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The Emergence of Cross-Border Insurance Groups within Europe with Centralised Risk Management


  • Otto Winkels
  • Dirk Schoenmaker
  • Sander Osterloo


This paper analyses the degree of internationalisation of insurance business. Using a novel dataset of 25 large EU insurance groups, we find that the insurance industry has a strong international orientation. About 55 per cent of the business of these large insurance groups is conducted abroad. The cross-border activities are predominantly within Europe (30 to 35 per cent) and less so in the rest of the world (20 to 25 per cent). Next, this paper examines the impact of internationalisation on the organisational structure. We find a clear trend towards centralising risk and capital management activities within large insurance groups, though insurance remains at the same time a local business. Applying the hub and spoke model, we identify which functions are executed at the centre (hub) and which functions are performed at the local business units (spokes).

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  • Otto Winkels & Dirk Schoenmaker & Sander Osterloo, 2007. "The Emergence of Cross-Border Insurance Groups within Europe with Centralised Risk Management," FMG Special Papers sp176, Financial Markets Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:fmg:fmgsps:sp176

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    1. Alchian, Armen A & Klein, Benjamin, 1973. "On a Correct Measure of Inflation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 5(1), pages 173-191, Part I Fe.
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    3. De Bandt, Olivier & Hartmann, Philipp, 2000. "Systemic risk: A survey," Working Paper Series 0035, European Central Bank.
    4. Mishkin, Frederic S, 1992. "Anatomy of a Financial Crisis," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 115-130, August.
    5. Fan, Wei & White, Michelle J, 2003. "Personal Bankruptcy and the Level of Entrepreneurial Activity," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 543-567, October.
    6. Demsetz, Harold, 1969. "Information and Efficiency: Another Viewpoint," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 1-22, April.
    7. Garry J. Schinasi, 2003. "Responsibility of Central Banks for Stability in Financial Markets," IMF Working Papers 03/121, International Monetary Fund.
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