The deal is subject to regulatory and competition authority approvals and is expected to complete by the first quarter of 2019.
Nick Griffin, chief commercial officer, Generali Worldwide, told International Adviser: “This is a very exciting development for our organisation and I would like to reassure our adviser network that it is very much business as usual and we will continue to provide them with the high levels of service and support that they are accustomed to.”
Generali will be working very closely with LCCG over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition of ownership and a seamless continuity in day-to-day operations.
Headquartered on Guernsey, Generali Worldwide has a network of branches, licences and distribution relationships across the world, with most of its clients based in Latin America, the Middle East and Far East.
The acquisition will see Utmost expand its footprint beyond its current focus on the UK and Europe.
Paul Thompson, group chief executive of LCCG, said: “It demonstrates our commitment to the international life market.”
Giorgio Daboni, chief executive of Generali Worldwide, said: “I emphasise that the business is being bought with a view to further development and will continue to offer its customers, old and new, the highest levels of service.”
In the company’s statement, Generali said: “The transactions are part of the group’s strategy to optimise its geographical footprint, increase its operational efficiency and improve capital allocation”.
Generali Worldwide provides single premium and regular premium unit‐linked investment solutions to customers outside the EU.
In addition, it is a partner of Generali Employee Benefits for the provision of protection and retirement products to multi-national employers.
The combined Generali and Utmost businesses will have in excess of €30bn ($34bn, £26bn) of client assets.
Included in the deal was Ireland-based Generali Link, a service provider with a particular focus on fund and policy administration.
The business provides services to Generali Worldwide, as well as Utmost PanEurope (formerly Generali PanEurope) which was also recently acquired by LCCG.
Soon after, Generali Worldwide will be renamed Utmost Worldwide and will adopt the Utmost Wealth Solutions branding.
Life industry upheaval
The sale of Generali Worldwide is the latest in a series of big M&A deals that have seen the industry change considerably over the past couple of years.
In addition to the acquisition of Utmost (formerly Axa Wealth) by LCCG, other major moves have been:
- LCCG’s subsequent acquisitions of Generali PanEurope and the international bond business of Aegon Ireland;
- Generali selling its German life insurance business;
- The merger of Standard Life and Aberdeen;
- Phoenix Group buying up Standard Life’s insurance operations, with the Scottish company also set to exit its Hong Kong joint venture;
- RL360 set to scoop up Friends Provident International; and
- Old Mutual selling all of its Latin America businesses.