Basel, Baloise now intends to take the step towards optimisation in Germany that it announced in December 2012. Basler Versicherungen in Germany plans to focus its range of products on profitable growth segments, adapt its sales structure and increase its operational efficiency. At the same time, the insurance company will pool its resources at its sites in Hamburg and Bad Homburg. Its Bremen and Nuremberg offices are to be closed during the course of 2016. Around 400 jobs are affected by the optimisation measures and will be cut by the end of 2017. This will be carried out in a socially responsible manner. As a result of the increase in efficiency, Basler Versicherungen expects to make annual savings of around EUR 40 million from 2015. With this reduction in costs, the insurer will match the cost level of its competitors. For the entire programme, including investments in new products, the Company has allocated one and a half times its annual effects until the end of 2015. A positive impact on profits is already expected for the current year.
Basler Versicherungen in Germany will now consult with the works councils in detail on the planned measures and provide information on individual measures after the successful conclusion of the consultation process.
Profitable growth and increased efficiency
With the planned optimisation measures, Baloise aims to achieve further targeted development and a long-term strengthening of its business in Germany. It is focusing on profitable segments in order to accelerate growth in these areas. It plans to achieve this by pursuing three core strategies:
- Firstly, it will increase the profitability of its non-life business by focusing on target customers and target partners, as well as on the retail business and risk prevention.
- Secondly, it will increase the profitability of its life business by focusing on pure risk (biometric) and investment-linked products, while no longer developing conventional life insurance products itself.
- Thirdly, it will increase operational efficiency by halving its number of sites from the current four down to a focus on Hamburg and Bad Homburg. It will also consider relocations to more cost-efficient offices and optimise procedures through extensive digitalisation. The restructuring is to be carried out in the most socially responsible manner possible.
Martin Strobel, CEO of the Baloise Group, commented on the measures as follows: “With these optimisation measures, we are making our German insurance business fit for the future and are emphasising the strategic importance of Germany as a core market.” For the entire programme (optimisation of processes, restructuring, IT, new products, etc.), Basler Versicherungen is allocating one and a half times its annual effects until the end of 2015. Jan De Meulder, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Basler Versicherungen in Germany explained the ambitious goals: “With a leap in efficiency, we intend to secure significant gains in competitiveness and future security”. From 2015 onwards, the Company expects to secure savings of around EUR 40 million in Germany and achieve a lower combined ratio of between 93 and 96 per cent.