Axis Bank stake in Max Life likely to rise to 20% in 6-9 mnths: CEO

NEW DELHI: Axis Bank is likely to raise its stake in Max Life Insurance to about 20 per cent over the next 6-9 months, the insurance company’s CEO Prashant Tripathy said.
Currently, Axis Bank and its two subsidiaries – Axis Capital Ltd and Axis Securities Ltd – collectively own 12.99 per cent of Max Life Insurance post approval of the deal in April last year.
“The bank currently holds about 13 per cent and we are hopeful that over the next 2-3 quarters they would be able to take it to 20 per cent,” Tripathy told PTI in an interview.
Under the deal, the Axis entities also have the right to acquire an additional stake of up to seven per cent in Max Life, in one or more tranches, subject to regulatory approvals.
He further said bancassurance with Axis Bank has seen a growth of 18-20 per cent over the last five years and 60 per cent of new sales come from the Axis Bank tie-up at present. Besides Axis Bank, the life insurer has bancassurance partnerships with Yes Bank and a few other cooperative banks.
Bancassurance is an arrangement between a bank and an insurance company, allowing the latter to sell its products to the bank’s customers and others through the branch network.
Speaking about the new line of business Tripathy said, Max Life Insurance has ventured into the pension fund management business, as its subsidiary has secured Commencement of Business (COB) certificate from the Pension Fund Regulatory & Development Authority (PFRDA).
Max Life Pension Fund Management Limited, a subsidiary of the life insurance firm, will manage the pension assets with investment choices under the National Pension Scheme.
Set up with initial capital of Rs 50 crore, the fund manager is expected to begin its operation in October, he said.
The Pension Fund will manage pension assets for private sector subscribers and government sector subscribers excluding the ‘default scheme’, aiming to scale asset under management (AUM) to Rs 1 lakh crore over the next 10 years, he said.