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Zurich and Aquarius form strategic partnership

13 December 2010Zurich and Aquarius
Guy Munnoch (left) CEO of Zurich Insurance Company South Africa with Andrew Packman, managing director of Aquarius Underwriting Managers. The two companies have announced a strategic partnership aimed at capitalising on the strengths of the two organisations.

Guy Munnoch (left) CEO of Zurich Insurance Company South Africa with Andrew Packman, managing director of Aquarius Underwriting Managers. The two companies have announced a strategic partnership aimed at capitalising on the strengths of the two organisations.

Zurich Insurance Company South Africa (Zurich) and Aquarius Underwriting Managers (Aquarius) have announced a strategic partnership that is aimed at capitalising on the respective strengths of the two organisations.

The two companies have a wealth of local knowledge and experience in the insurance sector and the partnership is expected to present an exciting and profitable growth opportunity for both organisations.

The deal will see Aquarius bringing its significant book of High Net Worth (HNW) business along with other niche domestic and existing commercial products to Zurich. Additionally, from January 2011, Aquarius will also be bringing a comprehensive liability offering to the market, specifically Broadform Liability, Directors and Officers and Professional Indemnity business, to be underwritten on Zurich paper.

“The rationale for the partnership is twofold,” said Pieter Bezuidenhout, Chief Financial Officer of Zurich. “Firstly, it absolutely aligns with our strategy to develop a multi-channel distribution model for brokers. Secondly, we recognise the importance of Underwriting Managers in being able to develop and deliver key entrepreneurial and specialist skills that result in exciting new propositions being delivered swiftly to market.”

Bezuidenhout goes on to say, “It is a win-win situation. Aquarius benefits from Zurich’s financial strength, underwriting and pricing methodologies in the traditional business classes and Zurich inherits some unique product combinations and skill sets in specialist classes.”

Andrew Packman, Managing Director of Aquarius stated, “The partnership is the culmination of months of behind the scenes negotiations. We are excited about being able to bring a VIP channel for HNW customers to Zurich brokers, many of whom may have been using competitor products to fill this gap. We also feel that the 2011 liability offering will gain broad support in the broker market and the quality of the Zurich brand with its local and global presence, combined with a high quality service delivery chain, will be an attractive combination for Zurich/Aquarius brokers in the future.”

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Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has said that the NHI will bring about change in the industry which will see medical schemes a slim picture of their former selves. Do you think this is the right approach to be taken?

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