Zurich-based Swiss Life has acquired Nationale Suisse's entire group life business, with retroactive effect from 1 January 2011.

Both the companies have also entered into distribution agreement, whereby Nationale Suisse will exclusively offer group life products from Swiss Life in future, while Swiss Life will offer its customers selected non-life products from Nationale Suisse.

In addition, Swiss Life is also planning to open a new distribution channel for its product portfolio as a full-range provider of second pillar insurance.

Swiss Life said that the distribution agreement also enables its sales force to sell specialized non-life products, such as art insurance, from the Nationale Suisse range.

The 32 employees of Nationale Suisse will join the Swiss Life.

Swiss Life CEO Ivo Furrer said that the group life portfolio of Nationale Suisse fits well with the strategy of profitable growth.

"We can offer first-class benefits, a strong service-oriented and customer-centric approach, and the highest interest on retirement savings in the market to its more than 3100 companies representing around 23 000 insured persons" Furrer said.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first six months of 2011, subject to approval by the relevant authorities.