T hanks to reconstruction efforts of the previous erations in the new and dynamic economies
five-year period, Generali entered the Fifties in a of Latin America and Australia, as well as in the
position of regained normality. The picture was world’s largest market: the USA, where the New
aptly outlined in an annual report published in York Branch was reopened following the ac-
that period: “The Company, whose prestige has quisition of Buffalo Insurance Company. In the
remained unscathed in the tumultuous events mid-Fifties, the Generali Group had operations
in some sixty countries on five continents and
was a leading player in key European markets
(France, Spain, Austria and Germany), where it
had been present for several decades. This was
a literally unprecedented territorial expansion.
No doubt, growth was favoured by the positive
international and domestic economic climate.
In most markets, economic recovery was solid,
thanks also to the massive reconstruction un-
derway – especially in those countries where
the war had been most destructive. The Italian
economy, buoyed by the overall positive out-
look, was solidly sustained by exports,
A tradition rekindled. Started in the Thirties, the ritual of
feeding pigeons in Piazza San Marco was again put into which – thanks to the healthy bal-
practice in 1953.
of the past years, has been able to extend opera-
tions to new important markets while consoli-
dating its presence in the traditional ones.” With-
out considering the assets lost in eastern Europe,
in a number of former British colonies (India and
Burma) and in China (after the declaration of the
People’s Republic in 1949), the extension of Ge-
nerali’s network abroad was virtually the same
as prior to the world conflict. Simultaneously,
significant steps were being taken to boost op-
The Milan Head Office is established. In 1947,
Generali’s two historic hail and accident subsid-
iaries – Anonima Grandine and Anonima Infor-
tuni, both of which had been founded at the end
of the previous century – were incorporated into
the Parent Company. Their organisational struc-
tures formed the base of the Milan Head Office,
with headquarters in piazza Cordusio, which be-
gan operations in 1955.
1951 - Standard General is acquired in Johannes-
burg, South Africa.
1953 - Mario Tripcovich is appointed chairman.
The European Insurance and Reinsurance Fed-
eration (CEA – Comité Européen des Assurances)
is set up. By grouping the insurance associations
of 18 European countries, its aim is to promote
harmonisation of sector regulations. CEA’s first
chairman is Ranieri Babboni, previously a legal
consultant for Generali.
1955 - The Milan Head Office, whose task is to
manage operations in the TPL, accident and
health lines of business in Italy, is established.
1956 - Camillo Giussani is appointed chairman.
Generali celebrates its 125th anniversary with
Generali acquires Vanguard, an insurance com-
pany based in Sydney, Australia.
1960 - Gino Baroncini is appointed chairman.
ance of payments – became fuel for
growth. In the decade, the volume of
exports grew four times, that of reserves
currencies eight times.
In this scenario, Generali devoted con-
siderable attention to reorganising
its structure in the Italian market by
streamlining management, improving
co-ordination and containing adminis-
trative costs. Within this framework, the
most significant change was the crea-
tion – in 1955 – of the Milan Head Office,
which took over the activities previously
carried out by the two long-established
subsidiaries Anonima Grandine and
Trieste reverts to Italian rule.
Following the agreement be-
tween the Italian and Yugoslav
governments with the London
memorandum in 1954, Trieste – where the Company had been estab-
lished and its Central Head Office had always been located – returned to
Italy after a decade of foreign military rule. Il Bollettino, the Company’s
house organ, published Trieste Nostra, a deeply felt celebration of the
city’s “second redemption”, thereby ideally joining the 100,000 who wel-
comed the Bersaglieri regiment in Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia.
1951 - American endocrinologist Gregory Pincus
creates the oral contraceptive pill.
1952 - Elisabeth II is crowned Queen of Britain.
Anonima Infortuni. The task of the new unit, 1953 - New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepa-
lese sherpa Tenzing Norgay conquer Mt Everest.
over the next three decades, was to manage
The warring factions in Korea sign the Panmun-
operations in the TPL, accident and health sec-
jom armistice, whereby the 38th parallel becomes
the border between North and South
tors in Italy.
Among the many events of the decade, two had
1954 - The first nuclear submarine, the
a particularly significant impact on the Company Nautilus, designed by Admiral Hyman
G. Rickover, is launched.
and marked the symbolic end of a tormented
Elvis Presley sings his first chart busters:
phase and the opening up of new opportuni- That’s All Right Mama and
Blue Moon of Kentucky.
1956 - The Suez crisis erupts after
the Canal is nationalised by Egypt.
The Soviet military intervention
in Hungary quashes the reformist
movement led by Imre Nagy, who is
1957 - The dog Laika is the first living creature to
be shot into space onboard Sputnik 2.
Feltrinelli publishes Boris Pasternak’s Doctor
Zhivago, which had been banned in the Soviet
Union for its “slanderous” nature. Pasternak won
the Nobel prize in Literature in 1958.
Jack Kerouac publishes On the Road.
1958 - Pelé’s Brazil wins the World Football Cham-
pionship in Sweden.
1959 - The rebels led by Fidel
Castro and Che Guevara
seize power in Cuba.
Volvo patents the three-
point safety belt system.
The 125th anniversary. In 1956, Ge-
nerali celebrated its 125th anniver-
sary with two great events: on May
20 in Trieste, and on May 21 in Venice,
where the Group’s international gather-
ing – with over 8,000 members of staff from
31 countries – took place. In the photos: two mo-
ments of the Venice gathering; the ceremony in the
courtyard of Palazzo Ducale and the distribution
of mementos by workers of the Ca’ Corniani farm
dressed in traditional costumes.
The Polesine flooding. Italy, which was struggling back to normal-
ity after the war, was struck in 1951 by a catastrophic flood that sub-
merged the entire delta of the Po River, killing 84 and forcing thou-
sands to leave their homes. The nation responded generously to the
tragedy. The insurance industry – through its association ANIA –
donated over 40 million Liras in relief funds. Besides the significant fi-
nancial aid, topped up by donations from individual employees, Ge-
nerali hosted over 100 children, aged between 6 and 12, from the dis-
aster areas in its farm at Ca’ Corniani.
ties. On October 26, 1954, Trieste – which hosted
the Central Head Office – reverted to Italian rule
after a decade of foreign occupation. On March
25, 1957, the treaties establishing the European
Economic Community and the European Atomic
Energy Community were signed in Rome. This
was the first step of the process that would ul-
timately lead to the creation of the European
Union and of the single currency. Generali, a Eu-
ropean company by vocation, was ready for the
The signing of the treaties of Rome. Representatives of the
German, French, Italian, Belgian, Luxembourg and Dutch
governments met in Rome on March 25, 1957 and signed
the treaties establishing the European Economic Communi-
ty and Euratom. It was the building block of the new Euro-
pean integration, whose first immediate goal was to create
a customs union to encourage the free circulation of goods
among member countries.
A major export boom. At the beginning of the Fifties, Italy had fully
emerged from the postwar recession. The economy, however, was still
under-developed, with over 40% of the active population working in
agriculture. Thanks to low labour costs and to the gradual opening of
foreign markets, the flow of Italian products abroad increased substan-
tially. Initially, exports mainly consisted of agricultural produce, but
starting from the second half of the decade the nascent Italian indus-
try – textile and mechanical – played an increasingly significant role
in the international market and paved the way for the major econom-
ic boom of the Sixties.
The years of the economic miracle
A fter the destructions caused by the war and the
reconstruction efforts of the Fifties, the outlook
for the new decade was bright with the promise
of more diffused wealth and greater economic
Italy witnessed the years of the “miracle”. National
income was constantly improving in real terms,
industrial output was booming and the balance of
payments was firmly in the black. However, public
spending both at a central and regional level was
Europ Assistance. Following an initiative by the French sub-
growing out of control. The insurance sector
sidiary La Concorde, Europ Assistance was established in
benefited from the positive economic trend and Paris. The new company, providing assistance to tourists and
workers abroad, offered a wide range of innovative servic-
particularly the overall increase in wages. Other
es. Over the decades, Europ Assistance has grown to become
positive aspects were the strong development of the world’s leading player in the business, supported by the
Generali Group international network in terms of marketing
trade and exchange between various economic and services.
areas and the spreading of mass motorisation.
