Generali holds the leadership in the Italian insurance market with an overall share of 16.2% thanks to the complete range of insurance solutions the Group offers its clients in both the Life and P&C segments. At the distribution level, a multi-channel strategy strongly hinged on agents has been developed. It has a strong position in the direct Life and P&C channel, through Genertel and Genertellife, the first online insurance launched in Italy. Thanks to its partnership with Banca Generali, the Group is able to offer its customers a broad and complete variety of insurance, pension and savings products. Generali presents itself on the Italian market with three distinct brands marked by a clear strategic positioning - Generali (retail market and SME), Alleanza (households) and Genertel and Genertellife (alternative channels).
During 2018, Generali Italia further developed its simplification programme with the goal to improve the customer experience by simplifying the relationship between customers and agents for the entire process by providing more and more accessible and innovative services. Furthermore, at the end of 2018 Generali Italia launched Jeniot, a company that develops innovative services in the Internet of Things and connected insurance area tied to mobility, home, health and work.
Within The Human Safety Net, the Group’s global initiative for the society, Generali Italian launched Ora di Futuro, an innovative project for educating children and families that involves teachers, primary schools and non-profit networks throughout Italy. The purpose is to help families sustain responsible growth of their children.
In 2018, the Italian Life insurance market enjoyed a +2.1% growth, recovering over last year. The new Life business continues to be mostly oriented toward traditional products, which have experienced an increase with respect to the previous year (+8.4%); the support of the unit-linked products is decreasing (-4.5%), also because of the volatility experienced in the financial markets. The P&C market too has recorded a +2.4% growth. The motor business was affected by the heavy competition between the different operators of the segment and was driven by the other damages business (+5.3%) while MTPL continued its slow recovery (+0.7%). Benefitting from the moderate macroeconomic recovery, positive growth rates (+3.1%) continued to be seen in the non-motor business. The health risk trend was positive (+7.3%), marked by growing attention to the world of welfare.
With reference to the financial markets, the ten-year BTP yield jumped from 2.0% in 2017 to 2.8% at year-end 2018. The BTP-Bund spread widened from 153 bps of year-end 2017 to 253 bps of year-end 2018, making a return from the peaks hit in November following the agreements between the European Commission and the Italian government, which sized down the plans to increase spending.
The equity market was affected by the global monetary policies and the intrinsic country-Italy risk. The FTSE MIB posted negative performance during the year (-16%).
The growth of Generali’s Life premiums shows the excellent performance of protection premiums (+18.3%) and traditional savings products (+8.2%), while unit-linked products (-2.4%) were affected by the volatility in financial markets that characterized the second half of the year.
The new production in terms of present value of new business premiums (PVNBP) stood at € 18,443 million, down 3.5% following the contraction of both the present value of future regular premiums (-5.0%) and single premiums (-2.2%).
The production of protection products shows good growth (+16.6%). Savings products are down (-4.7%) in line with the Group's actions aimed at reducing the guaranteed business; moreover, despite the satisfactory contribution of "hybrid" products, there was a reduction in unit-linked production (-2.2%).
The new business margin (expressed as a percentage of PVNBP) increased by 0.58 percentage points, from 4.72% in 2017 to 5.30% in 2018. The satisfactory increase is driven by the continuous recalibration of the financial guarantees offered, combined with the sale of highly profitable hybrid products.
New business value amounted to € 978 million, an improvement on the previous year (+8.3%).
The decrease in gross written premiums is attributable to both the motor segment (-1.7%), which is affected by the continued decline in the portfolio linked to the policy of improving profitability in a market still suffering from a crisis in profitability, and to the non-motor segment. The contraction of the latter (-1.5%) is mainly attributable to the Corporate business component as well as to the A&H sector, reflecting heavy competition in a market characterized by sustained price competition.
The combined ratio increased slightly due to the increase in the expense ratio component, mainly linked to growth in the non-motor portfolio, only partially offset by the slight improvement in both the current year loss ratio and prior year loss ratio.
