Protecting success

Entrepreneurs work in a range of different professions, so they also face different risks.

This means that custom solutions are the order of the day, not off-the-shelf insurance products. Solutions from an expert partner who can also support international businesses every step of the way in all the countries where they operate. Insurance for big players from another big player, as it were.

Protecting what matters

Bespoke financial services for corporate and large customers

Our experts take care of business people’s insurance needs, leaving them free to concentrate on their core business. All in line with our promise to protect what matters.

Tailor-made

Bespoke all the way – this is the principle that guides Vienna Insurance Group when it comes to providing services for corporate and large customers. With our long-standing experience and a close-knit international network of insurance experts, we are a tailor-made partner for coverage of industrial and large-scale risks. There is strong demand from multinational companies for cross-border insurance solutions and service.

Individual and interconnected

International businesses operate across a broad spectrum of industries, and the risks that need to be covered are just as diverse and wide-ranging. So it’s imperative to understand the customer’s business model. Thanks to its international presence, VIG can assist its customers in the different regions in which they operate. The in-house Vienna International Underwriters network helps to ensure that staff at all the insurance companies have the same level of training, and serves as a channel for sharing ideas. This allows for uniform, holistic handling of international transactions involving a number of different companies, end-to-end service and quicker processing of claims.

A one-stop shop

The customer’s head office receives an insurance programme policy that outlines the risk management activities for all of its production facilities in various countries. A local policy is also prepared to handle claims and ensure that the terms of the contract satisfy local regulations and legislation. In countries where we are not represented by a Group company, network partners provide services directly on the ground, maximising convenience. By acting as a one-stop shop, we are in a position to accompany our corporate customers all over the world.

Diversified corporate business

VIG’s corporate insurance unit leads the way in Austria, with a market share of around 50%. Over 1,000 employees throughout the Group work in the corporate business, including 120 in Austria. We are ideally placed to provide global services to our customers. This takes place in around 90 countries. So it is vital that the department has an international team: in Austria, the corporate business employs people from 12 different countries, and 15 languages are spoken at the department.

Master tailors: VIG’s corporate business (photo)

Master tailors: VIG’s corporate business

Worldwide coverage for international customers
In around 90 countries servicing customers
Over
EUR 1bn
annual premium income

We’re there whenever the customer needs us

Priorities in the corporate insurance business

VIG’s corporate business supports SMEs and in particular large customers, across all sectors with an emphasis on industry, and all over the world. These customers’ premiums often run into millions of euros, sometimes tens of millions.

Insurance has increasingly become a risk management factor for companies, and at large companies is now also the responsibility of the CFO. In the past, insurance concentrated on investment and equipment, but now it is concerned with all the different aspects of risk faced by major international companies.

Individual risk analysis

For this reason, proper risk analysis is the be-all and end-all, and it needs to be tailored specifically to the industry concerned. For example, it looks at interdependencies, specialised work processes, outsourcing, supply chains, networking, and not least cyberrisks, which are taking on ever greater significance. As an insurer, it’s imperative that we understand the customer’s business model.

If you go to a customer with a checklist and tick off the points one by one, the chances are that you haven’t dealt with the really important risks. A company owner or CEO is closely wound up in day-to-day operations. VIG’s corporate insurance business works with them to identify the risk components that are significant from their perspective. To do this, we need to ask open questions and listen.

That’s why we try to make sure that we talk very openly with the customer right from the off, so they are aware of the risks they face. This is also an integral part of our training courses.

A reliable partner

Besides specific insurance expertise, large customers look at an insurer’s financial stability. Vienna Insurance Group is not only the company with the best rating in the Vienna Stock Exchange’s index of leading shares, the ATX; as a major European player, it also has access to all aspects of reinsurance. That’s particularly important in the large customer business, as is our conservative reinsurance strategy.

Managing Board member Peter Höfinger (photo)

© Ian Ehm

Insurance has increasingly become a risk management factor for companies. I think we have a responsibility to draw the customer’s attention to the full risk picture and propose solutions.

