L&T General Sheds Flab, Plans Merger

L&T Finance CMD Deosthalee says the company is not averse to partnering with someone in the general insurance space
L&T General Insurance is shedding flab as it prepares to combine with a rival to create a bigger entity in a market where intense competition is squeezing profitability. “Merger may happen in medium term, but nothing is there on the table right now,” said YM Deosthalee, chairman and managing director of L&T Finance Holdings. “We are not averse to partnering with someone in the general insurance space.” Deosthalee said that a few people have left on account of roles getting marginalised in the wake of a zonalised structure, which gives greater autonomy to zones for better customer service. The company is looking to hire 80 people this quarter.
The company is understood to be in talks with Future Generali General Insurance, people close to the development said. Deosthalee denied any such move, but a senior Future Generali executive said that the management was in talks with some companies but they have not yet reached final stages.
The company, in a letter to employees, said it has brought some changes as part of implementing various strategies in its 10-year business plan. “Consequent to the implementation of the zonal structure and considering the targets underlying the business plan, the head office is also poised for proper realignment in terms of various functional aspects of the business,” L&T General Insurance said in the letter. In the first quarter, the company grew 74% over the last year.
L&T controls 100% equity in the non-life insurer. L&T was earlier in discussion with US insurer Travellers for a partnership. However, the talks fell through and L&T decided to go ahead with the venture on its own. Having started operations in 2010 with an initial investment of . 175 crore, the company has been focusing on technology to reach out to customers.
Getting into Shape

• THE CO IS UNDERSTOOD TO BE in talks with Future Generali General Insurance

• A FEW PEOPLE HAVE LEFT the company on account of roles getting marginalised in the wake of a zonalised structure

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