"This will make Wiener Staedtische the biggest life insurer in Austria. (...) The merger is aimed at strengthening bank distribution", the insurer announced in a statement.
Almost ten years after s Versicherung was acquired by Wiener Staedtische and became a member of the Group, "the next step in the joint success story of the two companies is now being taken", Vienna Insurance Group (VIG) representatives explained.
"The two companies will be merged into one. The aim is to use the combined strengths of the two insurance companies in the bank insurance business. Wiener Staedtische contributes its many years of expertise as a composite insurer while s Versicherung provides its expertise and pioneering position in bank distribution", explained Elisabeth Stadler, CEO of VIG.
More products and services for bank customers
The reorganisation will primarily benefit customers of Erste Bank and Sparkassen, who will be offered a broader range of products and services. "Our primary objective is to work with our partners at Erste Bank and Sparkassen to take advantage of the major opportunities available in bank distribution", explained Robert LASSHOFER, General Manager of Wiener Staedtische.
The s Versicherung brand will remain unchanged in the market and s Versicherung will continue to be the name for insurance solutions provided through Erste Bank and Sparkassen. "The more than 30 years of successful partnership with Erste Bank and Sparkassen put the s Versicherung brand in a strong position to expand bank distribution systematically in future", according to LASSHOFER.
The merger does not change any of the policies that already exist with Wiener Staedtische and s Versicherung customers.
Biggest life insurer in Austria
VIG representatives mentioned the merger will create by far the biggest life insurer in Austria. "In this line of business, the two companies had a cumulative premium volume of about EUR 707 million and a combined market share of around 24% in the first half of 2017. In the future, more than 2.5 million customers will be served throughout Austria".
VIG is number 1 in the Austrian insurance market
At the same time, Vienna Insurance Group's market share of 24% in the first half of 2017 "makes it the clear market leader in Austria".
Wiener Staedtische had a market share of 14.4%, and s Versicherung 4.1% over the same period of time. VIG generated EUR 2,167 million in premiums in Austria in the first half of 2017, which represented 44% of the total premium volume of EUR 4,972 million. Wiener Staedtische contributed another EUR 1,330 million and s Versicherung EUR 381 million.
Donau Versicherung, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, belongs also to VIG in Austria.
The merger of the two Austrian companies will leave the solvency ratio of the listed VIG Group almost unchanged. The ratio was an excellent 224.5% at the end of the first half of 2017. Wiener Staedtische is expected to have a solvency ratio of around 200% after the approved reorganization (based on preliminary calculations at the end of the first half of 2017).