the process of transformation of an insurer operating in the form of a mutual insurance company into a joint-stock company; it was carried out frequently for large life insurers (United Kingdom, USA or Japan) which traditionally used to operate in the form of mutuals, but with millions of member-clients, their real influence on the management of the company was relatively small; from the point of view of an insurance company, demutualization usually allows for a cheaper access to capital, e.g. through the stock exchange.