Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group plc History

30 Berkeley Square
London W1J 6EW
United Kingdom

Telephone: (020) 7636-3450
Fax: (020) 7636-3451

Public Company
Incorporated: 1996
Employees: 38,000
Total Assets: £59.95 billion ($96.49 billion) (2002)
Stock Exchanges: London
Ticker Symbol: RSA
NAIC: 524126 Direct Property and Casualty Insurance Carriers; 551112 Offices of Other Holding Companies

Company Perspectives:

Our business purpose: to help our customers around the world protect themselves against the risks they face in their businesses and daily lives by providing insurance and investment related solutions to meet their individual needs as we have done for nearly 300 years.

Key Dates:

The Sun Fire Office is founded as a fire insurer, based in London.
London Assurance Corporation is incorporated as a marine insurance operation.
Group of sugar refiners form their own fire insurer, the New Fire Office.
The New Fire Office is renamed the Phoenix Assurance Company.
The Alliance Assurance Company is formed to offer both fire and life insurance.
The Liverpool Fire and Life Insurance Company is organized.
The Royal Insurance Company, based in Liverpool, is founded to provide property and casualty insurance, life insurance, and annuities.
Liverpool Fire and Life merges with the London, Edinburgh and Dublin Insurance Company, forming the Liverpool and London Fire and Life Insurance Company.
Liverpool and London Fire and Life acquires the Globe Insurance Company, forming the Liverpool and London and Globe Insurance Company.
Sun Fire Office becomes the Sun Insurance Office.
Royal Insurance acquires Liverpool and London and Globe Insurance.
Sun Insurance and Alliance Assurance merge to form Sun Alliance Insurance.
Sun Alliance merges with London Assurance to form the Sun Alliance and London Insurance plc.
Sun Alliance and London acquires Phoenix Assurance.
Royal Insurance Holdings plc is created as a holding company for the various operating companies of Royal Insurance.
Sun Alliance and London changes its name to Sun Alliance Group plc.
Sun Alliance and Royal Insurance Holdings merge to create Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group plc.
Royal & Sun acquires Tyndall Australia Limited, Swedish firm Trygg-Hansa Försäkrings AB, Publikt, and U.S. nonlife insurer Orion Capital Corporation.
Radical survival plan is announced, involving a workforce reduction of 12,000 and the divestment of several businesses, including the Australian and New Zealand insurance units.

Company History:

Further Reading:

  • Adams, Christopher, "A Policy of Reducing Costs," Financial Times, January 24, 1997, p. 24.
  • ------, "Royal & Sun Chief Departs," Financial Times, December 3, 1997, p. 21.
  • Atkins, Ralph, "U.K. Insurers Agree to £6bn Merger," Financial Times, May 4, 1996.
  • Bolger, Andrew, "Audience Remains Undecided over Mendelsohn's Performance," Financial Times, April 20, 2002, p. 14.
  • ------, "Embattled RSA Unveils Radical Survival Strategy," Financial Times, November 8, 2002, p. 21.
  • ------, "Invisible Men Move into Hot Seats at RSA," Financial Times, December 20, 2002, p. 24.
  • ------, "Legacy of Past Casts Shadow over RSA," Financial Times, November 6, 2002, p. 28.
  • Bolger, Andrew, and Tony Tassell, "Mendelsohn Facing the Music As RSA Scrambles to Raise Capital," Financial Times, August 9, 2002, p. 20.
  • ------, "Royal & Sun Fined Record £1.35m," Financial Times, August 28, 2002, p. 1.
  • Boone, Elisabeth, "A Merger Made in Heaven," Rough Notes, February 2000, pp. 66-70.
  • "British Insurance Companies: Light at the End of Their Losses?," Economist, February 9, 1991, p. 88.
  • Bunker, Nick, "How Sun Alliance Brightened Its Image," Financial Times, September 8, 1988, p. 26.
  • ------, "The Strength of The Sun Poses a Problem," Financial Times, April 11, 1988, p. 20.
  • The Business of Risk, Royal Insurance Company 1851-1951: The Hundred Year Background of the Royal Insurance Company Limited and the Royal Liverpool Insurance Group in the United States, New York: Royal Insurance Company, 1951.
  • Cockerell, H.A.L., and Edwin Green, The British Insurance Business, 1547-1970: An Introduction and Guide to Historical Records in the United Kingdom, London: Heinemann Educational Books, 1976.
  • Cosgrave, John N., We Hold Thee Safe: A History of Royal Insurance in the United States, Charlotte, N.C.: Royal Insurance, 1986.
  • Dickson, P.G.M., The Sun Insurance Office, 1710-1960, London: Oxford University Press, 1960.
  • Drew, B., The London Assurance: A Second Chronicle, London: London Assurance, 1949.
  • Fuhrmans, Vanessa, "Royal & Sun's Unattractiveness Serves As Shield for U.K. Insurer," Wall Street Journal, March 3, 2000, p. A16.
  • ------, "U.K.'s Royal & Sun to Take Over Orion Capital in Latest Foray by European Insurer into U.S.," Wall Street Journal, July 13, 1999, p. A14.
  • A History of the Phoenix Assurance Company, London: Phoenix Assurance Company, Ltd., 1975.
  • Hofmann, Mark A., "Reigning Supreme As Catastrophe King: Royal Has Survived Best amid Worst," Business Insurance, September 18, 1995, p. 26.
  • ------, "Remaking Royal: An Insider's View," Business Insurance, September 18, 1995, pp. 3+.
  • ------, "Royal Sizes Up Global Market," Business Insurance, September 18, 1995, p. 22.
  • Howard, Lisa A., "Royal SunAlliance's Global Buying Spree," National Underwriter Life and Health/Financial Services, April 28, 1997, pp. 45, 48.
  • Hurren, G., Phoenix Renascent: A History of the Phoenix Assurance Company, London: Phoenix Assurance Company, 1973.
  • Lapper, Richard, "Battered by Storms but Heading for Port," Financial Times, March 2, 1992, p. 17.
  • ------, "Royal's Troubles Hit Market's Confidence," Financial Times, October 29, 1991, p. 23.
  • Royal Insurance Profile, London: Royal Insurance, 1989.
  • "Royal Romance," Economist, February 6, 1993, p. 84.
  • Schooling, Sir W., The Alliance Assurance Company, London: Alliance Assurance, 1924.
  • Short, Eric, "Sun Alliance, Phoenix Plan to Merge into Biggest U.K. Insurer," Financial Times, July 12, 1984, p. 1.
  • Souter, Gavin, "Worst Year Ever for British Insurers," Business Insurance, March 11, 1991, pp. 23, 24.
  • Unsworth, Edwin, "Royal, Sun Merger Rocks U.K.," Business Insurance, May 6, 1996, pp. 1, 69.
  • Zinkewicz, Phil, "Royal Holdings' International Strategy, Begun in 1800s, Continues Today," Rough Notes, December 1995, p. 30.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 55. St. James Press, 2003.