C-Level Insights

C-Level Insights

Gert De Winter
Chief Executive Officer

Gert De Winter, Chief Executive Officer

I am extremely happy with the financial results for the first half of 2017. Our outstanding performance shows that we are on the right track. It makes me proud to be CEO of a company whose employees are willing to take on new ventures with passion, enthusiasm and an open mind. The past months have shown that Baloise is actively addressing the challenges in the market by being agile, innovative and prepared to take risks. We are still at the beginning of our journey. However, we have already passed the first milestones and are forging ahead with fresh momentum in the first year of our new Simply Safe strategy. You may ask yourselves why I personally am so confident that Baloise is equipped for a future that is defined by change. Quite simply, it’s because Baloise is one of only a handful of companies worldwide that have initiated a new strategic phase based on a ‘storytelling’ principle.

Digitalisation doesn’t just mean using digital technologies. It means putting into practice a whole new way of working. This involves being willing to accept change, communicating on an equal footing and working together across teams, departments and corporate divisions.

Initially, the senior management team were asked about ‘their’ vision of Baloise in the past, present and future. This was condensed into the Baloise Story, which focuses on our fictitious customer Sarah. She is at the heart of a story describing the areas of risks and opportunity that have an impact on Baloise’s business and will continue to do so in future. It immediately became clear to us that we were too complicated for our customers. The way we interacted with them needed to be simpler, hence the slogan Simply Safe. In the implementation phase, all corporate divisions, departments and individual teams were given the task of working out how they could make Sarah’s life easier. Only by taking this step-by-step approach will we come closer to achieving our objective with Simply Safe. The results so far give me great satisfaction. In recent months, employees have launched a number of ‘micro-initiatives’ off their own back and have already started to implement them. This process has yielded innovative insurance solutions, such as photo-based watch insurance and insurance policies for personal items. Not only can you feel this momentum, you can also see it. The trend is attracting attention outside the Company too, not least amongst our shareholders. Baloise’s share price has raced away from rivals in recent months. Clearly, it’s not just the management team and employees that believe in the new corporate strategy, but also the capital markets. It’s now important to me that we stay the course and show that we are one of the pioneers in our industry. Digitalisation doesn’t just mean using digital technologies. It means putting into practice a whole new way of working. This involves being willing to accept change, communicating on an equal footing and working together across teams, departments and corporate divisions. The foundation for this approach is provided by Baloise’s values, which the employees themselves played a part in creating.

The first seedlings of our new culture are already sprouting. Together with all employees, I want to ensure that these develop into strong trees that will be the future pillars of stability for our Company’s business model.