Basler Germany: Agreement reached with employee representatives

Basel, Basler Versicherungen in Germany has settled on a framework agreement with the employee representatives’ negotiating committee concerning the further implementation of the Company strategy. The necessary committee resolutions and signatures are to be obtained in short order. The focusing and optimisation of the business can therefore proceed as planned. The reduction in costs of around EUR 40 million by 2015 and the cutting of 400 jobs by the end of 2017 can be undertaken as announced.

  • Framework agreement agreed upon with employee representatives
  • Business case fully intact
  • The focusing and optimisation of the business is well on track

The framework agreement between the Baloise Group subsidiary in Germany and the general works council governs the following main points:

  • Business sites: the target sites remain, as announced in June 2013, Bad Homburg (non-life insurance) and Hamburg (life insurance). The Bremen and Nuremberg offices will be retained at least until 31 December 2018. However, individual units there will be closed in advance by the end of the first quarter of 2016. No new employees will be taken on at these sites.
  • Reduction in staff: Basler Versicherungen will not carry out any redundancies for operational reasons before the end of 2016. However, this is on condition that the staff reduction is realised by other means, according to plan. The Company and the employee representatives’ negotiating committee have therefore agreed on a programme that provides for voluntarily redundancies.

Procedures for negotiating the partial reconciliation of interests between both parties were also defined. These set out the future structure, processes and duties, as well as the required staff reduction within the individual organisational units.

Martin Strobel, CEO of the Baloise Group, commented: "This framework agreement makes it possible for us to proceed with the optimisation measures in Germany as planned. The details of our business case, which have already been made public, remain valid."
Jürg Schiltknecht, CFO of Basler Versicherungen in Germany and the representative of CEO Jan De Meulder during the latter's current medical leave, added: "We have been able to work constructively with the employee representatives. We now have an opportunity based on the agreement to put our German business on a sustainable footing for strong growth and profitability."

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, the Baloise Group is a European provider of insurance and pension solutions and has positioned itself as a market player that offers an intelligent 'Safety World' prevention strategy. In Switzerland the Company operates as a focused financial services provider, offering a combination of insurance and banking services. It also has a market presence in Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg. Its distribution network includes its own sales organisation as well as brokers and other partners. The Company uses its competence centre in Luxembourg to run its business in innovative pension products for private customers throughout Europe. Bâloise Holding Ltd shares are listed in the main segment of the SIX Swiss Exchange. The Baloise Group employs some 7,400 people.