Generali closed another year with excellent results and strengthened its positions as one of the most important players in the insurance industry. These results demonstrate that the Group is increasingly solid, efficient and innovative, and that it is able to effectively handle the challenges distinguishing our industry and that are becoming deeply intertwined with the global and interdependent changes in the society. The gradual change in the demographic structure, the climate change, the technology that is more and more widespread and sophisticated, and the new events - at times unsettling - taking place in international politics are just a few elements of the environment in which an operator like Generali has the mission to manage risk. On the other hand, the needs of customers and the possibility they have to choose from diversified and increasingly personalised solutions are growing each day and opening doors to business opportunities unheard of until now. In economic, industrial and capital terms, the Group presented an operating result once again marked by growth and the best profit of the last three years, increasingly higher quality and premium income and a strengthened capital position. All this confirms the soundness of the strategy launched two years ago and that will be completed in 2018 before starting a new three-year period that - and of this we are sure - will be just as satisfactory. We carried ambitious projects forward in 2017. We implemented the new asset management strategy to develop and perfect an area that is becoming more and more integrated with the insurance area, with the objective of enriching our expertise and of offering tailor-made solutions to companies and the retail customers in order to reach € 500 billion by 2020. We continued with the reorganisation of Generali Deutschland in Germany and entered a new stage focussed on strengthening its operating performance and on increasing the value creation over the long term. During the year, the Group continued its geographical optimisation plan that sets out to boost our presence in the most interesting markets and to free at least € 1 billion in resources from the less profitable ones. 2017 was also the year in which we started up The Human Safety Net, one of the most ambitious social projects of our almost 200 years of history. It is an initiative that has global reach, and its target is to connect and activate millions of people around the world to involve them in projects that make an enormous impact on the chosen local communities thanks to the contribution of our Group’s employees. In this way we started initiatives dedicated to equal opportunities for those children who grow up in poverty, to the entrepreneurial potential of refugees and to the prevention and treatment of neonatal asphyxia. We located the offices of The Human Safety Net in St Mark’s Square in Venice, in Palazzo delle Procuratie Vecchie, which will be restored with a visionary project of extraordinary historic restoration.
We then further innovated our way of reporting thanks to an important stage along our accountability path: n this Report, we are publishing the Consolidated Non-Financial Statement for the first time to provide an integrated understanding of all our activities. In 2017, we also renewed our Charter of Sustainability Commitments that defines what it means to do business in a responsible manner. It singles out a precise category of priorities resulting from the ongoing dialogue we have with our stakeholders, and it commits us to the constant monitoring of progress made in this area.
The Assicurazioni Generali brand is old, full of history and prestige. In recent years, the Group has turned into a modern multinational with a vocation for customer centricity, and has been able to combine its heritage with technology in order to find increasingly innovative solutions. However, there is another vocation that distinguishes us: that for the human factor, for talent and for our people, whether they are employees, agents or collaborators. Without them, it would have been impossible to build the group that we have become and to attain the results we achieved in 2017. A special thanks goes to them this year as well.
Gabriele Galateri di Genola Philippe Donnet