In Germany, where Generali has been operating since 1837, the Group ranks second in terms of total premium income due to a 9.5% market share in the Life business (also including health business), in which it plays a leadership role in the unit-linked and protection lines, and to a 5.3% P&C share, distinguished by high premium profitability.
In 2018, after having successfully concluded a preliminary strategic and organisation revision (with the Simpler Smarter for You programme), Generali sped up implementation of the strategy in Germany by starting up the second phase of the strategic programme, called Simpler, Smarter for You to Lead. This phase is aimed at making full use of the growth potential and the competitive edges that were still unexpressed in order to create value in terms of:
- maximisation of operational efficiency with creation of the “One company” model that involves unifying employees in two main companies, creation of three product factories serving all distribution channels with considerable management and corporate synergies, and rationalisation of the brands portfolio, with significant strengthening of the Generali brand;
- maximisation of the distribution power by integrating the channel of exclusive Generali agents in the DVAG network (the largest insurance distribution network in the country), which operates under a new exclusive distribution agreement for Generali brand products; the strengthening of its leadership in the direct channel (CosmosDirekt) through sizeable investments in the simplification of the processes and extension to new forms of digital intermediation and the focusing of the broker channel on improvement of profitability and on the digitalisation process (Dialog);
- mitigation of the interest rate risk: during 2018, Generali started the sale of 89.9% of Generali Leben after agreeing on an industrial partnership with Viridium Gruppe for the profitable management of the Life portfolio having high guarantees.
During the year, the Group retained its positioning on the market in the product innovation area and in customer services thanks to the Smart Insurance programme, with the Generali Vitality programme extended to all of the distribution networks, the offer of products in telematics (Generali Mobility), domotics (Generali Domocity), and legal protection, and also thanks to digitalisation in health services and claims.
Generali also successfully launched many initiatives in different cities as part of The Human Safety Net programme, which was also presented to the Office of the President of the German Republic during Berlin’s Bürgerfest held in September. The programme supports refugees and their start-ups by providing co-working space, training courses and access to a wide range of trade contacts.
As regards the financial markets, the yield of the ten-year German Bund closed the year at 0.2% (0.4 in 2017). The DAX stock market lost 18% due to the economic data coming in below expectations in the Eurozone, concerns surrounding the tax policy of the Italian government and the Brexit negotiations.
In line with the Group's strategic initiatives, Life premiums show a growth in protection products (+5.8%, supported by the increase in single premium policies), as well as unitlinked policies (+5.6%, thanks mainly to regular premium policies), only partly offset by the decline in savings products with regular premiums (-5.8%).
The new production in terms of PVNBP shows a reduction of 5.6% attributable to the decline in the Life segment (-6.9%), affected mainly by the process to restructure the sales networks; the protection sector, however, grew by 14.9%. Specifically, there was a contraction in savings products (-10.6%), protection products (-6.3%) and unit-linked products (-3.0%).
New business profitability (expressed as a percentage of the PVNBP) is equal to 2.83%, stable compared to 2.85% in 2017, due to the recalibration of the guarantees offered and the maintenance of a good business mix in spite of the decline in business. New business value amounted to € 228 million (-6.2%).
The P&C segment volumes are driven by the positive performance of the non-motor segment (+1.8%), which benefits from the increase in policies mainly in the home and commercial lines, in particular supported by the Global Corporate & Commercial lines. The motor segment was slightly positive (+0.1%), in spite of the drop in third-party liability lines (-1.4%) following the pruning of the portfolio.
The combined ratio shows a slight worsening compared to the previous fiscal year (+0.2 pps), attributable to the increase in the loss ratio following higher impacts from catastrophes (+1.0 pps) registered in Germany, a lower contribution from prior year loss ratio, all partly mitigated by the positive trend of contributions from the current year loss ratio.
