"Our premium growth of around 9% in Switzerland and 5% for the Group as a whole in the first 10 months of the year shows that we have recaptured the confidence of our customers," explained Chief Executive Officer Rolf Dörig in his introduction to Investors' Day. He also pointed out that Swiss Life had managed to significantly lessen the interest rate sensitivity of its balance sheet by reducing the duration gap between assets and liabilities. This increases the company's risk capacity and enables Swiss Life to step up its investments in equities. In this connection the Swiss Life Group is expanding the range for equity investments in its asset allocation from 0% to 5% up to 0% to 7%. The net equity quota currently amounts to 4.1% (30 June 2004: 2.3%).
The presentations by Bruno Pfister, Chief Financial Officer, and Hans-Jürgen Wolter, Chief Risk Officer, focus on current priorities in risk management, the further development of the asset and liability management concept, and forthcoming changes to international accounting standards.
Country CEOs Jacques Richier (France), Manfred Behrens (Germany), Marco Keim (Netherlands) and Johan Bertrands (Belgium/Luxembourg) showed investors and financial analysts how they intend to use Swiss Life's good starting position to profit from the market growth anticipated in the years ahead. Swiss Life is aiming to establish itself as a leading provider of pensions and long-term savings in all its national markets, leading in both competence and quality. At the same time further improvements will be made to operational efficiency.
In France Swiss Life's access to a variety of distribution channels enables it to benefit above-the-average from the strong market growth, which is being driven by changes in the law and the strained situation of state pension schemes. Through its cooperation with CaixaBank as a distribution partner Swiss Life has strengthened its position in the important banks channel. In Germany Swiss Life is working on expanding its leading position in supplementary occupational benefits insurance and in occupational pensions. On the distribution side, Swiss Life intends to consolidate its outstanding position with brokers and strengthen its own sales network. In the Netherlands Swiss Life's focus on profitable sub-markets resulted in a pronounced increase in the value of new business. With the acquisition of the group business of Goudse Verzekeringen (premium volume of around EUR 300 m, of which the largest portion is in the form of a single premium), Swiss Life underscored its market position as one of the leading pension insurers. In Belgium Swiss Life is developing into a focused provider for above-average income individuals, the self-employed, small and medium-sized enterprises and multinationals. In Luxembourg Swiss Life is well positioned to profit from the dynamic growth in the cross-border business.
In every country Swiss Life is aiming for a growth rate 1% stronger than the market.
All presentations and additional information on Investors' Day are available from www.swisslife.com.
The Swiss Life Group is one of Europe's leading providers of life insurance and long-term savings and protection. The Swiss Life Group offers individuals and companies comprehensive advice across a broad range of products via agents, brokers and banks in its domestic market, Switzerland, where it is market leader, and selected European markets. Multinational companies are serviced with tailor-made solutions by a network of partners in over forty countries.
Swiss Life Holding, registered in Zurich, was founded in 1857 as the Swiss Life Insurance and Pension Company. Shares of Swiss Life Holding are listed on the SWX Swiss Exchange (SLHN). The enterprise employs around 10 000 people worldwide.
Cautionary statement regarding forward-looking information
This publication contains specific forward-looking statements, e.g. statements including terms like “believe”, “assume”, “expect” or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may result in a substantial divergence between the actual results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and those explicitly or implicitly presumed in these statements. Against the background of these uncertainties readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. The company assumes no responsibility to update forward-looking statements or to adapt them to future events or developments.