Zurich Australia has won the race to acquire Macquarie's life insurance business, with the transaction expected to take place in the second half of 2016.
Macquarie is the second top-tier Australian bank to exit the life insurance business in the space of five months, with NAB/MLC offloading its life division to Japanese life insurer Nippon Life in October 2015.
Zurich's acquisition of Macquarie Life is subject to regulatory and court approvals and is likely to be finalised in the second half of the 2016 calendar year.
Macquarie Life's Australian based staff will be integrated into Zurich as part of the acquisition, according to a statement by Macquarie.
The head of Macquarie's Banking and Financial Services Group, Greg Ward, said the sale of the business "reflects the need for significant scale in the capital intensive life insurance industry in order to drive appropriate returns".
"Zurich’s expertise, global reach and customer focus mean they are ideally positioned to continue providing high quality insurance products and services to Macquarie Life customers," Mr Ward said.
In a separate statement Zurich Asia Pacific global life chief executive Colin Morgan said Zurich's Australian life business is a "major contributor" to the strength and profitability of Zurich Asia Pacific.
"Our growth ambitions in the Asia Pacific region are underpinned by a strategy which drives value from our balanced portfolio of growth and mature markets and leverages our distinctive capabilities across the region," Mr Morgan said.
"This acquisition accelerates that strategy."
Macquarie Life's products will continue to be offered to new customers under the Macquarie brand up until the completion of the sale, according to a Zurich statement.
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