The predicted convergence of financial industries is seen as a key driver for both insurers and banks, and the two are being urged to team up in streamlined financial services companies if the change is to be made effectively.

"Customers want to go to a single location where they can get the highest-quality products," said John Scheid, partner and Americas leader of PricewaterhouseCoopers' global insurance group. And Mr. Scheid, author of "Tomorrow's Leading Non-Life Insurers," a report on the industry, lays out three optimal business models for insurance companies in the 21st century. In the first model, "The Invisible," insurers would leverage their brands to develop through alliances and joint ventures with other providers of financial services, the report said. These companies would offer private-label insurance for other financial entities, as well as integrate insurance products into consumer product sales.

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