German insurer ends Japan initiative

HDI Group''s life insurance company Aspecta commits seppuku.

The damage to the insurance world by the September 11 terrorist attacks continues to make waves, with the latest victim being life insurer Aspecta's Japan initiative, which closed operations on January 31.

Aspecta is the life arm of HDI Group short for Haftplichtverband der Deutschne Industrie, the third-largest insurer in Germany and the parent of Hanover Re, the world's fifth-largest reinsurer. Strong in Germany and Austria, and with a presence in other European markets, Aspecta had made Japan its first foray into the Asia-Pacific region, and had hired Patrick Kawasjee as its chief executive. Kawasjee had previously run Citigroup Asset Management's Japanese retail business.

Kawasjee's strategy had been to focus...

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