The European insurance sector is too fragmented but large cross-border deals are not the solution to the problem, the head of Europe’s fifth-biggest insurer Zurich said in a newspaper interview on Thursday.

“I don’t believe in market consolidation and especially in cross-border acquisitions,” Mario Greco told Italian daily La Stampa.

“We did some targeted deals, on a country-by-country basis, where we thought we needed something innovative. Big transnational deals don’t work. Or anyway, we are not interested.”

Greco said the number of European insurers was destined to shrink from the current tally of 4,000 and only companies that could adapt to their customers’ fast-changing demands would survive.

“Consolidation through acquisitions makes no sense …because it doesn’t solve anything. You can’t innovate by buying another insurer.”

Topics Mergers & Acquisitions Europe