Talks of dividend growth dominate Berenberg’s “speed dating” insurance program

Conference was attended by over 100 firms across the industry

Talks of dividend growth dominate Berenberg’s “speed dating” insurance program


By Kenneth Araullo

At Berenberg’s recent insurance “speed dating” event, which saw the participation of 24 insurers, 53 investors, and 40 institutions, the predominant topic of discussion was shareholder payouts.

This gathering, characterized by rapid-fire meetings, shed light on the current priorities and outlook within the insurance sector.

As per an XM report, the conversations during the event revolved around the insurers’ commitment to maintaining or increasing their dividend payments. This focus suggests a positive forecast for the sector, which remained broadly stable in 2024, following a nearly 9% rise in the previous year, as indicated by Europe’s STOXX Insurers .SXIP index.

Berenberg’s analysis, based on these discussions, highlighted that insurers are not just looking to maintain their dividends but are aiming for year-on-year growth. This trend, as observed by Berenberg analysts, signals the potential for continued attractive returns in the sector.

The event included six composite insurers – Talanx, Generali, Ageas, Unipol, VIG, and Uniqa. Despite acknowledging risks related to natural disasters and real estate, these companies conveyed a positive dividend outlook. Berenberg noted that most of these insurers intend to raise their dividends, aligning with the higher end of their targeted growth ranges as outlined in their strategic plans.

The sentiment was also optimistic for UK life insurers. Companies like Aviva, Phoenix, and M&G reaffirmed their robust solvency positions and well-performing investment portfolios. Despite ongoing investor concerns about credit risk, these fears have not materialized into credit defaults. Capital returns to shareholders remain a priority for these insurers, with the sector’s high dividend yields seen as particularly appealing.

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