened its position in this joint venture in December 2000. At that time, the group increased its stake from 26 to 49%.

In a press release, it is stated that “This investment is in line with Ageas’ strategy, which aims to expand in regions where it is already present as well as in promising markets with low insurance penetration rates and high growth potential, such as the Indian life insurance market,”.

The current transaction remains subject to regulatory approval. It is expected to be completed in the second half of the year.

 

Ageas & Lusiadas

According to O Jornal Economico, a Portuguese business newspaper, Ageas is one of the four remaining candidates to take over Portuguese hospital group Lusiadas. Apparently, Lusiadas’ worth amounts to 200 millions euros.

 Lusiadas is a leading group in Portugal with six hospitals, including in central Lisbon and Porto. The company owns five smaller clinics as well. The Lisbon hospital is considered the group’s flagship hospital, which employs more than 7,000 healthcare workers.

 

AG – Ackermans & van Haaren – Anima

                                           

AG and Ackermans & van Haaren (91.8%) and the management of Anima (8.2%) have reached an agreement on the sale of 100% of the shares of Anima, a Belgian group active in quality care for the elderly.

Still subject to the approval of the Belgian competition authorities, the transaction should be completed in the third quarter of 2022.

Anima (formerly Anima Care) was founded in 2007 and has grown into a network of 24 nursing homes covering Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia.

In this transaction, AG will entrust the day-to-day management of Anima to its subsidiary AG Real Estate, the real estate advisor of AG and Ageas, which has been an active investor in elderly care for many years, both in Belgium and abroad (Germany, the Netherlands and Spain).

 

Products and Technology 

 

Wikitree

The Brussels-based company Wikitree has developed WIS, an AI tool (artificial intelligence) able to compare all competing insurance companies’ offerings. It allows its users to find the best formula and facilitate the understanding of the general conditions of insurance contracts. Obviously, the brokers love it and the insurtech won last month the “leader “ label during the Vivium Digital Awards’s jury we mentioned in our previous newsletter.

The digital tool has ingested about 100,000 pages of legals texts and is able to detect the various clauses, exceptions and other exclusions. To simplify the view of the contracts, WIS classifies them by categories in the form of a comparative table.

According to Philippe Afendulis, Wikitree’s CEO, the company “now covers 85% of the non-life insurance market”. He added “We started with the contracts of major insurance companies. We are currently refining with niche companies.” The next challenge for next year will be the integration of insurance contracts.

Adopted by the FSMA, the insurtech not only targets brokers but also insurance companies who use the tool for benchmarking purposes. WIS has already convinced 150 customers as is currently highly requested. Given the enthusiasm around the new solution, Wikitree expects to reach 400 customers by the end of the year.

 

Munich Re

Munich Re has set up a new validation tool to allow a more responsible use of artificial intelligence (AI)-based solutions. This new solution is CertAI and it is available via the start-up CertX, in which the German reinsurer has held a stake since 2021.

Based on six key factors, the new system evaluates AI solutions: fairness, autonomy and control, transparency, robustness, functional and cybersecurity, and data protection.

Commenting on this evolution, member of the Board of Management Torsten Jeworrek said “Munich Re started investing in the build-up of relevant know-how early on and is unlocking new digital fields of business for the benefit of its clients on an ongoing basis. CertAI will enable us to take the next step forward and reinforce our position as a reliable industry partner for the digital world.”

 

News of the market

 

Ethias

To reduce its carbon footprint and meet its employees ‘expectations in terms of flexibility, Ethias has decided to close its national offices (Liege and Hasselt) every Monday.  In this context, the company allows homeworking up to three days a week, i.e. 60% of the working time.

This innovative measure on the Belgian market comes on top of the numerous initiatives deployed over the past few years, which have enabled Ethias to reduce its carbon footprint by one third, four years ahead of schedule.

In 2019, Ethias launched its Change Over plan to become carbon neutral by 2030 with an intermediate target of -30% by 2025. Thanks to the efforts deployed over the last years, the 2025 target has been reached as early as 2021, four years ahead of schedule.

 

Assuralia

logo of Assuralia

Assuralia, the trade association for insurance companies active on the Belgian market, proudly announced its adhesion to the United Nations Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) thereby reinforcing social and environmental commitment. This is the biggest collaborative initiative between the United Nations and the insurance industry.

It’s not the first time that Assuralia takes measures to improve its sustainability efforts. Among them, there is fore instance the appointment of a Sustainability Manager within Assuralia, sustainability training for various functions within Belgian insurance companies, and among other initiatives, the establishment of a permanent working group on sustainability within Assuralia.

 

Alan

logo of Alan

The French scale-up Alan, known for its 100% digital health insurance offering is increasingly growing as a health partner for companies. In order to support its hypergrowth, the company has just raised 183 million euros in funding at a valuation of 2.7 billion euros.

Since the end 2020, Alan has been present in Belgium, making our country a priority market. Co-founder and CEO of Alan, Jean-Charles Samuelian-Werve, who recently moved to Brussels said that “Belgium is growing faster than France and Spain today .The difference we bring to the table compared to the historical players was quickly understood. We can become the market leader,”

Alan clearly stands out thanks to its 100% digital approach to health insurance for companies and their employees and its successful application which is user-friendly and allows to make all type of actions: reimbursements, consultation, chat with a medical team, personalized health content. Another specificity is the offering of a sort of virtual clinic with doctors that its members can contact at any time.

In Belgium, Alan already holds 14,000 members in Belgium with companies such as Sodexo, IBA or Mithra. The gap between Alan’s current 14,000 members in Belgium and the 500,000 that the company is aiming for within 3 years in our country seems enormous, but with 183 million, the scale-up is giving itself the means to achieve its ambitions.

 

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