Corporate address: Piazza Duca degli Abruzzi 2 Trieste, 34132 Italy
Year established: 1831
International presence: 50 countries
Customers: 67 million
Gross written premiums (2021): €75.8 billion
Assets under management (2021): €710 billion
Over the past 200 years, Generali has established itself as a multinational group that is present around the globe as one of the world’s largest companies. It is also the largest insurer in Italy.
The group offers solutions in life and P&C business lines. In the life segment, its products range from savings and family protection policies to unit-linked policies and complex plans for multinationals. Meanwhile, in the P&C segment, the portfolio includes mass-market coverage such as car, home, and accident and health, as well as commercial and industrial risk coverage. Its global business lines span corporate and commercial offerings, employee benefits, health, and care services.
Generali relies on several distribution channels, including agencies, financial advisers, brokers, and other partners, to distribute its products and solutions, in addition to direct channels (internet and telephone) and the bancassurance channel.
Generali in the news
February 2018: Generali to distance itself from coal investments
April 2018: Generali US enhances international casualty offering for multinational organisations
September 2018: Generali Global Assistance names president of travel insurance business line
October 2018: Generali announces support for National Cyber Security Awareness Month
February 2019: Generali Global Assistance acquires Gallagher travel insurance brand
April 2019: Generali reveals plans for $1.67 billion investment in the first funding of a new asset manager
May 2019: Generali outlines acquisition plans
July 2019: Generali wraps up double deal in Portugal
August 2019: Generali posts 34.6% increase in first half net profit
March 2020: Generali on track for targets despite widespread coronavirus impact in native country
November 2020: Generali sets sights on being major name in asset management
January 2021: Generali puts forward new organisational structure
March 2021: Generali enjoys profitability despite COVID-19
June 2021: Generali issues placement of first sustainability bond
July 2021: Generali sets out ambitious climate goals
September 2021: Generali delivers update on 2022 board renewal
November 2021: Generali moves towards takeover of Italian rival
December 2021: Generali seals partnership to launch cyber insurance services
January 2022: Generali director delivers resignation
March 2022: Generali fires CEO contender
April 2022: Generali files charges on former executive, top investor
Philippe Donnet – Group CEO
Donnet was appointed managing director and Group CEO of Generali in March 2016, though he had served as country manager of Italy between October 2013 and December 2016, as well as CEO of Generali Italia until May 2016.
Before joining Generali, Donnet was the CEO of the Asia-Pacific region for the AXA Group from 2006, CEO of AXA Japan from 2003, and CEO of AXA for Southern Europe, the Middle East, Canada, and Latin America from 2001. Likewise, he acted as CEO of AXA RE for two years, and AXA Assicurazioni for three years. In fact, he kicked off his insurance career with AXA in France in 1985.
Donnet is a member of the Group Management Committee (GMC) of Assicurazioni Generali. He was chairman of AXA Japan from 2006, and also spent two years as chairman of AXA RE and AXA Corporate Solutions over the course of his time with the firm. He is also a co-founder and partner of HLD Private Equity, as well as a certified member of the Institut des Actuaires Français.
In November 2018, Generali became the seventh major firm to stop insuring the construction of new coal plants and mines, and stop accepting coal companies as new clients.
Following strong pressure from NGOs, the Board of Generali adopted a new coal exit policy on November 09, joining the ranks of AXA, Allianz, Zurich, Swiss Re, Munich Re and SCOR in limiting insurance support for coal.
“Generali’s move shows that coal is increasingly becoming uninsurable. The majority of global insurance companies with the expertise to lead in assessing and underwriting new power plants have now committed to end or limit insurance for new coal projects,” said Lucie Pinson, European coordinator of the Unfriend Coal campaign.
Generali’s stance is stronger than some others in that it will turn away from new coal projects and new client companies. However, it for now doesn’t exclude the coverage of existing coal projects like the policies of Allianz, AXA and Zurich have done. The Italian insurer’s policy also contains another loophole, which allows it to insure the modernisation and retrofitting of coal power plants owned by existing clients.
Greenpeace and the Unfriend Coal campaign have welcomed the new Generali policy as a sign that coal is increasingly becoming uninsurable. Greenpeace Italy climate campaigner, Luca Iacoboni, said: “With its new coal exclusion policy, Generali sent an important signal today: Coal is becoming uninsurable and should make room for the urgent energy transition towards 100% renewable energy.”
In 2021, Generali has updated its strategy for climate protection, extending the global insurer’s existing plan approved in 2018, by committing to significant action related to investment and underwriting activities – the company’s core businesses – and to a low-climate-impact future.
The company’s new goals, which were announced by Donnet, include:
- €8.5 billion to €9.5 billion in new green and sustainable investments between 2021 and 2025. This goal is in line with Generali’s previous target of €4.5 billion between 2019 and 2021, which it surpassed a year early. The group’s investments stood at €6 billion at the end of 2020.
- Increasingly restrictive exclusion criteria for the coal sector, moving toward a gradual but complete divestment in coal activities. The new strategy aims to completely phase out issuers who operate in the thermal coal sector in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member countries by 2030, and in the rest of the world by 2040.
- Gradual decarbonisation of the direct investment portfolio to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, consistent with the Paris Agreement’s goal to limit global warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels. As a 2025 intermediate target, the company intends to decrease carbon emissions for the corporate portfolio by 25% and will align its real estate portfolio to the 1.5°C pathway.