Generali has been active in France since 1831 with one of the Group’s first foreign branches. The operating structure was consolidated in the mid-2000s, when the merger of the various brands forming the Group led to the creation of one of the country’s largest insurance companies. Generali France operates with a multi-channel approach of agents, employed sales persons, brokers, financial advisors, banks, direct channels and affinity groups. The multiplicity of the distribution forms reflects the market segment served and the type of product sold, with focus always placed on the customer. Generali France boasts a leadership position in savings Life products distributed through the Internet and for the so-called affluent customers, just as holds true in the market of supplementary pensions for self-employed workers. The presence of professionals, SMEs and personal risks in the segment is also significant.
As regards the insurance market, in 2018 Life insurance made a small rebound (+4%) following the downturn in 2017 (-2%). This is attributed to the dynamics of the traditional “En-euro” policies (+5%). Dynamics of the unit-linked policies were also positive (+7%) despite a slowdown, following 2017, which was already strongly favourable. Life insurance therefore proves to be particularly appreciated by French customers as it is not affected by the change in tax regime that took place at the end of September 2017. On the contrary, it turned into fewer premature exits from the portfolio.
The dynamics of the P&C lines of business (+2.8%) appear in line with that of last year, with a slight recovery of the motor business, also due to the need to adapt the tariffs to the evolution in claims (particularly concerning average costs). Once again in 2018 the French market proved to be heavily exposed to weather damages (floods in particular), for which complementarity between public intervention and that of private insurance is provided in the country.
With reference to the financial markets, the ten-year French bond closed the year at 0.7%, almost in line with the level at year-end 2017. The stock market index, CAC 40, dropped just like the other European indexes, to close the year with an 11% loss.
As regards volume trends, the Group strategy aimed at developing unit-linked and prevention insurance coverage is reflected in the performance of unit-linked products (+5.4%), after the exceptional growth in 2017 and the pure risk and protection line (+4.9%), while traditional savings policies recovered (+1.3%), following the decline in the previous year.
With reference to the new business, slight growth in PVNBP (+2.9%) driven by the performance of single premiums (+6.1%), while the present value of future annual premiums shows a decrease (-16.5%).
The production of all lines of business is increasing; in particular, risk products grew by 4.6%, unit-linked products by 3.7% and savings products by 1.1%.
New business margin (expressed as a percentage of PVNBP) shows a slight increase from 2.26% in 2017 to 2.29% in 2018, thanks to the excellent performance of the protection products which represent 28.9% of new business; however, the profitability of unit-linked products and of the savings business decreased.
New business value grew by 4.1% and amounted to € 219 million.
P&C volumes for the year grew by 3.1%, accelerating compared to the previous year, driven by the performance of the motor segment (+4.2%), also thanks to new distribution partnerships. The non-motor segment (+ 2.7%) recorded a significant recovery compared to the decline in the previous year, also supported by the positive performance of the accident and protection business (+3.9%).
The increase in the combined ratio is affected by trends in the loss ratio, linked, on the one hand, to the greater weight of natural catastrophe claims and, on the other, to the increase in the loss ratio of the corporate sector due to a different reinsurance structure compared to the previous year.
Austria, CEE & Russia
At: 16.1% Cz: 32.2%
Hu: 18.6% Sk: 11.6%
At: 3rd Cz: 2nd
Hu: 2nd Sk: 3rd
The new ACEER regional structure is the fourth most important market for Generali, in which the Group has strengthened its presence up to becoming one of the top insurance companies of the entire area. Twelve nations fall within the ACEER scope: Austria (At), Czech Republic (Cz), Poland (Pl), Hungary (Hu), Slovakia (Sk), Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Croatia and the recent Russia Regional Office.
The Group can boast its presence in the Eastern Europe territories since 1989. In 2008, a joint venture collaboration with PPF Holding started and ended in 2015, the year in which Generali acquired full control and powers over Generali CEE Holding.
