Deliver on the promise
2014 saw the end of a turnaround phase that has few precedents in the sector, allowing us to consolidate our position and our role as a major player in the international insurance industry and confirming the quality of our decisions behind the complex and challenging strategic redesign that began almost three years ago.
Today Generali is a group more focused on its business, more disciplined in the management of its assets and capital, with a simpler, more transparent governance system in line with the best market standards.
We have been able to anticipate the objectives announced to the market, an important achievement and a valuable competitive advantage for those who deal with clients and investors on a daily basis, basing their activities on a relationship of trust. Our commitment to shareholders is reflected in the numbers that sum up our year in 2014: the dividend increased by 33% to 0.60 euro per share, on top of an increase of almost double in 2013.
The payout ratio – i.e. the ratio between the last dividend distributed to shareholders and the consolidated result for the year – increased from 36.6% to 55.9%. Our long-term vision is that we want to pay dividends that are sustainable, progressive, and in line with the momentum that we are working hard to achieve in the earnings capacity and cash generation of the Group.
|Dividends (million of euro)||701||311||311||701||934|
|Dividends per share (euro)||0.45||0.20||0.20||0.45||0.60|
A total of 2.8% of the share capital is held by SRI institutional investors who make their choices using strict criteria, combining environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) and financial criteria.
As evidence of a widespread interest in the ethical and social implications of our performance, Generali’s shareholders include 128 investors who have signed the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment. They hold a combined total of 18% of the share capital.
Dialogue with the financial community
We have worked to make dialogue with the financial community our key strength, based on increasing discussions with investors, financial analysts and rating agencies through meetings, conferences and roadshows. As in the previous year, in 2014 Generali organised another Investor Day in London, dedicated to the Group strategy and performance in the four main operational areas (Italy, Germany, France and Central and Eastern Europe).
We maintain a constant relationship with analysts, investors and rating agencies focused on sustainability issues, mainly through calls, video conferences and requests to complete questionnaires. We manage several requests regarding Group governance and socio-environmental policies and performance from operators specialised in ESG analysis for inclusion in the various sustainability indices. We also manage requests from SRI investors to assess whether we satisfy their socially responsible investment criteria.
Finally, we maintain relationships with international NGOs which assess companies in the financial and insurance sectors for information campaigns on responsible business management. A key example is the Dutch report, Fair Insurance Guide, a periodic analysis (with a strong media impact) of the responsible investment choices made by major local companies and their parent companies.