CBA offloads CommInsure


By Megan Tran

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The Commonwealth Bank of Australian (CBA) has divested its life insurance businesses CommInsure and Sovereign (New Zealand) to AIA Group for $3.8 billion.

The sale of CommInsure and Sovereign included a 20-year partnership with AIA for the provision of life insurance products to customers in Australia and New Zealand.

AIA Group chief executive and president Ng Keng Hooi said the acquisition will strengthen AIA’s protection market leadership and expand its distribution capabilities in these markets.

The sale does not include general insurance, and CBA will retain the CommInsure brand.

As a result of the divestment, group executive wealth management Annabel Spring will depart the group in December.

Spring has been with CBA since 2009, starting as head of strategy, and over the past six years has led the diverse wealth management teams.

CBA chief executive Ian Narev said Spring had led the teams through tumultuous times and had transformed the business culturally and technologically.

Current chief financial officer international financial services Michael Venter has been appointed chief operating officer of wealth management and will take Spring's place on the group executive committee.

The bank also announced a strategic review of Colonial First State Global Asset Management (CFSGAM), which may include listing the business arm.

CFSGAM is a global, diversified investment management business with A$219 billion in assets under management.

This review will consider long-term CBA shareholder value including whether a separately listed CFSGAM would have more ability to grow its business and serve the interests of its clients as well as attract and retain key personnel.

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