KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 20): FWD Group Holdings Ltd and other investors are acquiring a 70% stake in Gibraltar BSN Life Bhd from The Prudential Insurance Company of America.
In a statement on Monday (Feb 20), FWD Group said the completion of the deal is slated for the second quarter of 2023.
Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) will continue to hold the remaining 30% stake in Gibraltar BSN, and will team up with FWD Group to further develop and grow Gibraltar BSN.
“We’re creating a full-service offering in Malaysia and will be able to offer both family takaful and life insurance solutions in a rapidly growing market with huge long-term potential for growth,”said FWD Group’s group CEO and executive director Huynh Thanh Phong.
“We’re excited to bring our digitally-enabled products and services to more people in Malaysia. With these strategic developments, we also substantially complete our footprint across key Southeast Asia markets in the 10th anniversary year for FWD Group,” he added.
Citing the global financial advisor NMG Group and Swiss Re, FWD Group said Malaysia is the fourth largest life insurance market by premium in Southeast Asia, with highly attractive macroeconomic fundamentals and favourable demographics.
The group already has a presence in Malaysia since March 2019, providing family takaful products that include term life, critical illness, cancer, hospital cash benefit and medical protection.
“Our partnership with BSN underscores our commitment to the Malaysian market and we look forward to playing our part in the growth and development of Malaysia’s takaful and insurance sectors,” said Binayak Dutta, FWD Group managing director, emerging markets and group chief distribution officer.
“Since establishment, our business in Malaysia has gone from strength to strength. We grew gross written contributions by 173% in our first full year of operation (from 2020 to 2021), established our regional technology and innovation hub in Kuala Lumpur, and partnered with a leading social enterprise in Malaysia to develop Fun(d) for Life, a financial literacy programme supporting over 4,200 individuals (as of Sept 30, 2022).”
According to FWD Group, current customers and distribution channels of Gibraltar BSN will not be affected by the stake sale and all existing policies will continue to be honoured.
“Customers can also continue to access the company’s products and services using their preferred service channels. Additionally, existing customers and distribution channels of FWD Takaful will not be affected. FWD Group plans to rebrand the Gibraltar BSN business at a later date,” said the group.