Bringing diversity to life

We see diversity as a strength. And this is why Vienna Insurance Group has defined diversity as one of its core values.

Diverse, diversified and successful! Around 50 Group companies with local brands in a total of 30 countries share their insights and expertise. We build on a host of different ideas, cultures and influences. That’s what makes us successful, and it also benefits our customers, partners, shareholders and employees.

Unique diversity

By its very nature, a group with over 25,000 employees and about 50 insurance companies in 30 countries is highly diverse. But that’s not the only thing that sets us apart.

Diversity as a USP

Two factors in particular give Vienna Insurance Group a distinctive edge compared with other international insurance groups: the Group is committed to a local multi-brand strategy and local management. Both of these have an impact on the Group’s diversity.

People appear to be linked by a basic need for protection against risks. But the way they go about this differs from country to country, and every market has its own distinguishing features. And we specifically take this into account in our strategy.

Brand confidence

We are committed to supporting brands with strong regional roots. This has the advantage that firmly established and recognised brands, which customers trust, are maintained. In turn, this strengthens regional identity and the dedication of local employees. The insurance companies use the local brand as their “first name”, in combination with ‘Vienna Insurance Group’ as their shared “family name”. This umbrella brand symbolises the Vienna Insurance Group’s international outlook and extensive experience. “It’s important for us to emphasise the security offered by a financially sound Austrian insurer. But this doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing a local brand,” explains Elisabeth Stadler, General Manager of the Vienna Insurance Group.

Act local, think global

“All business is local,” as someone once put it. This is why VIG places its trust in local management and the expertise of the employees on the ground when it comes to running the insurance companies. People’s mentalities, approaches and priorities differ sharply from one market to the next. And who has a better picture of local needs and market conditions than someone who lives and works there? This ensures that product design and sales are as closely aligned as possible with local circumstances.

All business is local.

"All business is local" photo collage (photo)

© Klaus Ranger (8)

Room to manoeuvre

Binding Group policies related to topics such as risk management, reinsurance and investment help to make sure that the overriding principles and values of Vienna Insurance Group are taken into account. “We’ve set out clear guidelines for managing the Group, and local managers can take decisions freely within those boundaries,” says Elisabeth Stadler. This ensures that Group standards are translated into equitable, needs-based insurance solutions in each market.

Stoking creativity

We see our diversity and our ability to capitalise on it as one of the key success factors that have helped us become the leading insurer in Austria and CEE. The wide variety of ideas, approaches, mindsets and opportunities this generates is a rich potential source of creative proposals and innovation. “In this way, diversity becomes a value, and having a range of different perspectives enables us to enhance our results,” Stadler notes.

Fit for the future thanks to diversity

The insurance industry is facing numerous challenges, like technological and demographic transformation, changing customer needs and stricter regulatory requirements. This demands innovative drive and a focus on the future. And innovation is at its most effective when it incorporates a variety of different perspectives.

We are number 1 in Austria, Central and Eastern Europe

"We are number 1" graphic (graphic)

Across the board

It’s not just the Group that’s diverse; our customers are too

At VIG, diversity is also about being able to provide customers with coverage wherever they need it – across all sales channels.

Sales channels working in perfect harmony

VIG’s insurance companies can cater to every need – from people who want to take out insurance online with just a few mouse clicks to those who prefer personal, face-to-face advice. Our in-house sales force, as well as independent brokers and agencies, in tandem with multi-level marketing and direct and digital sales mean we’re always there for our customers. Bancassurance also has a big part to play. Here, we work with strong partners like Erste Group, which also has an extensive CEE presence. The combination of these different channels depends on conditions in the market concerned.

Sales has always been a driving force, and Vienna Insurance Group takes the significance of sales into account when weighing up acquisitions. Effective and sustainable selling power is the main criterion applied when acquiring companies.

Prof. Elisabeth Stadler, CEO (photo)

The long-term cooperation with Erste Group until the end of 2033 is not only confirmation of the successful partnership; it also gives us a sense of security and helps us to plan ahead for the next stage in our development.

Elisabeth Stadler, CEO
Erste Group building complex (photo)

In 2018, VIG extended its current partnership agreement with Erste Group – signed in 2008 – ahead of time until the end of 2033.

© Christian Wind

Preferred Partnership

Vienna Insurance Group and Erste Group

VIG insurance companies currently cooperate with Erste Group in 11 countries: Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Vienna Insurance Group logo (logo) Erste Group logo (logo)
Vienna Insurance Group & Erste Group cooperation (map)

Much to be gained

How our diversity strategy contributes to our success

In our view, diversity management involves genuine respect for and an open-minded approach to diversity, and a conscious effort to capitalise on it. Employees who feel respected as unique individuals with unique personalities will do their jobs better and feel more satisfied with their employer. And when lots of people with different perspectives work together, this generates innovations and new ideas. So diversity is also a source of competitive advantage for Vienna Insurance Group. Diversity is a core value in our mission statement, as well as part of our DNA. We take a holistic approach and aim to create an equitable working environment for all employees. Our clear diversity strategy focuses on three aspects: gender, internationalism, and generations.

