Travelers Chairman and CEO Jay Fishman disclosed that the property/casualty insurance giant briefly considered a possible merger deal with Chubb. The idea was discarded, he said, after the powers-that-be at Travelers decided it wouldn’t produce sufficient shareholder benefits.
His comments, during the Travelers 2015 second quarter conference call on July 21, came just a few weeks after ACE Limited disclosed it would acquire Chubb in a $28.3 billion deal. Since then, speculation has been ongoing about which p/c company would next be hit with merger fever.
Fishman said that Chubb was already performing well “with the best people in the industry,” in charge. He added that any returns generated by an M&A deal with Chubb “just did not measure up.”
But now that Chubb is getting snatched up by ACE, is this a lost opportunity for Travelers?
Fishman declined to say, and refused to comment further on the Chubb/ACE deal.
While Chubb may be out of the picture, however, Fishman told analysts that Travelers continues to evaluate M&A possibilities, as it always had.
“No primary P/C insurer has come together over the past two decades through acquisition activity more than we have,” Fishman said. “We’re very good at it. And while we haven’t announced any mega-transactions in a number of years, our shareholders should expect that we are aware of the possibilities and that we are expert at evaluating them.”
He said that zeroing in on a potential acquisition “comes down to determining the best way to create shareholder value, and that “return-driven strategy we have executed over the past decade” has been a big success.
“We do keep looking at M&A opportunities and when we believe there is a transaction to create shareholder value we will make every effort to complete it,” Fishman said.