Canadian Underwriter

Zurich sells off Canadian life unit (February 18, 2002)

February 18, 2002   by Canadian Underwriter

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On the heels of selling its personal lines book of business to ING, Zurich is now set to sell its Canadian life operations to giant Manulife. The two companies have inked a deal where Manulife will acquire all outstanding shares of Zurich Life for an undisclosed price.
Manulife already owns Zurich Life’s group life and health employee benefits book, having purchased this in April, 2001. And late in 2000, the companies had formed a distribution alliance to co-market products.
The latest deal adds 193,000 individual life policies to Manulife, bringing its Canadian individual life business to more than $1 billion in gross annual premiums. Manulife will also gain 547 group pension contracts, 2,900 individual annuity contracts and segregated fund assets of about $41 million.
Zurich recently sold it personal lines book to ING Canada, choosing to focus instead on its commercial business.
“For Zurich North America Canada, the sale [to Manulife] reflects the continuation of our overall strategy to focus on key businesses in the corporate and large commercial area where the company can develop a sustainable competitive advantage,” said Barry J. Gilway, the company’s president and CEO.

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