Generali Meets Targets Ahead of Schedule, Sheds Global Non-Core Assets

By | November 19, 2014

Assicurazioni Generali SpA said it has reached most of its targets ahead of schedule after shedding non-core assets around the world and will present a new strategy in May.

“The next plan will be quite different because it will not be focused on the financial turnaround, but it will be a plan focused on business and customers,” Chief Executive Officer Mario Greco said in an interview with Francine Lacqua on Bloomberg Television before a presentation to investors in London today.

Italy’s largest insurer expects an operating return on equity of 13 percent by the end of 2014, a year earlier than planned, Greco said. Generali has also reached 2015 targets on cash generation and leverage, the company said in a statement today. Generali reiterated it will propose a higher dividend policy.

The insurer has raised about 4 billion euros ($5 billion) through the sale of its U.S. reinsurance unit, Mexican businesses and Swiss asset-management unit BSI Group since Greco, 55, took over in 2012 and set out targets for strengthening finances, bolstering profit and returning the focus to insurance.

“We restored the stability of the company,” he said. “We’ll unveil the future of Generali and what’s going to be the next journey” at an investor day on May 27.

Generali, which owns 38.5 percent of Russia’s Ingosstrakh Insurance Co., plans to keep the stake and “wait for better times.”

“Russia is potentially a big market for financial services, insurance included, but it isn’t a very open market,” Greco said.

The insurer remains focused on growth from within, he said. “We will invest we will develop but we are not planning to do that through acquisitions.”

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