Generali: focus on digital and acquisitions

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Generali wants to move up a gear. After years devoted to the financial and operational recovery, through the sale of activities considered insufficiently profitable, the third European insurer, behind Allianz and Axa, announced on Wednesday to focus on " acceleration of growth As part of its new strategic plan 2019-2021, based on three pillars: profitable growth, capital optimization and digital transformation.

The Italian insurer will invest a billion euros in digitalization of its operational model, in the customer relationship as well as in its distribution system, including the training of its teams. The goal is to provide digital tools, 24/7 support, 360-degree customer support and automated and simplified processes.

"Our first ambition is to become a life partner of our customers, offering innovative and personalized solutions through an unequaled distribution network," said the boss of the Italian insurer appointed to this position in 2016, the French, Philippe Donnet, quoted in the communicated.

Strengthen the presence in France and in the field of asset management

Unlike his two big competitors, Generali emphasizes that he still believes in the potential of the European market, where he wants to establish his leadership as Europe's leading insurer, in terms of turnover (63 billion euros in gross premiums Last year). In France, which constitutes the third market of the insurer, Generali wants to strengthen its presence and consolidate its leadership in Italy and Germany.

In asset management, Generali, which wants to develop a "global platform", has set an annual revenue growth target of 15 to 20%. This expansion should be done with of the disciplined acquisitions ". Last September, the Italian insurer entered into exclusive negotiations with the shareholders of the Paris-based asset management company Sycomore Asset Management, which specializes in the ESG approach (environmental, social and governance criteria), which manages more than 8 , 3 billion euros of assets.

Part of the 10.5 billion euros in capital that the Italian insurer intends to generate over the next three years, ie 3 to 4 billion, should be available for organic and external growth. But the group also promises to increase its dividend, with a dividend distribution rate between 55% and 65%. Generali said to rely on earnings per share growth of 6% to 8% per year on average by 2021. Its debt is expected to be reduced by 1.5 billion to 2 billion euros, while it reached 39.03 billion at 30 June. At the Milan Stock Exchange, the title Generali wins 0.7%, bringing its capitalization to more than 22 billion euros.