BSE, Ebix to set up insurance distribution network in India

The Bombay Stock Exchange has joined hands with US-based insurance exchange Ebix Inc to form a joint venture to build an insurance distribution network in India.

BSE Investments Ltd, a wholly-owned arm of BSE, and Ebix Fincorp Exchange Pte Ltd, a subsidiary of Ebix, signed a pact to disrupt sales and processing of insurance in the country, the companies said in a statement.

The venture, which will be branded as BSE-Ebix, intends to deploy an insurance distribution platform that will allow stock brokers, wealth management advisors and financial institutions, among others, to sell life and non-life products.

The venture will use the distribution reach of both BSE and Ebix that spans more than 200,000 outlets across the country.

The platform will encompass the entire insurance lifecycle from customer relationship management, agency management, multi-quoting, underwriting, policy creation, claims filing and settlement to back-end insurance policy administration.

Ashishkumar Chauhan, MD and CEO, BSE, said, “This venture has the potential to allow Indian consumers easier and faster access to preserving their wealth through buying insurance and expeditious claims settlement.”

“We aim to revolutionise processing of insurance in India by going PHYGITAL – owning the last mile and combining the physical reach of tens of thousands of distribution outlets across the country with sophisticated technology and processes," said Robin Raina, group chairman, president and CEO of Ebix.

In July, Ebix said that it had set aside $100 million for investments and acquisitions in the country. “Ebix has set up an aggressive growth path both in terms of revenue and operating income. We are committing a $100-million fund and will not shy away from scaling this investment upwards sizeably,” Raina said then. Later, the company said it intends to invest $200 million in India.

Ebix has acquired four firms in India including ItzCash, Wall Street Finance Ltd, YouFirst Money Express and Paul Merchants Ltd.

Through ItzCash, Ebix aims to carry out strategic acquisitions in the fin-tech space, ItzCash chief growth officer Bhavik Vasa recently told VCCircle. The firm is in discussions with a few peers, mostly in the lending and travel sectors. “We hope to close some deals in the coming quarters," he said.

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