Gert De Winter to be new Baloise Group CEO

Basel, The Board of Directors of Bâloise Holding Ltd has appointed Gert De Winter to succeed Martin Strobel. Gert De Winter (49) will take up his role as CEO of the Baloise Group (Group CEO) on 1 January 2016. He is currently CEO of Baloise Insurance in Belgium and has worked for Baloise since 2005.

Gert De Winter

“We are delighted to have found the ideal person for the position of Group CEO in Gert De Winter. He won through impressively in a selection procedure conducted in the past few months where he was up against external candidates” says Andreas Burckhardt, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bâloise Holding Ltd. “The fact that we have once again found an internal successor for a senior management position is also a matter of pride for us. Gert De Winter knows Baloise’s strengths and puts them into practice. In an increasingly challenging environment for insurance he is capable of leading the Company into the future and starting the next chapter in our success,” continues Andreas Burckhardt. Gert De Winter is looking forward to his new role: “Baloise has a track record dating back more than 150 years. The dedication of its employees is one of the reasons why Baloise today has one of Europe’s most profitable insurance portfolios, which we should all be proud of. Together with the Group’s 7,600 employees, I am very happy to be writing the next chapters in this success story.”

Gert De Winter, who is from Belgium, has worked for Baloise for eleven years. Previously, he was with Accenture for 16 years, four of them as a partner. He joined the Baloise Group as Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Mercator Insurance, now Baloise Insurance, and headed up business operations in Belgium as CEO from 2009. The business grew strongly under his leadership, partly driven by robust organic growth based on innovation and partly due to the strategic expansion of its market share in Belgium brought about by the acquisitions of Avéro and Nateus. With Gert De Winter in charge, the management teams of Mercator, Nateus and Avéro were successfully merged into a single Baloise Insurance management team. At that time, the business had focused on Flanders but Gert De Winter stepped up its expansion into Wallonia. Today, Baloise Insurance is among the top five providers in Belgium’s non-life insurance market.

Gert De Winter is taking over a healthy company in an excellent position, although the sector is facing radical changes. “We cannot only rely on what has worked well in the past,” says Gert De Winter. The low interest-rate environment, increasing regulatory pressure and changes in consumer behaviour in the digital age require innovative solutions.

Gert De Winter is to start in his role as Group CEO on 1 January 2016. Until then he will continue to head up the Belgian national subsidiaries. A successor for the position of CEO of Baloise Insurance in Belgium will be announced before the end of the year. Martin Strobel is to stand down as Group CEO at the end of 2015. “In his seven years as Group CEO, Martin Strobel has defined Baloise and made it into one of the most profitable European insurers, for which the Board of Directors is very grateful,” says Andreas Burckhardt about departing Group CEO Martin Strobel.

The Baloise Group is more than just a traditional insurance company. The changing security, safety and service needs of society in the digital age lie at the heart of its business activities. The 7,300 or so employees of Baloise therefore focus on the wishes of their customers. The best possible customer service, combined with innovative products and services, makes Baloise the first choice for people who want to feel ‘simply safe’. Located at the heart of Europe, with its head office in Basel, the Baloise Group is a provider of prevention, pension, assistance and insurance solutions. Its core markets are Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg. In Switzerland, with Baloise Bank SoBa, the Group also operates as a specialised financial services provider, offering a combination of insurance and banking services. The Group offers innovative pension products to retail customers throughout Europe from its competence centre in Luxembourg. Bâloise Holding Ltd shares are listed in the main segment of the SIX Swiss Exchange.