FRANKFURT Deutsche Bank AG is in talks with several European insurers on possible product-distribution ventures, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.
Deutsche Bank executives are in exploratory talks with Allianz AG Holding on a domestic distribution alliance and with Axa SA on a similar one for Europe, people close to the negotiations said. But they stressed that no agreement is expected soon.
One person said there may never be an accord, since Allianz and Axa are archrivals. It really depends how each party reacts and what the terms are, and no one is that far along yet, this source said.
Both Deutsche Bank and Axa declined to comment Monday on a newspaper report that the two companies were in discussions, and that Axa might buy Deutsche Banks insurance arm as part of a deal.
Its not news that we are in negotiations on joint distribution, an Axa spokeswoman said. We are talking with everybody.
Sources say executives at Deutsche Bank and Axa started talking last fall about a possible distribution cooperation, and the banking company has held separate, high-level talks with Allianz on a domestic pairing twice over the past year.
Deutsche Bank says it is trying to pool the distribution resources of its own retail channel, Deutsche Bank 24, with one or more insurance partners to increase the channels product offerings and gain additional potential customers for its bank products.
Rolf Breuer, chairman of the company, said last month that it was in talks with six European insurers on a range of prospective alliances.
While Axa could offer Deutsche Bank 24 access to the French market, teaming up with Allianz would allow let the banking company tap a network of roughly 50,000 agents in Germany.
Michael Harms, an analyst at Delbrueck & Co. in Frankfurt, said Deutsche Bank and Allianz could each target an additional two million customers for their products under such an arrangement.
Deutsche Bank already has its own insurance arm, Deutscher Herold. But analysts say the company is keen to expand its product offerings and customer base at Deutsche Bank 24, and less enthusiastic about holding onto the traditional insurance business that Deutscher Herold reflects.