ACE has signed a definitive agreement to acquire New York Life’s Hong Kong and Korea life insurance operations for approximately $425m in cash.

According to ACE, the transaction will expand its life insurance business into two North Asia markets where the company currently has property and casualty (P&C) insurance operations and represents approximately $330m in incremental life insurance revenues, $2.15b in assets and over 2,400 captive agents.

ACE chairman and CEO Evan Greenberg said, these two life insurance companies are small, solid agency operations that have been managed conservatively by New York Life.

They provide a good foundation on which to build our life operations in these two territories as part of our overall life insurance strategy in the region, Greenberg said.

However, the transaction is subject to approval, and is expected to be closed during the first quarter of 2011.