Managing Board member Peter Höfinger

Safety first

Security and sustainability are the cornerstones of the investment strategy of Vienna Insurance Group (photo)

Our investment strategy

Security and sustainability are the cornerstones of the investment strategy of Vienna Insurance Group, because investing customers’ money is a massive responsibility. We are not only legally obliged to follow a conservative investment policy; we believe we have a duty to make secure and at the same time profitable investments.

Bonds and real estate

At the end of 2019, the Group had investments totalling about EUR 36 billion, the majority of which was invested in bonds and real estate, with stocks accounting for only a small proportion. The focus is on increasing the share of government bonds, mainly those of core European countries and of states where the Group has a presence.

In this way, we act as a sustainable investor, supplying capital over the long term to meet the financing needs of CEE countries.

Focus on eco-friendly investment

All investors assume responsibility for future generations. VIG is living up to this responsibility by means of a targeted increase in the share of environmentally friendly investments. These include investments in renewable energy, green bonds, eco-friendly construction methods and the renovation of non-profit housing.

In order to support moves towards a low-carbon future, we have decided to gradually dispose of our investments in carbon-based energy and to stop offering insurance for coal-fired power stations and coal mines.

In terms of investment in infrastructure, we support local infrastructure projects that contribute to a long-term improvement in living standards for local communities.

Prof. Elisabeth Stadler, CEO (photo)

Our drive to increase the proportion of environmentally friendly investments primarily reflects our strategic focuses and our sustainability philosophy.

CEO Elisabeth Stadler

Comp­liance underpins everything we do

Compliance means conforming with all statutory and regulatory requirements, as well as voluntary commitments. This is also reflected in our Group-wide code of conduct, which applies to all employees. Compliance underlies all of our dealings with customers and business partners.

Every Group company has a compliance officer who is directly accountable to the local managing board and reports to Group Compliance on standard topics, but also on a case-by-case basis. In addition, we hold a meeting at least once a year where we discuss a variety of topical compliance issues, and how we can integrate them appropriately into our business processes. We see this as the main obstacle to be overcome when building up an effective compliance management system.

Each of our Group companies works differently and we’re proud of that. But at the end of the day, they all have to be compliant. We have various Group-wide guidelines to make sure this happens, and all the Group companies are obliged to adhere to them. We monitor and assess this strictly. If we identify any misconduct, it’s not just a matter of fully clarifying the case in question; it’s also about taking appropriate steps to make sure that it doesn’t happen again in future. That brings us back to our processes – they have to be up to the job. There’s no other way to maintain and strengthen the trust that investors, customers and business partners place in us. Compliance underpins everything we do.

Managing Board member Peter Thirring (photo)

© Ian Ehm

It takes years to build up a strong reputation, but just minutes to ruin it. And effective compliance management is a tool for preventing this. We are totally committed to upholding this principle – we want to be fully compliant in every respect, and to create a culture of integrity as a result.

Managing Board member Peter Thirring

Reinsurance – a safety net for our customers

It goes without saying that insurance companies know how important insurance is. And reinsurance is insurance for insurance companies. One of the fundamental principles of the insurance business is to spread major risks assumed on behalf of policyholders across several risk carriers – and to reinsure these risks. In the event of claims, this should enable the insurer to avoid incurring large debts or negative impacts across entire insurance portfolios. Our primary objective is to pool the various risks at Group level and spread a portion of the risks we assume across the international reinsurance market. This enables us to create an effective safety net for the Group insurance companies and consequently their customers.

VIG Re – our reinsurance company

At the same time, our Group also provides reinsurance through its reinsurance company VIG Re. Founded in 2008 in Prague, VIG Re has grown to become a major reinsurer in the CEE region. Besides VIG Holding, it is the only Group company which receives a separate rating from Standard & Poor’s, and is currently rated A+ with stable outlook. VIG Re stands out on the international reinsurance market for its excellent cost ratio, flat hierarchies and rapid decision-making procedures. Owing to the successful growth of its business with customers outside the Group as well as the international nature of our customers, VIG Re has extended its geographical reach to include Western Europe, and now has offices in Frankfurt and Paris.

VIG Re is headquartered in Prague (photo)

VIG Re is headquartered in Prague.