Zurich Financial Services Group has announced that its subsidiary Zurich Investments Life Italy has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of life insurer, DWS Vita, for $140 million.

The seller is an Italian subsidiary of Deutsche Bank. Subject to the approval of the relevant insurance regulatory and antitrust authorities, the transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2008.

The new Zurich entity will enter into a long-term agreement with Finanza & Futuro for the distribution of life insurance products. Through this transaction, Zurich and Deutsche Bank are strengthening their global partnership with an additional distribution channel in Italy. Zurich has been distributing its life insurance products through Deutsche Bank’s branches in Italy for the past five years.

Paul van de Geijn, CEO of global life insurance unit of Zurich, said: The acquisition of DWS Vita reinforces our strong global partnership with Deutsche Bank, and provides an additional successful distribution channel. We are happy to be able to strengthen our position in this important and fast growing Italian Life insurance market, and to secure access to the excellent Finanza & Futuro network of over 900 advisors.