Italian insurance group Generali has outlined an ambitious three-year plan to develop its European business, including its asset management operation.
The group said it had set aside €3bn-€4bn to invest in growth, either organically or via acquisition, to expand its business in the European insurance sector, including retail and SME markets and the sale of life and asset management products.
M&A targets could be in either existing or new markets, the group said. Generali describes its asset management operation as “multi-boutique” following the acquisition of a clutch of specialist fund managers. This year, Generali bought Paris-based Sycomore Asset Management, which focuses on sustainable investments.
Generali Group CEO Philippe Donnet said the group hoped to “leverage on our strengths to consolidate leadership in Europe on retail and SME customers, expand operations in high-potential markets and develop a global asset management platform.”
At the same time, he said Generali “will continue to focus on generating and managing capital to fund growth opportunities in key markets and drive innovation and digital transformation wherever we operate.”
Generali presently operates in about 50 countries with total premium income of more than €68bn in 2017. It employs about 71,000 people.
Outlining the strategy in a statement, Generali said it planned to “consolidate leadership in Italy and Germany, build on a in France and invest in growth markets and segments (central and eastern Europe, health, benefits and assistance) and launch new ventures.”
General also said it planned to “deliver profitable growth in Asia and Latin America, upgrade SME segment offering, grow employee benefits capabilities and develop value-added insurance service proposition.”
Generali said the strategy would allow it to achieve 6-8% per cent earnings per share average annual growth over the next three years. The Italian group has typically posted 4% earnings per share in the last few years.