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AIG acquires Ageas Protect for £181m

American International Group is buying the UK protection arm of Ageas in a deal worth £181m. AIG says it expects to complete the deal by the end of the year, subject to regulatory approval.

Ageas Protect, formerly Fortis Life, was launched in 2008 by Martin Werth, now chief executive at UnderwriteMe. It will join AIG’s global consumer business, which offers personal accident, health and travel insurance.

AIG chief executive of global consumer insurance Kevin Hogan says: “UK life protection is an attractive market for AIG. We are excited about enhancing AIG’s significant presence and existing insurance offerings in the UK and we are committed to the management team, employees and distributors who have made Ageas Protect the strong company it is.”

Ageas Protect managing director Darren Spriggs says: “I’m very proud of all that the Ageas Protect team has achieved in building a great company from scratch. 

“We have a strong presence and close relationships with our IFAs, partners, customers and suppliers based on the delivery of award-winning service, systems and processes and that delivery will continue.

“Ageas has supported us all the way through our growth but we all feel now is the right time to move to the next stage of our development and we are really excited about the opportunities AIG will create.”

Ageas Protect last week reported a pre-tax profit of £1m for the first six months of 2014, having made a £1.3m loss in H1 2013. The provider also reported gross written premiums inflow of £52.5m in H1 2014, up 20 per cent from last year.

The news of AIG entering the UK protection market comes after Mortgage Strategy sister publication Money Marketing revealed last month that Canada Life was eyeing the individual protection market. The company has previously offered only group products in the UK, where it has had a presence for more than 40 years.

On the advice side, consumer champion Which? plans also to enter the protection market. It will offer in-house protection advice to its mortgage customers from the autumn.

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