Wednesday, September 5, 2012

SBI Life appoints Atanu Sen as MD and CEO

Atanu Sen has taken over as the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer of the largest private sector life insurer of the country, SBI Life Insurance. Mr. Sen succeeds Mr. M.N. Rao, who retired on 31st August, 2012.

Atanu started his career with SBI in 1977 as a probationary officer. During the 35 years of his career in SBI Life, he has held various key positions. His previous assignment was as Deputy Managing Director and Chief Credit and Risk Officer of State Bank of India.

SBI Life Insurance is a joint venture life insurance company between State Bank of India (SBI), the largest state-owned banking and financial services company in India, and BNP Paribas Assurance. SBI owns 74% of the stake in the joint venture and the remaining 26% is owned by BNP Paribas Assurance.  As per the latest IRDA report, June 2012, SBI Life ranks 1st amongst private life insurance companies, in terms of new business premium collection for the fiscal year 2012-13.

IRDA okays PNB-Met Life Insurance deal

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) has sanctioned the deal between state-run bank Punjab National Bank (PNB) and US-based insurer Met Life. PNB has purchased 30% stake in Met Life India Insurance Company.
The regulator, in its board meeting, which was held on 31st August, 2012, approved the initiation of Punjab National Bank as a shareholder of Met Life India Insurance Company with 30% stake, an IRDA statement said.
Furthermore, the statement said, “The Board approved the proposal ... subject to certain conditions inter alia on appointment of Directors on the Board of the insurer by PNB, reduction in the equity stake by some of the existing shareholder and maintaining solvency margin ...”
Punjab National Bank had announced its 30% stake purchase in Met Life India Insurance Company last year; although, the company did not reveal the deal amount. As per the terms of deal, MetLife will have an arrangement with the existing shareholders and will raise its stake to 26 per cent within 120 days of operationalisation of the deal. 
Apart from PNB, the other major shareholders in the company are Jammu & Kashmir Bank, Shapoorji Pallonji and Met Life. 

MetLife is the holding corporation for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company is among the largest global providers of 
insurance, annuities, and employee benefit programmes, with 90 million customers in over 60 countries.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Concerned over the low penetration of insurance, the insurance watchdog in India, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority has proposed to sell micro-insurance products through chemists, kirana and petrol pumps to increase insurance penetration in the country.

Micro-insurance is a product which targets people of the low income segment from urban as well as rural areas. In an exposure draft on Micro Insurance Regulations, the IRDA said, “In order to broadbase the micro insurance business there is a case to expand the micro insurance agency base by adding few more distribution partners or Individuals.”

The regulator has proposed to allow individual owners of kirana shops, fair price shops, medical shops, petrol pumps,PCOs to be categorized as micro insurance agents. At present some NGOs, Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs), Self Help Groups (SHGs), District Co-operative Banks, Regional Rural Banks, Primary Agricultural Co-operative Societies and individual agents are working as insurance agents.

"Since, these individuals have a physical presence and standing in these specific market segments as those of the existing Standalone Micro Insurance Agents, it is considered that they stand on similar footing along with standalone micro insurance agents," the IRDA said.

The founder, Bhavesh Sharma, commented that the industry will appreciate this initiative by the IRDA as this will greatly increase the insurance penetration in this very important segment.