The global insurance industry is in the process of dramatic transformation. Whereas reinsurance has historically been highly globalized, life and nonlife insurance have traditionally been confined to national markets by legal, tax and regulatory regimes. With some of the major national markets often heavily saturated, major insurance groups have looked aggressively outside their home countries for growth, usually though acquisitions. At the same time, the way insurance has been made available to customers is undergoing significant change, not least through the Internet, even as competition for the insurance industry comes from the capital markets, asset management firms and banks. The industry is in a stage of competitive turmoil, and few pretend to forecast to it will all turn out. This case deals with two of the leading continental European players in the global insurance industry, which has made major acquisitions in the UK, the US and elsewhere in an attempt to be among the most competitive and profitable firms in their industry. The way they are going about this, however, is very different. This case requires students to assess the strategies of AEGON N.V. and Groupe AXA from the perspective of both positioning and execution, and come to a judgment which of them has the greater promise in terms of shareholder value.
Understand the dynamics of competition in global insurance. Distinguish between two very different strategies from the perspective of shareholder value.
- Financial services
- Competitive strategy