You may have noticed that the pace of mergers and acquisitions among life and health insurers has picked up noticeably in recent months.
Since June, Anthem has announced plans to merge with Cigna, a $54 billion deal that would create a colossus — the largest managed health care provider in the U.S.
In the life insurance space, several Japanese insurers, looking to expand their presence internationally to compensate for slow-growth at home, announced deals to purchase U.S. carriers. Among the mergers: Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co.’ gobbling up of Protective Life Corp. for $5 billion-plus; and Sumitomo Life’s buyout of Symetra Financial Corp. for $3.8 billion; a deal backed by billionaire investor Warren Buffet.
(Buffet’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, was among the lead investors in 2004 that acquired Symetra, formerly a life insurance business of Safeco Corp.)