Milano, 10 June 2004

  • The new company, named VUB Generali dss, is 50:50 controlled by Generali Poist’ovňa (Generali Group) and VUB Banka (Banca Intesa).  
  • VUB Generali dss is targeting a 20% share of the nascent Slovak pension funds market and has submitted the paperwork to obtain the operating licence from the Financial Market Authority.

Bratislava, June 10, 2004 - The Generali Group and Banca Intesa have set up through their subsidiaries in Slovakia, Generali Poist’ovňa and VUB Banka, a joint venture that will operate in the local pension funds market. Presented this morning in Bratislava, the new company is 50:50 controlled by Generali Poist’ovňa (Generali Group) and VUB Banka (Banca Intesa) and has a company capital of SKK 300 million (approximately € 7.5 million).

The aim of the joint venture, named VUB Generali dss, is to seize the opportunities arising from the establishment in Slovakia of a pension funds market (2nd pillar) starting in 2005. VUB Generali has initiated the procedure aimed at obtaining the licence for the management of private pension funds from the Financial Market Authority. VUB Generali is targeting a market quota of approximately 20% with some 200,000 clients.

The reform of the Slovak pension system sets down, starting from January 1, 2005, the creation of the second pillar through the institution of privately managed pension funds, which will be based on a compulsory contribution quota amounting to 9% of gross salary for at least ten years.

The new company can rely on the well-established and renowned presence in the country of VUB Banka and Generali Poist’ovňa and on both group’s solid know-how in the pension funds sector. Banca Intesa is Italy’s leading pension funds operator holding a market quota of 26.40%. The Generali Group can claim a historical and significant presence in the insurance markets of eastern European countries and has taken part in the reform of the pension systems in Poland, Hungary and Czech Republic. 

Generali Poist’ovňa and VUB Banka have been partners since 2002 when they signed an agreement for the distribution of life and non-life insurance products through the VUB network. The new joint venture also seeks to develop products that are supplementary to the banking and life insurance services sector. VUB Generali will operate in the market through its own distribution network as well as through VUB Banka branches, Generali Poist’ovňa agents and distribution partnerships with third parties.

Generali Poist’ovňa, 100%-owned by Generali Group through Generali Holding Vienna, has been operating since 1997. It grew significantly in 2003 recording a gross premium income of € 26.9 million, up 84.3% with respect to the previous year, corresponding to a market quota of 2.65% that rises to 8.14% if related to new life business premiums.

VUB - 96.5% controlled by Banca Intesa - is Slovakia’s second largest bank in terms of assets (approximately € 4.7 billion, corresponding to a market quota of 19%) and direct income (market quota of about 22%), and has some 1.2 million clients. VUB is widely present throughout the country with 230 branches and an extensive network of alternative distribution channels, including over 400 ATMs. VUB also operates in the Czech Republic (Prague, Brno and Pilsen). Very active in the retail segment, where it is market leader with a range of products, VUB has also developed a strong know-how in the corporate segment, making it a preferential partner for national and international SMEs as well as big corporations that operate in the Slovak and Czech markets.

The entry in the Slovak pension funds market is another step in the guidelines set out in the Generali Group’s Strategic Plan, which focuses on consolidating and on strengthening Generali’s presence in eastern Europe, considered as an area with a strong development potential where growth rates in the insurance industry are expected to be among the highest in the world. In 2003, premium income generated in central-eastern Europe amounted to € 628.9 million, rising 26.8% over the previous year (+20% in the life business, +29.5% in the non-life).

With the setting up of the VUB Generali joint venture, Banca Intesa consolidates its operations in central-eastern Europe. Besides Slovakia where it operates with VUB, Banca Intesa is also present in the area with other important credit institutions such as PBZ in Croatia (200 branches, 950,000 clients and a market share of approximately 20%), CIB in Hungary (47 branches, 270,000 clients and a market share of about 8%) and with Representative Offices in Warsaw and Belgrade. In addition, Banca Intesa has recently inaugurated  ZAO Banca Intesa in Moscow, the first Italian bank with an operating licence in Russia.