IRDAI has given its initial approval (R1) to another venture Fairfax Financial Holdings owned by Canada-based Indian billionaire Prem Watsa. IRDAI had given a provisional approval to the new Indian joint venture established by Fairfax Holdings in India along with Oben General Insurance. Fairfax has a 49 per cent stake in the new Indian venture.
Lombard, a subsidiary of Fairfax, has an existing 17-year-old non-life joint venture — ICICI Lombard General Insurance — with India’s largest private sector bank, ICICI Bank. Lombard holds 36 per cent in ICICI Lombard General Insurance, the largest private sector general insurer.
However, Watsa’s Fairfax had decided to reduce its stakes in the existing venture ICICI Lombard General Insurance with little clarity on the reasons. It has recently decided to form a new general insurance venture with Oben General Insurance, a new company promoted by team of insurance professionals led by Kamesh Goyal.