Two important entities entered the area in 2018: Austria, where Generali has been present since 1832, the year after the company’s foundation in Trieste, and Russia, where Generali is expanding. Generali reinforced its competitive and income position last year thanks to the acquisition of Adriatic Slovenica, in this way becoming the number two insurance group in Slovenia, and Concordia Insurance together with Concordia Polska Tuw in Poland, and to the bancassurance agreement with Unicredit for the distribution of insurance solutions mainly related to Credit Protection Insurance (CPI) in the whole region.
The Group also takes top rankings in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia, Austria and Slovakia, and among the top ten in the other countries. In terms of volumes, on the other hand, main insurance markets are Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. The contribution of the minor markets has improved during the last years, resulting in an increase of the premium income on the total volume of the area.
Generali is also leader in terms of technical profitability thanks to a medium-long term net combined ratio at around 90%.
With reference to the financial markets, the good macroeconomic performance, and particularly that of the labour market, bringing about increased inflation, continued in 2018 in the Czech Republic, the most important Eastern European country. As a result, the Czech National Bank raised the reference interest rate from 0.5% to 1.75%. The Czech Koruna marginally depreciated (1%) against the euro during the year. In Austria, GDP went up and the labour market performed well. The ten-year Austrian bond yield closed 2018 at 0.5% (0.6% at year-end 2017).
In Life segment premiums, there was a decline in savings products (-2.1%, linked to the performance of regular premium policies), followed by a decline in unit-linked products (-1.8%, mainly due to the decline in single premium policies), only partially offset by the positive performance of the protection lines (+9.1%). This trend is explained by the slowdown in premiums in the Czech Republic (-2.2% due to the continued decline in new savings products production mainly in Ceska Pojistovna) and in Poland (-4.3% due to the decline in individual unit-linked products), offset by a growth in volumes in the rest of the region and especially in Slovakia (+8% due to the protection lines), Austria (+1.6% benefiting from the boost of Health products), as well as Romania (+69.5%, as a result of protection products launched as of July 2018 through the partnership with Unicredit) and Serbia (+15.3% supported by the growth in savings products following the renewals initiatives).
The new business in terms of present value of new business premiums (PVNBP) increased slightly (+1.8%), with growth in both single premiums (+3.9%) and the present value of future annual premiums (+0.8%).
Countries that provided the greatest contributed to the observed increase are Austria (+1.0%) and Hungary (+334%), which offset the decline recorded in the remaining countries (specifically, in Poland, the decline was 7.9%).
New business profitability (expressed as a percentage of PVNBP) decreased to 7.03%, driven by the decline in unit-linked products in Austria and Poland. However, profitability remains at an excellent level as it is sustained by protection products, which account for around 47.4% of business (in particular in Austria and the Czech Republic). New business value amounted to € 143 million (-3.2%).
P&C segment premiums grew by 4.8%, supported by good performance of the main lines of business. The motor segment grew (+5.7%), as a result of contributions mainly from the Czech Republic (+10.8%, following the pricing policies on the in-force portfolio, as well as higher volumes recorded by the fleet and leasing segments resulting from cooperation with Volkswagen Financial Services), from Hungary (+14.4%, growth sustained by the increase in vehicles) and Austria (+3.3%).
The non-motor sector recorded 4.1% growth, led by Poland (+16.4% driven by the corporate business and growth in travel products), Hungary (+7.7% which mostly benefits from growth in home products in the Health business volumes), Austria (+1.9% driven by the protection business) and Croatia (+51% thanks to the business underwritten through Unicredit).
The improvement in the combined ratio, down by 1 pps compared to 2017, is attributable to the drop in the loss ratio (-1.3 pps), which benefits from lower impacts related to natural catastrophe claims. The expense ratio remained stable compared to the previous year (+0.3 pps), reflecting ongoing cost reduction measures.
