The SY-LED banking arm BDO Unibank Inc. has claimed full ownership of insurance group Generali Pilipinas in a bid to solidify its presence in the middle income life insurance market.
The bank said it has terminated a joint venture with Generali Pilipinas Holdings Company Inc. (GPHC) and subsidiaries Generali Pilipinas Life Assurance Company (GPLAC) and Generali Pilipinas Insurance Company (GPIC) to give way to a full ownership of the insurance group.
“In the context of the agreement and subject to regulatory approvals, BDO will take full control of GPHC and GPLAC, and Generali will take full control of GPIC,” the bank said in a statement Tuesday.
GPHC is the joint venture vehicle formed through a partnership of BDO and Generali in March 1999.
“BDO is refocusing its insurance strategy to align with its thrust to solidify its presence in the broad based middle income market. By assuming full control of the GPHC and GPLAC insurance operations, BDO will be able to adapt more readily to the demands of its target markets,” the bank said.
BDO President and CEO Nestor V. Tan said the bank is eyeing to diversify into the life insurance sector to maximize cross selling of products to its extensive retail customer base.
“The Philippines is an integral part of our strategy in Asia given the growing opportunities in the market. Following this agreement, we confirm our commitment in the country with full control of GPIC and we intend to remain a significant player in the Philippines,” Jack Howell, regional officer for Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A., said.
The transaction won’t impact on the terms and conditions of existing individual and group policies of GPLAC. GPHC and GPLAC will be renamed BDO Assurance Holdings Corp. and BDO Life Assurance Company Inc. (BDO Life), respectively.
The transaction is subject to corporate regulatory approvals.