Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) is well established in all lines of business and thus offers a comprehensive customer-oriented portfolio of products and services with more than 50 Group companies and around 23,000 employees in 25 countries. The Group generated around EUR 9 billion in premiums in 2016, further strengthening its market leader position in Austria and in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), where VIG has been operating for more than 25 years.
VIG’s successful expansion into the CEE region
VIG’s roots reach back more than 190 years in Austria, during which time the Company developed from its start as a local insurer in 1824 to an international insurance group. In 1990, visionaries in Wiener Städtische recognised the many opportunities offered by the CEE region and took the chance of entering the market in the former Czechoslovakia. The expansion continued in following years. From Estonia to Albania and Germany to Georgia, the entire region was slowly covered. The 2014 entry into the market in the Republic of Moldova filled the final remaining gap in coverage of the CEE region.
Using its combined strengths to become number 1
VIG has worked its way to the top of the insurance market in many countries in previous years. Using a focused growth strategy and long-term perspective, it created a stable base that led to double-digit market shares in many markets.
The figures for the region show that the decision to expand into the CEE region was correct. In 2016, around half of VIG’s total premium volume of around EUR 9 billion was generated in the CEE markets. The Group continues to believe in the potential offered by the ongoing economic growth in the region, which brings with it a rising demand for insurance products.
The importance of the region was confirmed by another decision by the Group in 2008 to establish the registered office of the internal Group reinsurance company VIG Re in the Czech Republic.
Focusing together on the core business
The decisions above underscore the path followed by VIG and strengthen the focus on insurance as the clear core business. It pursues a progressive and highly risk-conscious insurance strategy. Reliability, trustworthiness and solidity define its relationships with business partners, employees and shareholders.
This fundamental approach is also reflected in its strategy of continuous sustainable growth and excellent creditworthiness. The international rating agency Standard & Poor’s has confirmed VIG’s development with an A+ rating with stable outlook for many years. VIG continues to have the best rating of all companies in the ATX, the leading index of the Vienna Stock Exchange.
Side-by-side with our customers
Customer loyalty and customer proximity are major factors in VIG’s success. Our local employees know the needs of their customers the best, which is why VIG places its trust in these employees and local entrepreneurship.
In order to create stability and trust, the Group uses a multi-brand strategy that retains established brands and unites them under the Vienna Insurance Group umbrella. This also allows a wide variety of distribution channels to be used. The Company’s strategic orientation is rounded off by a conservative investment and reinsurance policy.
Erste Group and VIG: strong together
Erste Group is strongly anchored in Austria and is one of the top players in the CEE region. The strategic partnership between Erste Group and VIG began in 2008 and has grown and strengthened over the past eight years. VIG Group companies offer Erste Group products, and Erste Group branches sell VIG insurance products in return.
Stable dividend policy of the Group
VIG has been listed on the Vienna stock exchange since 1994. Today, it is one of the top companies in the “prime market” segment, and offers an attractive dividend policy with a dividend payout ratio of at least 30% of Group profits (after taxes and non-controlling interests) for shareholders.
The significance of the Central and Eastern European economic area was once again underscored by the Company’s second listing on the Prague Stock Exchange in February 2008. VIG shares have also established themselves as one of the top companies there.
The shareholder structure has remained stable since the capital increase in 2005. Around 70% of the shares are held by its principal shareholder, Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein. The remaining 30% of the shares are in free float.
Searching for the best together
All VIG Group companies strive to attract the most talented and intelligent employees. As a result, identifying and developing individual skills is a central priority in the company’s human resources management. Promoting diversity is also highly important, as is creating a framework that offers appropriate development opportunities for employees. This is because it is clear to VIG that its success is built on the dedication of its 23,000 employees.
Further information on Vienna Insurance Group is available at www.vig.com or in the VIG Group Annual Report.