Generali, in Spain since 1834, operates through Generali España, a wholly-owned subsidiary, and through two bancassurance agreements with Cajamar (Life and P&C), which guarantee the Group exposure to the major Life distribution channel and continuous expansion in P&C.
Generali is one of the main insurance groups in Spain, with a market share in 2017 of 3.2% in the Life segment and 4.4% in the P&C segment. The Generali España group offers a wide range of Life and P&C policies dedicated to private individuals and companies, using a multi-channel distribution strategy including not only bank offices, but also a network of agents and brokers which is among the most extensive in Spain. All in all, the Group ranks eighth in the Spanish insurance market in terms of total premiums (sixth place in the P&C market).
With reference to the insurance market, in 2018 the P&C segment continued its growth trend, while the Life market posted a slowdown, primarily due to the drop in savings products.
GDP continues its growth trend at rates topping 3%. The ten-year Bonos-Bund spread ended 2018 slightly above the level recorded at the beginning of the year, while the Spanish stock market closed the year with a 14% loss, in line with the other Eurozone stock markets.
With reference to the year's performance, Life premiums fell by 8.0%, reflecting the decline in savings products in line with the Group's strategy of re-orienting the business mix towards products with lower capital absorption. Consequently, both pure risk and protection policies and unit-linked products increased.
New production in terms of PVNBP was down (-9.0%) both in single premiums (-12.2%) and in the present value of future regular premiums (-1.6%). In terms of business lines, a positive trend was observed both for the risk business (+ 8.0%, which represents 43.2% of production) and for unit-linked products (+ 5.8%). Savings products fell by 21.1%, in line with the Group's strategy. The profitability of the new business (expressed as a percentage of the PVNBP) showed an excellent increase from 9.82% in 2017 to 13.07% in 2018 with growth in all business lines. The new business value amounted to € 118 million, up (+ 21.2%).
In the P&C segment, premiums grew by 1.8% entirely thanks to the development of nonmotor vehicles, which recorded positive trends in health policies and funeral coverage. The combined ratio improved to 92.2% (-0.5 p.p.) thanks to the improvement in the expense ratio.
The Generali Group has been operating in Switzerland since 1987, where it has been able to consolidate its position through the acquisition and merger of several insurance companies. In following the Group strategy, Generali Switzerland focuses on the retail business and provides high quality and innovative services through various distribution channels: agents, brokers, financial promoters and direct channels.
In 2017, Generali Switzerland ranked as the number two insurance group on the market in terms of premium income in the Individual Life segment with a 15.3% market share, and was eighth in the P&C segment with a 5% market share. The company does not operate in the Collective Life segment.
In 2017, the Life segment insurance market slightly dropped (-1%), also because of the low interest rate level, while the P&C market continued to grow (1.3%), although weakly.
More generally, the Swiss economy in 2018 showed a positive trend. GDP went up by 2.9%, driven not only by domestic activities, but also by the positive development of the international economic activities. The sectors struck to the greatest extent by the 2015 appreciation of the Swiss franc - the metal, machinery and tourism industries - reversed the trend and made a positive contribution to the economic development posted in 2018. Nevertheless, the growth rate is expected to slow down slightly in 2019, with GDP recovering somewhat in 2020.
Growth of the GDP was particularly solid in 2018, also due to depreciation of the Swiss franc that continued up to mid-2018. The yields of the government bonds remained negative throughout the year.
Generali's Life premiums in the country were down 2.3% following the slowdown in savings product.
New production in terms of PVNBP was down (-1.7%) due to the reduction in the present value of future regular premiums (-4.0%), while single premiums show good growth (+ 56.4%) despite representing only 6.1% of total production. At business level, there was a drop in both unit-linked products (-2.1%) and risk products (-9.5%). The profitability of new business (expressed as a percentage of the PVNBP) showed a good increase from 3.63% in 2017 to 4.35% in 2018 mainly due to the increase in the profitability of the unit-linked business. The value of new business was € 17 million, up 18.0%.
