Zurich Insurance is weighing a bid for British rival RSA which could top $8 billion and attract counter-offers as insurers look to diversify amid toughening regulations.
RSA, which has an operation in Dundrum, Co. Dublin, is Ireland’s largest insurance company. It was hit by an accounting scandal in November 2013, and its chief executive, Philip Smith, was suspended. The Employment Appeals Tribunal recently founded in favour of Mr Smith and he was awarded €1.25 million.
Zurich Insurance also has a significant Irish operation, employing over 1,000 people, and its regional Europe Middle East and Africa EMEA headquarters are also based in Dublin.
European Union rules due in January governing how much money insurers must set aside to protect against market shocks have already prompted some tie-ups. The rules reward insurers with a breadth of geographical or sector coverage, as this cuts their capital costs.