We continue to develop, as does our organisation. The structural changes at the Group and company levels make 2010 a year of change and new beginnings.
Modern management structure in force
The approval received from the Austrian Financial Market Authority on 3 August 2010 represented the conclusion of a forward-looking process initiated the year before. At the end of the process, a Group company had been formed to act as a common umbrella for the group companies, and the insurance business in Austria had been strengthened; the beginning of the process was marked by our successful expansion into Central and Eastern Europe. The dynamic growth of the Group forms the background for the decision to separate the international activities of the Group from the responsibilities as a market leader in Austria.
In 2009, the focus of restructuring was on organisational measures, and in 2010 the focus moved to resolutions by the Company’s boards and the authorities. The new management structure of the Vienna Insurance Group enjoyed broad approval among shareholders. At the General Meeting in the middle of the year, they voted unanimously for the reorganisation.
The operating insurance business in Austria was spun off, and WIENER STÄDTISCHE VERSICHERUNG AG Vienna Insurance Group, the largest single company in the Group, continues to operate the property/casualty, life and health insurance businesses as before.
The listed Group holding company operates under the name VIENNA INSURANCE GROUP AG Wiener Versicherung Gruppe, and is responsible for international management of the Group. It is also responsible for international reinsurance and corporate business. In particular, the main management responsibilities of the Group holding company include the following:
- IT coordination
- Investment management
- Finance and accounting
- Planning and controlling
- International human resources development
- International actuarial services
- Risk management
- Group audit
- Investor Relations
- Public Relations
- International corporate and large customer business
- Vienna International Underwriters (VIU)
In addition, two organisational units were formed to deal with the specific question of how to ensure the long-term earnings power of the Group-wide personal and motor vehicle insurance businesses.
The new image of the Group
The newly designed logo created as part of the reorganisation conveys the strength of a leading international insurer. It stresses the innovative ability and international nature of the Group, and focuses attention on VIG’s function as a holding company for the Group. The logo stands for the forward-looking, profit-oriented nature of the Group, while introducing traditional elements that recall its historical roots.
The redesigned Internet website also reflects the Group holding company function and the importance of the Vienna Insurance Group in Central and Eastern Europe. The Group website offers a full range of information on VIG, extending from the history and creation of the Group, information on the Group’s shares and cultural responsibility, all the way to international career opportunities. One of the new features is an RSS feed that provides users with a clear notification of any changes to the Investor Relations and Public Relations pages.
Interest in TBIH increased to 100%
The Vienna Insurance Group’s acquisition of the 40% minority interest in TBIH Financial Services Group N.V. (TBIH) previously held by Kardan Financial Services B.V. was the final step in the Vienna Insurance Group’s complete acquisition of TBIH. TBIH holds majority interests in insurance companies in Georgia, Turkey and Ukraine. The Vienna Insurance Group has had an investment in TBIH since 2006. In 2009, the Vienna Insurance Group directly acquired the interests held by TBIH in insurance companies in Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Macedonia. Integrating TBIH’s insurance activities more closely into the Vienna Insurance Group allows better use of the Group’s expertise for positioning in the various insurance markets.
Organisational measures at the country level
Objectives of the action programme achieved
The Vienna Insurance Group’s forward-looking efficiency enhancement programme was begun in 2009, implemented measures in a number of countries, and concluded successfully in 2010. The programme achieved total savings of approximately EUR 100 million, due in part to efficient use of synergies and improvements in customer-related processes. Group-wide back office activities were promoted and extended into other areas. The projects were initiated in 2009 and implemented on schedule. Wiener Städtische’s newly established Service Centre, for example, began operations in 2010. Due to the centralisation of resources, claims processing is now even more customer-friendly and efficient.
The Romanian company Omniasig Life was sold in the middle of 2010. The Vienna Insurance Group is now concentrating its efforts in the life insurance business solely on the development of the two subsidiaries BCR Life and Asirom, which hold excellent positions in this market segment.
Interalbanian has been a member of the Vienna Insurance Group since December 2010. The company was established in 2004 as a non-life insurance company and mainly serves customers in the motor vehicle class. The acquisition strengthens the Group’s position as the second largest insurance company in the country. In addition to Interalbanian, the Vienna Insurance Group also operates through Sigma in Albania.
The Vienna Insurance Group merged two of its group companies, Helios and Cosmopolitan Life, to create a major provider of life and non-life insurance with a widespread distribution network. The merged company operates under the name Helios Vienna Insurance Group, and offers attractive solutions throughout the country for comprehensive insurance protection in all situations of life.
Montenegro and Macedonia
The Vienna Insurance Group established two life insurance companies in 2010, Wiener Städtische Podgorica in Montenegro and Winner-Life Skopje in Macedonia. This step allowed the Group to expand its presence in Central and Eastern Europe and gain access to potential new business in markets offering good opportunities for growth. Both companies begin distribution of their products in 2011, with two companies in the Erste Group, Erste Bank Podgorica and Sparkasse Bank Makedonija Skopje, as strong partners at their side. This expands the cooperative arrangement with the Erste Group to a total of ten countries.
The Vienna Insurance Group has reached agreement with Dogan Sirketler Grubu Holding to acquire a further interest of approximately 10% in the non-life insurance company Ray Sigorta. The transaction was concluded at the beginning of 2011. This step allows the Vienna Insurance Group to increase its involvement in the up-and-coming Turkish insurance market and integrate Ray Sigorta even more strongly into the Group network.
The Belarusian company Victoria was merged into Kupala at the end of 2010. The merged company operates under the name SBA ZASO Kupala. The goal was to strengthen the Vienna Insurance Group’s operating basis in a market facing important liberalisation measures.