Reinsurance News

PartnerRe expects long-term commitment from Covéa, says CEO Clarke

17th April 2020 - Author: Matt Sheehan

Emmanuel Clarke, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bermudian reinsurer PartnerRe, has said that the recently announced acquisition by Covéa is “a very good strategic fit” for the company.

emmanuel-clarke-partnerre-ceo-wideSpeaking in an interview with Reinsurance News, Clarke explained that PartnerRe views Covéa as “a long-term committed owner” with a long-term strategic interest in the company.

It was announced last month that Covéa had reached an agreement with PartnerRe’s current owner, EXOR, to purchase the reinsurer for a total cash consideration of $9 billion.

Some question marks over the deal later arose as the COVID-19 pandemic caused a surge in market volatility and significant decreases in share prices, but Covéa has since confirmed that it remains committed to the agreement.

And now, PartnerRe CEO Clarke has further supported the acquisition by saying that he considers Covéa to be a strategic fit for the company in the long-term.

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“If you combine Covea’s deep financial strength with continuity of the PartnerRe brand, the expertise of our people and the strength of our client relationships, we think Covea ownership presents a really good fit for PartnerRe,” Clarke told Reinsurance News.

“It would enable us to continue to grow our value and continue to strengthen our franchise,” he said, adding that the deal would not involve any curbs to PartnerRe’s current level of autonomy.

“We would continue to operate as an autonomous entity and as an autonomous reinsurer,” Clarke stated. “There’s no merger and no operating synergies to put in place there.”

Since the deal was announced, Clarke said that PartnerRe has received “overwhelmingly positive” feedback from its clients and brokers, who seem to share the reinsurer’s view that Covéa ownerships could be beneficial.

“They also believe that Covea would be a good fit, with stable structures and continuity of operations, backed by deep financial strength and long-term strategic support,” the CEO explained. “So we’ve been really encouraged by this.”

PartnerRe has also been encouraged the reaction from rating agencies, after Fitch and Moody’s said they considered the acquisition to be beneficial for the reinsurer.

Following the announcement, Fitch placed PartnerRe’s ratings on Rating Watch Positive, while Moody’s affirmed its ratings and noted that PartnerRe would likely benefit from being part of a larger insurance organisation.

“For us – if you go back to who we are and what we aim to be – we are a global, diversified reinsurer,” Clarke went on. “We aspire to be the best reinsurer for our clients and brokers and to be a relevant player in the reinsurance market. Our business is based on long-term partnerships where we can bring our technical expertise and our underwriting expertise to deliver solutions for our clients.”

He concluded: “If we continue with the same leadership, the same operating platform, same strategy, same brand, without any disruption of deep integration, it would benefit our clients and brokers, and it would be good for our employees.”

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