Japan’s Softbank said to aim to be insurance disruptor

Swiss Re announced that it is in talks that may result in it selling a minority stake to Japan’s Softbank Group.

The reinsurer said talks are at a “very early stage”, and that “There is no certaintay that any transaction will be agreed.

The Financial Times quoted a person close to the situation saying that Softbank believes it can enter and disrupt the insurance industry.

Softbank is a Japanese multinational telecommunications group with operations in broadband, fixed-line telecoms, e-commerce, Internet; technology services, finance, media and marketing, semiconductor design, and other businesses.

Last December, Softbank led a $120m funding round for Lemonade, the startup insurer which settled a claim in three seconds, and has bought a 5% stake in Chinese insurance startup Zhong An.

The source told the newspaper Softbank aims to buy a stke of less than 33% of Swiss Re, whose current market capitalisation is $34bn.