OP Financial Group will sell all shares of its non-life insurance company Seesam Insurance As (Seesam) to Vienna Insurance Group (VIG), including its Latvian and Lithuanian branches. The parties signed the contract of sale on 18 December 2017. VIG announced the acquisition earlier today.
“Fast transformation in the financial sector requires strong reinvention of OP Financial Group. Our decision to dispose of our Baltic non-life insurance business is strongly based on our strategy. We will focus on building new service packages beyond industry boundaries. We seek clarity and agility for our operations and focus our resources”, says Reijo Karhinen, President and Group Executive Chairman.
Customer behaviour will change considerably as a result of transformation in the financial sector and digitalisation.
“We respond to our customers’ changing needs better by focusing on our business in Finland. VIG will provide Baltic customers with first class products and services and continue to further develop Seesam’s business in the Baltics by taking into account ever changing customer needs with determination”, explains Olli Lehtilä, OP’s Executive Vice President, Non-Life insurance.
Established in 1991, Seesam became part of OP Financial Group in 2006. In the Baltics, Seesam has 23 branches and more than 200,000 customers, with private individuals accounting for 86 per cent. The acquisition will have no effect on the insurance contracts of Seesam’s customers or the insurance terms and conditions. The completion of the acquisition requires approval from authorities.
Seesam’s gross premiums written amounted to around €60 million in 2016 and its market share accounted for around 5.7 per cent of the Baltic non-life insurance market. Seesam has 335 employees in the Baltics, of whom 150 in Estonia, 90 in Latvia and 95 in Lithuania. The transaction will have no effect on the employment contracts of Seesam’s employees or their employment terms and conditions.
As the clear market leader in Austria as well as in Central and Eastern Europe, Vienna Insurance Group has close to 200 years of experience in the insurance business. About 50 companies in 25 countries form the Group with long traditions, strong brands and close customer relations. VIG has a staff of about 25,000 employees. The listed Vienna Insurance Group is the best-rated company of ATX, the leading index of the Vienna Stock Exchange. Its share is also listed on the Prague Stock Exchange.
“We really take pleasure with the acquisition of Seesam as a long-term, well-established and profitable company which enables us to strengthen our market position in Estonia and our leading position as number one in the Baltic markets in general. We will benefit from a well-placed sales team throughout the Baltic markets and from the experience of Seesam in direct sales and online services for customers”, says Franz Fuchs, Vienna Insurance Group Managing Board member responsible for the Baltic markets.
In addition to non-life insurance services, OP Financial Group provides its corporate customers with banking services. OP is examining various strategic alternatives in respect of its Baltic banking business.
For more information, please contact:
Olli Lehtilä, Executive Vice President, Non-Life insurance, OP
OP Financial Group Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 50 523 9904
OP Financial Group is Finland's largest financial services group whose mission is to create sustainable prosperity, security and wellbeing for its owner-customers and in its operating region by means of its strong capital base and efficiency. OP Financial Group consists of about 170 member cooperative banks, its central cooperative OP Cooperative, and the latter's subsidiaries and affiliates. The Group has a staff of 12,000 and 1.8 million owner-customers and 4.4 million customers. www.op.fi