Last year saw a slowing in the number of mergers and acquisitions in all sectors among insurance companies globally, according to a new study from Conning.

The study, "Global Insurer Mergers & Acquisitions: Activity Slows, but Pressures Remain" tracks and analyzes both U.S. and non-U.S. insurer M&A activity across property-casualty, life-annuity and health insurance sectors, and finds that while for the year there were fewer transactions with values over $1 billion, "two key health transactions from 2015 were either cancelled or are very unlikely to be completed."

Within the health insurance sector, the Anthem/Cigna and Aetna/Humana mergers, it says, "dominated the health insurance landscape in 2016," although neither one actually came to pass — "primarily due to regulatory antitrust concerns related to competition and consumer choice." In addition, it characterized the Anthem/Cigna transaction as remarkable for the "contentious relationship between the counterparties." Anthem and Cigna, it adds, are already pursuing their own individual strategies, including M&A.

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