The acquisition enables BNP Paribas Assurance, the fourth-largest life insurer in France, to strengthen its distribution networks and consolidate its expertise in wealth management. The addition of Dexia Epargne Pension puts BNP Paribas Assurance in a position to become a leading life insurance partner for private banks and asset management firms seeking solutions for high net worth clients.
Dexia Epargne Pension was created in 2001 and is currently the third-leading life insurance partner for banks in France. It mainly markets savings products and services to over 60 partners, including private banks and asset management firms. At December 31, 2008, Dexia Epargne Pension had approximately 1 billion euros in annual assets gathered. At the same date the company had 4 billion euros in assets under management. Dexia Epargne Pension has 65 employees.
In addition to the BNP Paribas French retail banking network, BNP Paribas Assurance has worked for over 25 years with other distribution networks via its Cardif subsidiary, notably independent financial advisors (IFAs), brokers and other banks. In 2008, the Networks and Partnerships division of BNP Paribas Assurance, which encompasses its different external distribution channels, represented 2.6 billion euros in assets gathered, or one-quarter of the insurer's total assets gathered in France.
Commenting on the acquisition, Eric Lombard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BNP Paribas Assurance said: “The businesses of Dexia Epargne Pension and our Networks and Partnerships division are an excellent fit, both in terms of the partners we serve and the products we have each chosen to develop. What's more, this operation is aligned with our development strategy, which aims to maintain a balance between external partners and business flows with BNP Paribas networks.”
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close by the end of first quarter 2010.
About BNP Paribas Assurance
BNP Paribas Assurance (www.assurance.bnpparibas.com) is the Life and Property & Casualty insurance arm of BNP Paribas. It develops and markets products and services under two commercial brands. Products distributed through the BNP Paribas retail branch network in France are branded BNP Paribas. Those distributed by other channels in France and in international markets are branded Cardif.
BNP Paribas Assurance is the world leader in creditor insurance and the fourth-largest life insurance company in France. Its life and non-life insurance units have received an AA rating from Standard & Poor's.
BNP Paribas Assurance is actively committed to exemplary Corporate Social Responsibility. It has adopted a Socially Responsible Investment program, encourages diversity throughout the enterprise (earning the "Equality at Work" label in France) and supports local economic development in the markets where it operates. BNP Paribas Assurance is equally committed to environmental responsibility, targeting a 10-percent reduction in the company's carbon emissions by 2010.
It had gross written premiums of 16.1 billion euros in 2008. With operations in 41 countries, BNP Paribas Assurance generated 42% of its 2008 gross written premiums outside the BNP Paribas group and 37% of gross written premiums outside France. It counts 8,000 employees, 70% of them outside France.