Basler Versicherungen, the German unit of Swiss insurer Baloise Holding AG, reached an agreement to cut 400 jobs by the end of 2017 to reduce costs.
The company, based in Bad Homburg, has “a framework agreement with the employee representatives’ negotiating committee” on a job reduction plan announced in June, it said in a statement today. The firm, which employs about 2,000 people, will also trim costs by about €40 million ($54 million) by 2015, it said.
European insurers, which typically invest the majority of their capital in fixed-income securities, are seeing earnings depleted by years of record-low interest rates. Insurers are reacting with measures such as reducing costs, raising prices, investing in more risky and higher-return assets or by introducing products that rely less on guaranteed interest rates.
“We now have an opportunity based on the agreement to put our German business on a sustainable footing for strong growth and profitability,” said Juerg Schiltknecht, chief financial officer of Basler Versicherungen in Germany and the representative of Chief Executive Officer Jan De Meulder, who is on medical leave.
The unit said its main sites in Germany will remain Bad Homburg for non-life insurance and Hamburg for life insurance. Its Bremen and Nuremberg offices will be retained at least through 2018 with some operations there being closed in advance by the end of the first quarter of 2016.
–Editors: Jon Menon, Steve Bailey
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