In Europe, premium income was growing at an Australia and Latin America. However, some less
annual rate of 15%, while the pace was even positive factors did exist, such as the imbalance
faster in some emerging markets, namely Japan, between supply and demand. The motor third
party liability sector, for example, came under
the spotlight in all markets as a consequence
New headquarters in Milan. In 1961,
the Milan Head Office was transferred to
Via Tiziano. A truly imposing complex, the
new headquarters spread over 3,800
sqm (the façade was over 200 m long).
On the first floor was the Genera-
li logo: the St Mark’s lion in gilded
bronze, measuring three meters
at the base and two and half
metres in height.
The years of the economic miracle
1961 - Soviet cosmonaut Jury Gagarin is the first
man in space.
The Berlin wall is constructed to pre-
vent the exodus from East to West
1962 - Dr. No, the first film starring
Sean Connery as secret agent 007, is
1963 - US President John F. Kennedy
is assassinated in Dallas.
1965 - The Mont Blanc tunnel, which
connects Italy and France, is opened.
The Beatles release one of their big-
gest hits ever: Yesterday.
1967 - Surgeon Christiaan Barnard performs the
first human heart transplant operation.
1968 - Martin Luther King, leader of the move-
ment for the emancipation of black
people and Nobel peace laureate in
1964, is murdered.
Student revolts break out through-
out the world.
Jim Hines is the first man in the
world to run 100 meters in less than
Large risks. In the Sixties, growing assets in
the industrial and commercial sectors, concen- ten seconds.
trated economic interests in calamity prone ar-
1969 - A student from Prague, Jan Palach, dies
eas, increasingly large means of transport led
after setting himself on fire as a protest against
to serious difficulties in the handling of risks,
with huge sums being paid when claims arose.
It was in this period that the first ever space in-
surance policies were issued. Generali played a
leading role in this sector by designing a spe-
cific coverage for the San Mar-
co initiative, a space
project developed by
the Italian aeronautical
research centre in Rome together with NASA. In
the photo above, the Santa Rita platform, used
for the first ever Italian launch in 1964.
of the explosive and disorderly
development of car circulation in a
situation where road networks, the
legal framework and preventive
measures were still inadequate.
It was in these years that the
international insurance market
was beginning to confront the issue of large risks,
due to the increasing size of instruments used
for travel, life and work. These were the years of
the first jumbo jets, supertankers, megastores
1961-1970 Moonlanding. On July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 blast-
ed off from ramp 39 at Cape Canaveral: destina-
tion Moon. On July 21, US mission commander Neil
Armstrong was the first man ever to set foot on the
Moon, an event which he defined as a “giant leap
and huge industrial plants. The demand for
increasingly extended coverage was beyond the
means not only of individual insurance companies
but often of the entire international insurance
system. As a result, insurers within the same
market were forced to pool resources to generate
greater underwriting capacity, while agreements
with foreign partners were signed to provide
satisfactory services for international clients. The
Generali Group, which was directly affected by
the changing scenario in view of its international
structure and position, was among the first to
pursue this policy. An important partnership
with Aetna Life & Casualty, the largest multi-
branch insurance group in the USA, was signed
in 1966. A few years earlier, acknowledging the
importance of the British underwriting market
for international risks, Generali had set up the
United Kingdom Branch in London, thereby re-
The Prague Spring of 1968. The crowd watches
helplessly as Warsaw Pact tanks invade Czechoslo- establishing those relations, which had been
vakia to bring to an end the short-lived democrat-
severed in the war years. Generali’s policy aimed
at strengthening its international presence was,
however, affected by the protectionist trends
that were emerging in several developing
Motorisation comes of age. As available income in households
grew thanks to the “economic miracle”, Italy witnessed the phenom-
enon of mass motorisation: the number of circulating vehicles in-
creased from less than two million in 1960 to over ten million in
1970. The rapid diffusion of cars was sustained by the development
of an efficient road network: the A1 motorway linked Milan to Na-
ples in 1964.
The years of the economic miracle
1961 - The Milan Head Office is transferred
from Piazza Cordusio to the new building in Via
1963 - Generali re-enters the British market
by setting up the United Kingdom Branch in
London, operating in direct business as well as
On the initiative of La Concorde, Europ Assistance
is set up in France. The organisation will emerge
as the world’s biggest operator in the private
1964 - Generali makes its debut in space insur-
ance by providing the San Marco project with
coverage for the construction and
launching of Italian scientific satel-
Generali insures the transporta-
tion of the bronze door of St Peter’s
Basilica in Rome, made by Italian
sculptor Giacomo Manzù.
1966 - Generali signs an important
partnership with Aetna Life & Casu-
alty, the largest multi-branch group in the USA.
1968 - Cesare Merzagora is appointed chairman,
succeeding Gino Baroncini who is acclaimed hon-
orary chairman at the shareholders’ meeting.
1969 - Generali launches a series of initiatives
with a view to strengthening its ties with share-
holders: a service is set up to assist shareholders
in the administration of shares and a newsletter
The Generali-Aetna agreement. Above: The two chair- containing details of business trends is published
men Olcott D. Smith of Aetna and Gino Baroncini of Ge- twice a year, disclosing, for the first time, consoli-
nerali sign the agreement setting up important interna- dated figures.
tional co-operation between the two companies at the
new Milan headquarters in Via Tiziano.
following restrictions imposed on foreign
countries. As a matter of fact, numerous banks
operators, Generali was forced to pull out of
and insurance companies were nationalised
Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Algeria and Congo
in many of the countries where Generali had
and to curtail operations in Latin America.
heavily invested in postwar years. In particular,
Cesare Merzagora. In 1968, a public figure was called on to
chair the Company. An economist “involved in politics”, as he
liked to define himself, Cesare Merzagora gained solid expe-
rience in finance and industrial manufacturing and held nu-
merous government posts, including the second highest in-
stitutional role in Italy – President of the Senate – for three
legislatures in a row. In his private life, Merzagora was a fine
sculptor as well as talented medal maker and he etched sev-
eral influential figures of the 20th century.
Overcoming the crises
A t the beginning of the Seventies, the impressive ternational scenario was worsened by a crisis in
phase of growth that had lasted for two dec- industrial relations, which led to a series of mas-
ades began to ebb. Economic slowdown and sive strikes and ultimately to the loss in compet-
inflationary pressure went hand in hand with itiveness of Italian exports.
political and ideological tensions – to which The insurance industry
May 1968 in France had been a prelude – and was also directly affected
widespread union demands on industry. The by the bleak climate. Gal-
entire world system was rocked by a very seri- loping inflation combined
ous slump, which initially manifested itself on with recession led to the
the monetary front (with the suspension of the so-called stagflation, with
US Dollar’s gold con- tremendous repercussions
vertibility standard in on savings, industrial out-
August 1971) and sub- put and, consequently, pre-
sequently in the energy mium income. In turn, the
sector (with the explo- widespread currency fluc-
sive increase of prices tuations that followed the Technology. With a view
to boosting efficiency
decided by oil produc- end of the gold standard
and reducing costs, in
ing countries in 1973). triggered exchange risks. 1971 Generali set up a
new EDP centre, which
In Italy, this dramatic in- Another source of major
was equipped with state-
concern – especially in It-
aly – came from the motor
TPL sector, which had become compulsory in
1971. The “political” pricing policy imposed by
the government regardless of real underwriting
results recorded by insurance companies cre-
ated serious imbalance within the market, caus-
ing many insurers to fold up.
Generali, which could rely on very solid finances
at the beginning of the Seventies, quickly re-
alised the real extent of the crisis and decided
to accelerate its asset strengthening policy
launched in the late Sixties. Thus, a massive in-
vestment plan was implemented in the real es-
tate sector, which ultimately led to a doubling
of Generali’s property in three years. At the
Real estate investments. Between the end of the Sixties and the beginning of the Sev-
enties, a major investment campaign was launched in the real estate sector. Generali’s
urban real estate assets were doubled over a period of three years. Particularly remark-
able is the building designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer in Segrate, near Mi-
lan, that would become the headquarters of the Italian publishing giant Mondadori.
