Hartford, CT --2004-2003 mergers and acquisitions in the insurance industry reached the highest level since 1998 in dollar terms, even while the total number of transactions continued its long decline since the same year, according to a study by Conning Research & Consulting, Inc.

The study, "Mergers & Acquisitions and Public Equity Offerings, 2004 Edition," found that total transactions declined by almost 7%, while transaction value increased by more than 600% due to a late-year flurry of insurance-related deals that ranked among the ten largest mergers in the world, totaling $43.6 billion. There was one mega-merger from each of the three major insurance sectors.  The $59.9 billion industry total in 2003 was six times the total in 2002 and the second-largest value behind $165.4 billion in 1998.

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