IAG chief executive Michael Hawker remains committed to an Asian acquisition by the end of next year - but is also pledging to return capital to shareholders if no suitable target emerges.
Speaking at the general insurer’s annual meeting yesterday, Mr Hawker confirmed the company’s acquisition strategy, saying scale was required to boost the insurer’s position.
He said the company’s size and diversity of risk meant it needed to expand in Asia. That reflected “a recognition that growth in Australia and New Zealand is not likely to generate sufficient growth” to keep pace with international insurance companies.
“We are primarily focusing on China, Malaysia, Thailand and India.
“One of the skills we think we could bring is in underwriting, and we are looking for someone with a skill in distribution,” Mr Hawker said, adding that motor vehicle insurance was the key target.
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