Overcoming the crises
1972 - During the Olympic Games in Munich,
swimmer Mark Spitz wins seven gold medals; a
Palestinian attack against the Israeli team casts a
dark gloom over the games.
data processing unit The computerized axial tomog-
raphy (CAT) is used for the first
in Mestre. A new,
single marketing de- 1973 - Following the signing of
a peace agreement, the Unit-
partment was set up
ed States withdraws its troops
midway through the from Vietnam.
The motor TPL conundrum. In Italy, as a consequence
decade for branches The Gulag Archipelago by Ale-
of the high number of road accident victims – 10,000
ksandr Solzhenitsyn (Nobel prize in Literature in
deaths and 250,000 injuries every year – following the supervised by the
1970) is published: the book is a heart-rending in-
dizzying growth in the number of circulating cars, law-
Veneto and Milan dictment against the horrors of Soviet lagers.
makers made third party liability insurance compulsory.
The law was officially enforced on June 12, 1971. Rightly 1976 - Apple creates the first personal computer.
Head Offices, in a bid
hailed as a social conquest, and backed by insurers since
1977 - The meteorological satellite Meteosat is
to streamline and en-
the Fifties, motor TPL almost led to the collapse of the in-
launched into orbit.
surance industry due to the pricing policy imposed by the
hance the Company’s The film Star Wars opens the famous motion pic-
sales strategy and net-
1979 - After the flight into exile of Shah Reza Pahl-
work. In-depth reno-
same time, organisational structures and servic-
avi, Ayatollah Khomeini rises to power in Iran, where
an Islamic republic is subsequently declared.
vation also involved
es were restructured and rationalised to improve
The first elections for the European Parliament
the corporate image:
profitability and contain costs. From 1971, Gene-
take place; the European Monetary System,
the aim was to stand-
rali’s accounting and administrative operations joined by EEC member states with the exception
of Great Britain, is created.
ardise the Company’s
were concentrated in the Company’s hi-tech
1980 - The Polish inde-
presence in all mar-
pendent workers’ union
Solidarność is established.
kets around the short-
Bill Gates launches the MS-
ened name “Generali”
– easily pronounced in
all languages – combining it with a more mod-
ern graphic representation of the winged lion.
The new trademark was launched in 1971 and
sustained by a massive communication cam-
paign based on the slogan “from now on, call
us Generali”. In line with the objectives set,
the Parent Company’s trademark
and logo were also adopted
The great crises. In
1971, the suspension of
the convertibility of the US
Dollar into gold marked
the end of a system of fixed
exchange rates that had been in
force for thirty years. This led to a period of
great uncertainty in international trade. Two years lat-
er the oil crisis, triggered by the OPEC’s decision to increase
prices, accelerated the inflationary trend that was already
undermining economies in industrialised countries and
Space risks. To fos-
ter the exchange of
ideas with clients, Gene-
rali promoted an interna-
tional forum in 1979 to dis-
cuss the issues connected
to the commercial and in-
dustrial utilisation of space,
which soon emerged as a
crucial fixture in the agen-
da of space operators and
Industry and insurance.
Being aware of the neces-
to deal with new and highly
sity to establish a dialogue
with counterparts to work out sophisticated risks, such as
solutions to common issues, Genera-
those relating to satellites
li and Confindustria – the Confederation of
Italian Industry – promoted a roundtable to be held on a
or involving multi-national
biennial basis. The “Insurance and Industry” talks became
a traditional appointment, taking place at Villa Manin, the companies. As to the lat-
residence of Venice’s last Doge.
ter sector, a number of
by the new companies established over the fol- partnerships with promi-
lowing years as part of the restructuring process nent insurance groups – such as Mitsui, Taisho
in France, Belgium, Brazil and Austria. and Tokio from Japan and General Accident
For the first time, a Group trademark was also from Britain – integrated the agreement signed
introduced. The decision was dictated by the in the Sixties with the US Aetna group and
increasing need to co-ordinate and support proved particularly profitable. In the Seventies,
companies in various markets, with a view to Generali’s increasingly
harmonising strategies while maintaining each strategic focus on
company’s operative autonomy. It was with this the market found
in mind that consulting and technical assistance expression in a se-
provided to Group companies were strength- ries of initiatives, mainly
ened – especially with regard to for the benefit of share-
special risks, reinsurance and in holders and of the public
the asset and real estate manage- at large, aimed at provid-
ment sector. At the same time,
centralised structures were set up The Financial Statements
Award. Generali received this
award in 1970 from the insti-
tute for public relations.
A new corporate image. The reno-
vation of the Company’s organisa-
tional structures was reflected in the
creation of a new, more dynam-
ic corporate image: the lion
underwent a restyling, while
the logo was re-designed and
shortened to “Generali”. In
the photo, managing direc-
tor Fabio Padoa presents the
Overcoming the crises
1971 - A new trademark is launched with the
shortened name “Generali”.
Within the framework of a major organisational
overhaul, a new EDP centre is set up in Mestre.
1972 - Generali and Aetna establish the Genera-
li European Marketing Office (GEMO) in Brussels.
After its transfer to London, the unit changes its
name to Generali-Aetna European Marketing
Office (GAEMO) in 1977.
After nearly 30 years, the Company Articles of
Association are amended. Rules governing the
AGM are also introduced.
1974 - Genagricola is established. Starting in
1980, it will take over all the Group’s
1975 - Following the setting up of
a single marketing department for
the Milan and Veneto Head Offices,
The earthquake in Friuli. On May 6, 1976, a devastating
earthquake rocked the Friuli region in the North East Generali is the first company in Italy to adopt an
of Italy, killing 1,000 and leaving 100,000 homeless. underwriting planning and control system.
Generali, too, was affected by the disaster: two agency
1978 - The first conference promoted by Genera-
employees died, the agency of Gemona was completely
li and Confindustria – the Confederation of Ital-
destroyed, the offices in Spilimbergo, San Daniele and
ian Industry – is held at Villa Manin, near Venice.
Tolmezzo were severely damaged, while numerous other
The aim of the biennial conference is to discuss
buildings were also hit.
1979 - Enrico Randone is appointed chairman,
ing complete information on Group activities.
succeeding Cesare Merzagora who is acclaimed
honorary chairman at the shareholders’ meeting.
Particularly significant was the publication of
The Middle East Office
a consolidated Group statement – considered
Branch is established.
to be the most suitable tool to provide an ex- Based in Dubai, its op-
erations mainly focus
haustive picture of Generali’s complex web
on reinsurance and on
of interests – and a half-yearly report by the providing support to
middle eastern multi-
chairman. These initiatives were extremely in-
novative at that time and obtained important
acknowledgments, such as the Tagliacedole
d’Oro and the Oscar di Bilancio (Financial State-
ments Award), awarded to an insurance com-
pany for the first time.
John Paul II. Following the sud-
den death (after a pontificate last-
ing only 33 days) of Albino Luciani,
Pope John Paul I, the Archbish-
op of Krakow Karol Wojtyla be-
came the new Pontiff.
The farming strategy
The first investment. With a view to New acquisitions. In the years between the two
diversifying assets set aside to back re- world wars, Italy invests heavily in agriculture
serves, Assicurazioni Generali decides thanks to the law enforced in 1928 to encourage
to invest in agriculture: the first acqui- reclamation of marshes and agricultural lands
in general. The Company thus further pursues
investments in agriculture by purchasing farms
in Emilia and in Tuscany, including the 2,300-
hectare Portonovo farm.
The land reform. Following the land reform, Ge-
nerali’s agricultural estate – which was enlarged
after the war with acquisitions in the country-
side around Rome and in Emilia – is halved: an
entire 1,700-hectare farm is expropriated, while
a further 2,000 hectares are handed over to
the “Fund for the establishment of small agri-
cultural properties” and to individual farmers.
Further investments are carried out in the Six-
sition is a 1,770-hectare plot in a marshy area ties, mainly to restructure and consolidate ex-
of the Veneto region. Following a massive land isting property and to enhance specialisation.
reclamation drive – culminating in 1879 with Generali launches a “protein plan” to develop
the installation of huge water pumping plants – the zootechnical sector and intensifies farm
Generali establishes the Ca’ Corniani farm. processing initiatives.
