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Resolution Life agrees to buy AIA super business

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Resolution Life Australasia has agreed to acquire AIA’s Superannuation & Investments business for an undisclosed amount, describing the move as one that will “strengthen” its market presence.

The life insurer, owned by global financial group Resolution Life, became a major player in the local market following its purchase of AMP’s life insurance business in 2020.

Resolution Life Australasia says the acquisition – which is subject to regulatory approvals and expected to close within 12-18 months – will bolster its position as the largest life insurer by assets in Australasia.

It will increase Resolution Life’s funds under management and administration by more than $8 billion and result in some 162,000 AIA Australia customers joining its existing 1.1 million Australasian customer base.

The proposed investment is Resolution Life Australasia’s first portfolio acquisition.

“This acquisition demonstrates Resolution Life’s commitment to the Australasian market and our success in growing our business here,” CEO Australasia Megan Beer said.

“We are now very well positioned for future growth in the Australasian market and to deliver on our goal to be the leading in-force specialist life insurer in Australasia.”

She says the business has invested over $1 billion to transform and grow its platform since entering the Australasian market in 2020.

“Our business is driven by our dedicated customer focus and by growing through strategic acquisition,” Ms Beer said.

“This acquisition will provide us with significant scale and means that the customer benefits we have started to realise through our digitisation and transformation programs will extend to AIA Australia’s Superannuation & Investments customers.

“We look forward to welcoming all of AIA Australia’s Superannuation & Investments employees that support the business, as well as their customers once the acquisition has been finalised.”

S&P Global ratings says the proposed acquisition will improve Resolution Life’s scale in the Australian market and drive operational efficiencies.

“The purchase supports our assessment of the insurer as a closed-fund consolidator – a stronger business model than that of a pure run-off,” the rating agency said.

AIA says the assets it has agreed to sell were purchased as part of its acquisition of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s life insurance and investments business known as CommInsure Life.

Australia CEO and MD Damien Mu says the sale reflects AIA’s intention to focus on its core business of life and health insurance and wellbeing services.

“Post the integration of CommInsure Life, we commenced the next step of our transformation journey, through which we will create a simpler, faster and more connected AIA,” Mr Mu said.

“As part of this, we have sought to focus on life, health and wellbeing, in order to deliver on our dream of making Australia the healthiest and best protected nation in the world.”

Under the terms of the agreement AIA Australia will continue to provide transitional services for up to 18 months after the close.