The Swiss Life Group, Fondiaria-SAI S.p.A. and Milano Assicurazioni S.p.A. (the Fondiaria-SAI Group) have signed a memorandum of understanding on a possible strategic partnership in the Italian life insurance market. The memorandum envisages a feasibility study on the creation of a joint venture in Italy which would combine the life activities and distribution capabilities of the Fondiaria-SAI Group with the products and proven expertise of the life sector of the Swiss Life Group. The parties will mutually agree on the size of their respective stakes in the new company at the appropriate time.
The parties will jointly analyse the feasibility of the joint venture and its possible activities, define the deal structure, and determine the new company’s strategy and targets. The feasibility analysis is expected to be completed by the end of 2003, with the possible establishment of the joint venture following in early 2004, subject to its approval by the regulatory authorities. With this memorandum of understanding the two groups look forward to strengthening their strategic cooperation.
Rolf Dörig, CEO of the Swiss Life Group, stated: "The life insurance market in Italy is attractive. We didn't designate it as one of our core markets because we only have a very small Italian operation, which would have meant considerable investment if we wanted to develop a sustainable market position. But leveraging on the Fondiaria-SAI Group's strong distribution network to market our products could open up interesting prospects for profiting from the growth opportunities in the Italian market without establishing a physical presence of our own."
In the words of Fausto Marchionni, CEO of the Fondiaria-SAI Group: "This is an opportunity to further increase our presence in the life insurance and pension funds business by leveraging on the expertise of one of the leading European players in this market and is an opportunity to strengthen our strategic partnership with the Swiss Life Group, in which we have a significant stake."
The Fondiaria-SAI Group is one of the top three insurance companies in Italy with over 8 million clients and a premium volume of approximately EUR 8 billion in 2002. Life premiums written by the Group in 2002 totalled over EUR 2 billion, with net technical reserves standing at approximately EUR 12.5 billion as of 31 December 2002.
The Swiss Life Group is one of Europe's leading providers of long-term savings and protection and life insurance. The Swiss Life Group offers individuals and companies comprehensive advice and a broad range of products via agents, brokers and banks in its domestic market, Switzerland, where it is market leader, and selected European markets. Multinational companies are serviced with tailor-made solutions by a network of partners in over fifty countries.
The Swiss Life Group, registered in Zurich, was founded in 1857 as the Swiss Life Insurance and Pension Company. Shares of Swiss Life Holding are listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange (SLHN). The company employs around 12 000 persons.
This publication contains specific forward-looking statements, e.g. statements including terms like "believe", "assume", "expect" or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may result in a substantial divergence between the actual results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and those explicitly or implicitly presumed in these statements. Against the background of these uncertainties readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The company assumes no responsibility to update forward-looking statements or to adapt them to future events or developments.