A record $143.5bn worth of transactions were completed in 2015, Willis Towers Watson said


The coming years will see more global megadeals in the insurance industry, following a record $143.5bn worth of M&A transactions in 2015, Willis Towers Watson predicted in its latest insurance M&A report.

The report found top-line growth has been the key driver of deals last year, as well as the most important metric in M&A pricing and the prime challenge post-acquisition, with insurers focused on customer retention and satisfaction.

“While it may come as a surprise that insurers have been turning away from value and return metrics, there is no doubt that, for many firms, achieving organic growth has become increasingly difficult in crowded and competitive markets. M&A provides a new source of revenues,” the report said.

More than half of the respondents to the survey see Asia as the marketplace where M&A activity will rise most significantly over the next three years. At a global level, Asian competitors and new non-insurance investors are key players in deals in Western Europe and North America.

Willis Towers Watson, in collaboration with Mergermarket, surveyed 750 senior-level executives in the insurance sector during the first half of 2015. The companies involved were split equally between the Americas, Asia and EMEA regions, and between the life and P&C sectors.