The farming strategy
Establishment of Genagricola. The need to op-
timise the management of such a wide range of
agricultural activities leads to the establishment
of a specialist company: Genagricola. The new
company begins operations with the acquisi-
tion of Poggiobello farm in eastern Friuli and
the San Martino farm in Lazio. Five other
farms were acquired between 1976
and 1978, giving a total area of
The concentration of ac-
tivities. In 1980, shareholders
approve the decision to transfer enters the rice farming and foresta-
all the Parent Company’s farmlands tion sectors, with the acquisition of two
to Genagricola, whose share capital is in- woods in the Carnia region and a rice farm
creased from 15 to 90 and, subsequently, to 123 near Pavia. In 1992, Generali takes over the
billion Liras. In the Eighties, Genagricola widens Sant’Anna estate, a producer of fine wines in the
the range of its activities by acquiring not only Veneto region. Some years later, Genagricola will
new property but also firms specialising in the transfer its headquarters to Sant’Anna.
production and sale of seeds, fungicides, insecti-
cides and powder serums.
New horizons. Genagricola expands to Roma-
1992 nia with the acquisition of 3,000 hectares of
Diversification and specialisation. With a view grain fields and 300 hectares of vineyards, in the
to further diversifying activities, Genagricola Timisoara region.
Genagricola chairman Giuseppe
Perissinotto points out the
area in Romania, where the
fields acquired in 2004 are
Towards new horizons
I n December 1981, Generali turned 150. The recorded another upsurge early in the Eighties,
event was solemnly celebrated in June of the fol- hitting an all-time high in Italy of 21.1%. To make
lowing year at the AGM for the approval of the matters worse, tight mon-
150 report. On that occasion, the meeting took etary policies adopted by
place at the Verdi theatre, Trieste’s opera-house. central banks in the main
After one and a half centuries, Generali’s posi- industrialised countries
tion was as strong as ever. It was leader in the – above all the US – seriously
domestic market, controlled a Group compris- slowed down the economy,
ing 35 insurance and 67 real estate and financial triggering a recessive climate
companies and was among the biggest players and growing unemployment.
in Europe. Generali’s accounts recorded an un- Insurers, too, had to face a
broken spell of good results, while its assets were string of problems: in the life
extremely solid. The Generali share was the blue sector, new business had prac-
chip in the Italian stock exchange, also thanks to tically ground to a halt as a
a 46.5% appreciation in 1981.
The overall economic picture, however,
was not a very favourable one: infla-
tion, which had exploded
in the mid-Seventies,
A century and a half. The pictures highlight moments of the
celebrations marking the Company’s 150th anniversary, which
were held in Trieste in 1982. From top to bottom: the special post-
age stamp issued for the occasion; the commemorative postcard
depicting the storm that struck Trieste on December 26, 1831, the
day when the Company was founded; the medal etched by Emilio
Greco and minted for the occasion; the San Giusto castle decorat-
ed with the Generali trademark for the gala evening; the AGM held
at the Verdi theatre.
Towards new horizons
Antarctic mission. In 1988, Generali in-
sured the Italian expedition to the Antarc-
tic. The initiative confirmed Generali’s com-
mitment to scientific research, which had
started sixty years earlier with the Nobile
polar mission in 1928.
1982 - Generali’s 150th anniversary is solemnly
celebrated with a series of official events.
1984 - “Generali: an open book” is the first
advertising campaign launched on the mass
1986 - Generali, in co-operation with Taisho,
opens its first branch in Japan.
in the course 1988 - Generali obtains the San Giusto d’oro, a
prize awarded to persons or organisations that
consequence of the enormous gap between the of the decade,
honour the name of Trieste in the world.
“technical rates” awarded to policyholders and individual life 1989 - The new Mogliano Head Office becomes
the current interest rates on savings. In non-life premium income
Following the establishment of AB-Generali
business, inflation bloated claims and premium grew at an aver-
Budapest, Generali is the first insurer to start
income was affected by the competitive pres- age annual rate a joint venture in an eastern European coun-
try that is still under a communist regime.
sure arising from the so-called cash-flow under- of 28%. Moreo-
Generali obtains the
writing: a practice aimed at achieving maximum ver, in 1982 Generali de- Premio Torta, a prize for the
restoration of the Squero
cash flow, even at the cost of charging non- signed the first policy in
Vecio in Venice, an old ship-
technical premium rates, ECUs (European Currency yard depicted in a painting
by Canaletto and currently
so as to take advantage Units) and the following
the headquarters of Gene-
of the high interest rates year it established Gener- rali’s nautical club.
1990 - The Registered Office
applied in the financial Comit mutual funds, in
is brought back to Trieste.
market. Thanks to its vast collaboration with Banca
international experience, Commerciale Italiana. In non-life business, the
Generali radically reno- Company further pursued its strategy aimed at
vated its life business in curbing the claims-to-premiums ratio – which
Italy by launching GESAV, continued to be a source of underwriting losses –
a highly innovative policy and at designing innovative products to encour-
ensuring excellent profit- age new business.
sharing. The success of Though absorbed in dealing with current prob-
the new policy was lems, Generali did not neglect to look ahead and
spectacular: to create the base for future development, espe-
Restorations. As part of the long-running initiative
aimed at safeguarding its real estate property, Genera-
li restored the historic San Marco café in Trieste, which
had been the favourite haunt of Italian patriots during
the Great War.
Italy’s ambassadors. In 1988 Generali’s gondolas
– caretakers of an ancient tradition – took part, as Italy’s
official representatives, in the opening ceremony of the
first New York International Art Festival.
cially in the Italian market. As early
as 1981, the Company had finalised
the acquisition in Mogliano Veneto
– between Venice and Treviso – of
a vast plot of land for the construction of more
modern headquarters, best suited for meeting
future challenges. Half-way through the decade,
Generali launched a vast technological upgrad-
ing project, with the installation in its offices of
thousands of computerised working stations
and the creation of a network linking all its
The Head Office for Italian
operations. Opened in 1989, the agencies. On the other hand, Generali’s expan-
new Mogliano Veneto complex
sion policy abroad in the early Eighties remained
– on the mainland near Venice –
houses the departments super-
very cautious and only highly selective acquisi-
vising operations in Italy, a task
originally managed separately tions were carried out.
by the Milan and Veneto Head
However, the international scenario was rapidly
Offices. The futuristic complex,
which spreads over an area of 34
changing: in the wake of the US, world economy
hectares and includes 55,000 sqm
of office space, is the venue of the was gradually moving out of recession, accom-
new IT unit, the Group School, the
panied by the good performance of internation-
underwriting, administrative and
marketing departments, as well al stock markets. Inflation, too, was beginning to
as the centralised archives and
slow down, following the stabilisation of raw ma-
terial prices. However, it was on the political side
that the signs of the changing times were more
evident. The rise to power in the Soviet Union of
Towards new horizons
World Cup glory. In 1982, the
Italian football team, coached
by Enzo Bearzot, won the World
Cup in Spain: it was Italy’s third
1981 - The first flight of the Space Shuttle pro-
title. On the right, the commem-
gram blasts off from Cape Canaveral.
1982 - Philips and Sony launch the compact
disc on the Japanese market.
Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985
1983 - The marketing of Swatch watches
and the implementation of starts.
1986 - During the 27th Congress of the Com-
the perestroika – a sweeping
munist Party of the Soviet Union in Moscow,
reform policy – triggered an Mikhail Gorbachev announces the beginning
unstoppable process culmi-
Reactor unit 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear
nating in two great symbolic
power station in Ukraine explodes, causing a
events: the fall of the Berlin major nuclear disaster.
Reinhold Messner is the first man in the world to
wall and the Tienanmen up-
climb all fourteen peaks in the Himalaya exceed-
rising in Beijing, both in 1989. ing a height of 8,000 metres.
