This transaction is a further step towards the Swiss Life Group's strategic realignment to focus on core business and core markets (Switzerland, France, Germany, Netherlands and Belgium/Luxembourg). As announced in September 2002, Swiss Life (UK) no longer forms part of the Group's core business because of its special focus on the capital-intensive area of protection. In July 2003, the Swiss Life Group announced that the UK operation would close to new individual business. With the transfer of the group risk business to UnumProvident, the Swiss Life Group has now effectively withdrawn from the UK market except for the international pooling business, for which UnumProvident will be the new partner in the Swiss Life Network, and the remaining closed book of individual business.
In the words of Rolf Dörig, Chief Executive Officer of the Swiss Life Group: "We want to focus all our energies on core business and to restore profitability. By transferring group risk business from Swiss Life (UK) to UnumProvident we can take a further step in this direction. Not only have we found a buyer for our group risk business, but we have also found an ideal solution for the Swiss Life Network, in which UnumProvident will service our major international clients in the UK."
This decision affects around 250 staff currently employed in the group risk business at Swiss Life (UK) and will lead to a significant number of redundancies over the next two years. To ensure a smooth migration of the business, it is expected that UnumProvident will retain a number of staff at Swiss Life (UK)'s Liverpool service centre for a certain period of time. Ultimately, UnumProvident plans to manage the business from its own locations.
The Swiss Life Group is one of Europe's leading providers of life insurance and long-term savings and protection. 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.
Swiss Life Holding, 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 enterprise employs around 11 000 people worldwide.
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.