Zurich completes 1.6bn acquisition of Australian life insurer OnePath Life

Zurich Insurance Group has wrapped up its previously announced A$2.85bn (£1.57bn) acquisition of OnePath Life, the former Australian life insurance business of ANZ.

OnePath Life provides a variety of wealth and insurance products through financial advisers or directly to customers. Zurich said that the acquisition of the business will help it become a top life insurer for retail customers in the Australian market.

The acquisition, which was announced in December 2017, is said to expand the bank distribution footprint of the insurance major by attracting up to six million new customers in the region. Furthermore, the transaction is also said to reinforce the strategy of Zurich in focusing on capital-light protection and unit-linked business.

The insurance major’s independent financial adviser (IFA) and bank distribution channels in Australia is expected to be expanded by a 20-year agreement with ANZ to distribute life insurance products via bank channels. The agreement will result in the distribution of the products through more than 630 branches and over 2,000 ATMs along with digital distribution channels.

The addition of OnePath Life will give Zurich a market share of nearly 20% in retail life and 6% in the local group life market.

Zurich Group CEO Mario Greco said: “Zurich is strengthening its business in Australia and we can now engage with up to 6 million new customers with this acquisition of One Path Life and the access to ANZ’s distribution channels. Asia Pacific is a key region for Zurich and this deal adds further complementary products and additional bancassurance distribution capacity in the region.

“OnePath Life’s retail business, focused on protection and savings products, is perfectly aligned with our strategy in life insurance and should further add to our strong cash remittances.”

As part of the transaction, more than 500 former staff members of ANZ have joined Zurich.

ANZ Group wealth executive Alexis George said: “The completion of this sale demonstrates a significant step in our strategy to simplify ANZ while also providing ongoing support for our customers who want protection with life insurance solutions.

“Importantly, current ANZ and OnePath life insurance customers will continue to receive the same high quality service and solutions from Zurich, a global insurer with a strong track record of service and innovation.”