’As we expand, our priorities include creating a global insurance business,’ says chief financial officer

Pret A Manger owner Jab Holdings has announced that it will start a new insurance venture as it looks to expand outside of the coffee and sandwich sector.

The firm, which also has significant investments in Krispy Kreme and beauty group Coty, said its latest plans would see it build a global insurance platform and establish an asset management company.

Jab has already ventured into the insurance market, with it owning 20 pet brands that are set to generate more than $3bn (£2.39bn) in revenue during 2024.

The investment company felt this was a “natural first step” into the sector and that it had set the foundation for it to “expand on our success in insurance”.

“Pet insurance, which sits at the crossroads of consumer products and insurance, was a natural first step into insurance for Jab,” Frank Engelen, managing partner and chief financial officer at Jab, said.

“As we expand beyond consumer, our priorities include creating a global insurance business and thematic asset management capabilities, significantly diversifying Jab’s investment portfolio for the benefit of our shareholders.”

New appointee

The insurance platform and asset management company will be led by Anant Bhalla, who has joined Jab as a senior partner and chief investment officer.

Before joining Jab, Bhalla had been president and chief executive of American Equity Investment Life Holding Company.

He previously served as a public company chief financial officer at Brighthouse Financial – he also held the same role at MetLife’s US retail insurance businesses.

Joachim Creus, managing partner, vice chairman and chief executive of JAB, said: “We will expand on our success in insurance with the build out of a global insurance platform and asset manager led by one of the most successful veterans in the industry.

“Anant is an incredible talent with a proven track record of creating sustainable value through the convergence of asset management and insurance. We are very fortunate to welcome him to the Jab partnership.”

Bhalla added: “The future of insurance is permanent capital.

“I couldn’t be more excited to join Joachim and Frank as they shape the evolution of the Jab ecosystem for future generations and I am energised by the art of the possible for the insurance marketplace as we tap Jab’s permanent, perpetual capital base.”