ANZ Bank New Zealand yesterday announced it has agreed to sell OnePath Life NZ for NZ$700 million ($488 million) to Cigna Corporation, a specialist insurance business. The transaction represents a slight premium to embedded value.
In a statement, ANZ New Zealand CEO David Hisco said the sale included a 20-year strategic alliance for Cigna to provide insurance solutions for ANZ bank customers and is consistent with ANZ’s strategy to simplify its business.
“Under this agreement, ANZ will continue to provide life insurance to our customers but these insurance policies will now be manufactured and managed by a world-class insurance provider in Cigna,” he said.
“This is consistent with how we provide motor vehicle, home, commercial and travel insurance using a range of specialist insurance partners,” Mr Hisco said.
OnePath Life policyholders in New Zealand will continue to receive the cover they hold under the terms of their policies and it is intended all staff involved would be offered similar roles with Cigna or ANZ.
Cigna is a global health service company with 95 million customers around the world and more than 40,000 employees worldwide. In New Zealand it offers insurance products online and through direct marketing and also provides insurance products for partner companies. Cigna has been one of ANZ’s insurance partners for more than 20 years.
Cigna New Zealand CEO Gail Costa said the acquisition and strategic alliance diversified Cigna’s distribution capabilities: “Cigna provides simple, affordable insurance products to meet the needs of its customers. This acquisition will enable us to provide broader solutions and be more agile and responsive to a larger customer base.”
The sale, which remains subject to regulatory approval, is the latest move by ANZ to offload assets outside its core banking businesses. It will mark the end of ANZ life insurance operations in the region. The bank sold its Australian life insurance arm to Zurich last year, as part of plans to simplify its wealth division. It has also offloaded a handful of other assets, including business interests in Asia, in the past two years.