Ageas to focus on Asia, Europe in three-year strategy

Firm to look for the best of both worlds as it balances its operations in emerging and established markets

Ageas to focus on Asia, Europe in three-year strategy

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

International insurer Ageas will look for the best of both worlds as it intensifies its focus on the Asian and European markets, according to its three-year strategic plan for 2019-2021, named Connect21.

In a statement, the Belgium-headquartered insurer said that Connect21 takes into consideration its longer-term view on the future of insurance, which is impacted by technological innovation and evolving customer needs.

The plan outlined the need for better diversification between its presence in Europe and Asia, which will allow it to harness the high-growth markets in Asia by relying on gained competencies and stable home markets of Europe.

It also stated the firm’s intentions to focus on creating a better customer experience, leveraging technology, adopting a decentralised business model to meet local market needs, strengthening existing partnerships and forging new ones, and moving beyond traditional insurance activities into wellness services.

Furthermore, Connect21 laid out six financial targets, namely: a non-life combined ratio of 96%, group Solvency II ratio of 175%, life operating margins of 85-95 bps for guaranteed and 30-40 bps for unit-linked products, 5% to 7% CAGR of group earnings per share, dividend pay-out ratio of at least 50% of the group net result, and a share buy-back programme of at least €150 million annually, except in the case of a major M&A transaction.

“In 10 years Ageas evolved from a company in crisis towards the sustainable, profitable growth company it is today,” said Ageas CEO Bart De Smet. “Connect21 will ensure that we will continue this growth path and that we will keep on delivering for all stakeholders. The expectations of our customers are changing and in the next three years we will ensure that we have the right response to these changing needs. This means that we will have to focus more on new territories outside of the traditional world of insurance, using new technologies and evolving more towards ecosystems. I am convinced that we have the mind-set, talent and commitment to make this happen. Exciting times are ahead and I am looking forward to working towards the realisation of our new strategy, together with all our stakeholders.”

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