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Swiss Re looks to offload insurtech arm iptiQ

Swiss Re plans to withdraw from its digital white-label platform iptiQ after almost a decade and will “look around to see who is interested in these assets”.

CEO Christian Mumenthaler says the market environment is “vastly different from the one when iptiQ was created”.

“We’ve concluded we are not the best owners of this business going forward. Swiss Re ... will consider options for the different entities in a manner and time frame that maximises value,” he said.

The digital business offers life, health, home and motor insurance, and has more than 50 distribution partners with about 2.2 million policies in force as of June.

iptiQ says its gross written premium rose 29% to $US1.1 billion ($1.64 billion) last year.

Mr Mumenthaler told analysts interest rates were close to zero when Swiss Re started iptiQ and “we were flooded with capital coming in”.

“There was ... a lot of talk of disruption and disintermediation,” he said. “We took a decision to put our bets on ... building a white labelling operation with all the machinery and the pricing and everything that would allow clients or brokers or big corporates to enter the primary space.

“The environment has changed very significantly in the last one-and-a-half years. We now have much higher interest rates ... Not much has happened in terms of actual disintermediation of the value chain and so ... we have come to the conclusion that ... it makes no sense to keep it.”