| The Journal of the Baloise Group | 1 | 2010
People. “Safety Crack” Dietmar
Photo: Advico Young & Rubicam,
Ammann heads the general
agency Bad Arolsen and he
Pfuschi Cartoon, Bern
visits clients every day. > page 7
Photo: Ammann & Partner, Bad Arolsen
Baloise 2012. Goal achieved: Safety World. More than just Mercator. That was the answer
Project ORION::: looking for an advertising ploy: The Safety we were looking for in our rea- “The feeling is:
cost-reduction opportunities. Lab exists – in the CCS. ders’ competition. The They do a lot for
> page 4 > page 5 winners. > page 8 their customers.”
Basler Fast and innovative was celebrated through-out the
Group. The first Baloise 2012 initia-
tives have been concluded. Group-
Zagreb Group. these are the
wide projects in IT, in Purchasing and
in Human Resources have been
distinguishing char launched.
acteristics of success Group CEO Martin Strobel took up
Photo: Basler osiguranje Zagreb
his post at the start of 2009 with
ful companies of the the aim of turning Baloise into one
future. group Ceo of Europe’s leading insurers in
Martin Strobel counts terms of revenue and growth. How
Baloise among them. close has he come to achieving that
goal? Is he happy with the results?
advertising campaign accom 2009 was dominated by the finan- Where does he see the company’s
panying the name change. cial crisis. It also had some effects strengths – and its weaknesses?
on Baloise. But there were other to- And what makes him laugh? Or
Croatia. This is the new name pics of greater importance for the makes him mad? His answers on
Photo: Peter Schnetz, Basel
of Baloise in Croatia. In mid- company: the positioning of Safety > Page 2
February the commercial court World and Baloise 2012. Safety
in Zagreb approved the merger World has been introduced in all
Martin Strobel aims to invest large
of all Baloise companies in Group companies. For the first time sums – in the Safety World among
Croatia. “The merger is the fi- the Safety Day – Friday the 13th – other areas.
nal stage in a restructuring pro-
cess within our organisation,
which should make our com-
pany more straightforward, ef-
ficient and successful,” said gueSt CoLuMn FISCaL year 2009
Martin Kampik, CEO of Basler
Baloise is growing
osiguranje Zagreb. “We can now
offer our customers first-class, Innovative
professional and fast insur-
ance solutions that are tailored Group. In March, Baloise group
to their individual needs in presented the annual results for 2009.
Baloise has been active in The business volume grew by 27 percent, the profit
Croatia with a property and exceeded the previous year‘s results by 8.9 percent.
life company since 2000. With All Group companies ensured growth. But the biggest
the acquisition of Osiguranje share of growth came from investment-type life insur-
Zagreb in July 2007, it became ances. This shows that Baloise has a healthy core busi-
number 5 in the Croatian market. ness with high-performing business sectors. Safety
In September 2008 the compa- World and Baloise 2012 delivered the first measurable
nies moved into shared offices. Dictionaries define innovative as outcomes. A comment on the annual statement
At the end of October 2009, Osi- “Creating renewal by the application > page 4
Photo: Peter Schnetz, Basel
guranje Zagreb was renamed of new processes and techniques”.
Basler osiguranje Zagreb. What does the word innovative
mean to our guest author Robert
Wildi, a freelance journalist from the media conference was held this year in the directors’
Zurich? His answer on > page 7 restaurant at group head office.
2 Focus | we.baloise | The Journal of the Baloise Group Issue 1 | March 2010
Qué será, será “The future belongs to fast and
Monika Schweizer, Basel innovative companies”
Dear Reader, Group. Martin Strobel has led the Baloise group since the beginning of 2009. In this
“When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother
interview he talks about how he has fared in this time and where he wants to take
what will I be. Will I be pretty, will I be rich? the company.
Here’s what she said to me: Qué será, será.
