Helvetia took over the Nationale Suisse Group in October 2014. Nationale Suisse registered shares were delisted from the SIX Swiss Exchange at the start of April2015. Further key steps have now been taken to combine the two firms into one. The merger of Helvetia Swiss Insurance Company Ltd and Swiss National Insurance Company Ltd was approved by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA and was entered in the Commercial Register on 30 April 2015. The merger of Helvetia Swiss Life Insurance Company Ltd and Swiss National Life Ltd was submitted to the Canton of Basel-Stadt Commercial Register Office on 4May2015 for entry in the Commercial Register.
A single brand: Helvetia
Helvetia became the single brand in the marketplace with effect from 1May2015. Customers will continue to receive the service they have come to expect. Helvetia will take over Nationale Suisse insurance contracts in full and continue them unchanged. Customers and distribution partners can benefit from a unified and comprehensive range of attractive insurance and pension solutions for individuals and companies.
New organisation model in force
Helvetia’s new organisation model for office and field staff also came into force on 1 May 2015. It brings together the two firms’ previously separate management structures and thus creates a basis for customer-focused, efficient processes. Most of Nationale Suisse’s roughly 1,500 staff in Switzerland have been given a role in the new organisation.
However, a measured headcount reduction is unavoidable due to structural duplications. Out of currently around 3,850 staff in Switzerland, roughly 70 terminations on the employer’s side and 30 early retirements are expected. The employees affected will receive active support in finding a new job in line with the agreed social plan as well as a salary guarantee up to the end of 2015.
As had been anticipated, further redundancies can be achieved through natural attrition. On balance, approximately 200 employees have left since October2014. This shows that the job market in the Swiss insurance industry is very buoyant and confirms the view that natural attrition will be sufficient to cover a significant proportion of the medium-term synergies.
"New Helvetia" a strong all-lines insurer in Switzerland
Thanks to these vital steps, the "new Helvetia" is ready to begin operating in Switzerland just six months after the takeover was completed. The legal entities have been merged, the product range harmonised and the joint organisational structure put in place. The two successful companies Helvetia and Nationale Suisse have come together to create a leading Swiss all-lines insurer. The "new Helvetia" has increased its distribution network from 62 general and main agencies to 81, given more customers access to online platforms such as smile.direct and created additional broker channels and is backed up by the strong, established banking partners Raiffeisen, Swisscanto and Vontobel. The significant increase in market share and greater financial strength will make Helvetia an even more dependable insurance partner for the Swiss market.
This media release is also available on the home page