P&C premiums fell by 4% due to the contractions observed both in the motor, due to the decline in the in-force portfolio, not offset by the growth of new production, and in non-auto, attributable to the AHD line which is affected by the loss of a large contract and portfolio cleaning activities in place since 2017.
The combined ratio rose slightly to 93.0% (+0.6 p.p.), mainly reflecting the increase in acquisition costs due to higher commissions.
Americas and Southern Europe
Argentina, where Generali is ranked as the fourth operator, is the main south-American market for the Group. It is marked by a historically high inflation rate and a volatile financial situation. Despite this tough scenario for the insurance business, the Group has implemented best practices in its Argentinian subsidiaries, enabling them to stand out in terms of service quality and innovation. The company Caja leads the market in Argentina, excluding the business lines in which it does not operate (Workers Compensation and Annuities).
Brazil ranks second most important country of the region. Following an extended period of economic crisis and political instability, the country has started to show signs of improvement, bolstered by infrastructure investments and optimistic forecasts of the macroeconomic indicators. Specifically, the insurance sector today is characterised by significant expansion potential and a hike in the penetration level.
The Generali Group also operates in Chile, Ecuador and the USA. Sale of the investment in the Panama branch was completed in 2018, as well as the sale of the company in Colombia.
In Southern Europe, the Group operates in Portugal, Greece and Turkey. The Turkish insurance market and the company in the country were impacted by the macroeconomic developments linked to the inflationary trend and depreciation of the local currency.
Life volumes showed a growth of 22.6% compared to 2017, thanks to the positive performance of the entire area: Brazil, Argentina and Southern Europe.
New production in terms of PVNBP was up (+ 19.9%) with a profitability of new business (expressed as a percentage of PVNBP) reduced to 0.26%. The value of the new production amounted to € 1 million.
P&C premiums, which accounted for 64% of motor products, grew by 17.1% thanks largely to Argentina (which represents more than 60% of the Region) mainly due to the effect of tariff adjustments as a result of inflation.
The combined ratio of the Region improves to 101.6% (-1.8 p.p.) compared to the previous year when there was a strengthening of reserves in Argentina.
Generali is one of the key European insurers in the Asian market, and currently operates in eight territories. The predominant segment is Life, with premium income mostly concentrated in the savings and protection lines and, to a lesser extent, in the unitlinked lines. Generali offers its products in the entire region adopting a distribution strategy that includes agents, brokers and agreements with banking groups.
Generali operates in China with Generali China Life, one of the five most important Life country, in partnership with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), which is one of the largest Chinese state-owned companies as well as one of the major energy groups in the world. Generali has a joint venture agreement with CNPC for the P&C products offer as well. Owing to its prominent presence in the Chinese market, Generali China Life is the leading contributor to the turnover and operating result of the entire region. A 100% owned distribution company was formed in 2018, which focuses on the agency channel.
Future Generali Insurance is a Life and P&C joint venture with Future Group, one of India’s major retailers. In December 2018, the Generali Group increased its share in the Indian joint venture to 49% by investing up to € 120 million in the partnership with the goal of intensifying use of Future Group’s vast distribution network in order to offer insurance solutions throughout the Indian market with a focus on digital.
Generali operates as Life insurer also in the emerging markets of the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, and as P&C insurer in Thailand and Malaysia, in the latter market with a 49% investment in MPI Generali. The companies China P&C, India Life, India P&C and in Malaysia are not fully consolidated since a non-controlling interest is held.
Generali has also been operating in the Hong Kong market since 1980, offering both Life and P&C products. Hong Kong is also the location of the regional office (Generali Asia Regional Office), which coordinates all activities in the region.
Lastly, it is pointed out that the P&C business in Japan is in run-off, and new business was interrupted starting from the first quarter of 2018.
Life premiums showed a 28.2% growth recorded in most countries, and in China in particular for savings and pure risk and protection policies, and Hong Kong, whose newly established company has greatly increased production levels.
