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BDO, Generali end partnership

/ 12:32 AM July 02, 2016

After a 17-year partnership in the insurance business, the country’s leading lender, BDO Unibank, and Generali Group of Italy are going their separate ways.

BDO has obtained the regulatory green light to proceed with a deal to take full control of insurance holding firm Generali Pilipinas Holdings Company Inc. (GPHC), which used to be a joint venture with Generali Group.

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In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange Friday, BDO said it was 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 insurance operations, BDO expects to be able to “adapt more readily to the demands of its target markets.”

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BDO president Nestor Tan said that while the partnership with Generali had been integral to the success of the companies to date, the bank wished to embark on “a new journey of diversifying into the life insurance sector via this new wholly owned unit to maximize cross selling of products to its extensive retail customer base.”

GPHC, initially created out of the insurance partnership forged between BDO and Generali in 1999, is the parent firm of life insurer Generali Pilipinas Life Assurance Company (GPLAC) and Generali Pilipinas Insurance Co. (GPIC), which is engaged in nonlife insurance.

GPLAC will be renamed BDO Life Assurance Co. Inc.

Generali Group has acquired GPIC and relaunched the company as life insurer, Generali Life Assurance Philippines Inc. (GLAPI).

“Over the past 15 years, Generali has built up a solid track record working in partnership with BDO. Generali has an extensive network of quality service providers and strong local relationships in the country. It intends to leverage these strengths and grow its group and retail businesses for the long term,” the Generali group said in a statement.

GLAPI said it intended to provide employee benefit solutions via group life and medical insurance to multinational corporations, as well as small and medium enterprises. It also plans to expand its product offerings to include individual life products.

“With Generali’s international experience and product and service innovation, Generali Life Philippines aims to become a significant player and cater to the insurance and financial needs of the Filipinos,” Generali said. Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

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