GERMANY – German insurance company, Signal Iduna (SI), which has some €4bn in annual premium income, has confirmed that it is talking to other medium sized insurance companies about strategic partnerships or mergers.

A spokesman for SI says: “the German insurance industry is about to enter a new phase of development, in which we are likely to see a lot of mergers and acquisitions. This is vital if we are to remain competitive in an increasingly global market.”

SI’s spokesman denies that it has already completed a deal with Parion, a similar sized company, that would give the two companies a combined market share of about 6%, making it Germany’s fourth largest insurance company.

“Parion is among the companies we are talking to, but talk of deals already being struck is pure speculation.”

The move towards consolidation in Germany are encouraged in part by the recent Riester pension reforms designed to stimulate the growth of occupational and industry-wide pension funds and new insurance products.

“German insurance companies have traditionally been involved in the retirement provision industry in Germany and are keen to get involved in the new occupational pension fund landscape. But we need to be bigger and to forge better relationships with trade unions, who are pivotal in striking deals with employers in the new industry-wide schemes,” he explains.