New production in terms of PVNBP eas up (+ 5.3%) thanks to the development of single premiums (+ 27.0%) which largely offset the decline in the current value of future regular premiums (-6.2%). Growth concerned all countries except Indonesia (-24.8%); in particular good increases were observed in Hong Kong (+ 87.8%) and in Thailand (+ 20.6%), while China is stable (+ 0.4%). With reference to the business lines, there was an increase in risk products (+ 10.1%) and in the savings business (+ 9.0%), while unit-linked products fell (-22.6%). The profitability of the new businss (expressed as a percentage of the PVNBP) recorded a decrease from 7.00% in 2017 to 6.02% in 2018, conditioned by the negative performance of China, where a savings business with reduced margins weighs compared to previous year, and from the decline of Indonesia and Thailand; the development of profitability in Hong Kong was very positive. The value of new business amounted to € 123 million, down by 9.8%.
In the P&C segment, premiums grew by 2.6%, thanks to non-motor line. The negative impact of the A&H and motor businesses in Thailand determined an increase in the combined ratio of the Region, which amounted to 104.5%.
Established in 1963, Europ Assistance (EA) is only of the leading global brands in the field of private assistance. Today EA boasts over 300 million customers in more than 200 countries, supported by its 35 assistance centres and its network of 750,000 partner suppliers. EA offers insurance coverage and assistance in the travel sector, the automotive area with road-side assistance, and personalised coverage for assisting the elderly, cyber-security, and medical and concierge services. In 2018, the EA Group’s total turnover came to € 1.7 billion.
EA continues to pursue a growth strategy focused on strengthening its leadership position in the travel sector, at the same time expanding and diversifying its offer of motor and personal assistance products. The goal is to reach € 2.1 billion in revenues by 2021. In 2018, OpinionWay named EA the most trustworthy company operating in the financial sector in France.
In the International area, the main “Other companies” entities are Generali Global Health and Generali Employee Benefits, both Global Business Lines (GBL) of the Group.
Generali Global Health (GGH) was set up in 2015 as the General group brand and division dedicated to the International Private Medical Insurance (IPMI) sector. This market globally boasted premium income of over € 11.7 billion in 2017, with growth estimates at € 15.7 billion in 2020.
GGH achieved € 0.1 billion in premium volume in 2018 (+47% compared to 2017), staying in line with its strategic plan aimed at making it become the IPMI market leader by 2023.
GGH stands out from the rest due to the innovative nature of its products and services and to the high degree of digitalisation of its processes. These are qualities that the market has already acknowledged. In fact, GGH was awarded the title of “International Travel and Health Insurance of the Year” at the International Insurance Forum for 2018 held in Geneva.
Generali Employee Benefits (GEB) is an integrated network that offers services for employee benefits of multinational companies consisting of protection, life and health coverage, and pension plans for both local and ex-pat employees. Located in over 100 countries and with more than 400 coordinated multinational programmes (of which about 40 captive), GEB today is the market leader for multinational companies with a premium volume of € 1.4 billion. With the aim of further developing its business, in 2018 Assicurazioni Generali S.p.A. obtained authorisation to open a new branch in Luxembourg, which will be concentrated on business employee benefits.
Global Corporate and Commercial
The Global Corporate and Commercial (GC&C) unit, representing one of the Group’s Global Business Lines, it is only partially disclosed in the International cluster: the remainder is in the other countries of the Group in which it operates. GC&C offers medium to large companies and intermediaries in over 160 countries around the world, insurance solutions and P&C services. Backed by its solid global experience, knowledge of the local markets and of the corporate sector, integrated solutions that can be personalised in properties, casualty, engineering, marine, aviation, cyber and specialty risks are offered. Furthermore, GC&C guarantees companies the same level of assistance and protects everywhere in the world through its Multinational Programs, Claims and Loss Prevention experts. Global Corporate & Commercial has collected a total premium volume of € 2 billion in 2018. The performances of the year were influenced by the occurrence of some catastrophic claims and large claims, which particularly affected the property. From a technical point of view, in 2018 GC&C continued to pursue a policy of rebalancing the portfolio through the development of Multinational Programs and Financial Lines, focusing globally on the medium-large companies segment, in a market characterized by strong competition especially in the property, casualty and engineering branches.