These were the first warning 1987 - Intifada, the Palestinian uprising against
Israeli occupation, starts.
signs of a process that – over
1989 - The American
the following decade – would tanker Exxon Valdez
spills 35,000 tons of oil
lead to globalisation, in which economic, po- Europe, from which
in the sea in Alaska.
litical and social events would have a planetary it had been expelled
1990 - Iraqi troops
impact, thanks also to the new information over forty years ear- invade Kuwait.
technology, capable of cancelling both time and lier. That was just the
space distances. first step towards new challenges. Facing a glo-
Generali’s actions were in line with the chang- bal market requires adequate size, a widespread
ing times, and the Company was in a position international presence, ability to achieve syner-
to seize opportunities and rise to challenges as gies as well as expertise and advanced technolo-
they emerged. A clear indication that times were gy. These facts were well known in the corporate
indeed changing was the decision to purchase world, which had often been characterised by
a significant stake in a Hungarian company: the
operation marked Generali’s return to eastern
The wall comes down. In November 1989, the wall
that had divided Berliners for thirty years came
crashing down as the citizens of the East took to the
streets. The fall of the symbol that stood for the di-
Tienanmen Square, Beijing. On April 17, 1989, thou-
vision between two opposing visions of the world
sands of Chinese students demanded democratic re-
heralded the advent of globalisation – a new era in
forms by occupying the capital’s largest square. The dem-
which events and ideas have planetary implications
onstration was crushed by the army in June, bringing the
movement to an abrupt and bloody end.
Growth of average life expectancy
in Italy from 1890 to 1990
Life expectation increases. One of
the most visible consequences of in-
creased wealth in the last centu-
ry has been longer life expectan-
cy. In the last decades of the mil-
lennium, longer life has seriously
affected the stability of state pen-
sion systems and boosted demand
for additional insurance-oriented
private pension schemes.
ing a common corporate identity.
At the same time, the Company
was taking steps to strengthen its
international presence with the ac-
disorder- quisition of new companies and the
ly merger and opening of branches in numerous
acquisition campaigns. Against markets such as Japan, Switzerland,
this highly competitive background, Generali Belgium, Germany, Great Britain and
was successful in finalising its projects: in 1989, it the United States. The largest operation, howev-
inaugurated the first section of the Head Office er, was the take-over bid for Compagnie du Midi
for Italian Operations in Mogliano Veneto, near in France launched in late 1987. Though the bid
Venice, which housed the new IT centre – the was unsuccessful, the operation marked a turn-
technological heart of the Company – and the ing point in Generali’s international expansion
Group School for the professional training and strategy, paving the way for the important acqui-
upgrading of its employees, with a view to forg- sitions of the Nineties.
Generali in space. As evidence of the Company’s
Back to the East. In 1989, Generali became the first insurer from the West
leading role in the complex space insurance sector,
to initiate a joint venture in an eastern European country that still had a
the Generali trademark was reproduced on a launch-
communist government. Above: chairman Enrico Randone, Generali CEO
er that orbited the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz from the
in Austria Dietrich Karner and the head of the Hungarian state insurer Alla-
Bajkonur space centre.
mi Biztositó join hands to mark the setting up of AB-Generali Budapest.
Towards new horizons
The Company’s share capital growth
Generali is founded with a share capital of 2 million
Florins, divided in 2,000 shares of 1,000 Florins each.
Generali shares are listed for the first time
on the Trieste Stock Exchange (right).
The company capital is
converted into Crowns.
Generali becomes Italian. Its share capital,
now expressed in Liras, amounts
to 13.2 million.
On the eve of World War II,
following two rights issues and a split
operation, the capital rises to 120 million Liras; the face
value of each share is 200 Liras.
Following the postwar monetary devaluation, the company capital is increased
initially from 1.2 billion and successively to 4 billion Liras through three operations.
Starting 1951, seven bonus issue operations bring up company capital to 16 billion Liras.
With three operations, including rights and bonus issues, the company capital
increases to 41.1 billion Liras.
In ten years, eight bonus issue operations raise the company capital to 420 billion Liras.
In order to finance the large expansion of the Nineties, the company capital
is brought up to
2,506 billion Liras.
The company capital is
converted into Euros.
On July 21, 2008, Assicurazioni Generali’s share capital
amounts to 1,410,029,542 Euros.
The Company’s share capital growth 75
A leading player in the global market
T he drive towards globalisation was growing. ingly complex demands and thus to lure them
Barriers were falling not only in geopolitics but away from competitors. In this context, insur-
also on a business level. As competitive pressure ance was gradually expanding into the area of
increased, many operators were setting their financial services, on which a growing number
sights away from their traditional core activi- of savers were relying for their changing needs.
ties, making inroads into related business. The Among these, was the demand for additional
aim was to provide clients with an ever wider pension coverage that had been stimulated
range of services, in order to meet their increas- by the crisis of state funded pension systems.
In Italy, this situation boosted the life insurance
sector, which passed from 25% to 60% of over-
all premium income in just a decade. Quite nat-
urally, the boom attracted a significant number
of big banking and financial groups.
As an answer to these changes, which were
taking place in all major markets, Generali re-
sponded by signing business co-operation
agreements with prominent banking groups
and by designing innovative life products (in-
The European Union. On February 7, 1992, the ministers
of the twelve countries that made up the EEC signed the
Maastricht treaty, defining the process for the establish-
ment of the European Union.
Generali without frontiers. In 1990, the Company‘s
growing international presence was highlighted by the
launch of an innovative advertising campaign in the
main countries of operation that hinged around the catch
phrase “Generali: the insurer without frontiers”. Generali’s
example – it was the first insurance group to present itself
with a unique message worldwide and a strong corporate
identity – would soon be imitated by competitors.
A leading player in the global market
Italy’s first astronaut. Au-
gust 1992: Franco Malerba, on
his return from the space mis-
sion aboard the Atlantis shut-
tle, embraces his son Michele. It-
aly’s first ever astronaut, Maler-
ba subscribed an insurance pol-
icy with Generali: a further evi-
1991 - Eugenio Coppola di Canzano is appointed
dence of the Company’s involve-
chairman, succeeding Enrico Randone who is
ment with the space business.
acclaimed honorary chairman at the sharehold-
1993 - Generali is back in Romania.
1994 - Genertel is established: the Generali
Group is the first in Italy to launch a tel-
ephone selling insurance company.
1995 - Antoine Bernheim is appointed
1997 - Generali acquires the Migdal group,
Israel’s largest insurer.
Following an agreement with Allianz and AGF,
Generali takes over the German group AMB and
three French companies, thereby signifi-
cantly increasing its market share in the
Cigar, a thoroughbred horse winner
of 19 races, including the prestigious
dex- and unit-linked policies) with a high finan-
Breeders’ Cup, becomes Generali’s
cial performance. The Company’s most signifi-
property following the payment of 25
million US Dollars as a compensation
cant strategic move, however, was the decision
for infertility damages.
to widen its sphere of interests outside the
exclusive field of insurance, transforming itself
into a global provider of financial services to
savers. Generali’s repositioning in the market
started in the mid-Nineties, with the acquisi-
La Fenice. For the second time in 160 years, Ge-
tion of Prime – a prominent mutual fund man- nerali paid for the damages caused by fire at the
famous La Fenice theatre in Venice: the first time
in 1836 and the second in January 1996.
ager – and subsequently of BSI - Banca della
Svizzera Italiana, a private bank based in Luga-
no, Switzerland. Moreover, Banca Generali was
established in 1998 with the task of providing
Generali Group clients with competitive and
innovative banking services and drawing on a
This initiative was further proof of Generali’s
focus on technology, already witnessed by the
establishment in 1994 of Genertel, Italy’s first
telephone selling insurer and top direct opera-
tor. Generali was just as quick in perceiving
the importance of the Internet: again, it was
among the first insurance companies to cre-
ate a website. The Internet, however, is not fered by e-commerce, at the
only a window for products or an informa- end of the decade Generali
tion tool: to enhance the possibilities of- launched a twofold project
designed to transform Gener-
tel into a portal for the online
Innovation. Thanks to the rapid development of IT
in the second half of the Nineties, the Generali Group
sale of insurance and financial
launched an extensive programme to boost the sale
products, and to enhance the services
of insurance and banking products as well as finan-
cial services by telephone and over the Internet.
offered by Banca Generali.
