Japanese insurance giant Sompo picks Luxembourg for new EU base

Oliver Gill
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Triggering Article 50 - Lloyds Of London
Sompo bought US insurer Endurance Specialty for $6.3bn last year (Source: Getty)

One of Japan's leading insurers today picked Luxembourg for its new European base.

Sompo International, which owns Lloyd's of London firm Endurance Specialty, will set up a base in the Grand Duchy as it seeks to head off the impact of a potential hard Brexit.

Regulatory approval is expected to be granted during the second quarter of next year.

The insurer insisted it will maintain its presence in the Lloyd’s market and its current offices in London.

Sompo said today's announcement "recognises that there remains significant uncertainty over the terms of the final [Brexit] agreement".

The Japanese firm previously traded through Lloyd's outfit Canopius, which it is in the process of selling to Centerbridge in a deal worth $952m (£740m).

In October 2016, Sompo bought US giant Endurance Specialty for $6.3bn (£5.0bn).

Read more: One of Lloyd's of London's largest insurers has just been sold for $952m

The firm's chairman and chief exec John Charman said Sompo had been "developing our strategy for Europe for some time".

He added: "Establishing SI Insurance (Europe) in Luxembourg will be the first step in our ambitious plan to create a strong position in the European commercial P&C [property and casualty insurance] marketplace.”

Luxembourg for Finance chief exec Nicolas Mackel said: "We welcome the decision by Sompo International. It will further enrich Luxembourg's financial services ecosystem already composed of six leading Japanese banks and now the three Japanese mega-insurers."

Read more: Lloyd's insurer Endurance bought by Japanese owner of Canopius

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