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ZURICH May 10 Swiss Life said it was
making progress on its 2018 strategic goals thanks to growth in
its fee business and third-party asset management despite lower
Gross premiums fell 1 percent in local currency to 6.54
billion Swiss francs ($6.50 billion), slightly behind
expectations for 6.595 billion francs in a Reuters poll of five
"Swiss Life has made a good start to the year," Chief
Financial Officer Thomas Buess said in a statement. "We also
managed to increase fee income and assets under management in
the first quarter of 2017. That shows we are continuing our
progress towards implementing our group-wide programme 'Swiss
Switzerland's biggest life insurer has focused on trimming
costs and raising asset management and investment income to
compensate sluggishness in its core life insurance business.
Like other insurers, Swiss Life -- whose main markets
include Switzerland, France and Germany -- has been squeezed by
low and even negative interest rates.
While the group recorded a decline in premium volumes across
all its geographic regions last year, it still managed to raise
net income 5 percent through its focus on growing asset
management and fee income.
Fee income rose 5 percent in local currency to 340 million
Swiss francs in the first three months of 2017.
Swiss Life asset managers achieved net new asset inflows of
2.7 billion francs in external customer business during the
quarter, as assets under management increased to 52.69 billion
francs at the end of March.
Direct investment generated 1.037 billion francs, just below
1.053 billion francs in the prior-year period.
The group in March announced Chief Executive Patrick Frost
would be taking a sabbatical until mid-August to undergo
treatment for cancer, with Buess leading operations in the
($1 = 1.0066 Swiss francs)
(Reporting by Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi; Editing by Michael