This innovation process was accom-
panied by a clear-cut strategy of ex-
pansion abroad. The deregulation of
markets offered new medium-term
growth prospects and provided welcome
openings, offsetting the market saturation lev-
els recorded in industrialised countries. Gene-
rali seized the opportunity by reconstructing its
business base in eastern Europe. Following its
comeback in Hungary (1989), new companies
were gradually set up in Romania (where the
100th anniversary of the foundation of Genera-
li’s first subsidiary was celebrated in 1997), the
A leading player in the global market
1991 - The declarations of independence by
Slovenia and Croatia bring about the begin-
ning of war in Yugoslavia.
After the failed coup against Gorbachev, the
Soviet Union, under the pressure of president
In space. The first module
Boris Yeltsin, is dissolved.
of the International Space
Station – a joint project in- 1993 - With the Velvet revolution, Czechoslova-
volving 16 countries – was kia splits into the Czech and Slovak Republics.
launched in 1998.
With the release of the first browser (Mosaic),
Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Internet comes of age.
1994 - Nelson Mandela (Nobel peace
Slovenia and Poland. Gene-
prize in 1993) is South Africa’s first
rali also focused its attention on the Far East, starting black president.
with China. By setting up a representative office in The tunnel under the English Chan-
nel is opened.
Beijing in 1996, Generali met the first requirement in
1997 - Hong Kong reverts to Chi-
the process leading to full operating license, which nese rule.
it obtained four years later. At the same time, signifi- British author J.K. Rowling publishes Harry
Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
cant partnerships were signed with local companies
1999 - After the crisis in Kosovo, NATO troops
in the area. One of these led to the setting up of two bomb Serbia.
insurance companies in the Philippines. 2000 - Pope John Paul II opens the Great Jubi-
lee to mark the 2000th anniversary
The establishment of new bases in emerging
of the advent of Christ.
After 21 years, Ferrari wins the
Formula One World Champion-
ship with Michael Schumacher.
The last wars of the 20th century. The Nineties were
characterised by serious international tension and by
the explosion of numerous conflicts. In the photos: oil
fields aflame in Kuwait during the Gulf war (1991) and
international troops on patrol duties in the Balkans.
The new bases in the East. Following its
comeback in Hungary in 1989, Generali suc-
cessfully recreated its network in eastern Eu-
rope. In the photo, the Generali Pojišt’ovna
headquarters in Prague.
countries, however, was but one of Generali’s
guidelines: as a matter of fact, the Company’s size alone was not enough to ensure true com-
acquisition policy in selected markets aimed petitiveness. It was necessary to integrate the
at enhancing the Group’s position among in- numerous entities that made up the Group, to
dustry top players. A number of operations enhance business focus, streamline operations
over the second half of the decade led to the and generate synergies. It was with this in mind
transformation of the Group’s structure: with that Generali launched a major organisational
the acquisition of AMB, Generali became one restructuring programme in major countries of
of Germany’s top three insurance groups and operation, starting with France, Austria, Ger-
also raised its ranking in France. The success- many and Switzerland. In Italy, a wide-ranging
ful takeover bid for INA not only consolidated business integration plan between Generali
Generali’s position as top insurer in the Italian and INA was launched. The project involved the
market, but turned it into Europe’s largest life unification of the two companies’ insurance
insurance provider. In this period, Generali also activities into two poles – life and non-life –
became market leader in Israel and Argentina and closer co-ordination of the sales networks,
with the acquisitions of Migdal and Caja. dealing with the Group’s entire range of insur-
Though the operations carried out over the ance, banking and financial products. The vast
decade allowed Generali to increase its consoli- reorganisation, which led to the merger of
dated premium income by six times and to rank companies, the sale of non-strategic entities
third in Europe’s insurance industry, growth in and the re-allocation of insurance portfolios
The insurance policies of Holocaust victims. Thou-
sands of requests from the heirs of Holocaust victims who
had subscribed life insurance policies were received by in-
surance companies that operated in central and eastern
Europe at the time. Though Generali had no legal obliga-
tions – its entire activity in those countries having been
nationalised immediately after the end of World War II –
it allocated 100 million US Dollars following the decision
of an international commission set up to solve the pain-
ful controversy, thus showing great understanding for the
suffering of the victims. In the photo: a Company delega-
tion, headed by Gianfranco Gutty, visited in 1997 the Yad
Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. On that occa-
sion, the delegation handed a complete list of all Genera-
li policyholders in the period between the two wars to mu-
seum authorities, providing historians with a precious tool
in their effort to reconstruct the victims’ lives.
A leading player in the global market
Generali in China. Following a series of talks with Chinese au-
thorities – in the photo, the meeting in Beijing between Prime Min-
ister Zhu Rongji and managing director Fabio Cerchiai – in June
2000 Generali was given the green light to operate in the country.
1998 - Generali acquires BSI - Banca della Svizzera
Italiana, while Banca Generali, whose activity is
based on innovative telecommunication technol-
ogy, begins operations.
The Generali Global project becomes
operative: a network of regional co-
ordination and marketing units
(located in Europe, America and
Asia) providing services to the
Group’s multi-national clients.
1999 - Following the acquisition of a control-
ling stake in Caja de Ahorro y Seguro, the Group
becomes market leader in Argentina.
Generali signs an agreement with Commerz-
bank, which becomes the Group’s main banking
partner in Germany.
Alfonso Desiata is appointed chairman.
2000 - In February, Generali ‘s takeover bid for INA
(launched in September 1999) is finally accepted.
Following the acquisition, Italy is once again
Generali’s main market of operations.
and functions, was accompanied by a stronger
focus on corporate identity, with an extensive
use of the Generali name among Group com-
panies to replace old names. Over the decade,
this process involved over thirty insurance
subsidiaries as well as numerous holding and
The INA acquisition. With the acquisition of INA,
Generali not only strengthened its leading role in
Italy, but also emerged as Europe’s top life insurer.
The operation was the launching pad for a major
restructuring of Group operations in Italy: the new
business model was based on the co-existence of
a number of operative units having autonomous
trademarks and business policies but sharing com-
mon service centres.
Private banking. With the acquisition of BSI - Banca
della Svizzera Italiana in 1998, the Generali Group
strengthened its position in the asset management
sector and confirmed its role as a global operator in
the insurance and financial services.
Community and environment
O ver the years, the Group has undertaken a
plentiful array of initiatives in favour of the
local communities in which it operates. Its
initiatives support scientific and medical re-
search, cultural, artistic and sporting events
Generali USA Life Re sup-
ports the American organ-
and training projects. Other efforts are aimed
isation United Way, that
takes care of over 600 poor to help the suffering, to foster education and
children, helping them devel-
training programmes, to raise social aware-
op to their fullest potential in
a safe, loving and education- ness and to protect the environment. Par-
ticular attention is paid to children and the
youth, the future of our society. Hereafter
are some of the activities supported by the
Group in social and environmental matters.
Supporting the poor. Generali do Brasil supports the poor children of
Casa do Menor São Miguel Arcanjo, an organisation that operates in the
communities of Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza, rescuing children from the
street and teenagers at risk, promoting social and professional education. The Children’s Festivals. CEO Giovanni Perissinotto hands out
the charity funds raised by Generali employees on the occasion of
the Children’s Festival to three welfare foundations selected by the
Klinik-clowns. In Austria and Slovenia, the Group sponsored
the volunteering foundations of clown doctors who visit, enter-
Educational help to bedridden students. The Israe-
tain and cheer up sick children in hospitals.
li company Migdal sponsors the Tlalim project, offer-
ing free learning support to pupils that are absent from
school due to illness or accident.
Community and environment
Sichuan earthquake. Fol-
lowing the disastrous Sichuan
earthquake in 2008, Gene-
rali China promptly organ-
ised charity initiatives as well
as individual donations from
members of staff nationwide,
contributing € 130,000.
The Group in France fosters a
number of initiatives aimed at
developing social awareness
of environmental matters, al-
so thanks to testimonials like
Zinédine Zidane and other
Apples and lemons to drivers. On the oc-
casion of the annual road safety educational
campaign sponsored by the Group in Hunga-
ry and in the Slovak Republic, children award
Green Power Hike. Since 2002, Generali Hong Kong Branch has successfully
good drivers with an apple and punish reck-
taken part in the Green Power Hike, the race along the Hong Kong Trail, aimed
less rule-breakers with a lemon.
at raising donations to support green education in local schools.
