After partnering the big daddy of e-commerce Amazon to become arguably the single-biggest merchant selling on its Indian marketplace, Infosys’ co-founder NR Narayana Murthy is forming another joint venture with a multinational firm. Murthy’s private investment firm Catamaran has inked a deal with Aon to float a new insurance broking JV in India.
The decision by Aon, one of the world’s largest insurance brokers, comes just months after the company had announced plans to exit its existing Indian JV with Thakker family. Aon held 26 per cent stake in that JV Aon Global, which was formed in 2003.
Aon had reportedly cited the regulatory environment for its decision to exit the venture. Separate media reports had said there was an issue related to the pricing of shares and valuation of the company while foreign partners raise their stake. Foreign investment limit in insurance was raised from 26 per cent to 49 per cent last year, a development that led many international partners to seek to raise their stake.
Meanwhile, this is the second exposure in the insurance brokerage space for Catamaran. Last year, it had invested in Mumbai-based online insurance broker Coverfox Insurance Broking Pvt Ltd.
Founded in 2009, Bengaluru-based Catamaran is a private investment arm that provides angel, early, late stage and mezzanine financing to startups in India besides a few growth equity deals.
“By combining Catamaran’s local expertise with Aon’s global resources, technical skills, and powerful data insights, Aon and Catamaran will provide world-class risk management and insurance broking solutions, empowering results for clients in India,” the press release said.
Emails sent to the companies for further details on the game plan of the JV did not immediately elicit a response.