The FINANCIAL — Allianz and Philippine National Bank (PNB) have reached an agreement to enter into a 15-year exclusive distribution partnership and for Allianz to acquire 51 percent of PNB Life Insurance Inc., the life insurance subsidiary of Philippine National Bank. The joint venture company will operate under the name of “Allianz PNB Life Insurance, Inc.”.
Philippine National Bank is the country’s 4th largest private local commercial bank in terms of assets and deposits. It is a universal bank providing a full range of banking and other financial services to large corporate, middle market, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and retail customers. PNB Life Insurance (PNB Life) is the 10th largest life insurance company in the Philippines, with new business premiums of 72 million euros in 2014, according to Allianz.
An important part of the joint venture between Allianz and PNB is a 15-year bancassurance agreement, which will provide Allianz exclusive access to more than 660 branches located nationwide, and four million customers. Under the terms of the agreed transaction, Allianz will acquire 51 percent and management control of PNB Life.
“The Philippines is a very fast-growing insurance market supported by a healthy economic outlook and a large, young population of over 100 million people”, said George Sartorel, CEO Allianz Asia-Pacific. “The transaction with PNB is a unique opportunity to enter into the market with an established distribution network, and it is part of building our strategic business platforms.”
“PNB has always provided innovative care to the Filipinos. Allianz will bring in a lot of experience, technology and new ideas that will benefit our customers and the Philippine market”, said Reynaldo A. Maclang, PNB President. “This venture will allow us to offer world-class protection products and services that cater to the diverse needs of our customers.”
“The strong interest we drew from Allianz and other candidates was a welcome validation of the successful turnaround of PNB Life that we started six years ago,” said PNB Life President Esther C. Tan, who took on the role in October 2009. “We have grown from borderline relevance to a top ten player, and a major profit engine for PNB and the Lucio Tan Group as a whole. This transaction is the next big step towards our vision to be a leading provider of financial security to Filipinos worldwide.”
The Philippines market offers significant growth potential for insurance due to low penetration, with premiums at just 1.7 percent of GDP in the Philippines compared to 7.4 percent for Western Europe, 7.6 percent for Singapore or 14.3 percent for Hong Kong. In the last five years (2010-2015) annual premium growth has averaged 19.8 percent in life insurance. In recent years bank distribution has become a dominant channel for insurance products, with banks representing 37 percent of premiums written in 2014 in the Philippines.
The closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.