SOS turtles. In Italy, Europ Assistance ad-
The “SuperC” Project. The building of a new students’ service cen-
hered to “Tartanet”, the initiative to safe-
tre at RWTH Aachen University – called “SuperC”, as it looks like a gi-
guard the loggerhead sea turtle (also known
ant “C” – was partially financed by AMB Generali through the funds
as Caretta Caretta): a 24 hour toll-free number
allocated since 1825 for scientific and social projects.
has been activated to report sightings of
stranded or injured turtles.
Scenarios for the third millennium
A t this point, history merges with current affairs. “product factories” and sales networks, sup-
At the beginning of the third millennium and ported by common back-office units supplying
following its expansion in key markets at the administration, IT, claim settlement and asset
end of the Nineties, Generali is now in the proc- management services, all within the framework
ess of reorganising its Group structure with a of a unitary strategy and control.
view to improving efficiency. The initiatives un- As to business strategy, Generali’s underwrit-
der way are aimed at creating an organisational ing policy focuses on the development of the
model hinging on a number of market-oriented life branch – which accounts for over 70% of the
Group’s overall turnover – and of the retail side
of the non-life sector. This policy – which is ac-
companied, in the corporate sector, by selec-
tive underwriting in specific segments, name-
ly multi-national risks and employee benefits –
goes hand in hand with an increased involve-
ment in the area of financial services, where the
Group aims to provide comprehensive respons-
es to the needs of savers. This process of inte-
gration also includes distribution, where both
With a view to enhancing the over-
all efficiency of the Group, Generali
has provided its operative units – “prod-
uct factories” and sales networks – with a
number of common service structures in the
areas of administration, IT, real estate, asset
management and claim settlement.
Scenarios for the third millennium
2001 - Wikipedia, the biggest multi-lingual free-
content online encyclopaedia is launched by
the traditional sales network – based on agents – hoped for a period of
Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger.
and innovative channels – based on telecommu- relentless growth and
The film The Fellowship of the Ring, based on the
nications technology – are in a position to deliv- easy profits. At the trilogy The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, is
er the entire range of Generali Group services. same time, the process
2002 - The single currency is
The new millennium has brought about a se- leading to the closer introduced in 12 countries of
the European Union.
ries of challenges, possibly the toughest in Ge- integration of econo-
2003 - The USA accuses Saddam
nerali’s long history. At world level, the gener- mies, cultures and soci-
Hussein’s government of possess-
al downturn and the fall of the stock markets eties has triggered ten- ing weapons of mass destruction and attacks
have swept away the illusions of those who had sions and protests both
2004 - Ten new countries enter the European
inside and outside in- Union: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia,
Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic,
Slovenia and Hungary.
In a society already un-
The tsunami that strikes the Indian Ocean area on
December 26 causes over 200,000 dead and bil-
settled by doubts and
lions in damage.
fears, the attacks on
2006 - After the “mad cow” disease in 2001, a new
America of Septem- collective psychosis is caused by the “bird flu”.
ber 11, 2001, have pro-
The challenges of the new millennium.
The process leading to the integration of dif-
ferent economies, cultures and societies is prov-
ing extremely difficult. In this background of un-
certainty, the terrorist attacks of September 11,
2001, and the following attack on the interna-
tional coalition in Afghanistan provoked an
2001 - Gianfranco Gutty is appointed chairman.
Genertel, already a successful online insurance
company, wins the Customer Satisfaction Award
for the quality of its service.
2002 - Antoine Bernheim is appointed chairman.
voked an ever deeper sense of anguish and un-
2003 - Generali launches the first three-year stra-
tegic plan in the Group’s history. With the
Economic and geopolitical instability has had in- establishment of Generali Bank in
Austria, Internet banking further
evitable repercussions on the insurance system,
which is facing exceptional challenges, includ- 2004 - With the CityLife project,
Generali Properties is awarded
ing new risk exposure on a global scale, the in-
an international tender for the
creasing importance of company size, the de- urban redevelopment of the
Milan fair district.
lay of pension reforms, the restrictions set by
Genagricola expands to Romania
the law and technological innovation. The ac-
with the acquisition of 3,000 hectares of
tion taken so far by the Generali Group are part grain fields and 300 hectares of vineyards.
2005 - Three gondolas of the Generali Nautical
of a strategy aimed at achieving growth, under-
Club are welcomed on lake Chaoyang near Bei-
writing balance, profitability and asset strength- jing as Italy’s cultural envoy with the support of
Generali China. Over 2,000 people take a ride.
ening, through the diversification of both the in-
surance and investment portfolios by sector and
geographical area. These guidelines have identi-
fied Generali’s business tradition right from the
outset, reflecting continuity in strategy, albeit in
different contexts and eras. This very consisten-
cy is also mirrored by the men that have been at
the helm of the Group and who, today as yester-
day, can boast a deep-rooted corporate and pro-
The strategic plan. In January 2003, Generali’s top
management launches the first three-year strate-
gic plan in the Group’s history, whose targets will
be fully achieved. In March 2006, the new plan is
introduced for the three-year period 2006-2008.
Scenarios for the third millennium
Strengthening presence in foreign countries
The Generali Group is the third insurance group in Eu- Alongside specific operations in western Europe, in re- tion, high saving rates, significant growth and prof-
rope, with a total premium income of over 66 billion cent years increasing attention has been paid to those itability perspectives. This has allowed the Generali
Euros in 2007. It has operations in 40 countries, with areas – such as eastern Europe, China and other Asian Group’s business abroad to reach 70% of total premi-
67,300 employees and 54 million clients worldwide. countries – characterised by low insurance penetra- um income (life and non-life), up 10% on 2003.
The Group maintains its focus on west-
ern European core markets through spe-
cific strategic operations aimed at con-
solidating its leading position in these
markets, developing financial pro-
grammes and enhancing opera-
tions effectiveness and efficiency.
As far as effectiveness is concerned,
important transnational projects
have been launched following both
a traditional country-based ap-
proach and a distributive channel
approach. As to efficiency, restructur-
ing projects have been carried out in key are-
as, primarily in France – with the merging of ten
companies into only two entities (life and non-life)
– and Germany – with the merging of two companies
characterised by a traditional distribution network and
the search for economies of scale in back-office structures.
High honours from
France. Chairman An-
toine Bernheim is the
first corporate man to
receive the Grand Croix
de la Légion d’Honneur
by French president
AMB Generali. The Ger-
man holding compa-
ny presents its financial
In January 2003, Generali’s top manage-
ment – chairman Antoine Bernheim and
managing directors Sergio Balbinot and
Giovanni Perissinotto – presented the first
strategic plan in the Group’s history for the
three-year period 2003-2005. The plan’s tar-
gets were fully achieved both in terms of in-
creased business volume and
results. Over three years, total
premiums increased by 28%,
consolidated net profit by 67%,
embedded value by 13.8% and
overall return on embedded
value by 10.2% up to 11.9%.
Generali shares rose from 17.53
Euros in 2003 to 29.49 Euros at
the end of 2005 (+69%), report-
Angels. Generali’s agents are pictured in everyday situations but “casually”
close to the brand so that the lion’s wing is on their back: this is the creative
idea for the Angels press and TV campaign, launched internationally. The
commercial is awarded the 2004 Media Key Award.
Savana. The TV campaign Savana – first
broadcast in Italy in April 2007 – is so suc-
cessful that other Group companies start to
use it for their campaigns. In particular, the
Dutch version of Savana is selected by the
public and eventually ranks second among
the most popular commercials broadcast
in the Netherlands in February 2008.
Scenarios for the third millennium
Central and eastern Europe
After the fall of the Berlin wall, the Generali Group was the first west-
ern insurance group to enter those markets where all company as-
sets had been lost following World War II and the communist re-
gime. Since its entry into Hungary, the Group has extended its pres-
ence to 10 countries, with approximately 4 million clients in 2006.
With a view to further developing business in one of the most at-
tractive areas for the insurance sector, in 2007 a joint venture con-
tract was signed for the establishment of Generali PPF Holding.
