One can't argue with the justification Fitch makes for the likely continuation of M&A activity in the (re)insurance sector. A competitive marketplace often results in consolidation, in the hope of achieving cost advantages through scale.
I would state however, that there remain alternative solutions that (Re)Insurers can take, which would allow them to avoid the challenges (headaches) of post-merger integration.
Competition in a marketplace is healthy, and usually will ultimately deliver benefits to the customer. As a business though, why bother competing when you can simply do something else? I am not proposing that (Re)Insurers suddenly start making kettles, however, there are a host of new customers for the sector to target. Utilising the wealth of knowledge and insight most of these firms already have, to develop alternative solutions via new distribution channels will surely be more beneficial for the sector as a whole...?
Owing to the supply/demand imbalance underlined by an oversupply of capital focused on the most competitive property cat business lines, a trend expected to continue and result in further pricing pressures and diminished earnings, “Fitch’s global reinsurance sector fundamental outlook is negative.” ... During last year the only Bermudian re/insurers within Fitch’s group that reported sizeable growth in shareholder equity were those that partook in M&A activity. Including Endurance’s acquisition of Montpelier Re, and the XL Catlin merger. And Fitch expects more consolidation in the coming months for Bermudian insurers and reinsurers as the search for scale, diversification, and relevance intensifies.