Zurich beefs up its HNW business with Oak

Zurich has agreed to buy Oak Underwriting from RSA to beef up its high net worth business.

The Swiss-based insurer said the acquisition will strengthen its Zurich Private Clients operation, providing a broader distribution platform and enhanced regional presence.

Both businesses will be led by Paul Glasper, Zurich’s head of specialist retail, who reports to head of retail David White.

Zurich said the deal is in line with its strategy to grow in markets where it is performing strongly and can best serve customers and distributors.

“Today’s announcement accelerates the growth of our high net-worth business, giving us significant scale in the market and transforming us into one of the largest providers,” White said.

“This deal broadens our distribution capabilities and enhances our regional footprint. We are confident the combined strengths of our businesses will create a market-leading high net-worth proposition, focusing on high levels of service and depth of broker relationships.”

Mark Coffey of Oak said: “Zurich has an ambition to become the leading high net-worth player in the UK market so I am pleased we are joining their organisation to achieve this. We have some great people and fantastic capability so combining the best of Oak and the best of Zurich Private Clients will create something which is really exciting.”

The deal will see Zurich retain Oak’s existing office in Chipping Norton. Over the medium-term Oak will become part of Zurich Private Clients business. Around 80 Oak employees are expected to transfer to Zurich.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of this year.