The Middle East and Africa arm of Zurich’s Global Life operation has signed a five-year “strategic cooperation” deal with the Simplylife arm of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, whereby Simplylife will market and distribute Zurich protection products through its UAE distribution network.
Simplylife is a sub-brand of ADCB launched two years ago, and has established itself as a consumer finance brand focusing on providing simple, fast and accessible financial products, with a primary focus on the mass market segment, Zurich said in a statement announcing the new deal.
According to the statement, Zurich and Simplylife identified what they are calling “a significant gap of life insurance and personal protection penetration in the [UAE’s] mass market, which will be catered to by offering Zurich’s products to Simplylife’s customers”.
“Zurich’s protection products will enhance the existing product offerings available to Simplylife customers and provide additional value to its core banking product offering,” according to the Zurich statement.
Bancassurance recently added
ADCB recently added “bancassurance” to its range of products aimed at the United Arab Emirates mass market, after identifying a latent demand for this type of insurance and protection product, according to the bank’s head of new business, Sundar Parthasarathy. Bancassurance is when banking institutions sell insurance products and services on behalf of one or more insurance companies, with which they have an agreement.
Parthasarathy described the deal with Zurich as exclusive and the “first-of-its-kind”.
Walter Jopp, chief executive of Zurich Global Life MEA, noted that Zurich already has had considerable experience offering its products through major retail banks in the Middle East, and said the deal represented “the start of a productive and long lasting alliance” with ADCB.
A survey conducted by Zurich in 2014 showed almost two-thirds of UAE residents – and 60% of those with children – do not currently have a life insurance policy that would protect their family’s financial future in the event of the death of the primary salary earner.
As reported, Jopp, who has been with Zurich for the past 22 years, recently succeeded Jawed Barna as CEO of Zurich Global Life’s Middle East and Africa operations, as Barna relocated to Germany to head up Zurich’s life operations there, as well as to take on the role of deputy chief executive of the Zurich Group in Germany.