© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Zurich Insurance is seen at its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland January 13, 2022. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
ZURICH (Reuters) -Zurich Insurance has agreed to sell its Russian business to members of the local team, it said on Friday, as the Swiss insurer became the latest company to announce its exit from the Russian market.
A slew of companies — from McDonalds and Dutch brewer AB Inbev to carmaker Renault (EPA:) and French lender Societe General — have quit the market in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with some handing these businesses over to local partners.
However, finding suitable solutions has been a challenge, with some businesses arguing they are maintaining their Russian businesses in order to keep assets outside the hands of the regime.
Zurich Insurance said the sale, which remains subject to regulatory approval, would hand its rebranded Russian business over to 11 members of the unit’s team.
“Under its new owners, the business will operate independently under a different brand, while Zurich will no longer conduct business operations in Russia,” it said in a statement. “The transaction will allow the new company to retain a professional team with accumulated insurance expertise and to continue serving the Russian market.”
The Swiss insurance company, which conducts property and casualty insurance in Russia primarily for international customers, said it held about 0.3% of Russia’s non-life insurance market.
It had gross written premiums of roughly $34 million in the country in 2021, the vast majority of which related to international customers.
Only $3 million of those were from domestic Russian customers, it said.