Ace Ltd. (ACE) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Evan Greenberg said regulators in the U.S. and Europe are stymieing private-sector growth as he expands the Swiss insurer’s operations in Asia and Latin America.
“In the U.S. and much of Europe, we face an unrelenting assault on business by government,” Greenberg said in an annual letter to shareholders posted today on the Zurich-based company’s website. “Rather than creating an environment of certainty where business thrives, government is discouraging risk-taking and investment.”
Greenberg, 57, joins JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon in criticizing regulators’ actions since 2008 when governments in the U.S. and Europe used taxpayer funds to prop up businesses as credit markets froze. Ace expanded life insurance operations through acquisitions in Hong Kong, Korea and Malaysia and increased policy sales in Asia and Latin America at its largest business, commercial and specialty property-casualty insurance.
“The political and government leadership of the major developing nations of the world is focused on wealth creation and what it takes to build a superior capability to win,” he said in the letter. “In the medium-to-longer term, the global economy is in the process of rebalancing, with the center of gravity shifting to Asia, led by China and, to a lesser degree, India, as well as Latin America.”
Ace slipped 1.3 percent to $72.25 at 4:02 p.m. in New York. The insurer climbed 13 percent last year, beating the 9.6 percent decline in the 22-company Standard & Poor’s 500 Insurance Index