International insurer Ageas has announced a new three-year strategy, entitled Connect21, which will see it focus on both the European and Asia markets.
Connect21 aims to look forward, evolving with new technologies and changing customer perceptions. The plan pinpointed a need for more diversity between its presences in both Asia and Europe. By focusing 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, it is hoped that Connect21 will use the more stable European market to harness Asia’s high growth market.
“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.”
Connect21 lays out six financial targets for Ageas: a non-life combined ratio of 96 per cent, group Solvency II ratio of 175 per cent, life operating margins of 85-95 bps for guaranteed and 30-40 bps for unit-linked products, five per cent to seven per cent CAGR of group earnings per share, dividend pay-out ratio of at least 50 per cent 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.
“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,” continued De Smet. “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 mindset, 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.”