The joint venture held by the Generali Group (51%) and PPF group
(49%) began operations in 2008 with a portfolio of over 9 million
clients in 12 markets, namely Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic,
Hungary, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, the Slovak
Republic, Slovenia and Ukraine.
10 years. In 2003, Group com- New agreements. The agreements
panies in Romania and the for the establishment of Generali PPF
Czech Republic celebrate their Holding (2007, first photo above) and
10th anniversary. the entry into Bulgaria (2006, second
photo above) are signed.
Socio-environmental values. In 2004 Generali publishes the Group’s Ethical Code,
identifying the principles that inspire the business conduct of people operating within
the Group. Other documents implemented afterwards are the Sustainability Report
– outlining the Generali’s socio-environmental initiatives – and the European Social
Charter, defining the Group’s reference values with regard to the protection of human
ing an increase of over 15 points compared to
with regard to the protection of human resources.
MIB 30 (+53.6%).
The Group’s steady commitment to pursuing a
In May 2004, acknowledging the strong link
sustainable economic, social and environmental
existing between economic growth and socio-
growth is of particular importance, as the gener-
environmental values, Generali drew up and ap-
al public is gaining greater awareness of the im-
proved the Group’s Ethical Code, identifying
pact of pollution on climate and of its connec-
the principles that inspire the business conduct
tion to natural disasters such as the devastating
of people operating within the Group. Along-
tsunami that struck Southeast Asia in December
side the Ethical Code, other important docu-
2004. On that occasion, Europ Assistance made
ments were published in 2004. In particular the
a significant contribution to the international re-
Sustainability Report encourages dialogue with
lief effort, while Generali and Group employees
shareholders and provides an overview of the
gave their support to reconstruction.
Group’s socio-environmental initiatives and tar-
With regard to international expansion, in the
gets, whereas the European Social Charter defines
first years of the third millennium the Group fo-
the Group’s guid-
cused its attention on the emerging markets of
ing principles and
eastern Europe and Asia.
After the tsunami. Europ
Assistance mobilises its
vast international network
to deal with the devasta-
tion of the tsunami that
strikes Southeast Asia in
2004, while Generali and
Group employees make
their contribution to re-
Scenarios for the third millennium
In China, the Generali Group has been active in the life
market since 2002 with Generali China Life – with a
sales network of more than 6,500 agents – and in the
P&C market since 2007 with Generali China. Genera-
li’s local partner is the highly regarded China Nation-
al Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), a leading play-
er in the hydrocarbons industry with 1,200,000 em-
ployees. In 2005, Generali China Life wrote a single-
premium group policy – for approximately 2 billion
Euros – covering 390,000 CNPC retirees. In 2007, As-
sicurazioni Generali was granted a licence by India’s
regulatory authority to operate in the life and non-
life insurance sector in India through Future Genera-
li India Life and Future Generali India. The two com-
panies, headquartered in Mumbai, were established
through Generali’s joint venture with Future Group
India, the country’s leading retailer.
Ribbon cutting ceremony.
The inauguration of the
Beijing branch attended by
Generali CEO Sergio Balbi-
Advertising. Some exam-
ples of advertising initiatives
launched by Future Generali
India and Generali China to
promote their image.
Recognitions for excellence. Generali Group compa-
nies worldwide received a large number of recognitions
for their excellent performance. In the above pictures:
Vitalicio Seguros in Spain wins the 2004-2005 Dinero
prize as the best insurance company, while Generali Inter-
national’s Vision policy receives the prestigious Portfolio
International Award for Best Regular Premium Product.
In central and eastern Europe, the Group further placed not only on emerging markets but also
consolidated its position and strengthened its on the new distribution channels through its
expansion strategy started in 1989. At the end leadership in Italy, Germany and France in the
of 2006, Generali was present in ten central and sale of insurance products by the telephone
eastern European countries, having entered Ser- and over the Internet.
bia, Bulgaria and Ukraine and consolidated its As far as Italy is concerned, with the acquisition of
presence in Croatia. In 2007, the Group further Toro Assicurazioni in 2006 Generali consolidated
broadened its horizons by signing an agreement its leadership in the life sector and became leader
with PPF to establish a joint venture in central in the non-life business, too. In the same year Ban-
and eastern Europe. ca Generali – that had turned from an online to a
As far as the Far East is concerned, only three multi-channel bank, thus integrating the financial
years after its entry into China Generali became advisers’ networks already owned by the Genera-
one of the country’s leading insurance groups li Group – was listed on the Milan Stock Exchange.
As on the occasion of its 100th and 150th anniversa-
in the life sector. After the opening of the first
ries, Generali celebrated its 175th year in a flourish-
Branch in Guangzhou, Generali China expand-
ing condition. The 2006 results exceeded the tar-
ed to other towns – including Beijing, Foshan
and Shanghai – and developed a sales network
of some thousand employees. At the beginning
of 2006, the Group was authorised to operate in
the non-life sector, too. The Group’s focus was
World champions. In 2006,
the Italian football team,
sponsored by Generali, de-
feats France in a penal-
ty shootout and wins the
World Cup in Germany: it is
Italy’s fourth title.
Scenarios for the third millennium
2005 - At the end of the first three-year strategic
plan, all targets and significant
value creation are achieved.
The Generali Group Innovation
Academy is established to identify
corporate reference values and to
consolidate the Group’s identity.
2006 - Banca Generali is listed on the Milan
Toro enters the Generali Group. Through the ac- Stock Exchange.
quisition of Toro Assicurazioni in 2006, Generali con-
Generali Investments, the Group’s new Euro-
solidates its leadership in the life sector and becomes
pean asset management company, is estab-
leader in non life business, too.
2007 - The whole Italian sales network gathers in
Trieste to celebrate Generali’s 175th anniversary.
An agreement is signed with PPF to establish
the leading joint venture in central and east-
gets set in the new strategic plan and
Generali’s financial statements were
the best in the Group’s history. For
the fourth year in a row, all targets
were achieved, thanks to premi-
um income growth and increasing
mark-up, also due to the Group’s cost
containment policy. This allowed the
management to distribute a record divi-
dend of nearly one billion Euros, up 39% on 2005.
No matter what lies ahead, Generali will continue
to play a leading role in the years to come, writing
other successful chapters in its history.
175th anniversary. At the begin-
ning of 2007 the Company or-
ganises the first special events to
mark this very important celebra-
tion: chairman Antoine Bernheim
meets Italian President Giorgio
Napolitano at the Quirinal Palace
in Rome and presents him with a commemorative medal; the Central Head
Office in Trieste, illuminated by an unusual beacon, hosts “The Roots of the
Present”, an exhibition of archaeological finds confirming the Group’s com-
mitment to culture; a concert is held at La Scala in Milan, attended by the
Company’s top management and local authorities.
Generali and the web
S ince its early days at the end of the Eighties, online communi-
cation has become more and more important both for private
people and for companies. E-mail messages, hyperlinks and
multi-media are now part of our daily lives and have radically
changed not only the way people interact, but also the
way journalists, clients and stakeholders relate to the
companies. From a marketing point of view, websites
are a powerful, easy-to-manage, inexpensive way to
promote the company’s image and products worldwide
and to communicate with the market and society.
Generali’s corporate website www.generali.com was
created in 1996 to provide an overview of company
results, press releases and official documents. In April
2004, following a thorough analysis of the market’s com-
munication requirements, the
Group launched its new website
The Group’s homepages.
– co-ordinated by the Corporate
Top to bottom:
Communication department – www.generali.com
in Italian and English, with a number of new sections and a more
modern graphic layout. At the same time, the first web guidelines
– for graphics and contents – were developed, with a view to har-
monising all Group websites worldwide, while guaranteeing trans-
parency and accuracy. Due to the continuous evolution of IT tech-
nologies and increasing users’ demands, the website must be constantly
improved and updated: to this end, access statistics are regularly monitored
and annual surveys are conducted by an international consulting company
evaluating the websites of Europe’s major companies. Besides the standard,
traditional sections – dedicated to financial analysts, economic journalists,
shareholders, clients and job opportunities – new items have recently been
added. These include a Sustainability section – including the interactive
Sustainability Report – and some publications, which have been updated to
more accessible formats, such as the interactive PDF versions of Il Bollettino
on line and Group News.
Generali and the web