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 7,900 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, 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.
The Baloise Annual General Meeting approved the Company's 2015 annual report and separate and consolidated annual financial statements, and formally approved the actions of the members of the Board of Directors and management team.
Two new members of the Board of Directors were elected: Professor Marie-Noëlle Venturi-Zen-Ruffinen and Hugo Lasat. Eveline Saupper did not stand for re-election. All other members of the Board of Directors were re-elected for a term of one year, and Andreas Burckhardt was confirmed as Chairman of the Board of Directors for a term of one year.
The Annual General Meeting elected the following people to the Remuneration Committee: Georges-Antoine de Boccard, Karin Keller-Sutter, Thomas Pleines and Marie-Noëlle Venturi - Zen-Ruffinen. It also re-elected Christophe Sarasin as independent proxy. Ernst & Young AG, Basel, was elected as the new statutory auditor.
Andreas Burckhardt, Chairman of the Board of Directors, looked back on a financial year that was eventful but successful from a business perspective. The healthy profit for the period of CHF 512.1 million was slightly higher than expected. Reporting its second-best combined ratio of 93.3 per cent net, the non-life business achieved another year-on-year improvement in profitability and increased its business volume by 3.3 per cent in local currency terms. The share buy-back programme announced last year is on course, with more than 50 per cent of the announced volume of up to one million shares having already been repurchased. The announcement last May that Martin Strobel was stepping down as Group CEO heralded the end of an era. Andreas Burckhardt praised the work of the departing Group CEO: "He always fully identified with Baloise. His track record is undisputed and his achievements have provided us with strong foundations for tackling the challenges of the future." The Belgian Gert De Winter succeeded him on 1 January 2016. He has been with the Company for more than ten years and was previously CEO of Baloise Insurance in Belgium. "Gert De Winter is the ideal person with whom to start a new chapter in Baloise's success," said Andreas Burckhardt.
The full speech in German by Andreas Burckhardt, Chairman of the Board of Directors, can be downloaded from www.baloise.com and can be watched as a video stream from 2 May 2016 at https://www.youtube.com/BaloiseGroup.