Vienna Insurance Group will continue to follow its proven strategy and remain true to its Group-wide management principles in the coming year. The Group will also continue to focus on its core competence – the insurance business – and follow a risk-conscious, conservative investment policy.
The regional focus of the Group will also remain unchanged. As before, Vienna Insurance Group continues to be convinced of the high potential offered by the CEE region and remains committed to Austria and Central and Eastern Europe as its home market. Since the growth and convergence process is progressing at different rates in the CEE countries, VIG will continue to base its actions on the opportunities and conditions in each individual market in 2014. During growth phases, the focus is on the above-average exploitation of potential. Phases of calm in the market, on the other hand, are used to promote profit optimisation and efficiency improvements.
A selective underwriting policy will be used to make VIG's investments in peripheral markets outside the CEE region more earnings oriented, regardless of possible premium losses.
VIG continues to have a stated goal of using its proven multi-brand strategy and many optimally developed regional distribution channels, such as the successful cooperation with Erste Group, to grow faster than the market in Austria and the CEE region in 2014. The priority will primarily be on promoting further organic growth.
This does not mean, however, that VIG will not make purchases now or in the future that will improve its market position and fit well into its existing portfolio. A recent example of this is the agreement to acquire the insurance company Donaris, which Vienna Insurance Group is using to position itself in the Moldovan insurance market in 2014. This will open up the last remaining country in the CEE region in 2014. Mergers will be considered when clear potential synergies outweigh the benefits of a diversified market presence.
Following the motto “think globally, act locally”, VIG continues to rely on its local management. This is because local managers and employees know the needs of people the best and can react quickly and competently to changes. VIG continues to build on its multi-brand strategy in its efforts to create the closest possible relationships with customers, using professionally trained and motivated employees as a foundation for successful development of the market. VIG aims to use its position as a locally attractive employer with an international background to strengthen the long-term loyalty of its employees and be the employer of first choice for young talented trainees.
In addition to Group-wide optimisation measures, VIG's efforts in this area will focus in particular on the Romanian and Italian markets. VIG is making efforts at all levels to quickly improve the situation in these two countries and will systematically follow up in 2014 on the package of measures that was implemented in 2013, e.g. in the areas of cost and claims management. In addition to market- and product-specific initiatives like these, VIG also plans to further strengthen the Company and make it even more efficient.