Gender

Our gender-related measures are designed to strike a balance between male and female staff in managerial positions, and create equal earnings opportunities. There is also an important emphasis on establishing conditions that promote a healthy work-life balance. VIG Holding offers flexible working time models, remote working as well as a family week, which promotes family life by granting employees an additional week’s leave after the birth of a child.

Internationalism

We aim to promote an international outlook by means of the Group-wide exchange of know-how and local expertise, collaborative learning, staff mobility programmes and the internal job market. We have also taken steps to ensure that there is an appropriate mix of nationalities at VIG Holding.

Generations

When it comes to the various generations, we aim to unlock our employees’ full potential by building teams with members of different ages, taking into account various life stages and providing corresponding support. People from different generations contribute their own experience and ideas to teams – and we try to make use of this asset.

The only thing we exclude is discrimination

Our understanding of diversity is based on VIG’s Code of Business Ethics. The code encapsulates our commitment to offering equal opportunities in terms of recruiting and supporting employees, regardless of their faith, religion, gender, ideology, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, age, skin colour, disability or marital status. We do not tolerate discrimination of any kind.

Managing Board member and CFO Liane Hirner (photo)

© Ian Ehm

We all benefit from our Group’s diversity. Lots of different people have lots of different ideas and approaches, and they also have greater potential to innovate. Our diversity management systems have a positive effect on our performance and are helping to get us into shape to face up to the challenges of the future.

Managing Board member and CFO Liane Hirner

We speak the language of diversity

It’s the mix that makes the difference! And with such a blend of nationalities and age groups, as well as a good balance between male and female employees, VIG Holding is a genuine trailblazer when it comes to diversity. This is reflected in its excellent position in numerous rankings.

In 2019, VIG Holding led the way in the Boston Consulting Group’s Gender Diversity Index Austria, with 91 out of 100 possible points. The index measures the proportion of male and female members of the managing and supervisory boards of Austria’s 50 largest listed companies, and compares board members’ pay.

VIG Holding alone employs people from 26 different countries. In terms of gender equality, we also speak the language of diversity: Elisabeth Stadler is the only female CEO of an ATX-listed company in Austria, while Liane Hirner is the company’s CFO. Women account for one in three of the managing board members at VIG’s Austrian insurance companies. And women hold 40% of the seats on VIG Holding’s Supervisory Board. So Vienna Insurance Group is a true pioneer in Austria.

What’s more, across the Group, many women are at the helm of VIG insurance companies, while women also make up almost half of the executives in the second-highest managerial level.

Women hold top-level managerial posts at all of our Austrian Group companies - group picture (photo)

Women hold top-level managerial posts at all of our Austrian Group companies

Standing, from left to right: Judit Havasi (Donau), Elisabeth Stadler, Liane Hirner (both VIG), Edeltraud Fichtenbauer (Donau); Sitting, from left to right: Sonja Stessl, Doris Wendler (both Wiener Städtische), Helene Kanta (Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein), Christine Dornaus (Wiener Städtische)

Successful Employer Branding

A company is only as good as its employees. Positioning the Group as an attractive employer is one of our leading priorities, as this enables us to attract and retain dedicated staff. Treating people with respect both during the recruitment process and in the course of our collaboration is important to us – which makes the numerous accolades we have received for our achievements in this regard all the more satisfying.

Growing together

Satisfied employees serve as ambassadors inside and outside a company. We promote staff development by means of various training and development courses for our experts and managers, with a focus on professional know-how and personal development. Our HR department designed the VIG Corporate University’s tailored leadership programmes exclusively for us in consultation with a number of respected educational institutions.

Forbes Global 2000 – World’s Best Employers (logo)

Forbes Global 2000 – World’s Best Employers Ranking

We were included in the list of the best 500 employers

Best Recruiters DACH (logo)

Best Recruiters D-A-CH

We are one of the top 20 companies in the German-speaking countries, and the leading insurer

Best Recruiters Award 2019/20 (logo)

Best Recruiters Austria

We received Best Recruiters’ quality seal in gold for our employer branding activities and our professional treatment of applicants in 2017, 2018 and 2019, making us the industry leader in Austria

Universum 2019 (logo)

Universum Austria –
Most attractive employers

We are one of the top 100 employers in Austria for students