Sumitomo, Meiji to tie up in database management

Two major Japanese life insurers — Sumitomo Life Insurance Co. and Meiji Life Insurance Co. — will team up with NEC Corp. to establish a company responsible for managing the insurers’ individual customer databases, sources said Tuesday.

The new company, to be set up by the end of September, will develop and manage telecommunications facilities to link the insurers’ head offices with marketing bases and marketing staff equipped with mobile terminals, the sources said.

The insurers will keep their respective client databases separate, the sources said.

The three companies are planning to pool capital of about 500 million yen for the new company, with Sumitomo Life and Meiji Life each offering 10 percent and the remainder coming from NEC and other investors.

Each of the insurers expect to save between 600 million yen and 700 million yen per year under the joint project.

The agreement is the first information-technology tieup between major life insurance companies.

In December, Yasuda Mutual Life Insurance Co. announced a broad alliance with Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance Co. on information-technology investments.

Sumitomo Life and Meiji Life are considering jointly developing an online service, the sources said. The two are also considering cooperating on a corporate pension management system, they said.