Indian life company Reliance Nippon Life Insurance is looking to expand its distribution network through a series of takeovers of bank-owned life insurers, a top company official told analysts.
Chief executive Ashish Vohra briefed investors a day after the company declared its results for the first quarter ending June 30, 2017, according to reports by Indian newspaper Business Standard.
Asked about the life insurer’s agency-based distribution model, Vohra said that many players are revamping their distribution model to tap into “substantial opportunities” for growth in India’s insurance market, where many life companies are still part of state-owned banking groups.
However, Vohra didn’t outline or disclose potential takeover targets.
Reliance Nippon Life Insurance’s assets under management stood at ₹174bn (£2bn, $2.7bn, €2.3bn) in the first quarter of the 2017/2018 fiscal year and up 10% from the previous year, data released by the company shows.
The company’s quarterly total premium was INR7bn (£83.2m, $109m, €93m), for a yearly increase of 8%.
“Clear turnaround has been achieved in the operations in Q1 FY18. There is a sharp improvement across all key performance indicators, including new business and persistency,” Vohra said.
The Mumbai-based life insurance company is a subsidiary of billionaire Anil Ambani’s Reliance Capital Group, which owns a 51% stake.
The other 49% is owned by the Nippon Life Insurance Company, one of Japan’s biggest private life insurers, which in March 2016 lifted its stake in the company to 49 from the 26% it had acquired five years before, in March 2011.
The two companies also share a partnership in the asset management business.
Earlier in the month Nippon Life Insurance, also known as Nissay, announced it has completed the acquisition of a 49% stake in Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management for ₹3.7bn (£44.4m, $58.3m, €49.6m).
Reliance Nippon Life Asset Management is one of India’s biggest fund houses with about $55bn (£41.9bn, €46.8bn) in assets under management. It has a market share of 11.4%.