Session 6: Post-demutualisation Insurance: Efficiency or Corporate Profitability?

Thursday, July 21th 2022, 10:15–12:15 (CEST), Room U1, 191

Zoom-Link: | Meeting ID: 626 9927 3494

Session Organisers: Grietjie Verhoef (University of Johannesburg/Monash University), Monica Keneley (Deakin University), Antti Talonen (Helsinki University)


The demutualisation trend of the early 1990s was hailed a providing solutions for real problems. In a growing market driven world of finance, the ability to raise capital in the open market, was a prime motive for demutualisation. World-wide mutual insurers, mutual banks and mutual building societies demutualised, leaving small financial services interest vulnerable to the capital power of new financial services corporations. What were the forces driving demutualisation – some argue more ideology that efficiency (Battilani & Schröter, 20111), but others argued frontier efficiency research did not favour joint-stock insurers to mutual (Eling & Luhnen, 2009). Xie et al (2011) argue in favour of efficiency enhancing change management in demutualised insurance corporations in the US, but the literature does not address the overall effect of demutualisation on insurance efficiency in the world yet. This session seeks to invite scholars to engage in different aspects of the post-demutualisation operations of insurance corporations in different geographies since the beginning of the twenty-first century. Historians, insurance specialists are called upon to address the nature of the demutualised insurance environment in various markets. The following questions are considered:

  • What was the nature of the organisational structure of post-demutualisation insurance corporations?
  • Has changes in organisational and ownership form influenced post-demutualisation investment operations, that is the factual investment behaviour or related strategies?
  • How has the financial performance of demutualised insurance companies compared to the mutual phase of operations?
  • How has the global configuration of insurance companies developed?
  • What characterised the strategic foci of demutualise insurance companies?
  • How did corporate governance develop in the demutualised insurance corporations?
  • How has insurance penetration developed post-demutualisation?

This session is a call for scholars to engage in an assessment of the context of demutualised insurance operations globally and respond to the question whether the current global pandemic context impacts on the debate about mutual or joint-stock insurance corporations.

1. Demutualisation's Impact on the Asset Management Function

  • Shaun de Wet, University of Johannesburg (online)

2. Swimming against the Current of Demutualizations in the 1990s: Case of the Mutual Private Pension Insurance Sector in Finland

  • Antti Talonen, Faculty of Law, Helsinki University
  • Jukka Mähönen, Faculty of Law, Helsinki University

3. Did Demutualisation Deliver on the Expectations of Demutualisation?

  • Grietjie Verhoef, Department of Accountancy, University of Johannesburg
  • Monica Keneley, Faculty of Business and Law, Deakin University

4. The Success and Failure of Mutual Forms in Insurance Business in Japan, 1900-1945

  • Takau Yoneyama, Faculty of Business Administration, Tokyo Kezai University