2021 Press Release: Global Life & Health Insurance M&A in 2020 - Rebounding from Covid-19


Conning: Life-Annuity and Health M&A Slowed Initially Because of Covid-19, but Rebounded and will likely continue in 2021. 


  • -- Low interest rates, now likely to remain low for much longer, have driven restructuring transactions.

  • -- In 2020, private equity/asset management firms remained active in life-annuity M&A as well as distribution M&A.

  • -- Vertical integration and service expansion were key health/managed care M&A drivers in 2020

  • -- 2021 M&A is expected to increase as insurers remain focused on improving performance.

HARTFORD, CT – April 20, 2021 –M&A activity involving acquisitions of life-annuity and health insurers slowed considerably in the early part of 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold and market participants adjusted to the socially distanced work and changed economic environment. Activity rebound in the latter part of the year as market participants made those adjustments.

“The economic response to Covid-19, especially the significant decrease in interest rates, has reduced life-annuity insurer expectations of a recovery in portfolio yields,” said Scott Hawkins, a Director, Insurance Research at Conning. “These lower expectations have driven life-annuity restructuring transactions, especially of annuity companies and books of business. In 2021, further restructuring is likely.”

The Conning study, “Global Life & Health Insurance M&A in 2020 – Rebounding from Covid-19” tracks and analyzes U.S. and non-U.S. life, annuity, and health mergers and acquisitions activity for insurers, distributors, and service-related firms. Specific transactions are detailed, and trends are analyzed across all segments.

“Liability platforms backed by private equity/asset management firms remained active in absorbing annuity blocks. The level of transaction activity in the first quarter of 2021 is a strong indicator for these liability platforms to undertake additional M&A in 2021,” said Steve Webersen, Head of Insurance Research at Conning. “Health M&A is likely to increase in 2021 compared to 2020, driven by the desire to remain competitive and grow scale. However, the driver that may have the most effect on the health insurance industry will be regulation and legislation. Events such as the pending ACA (Affordable Care Act) Supreme Court decision as well as the new Presidential administration could have a major influence on health insurer transaction motivations.” 

Global Life & Health Insurance M&A in 2020 – Rebounding from Covid-19” is available for purchase from Conning by calling (888) 707-1177 or by visiting https://www.conning.com/insurance-research. 

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Conning (www.conning.com) is a leading investment management firm with a long history of serving the insurance industry. Conning supports institutional investors, including insurers and pension plans, with investment solutions, risk modeling software, and industry research. Founded in 1912, Conning has investment centers in Asia, Europe and North America.

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