Investments, Asset & Wealth Management
In line with the Group strategy announced in 2017, the Investments, Asset & Wealth Management business unit aims at becoming the unique managerial entity of the Group operating in the area of investments, asset management and financial planning consultancy. Its ambition is to expand its current customer base, today for the most part captive, through third-party customers, in this way evolving from its role of insurance business service to a benchmark in the asset management market.
The transformation into more modern and effective organisation model announced in 2017, which continued in 2018, offers the possibility to:
- tap the process cross-selling and streamlining opportunities in order to expand the customer base, above all outside the Group, at the same time promoting a business’s growth at low capital absorption. One example is given by the launch of the LDI (Liability Driven Investments) Solutions services that aims at offering institutional customers not falling within the scope of the Group their insurance business expertise, developed over the years, on the subject of asset management;
- develop a Multi-boutique platform consisting of creating asset management companies partnered with operators having acknowledged investment skills in order to expand the offer of products and services, in any case with the objective of aligning interests between the Boutiques management and the Group and a limited risk for shareholders. In this perspective, several important initiatives were launched in 2018.
Generali Global Infrastructure (GGI) was launched at the beginning of the year. It is a platform that employs internal know-how and also creates partnerships to invest in infrastructure debt across a wide geographical and sectorial investment scope and develop a range of products and solutions for investors.
Other initiatives of the multi-boutiques strategy were also launched during 2018, such as Aperture Investors, an innovative asset management company based on a revenue model that is radically different from what is found on the market. The company debits basic commissions, such as those of the Exchange Traded Funds (ETF), which can increase only when the managers go past the reference benchmarks. The acquisition of CM Investment Solutions Limited (CMISL) from Bank of America Merrill Lynch was announced in December. The acknowledged leader in developing alternative UCITS (Undertakings for the Collective Investment of Transferable Securities) strategies, with an international clientele and that is enjoying exuberant growth, CMISL will further support Generali’s offer capacities and distribution to customers and distribution partners. Furthermore, Generali signed an agreement with the German group Union Asset Management Holding AG to acquire 100% of the Polish asset management company Union Investments TFI S.A, one of the largest asset management companies in Poland, in order to bolster its positioning in Central-Eastern Europe. Also during 2018 the Sycomore Asset Management partnership proposal was announced. This represents one more stage in the multi-boutique strategy and highlights Generali’s commitment to environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters and socially responsible investment (SRI). Authorisation of the competent supervisory and antitrust authorities for this latter partnership have been received in the first decade of February 2019, closing the acquisition process of the company.
The business unit operates in the three areas depicted by its name:
- Investment Management: implementation of the Asset Liability Management (ALM) and Strategic Asset Allocation (SAA) models for the Group Insurance Companies;
- Asset Management: asset management for the most part addressed to insurance customers, with its customer base expanded to comprise external customers, both institutional (such as pension funds and foundations) and retail;
- Wealth Management: financial planning and asset protection services for the Private customers, mainly offered through the Banca Generali Group.
The operating result of the Investments, Asset & Wealth Management business unit grew by 13%, from € 468 million to € 527 million in 2018. This positive figure was mainly driven by Asset Management Europe, which increased its operating result by about € 87 million compared to last year.
In this context, the contribution provided by Wealth Management was negative for about € 9 million, due to the high volatility that characterized financial markets in 2018 and which affected performance fees, only partially offset by other recurring commissions.
7 The indicated market shares and positions, based on written premiums, refer to the most recent official data.