Whatever will be, will be. The future’s not nagement is called on to take up this task
ours to see. Qué será, será.” Doris Day sang with all their might.
these lines in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1956 film,
“The Man Who Knew Too Much”. She sang All employees should live true to Safety
the song with tears in her eyes in front of the World in their area of work. How do you
invited guests and her husband, in the em- practise the tenets of Safety World as
bassy where she suspected her kidnapped Group CEO?
son to be held. Her son whistled along with I raise Safety World for discussion in the
the melody. This is how the father was able to line management. It is important for me
find him. The song took the Oscar for Best to know how far along every international
Original Song and became a million-selling subsidiary is in its implementation, and I
hit with countless cover versions. It is about a support them as much as I can.
girl who asks her mother about the future. I also get involved in external safety
events, meetings with customers and our
Photo: Peter Schnetz, Basel
Safety Days. I would like to actively com-
municate our positioning to the outside. I
am absolutely committed to making Safe-
ty World a permanent feature, because
this is the only way it can develop.
the key Baloise values are Swissness, innovation, partnership. “It is management’s duty to put
these values into daily practise and establish them,» stresses Martin Strobel. Our values are “Swissness”, “innovati-
on” and “partnership”. How can they be
rahel Mohler, Basel embedded into our daily routine?
It is management’s duty to put these
You have been CEO of the Baloise Group Baloise is repositioning itself with values into daily practice and establish
for a year. How have things gone for Safety World, which was rolled out in all them. The Swissness is expressed in reli-
you? countries by November. Where does it ability and stability. We were able to de-
After Switzerland, I was very much looking go from here? monstrate these values particularly dur-
forward to learning about the diversity and The task at hand is to establish it in Sales. ing the crisis. All employees are called
huge range that makes up our company The number of our customers who come into upon to define, maintain and develop
now in the international business. I expe-
rienced dynamic and highly motivated “I am absolutely committed to making Safety World a
the remaking of alfred Hitchcock’s 1934 original. teams in every country. permanent feature.”
St. Moritz was the setting, not Morocco.
Up to March 2009, the financial crisis held
sway. It has now stabilised and thanks to contact with Safety World must increase. these values for themselves and their
Later, the young woman poses these ques- our strong balance sheet, conservative in- This is the only way that we can apply the area of work.
tions to her beloved. Again later, she is con- vestment policy and strong operational growth factors of greater customer loyalty Innovation is important for tapping into
fronted with the questions by her own child- earning power, we can face the future with and higher sales per customer. Sales ma- the future. We are very innovative, it’s
ren. Each time the answer is the same: Qué optimism.
será, será – whatever will be, will be. In real
life those of us with a western mindset have Are you satisfied with the business
difficulty in simply trusting in “whatever will results?
be, will be”. We prefer to set ourselves goals The growth is very encouraging. We see
– at work and in our private lives. And we strong acceleration of the life business
make plans to achieve them. We measure in Liechtenstein and in group life Swit-
ourselves against others because we want to zerland. We have posted clear gains in
be better. That applies not only to people but market share in Belgium and Luxem-
to companies as well. The goals and plans of bourg, and the situation in Germany is
Baloise – read more about them in Focus. stable. Compared to the rest of the mar-
Happy reading! ket, we have held our own which we can
be proud of.
Photo: Advico Young & Rubicam, Zurich
Our operational income is high quality.
Low interest rates, the euro exchange rate
and the effects of the recession have
weighed on our result, however. This is
where the importance of target customer
management and Opex* become clear.
We want to do more to drive it forward
and in this way further strengthen the Ba-
loise Group’s operational earning power. the Safety World has arrived. a visual from the communication campaign.
Issue 1 | March 2010 The Journal of the Baloise Group | we.baloise | Focus 3
Brand and Strategy
just that we are not entirely aware of it. Every
area must be checked to see how worthwhile
Baloise is a successful company. Why
should we change? Being among the leading
innovations can be integrated into our rou- If you don’t move ahead, you’ll fall behind!
tines. Everyone can contribute to this process. We will only achieve future success by facing
Partnership is important for our customer re- the challenges brought about by changing
lations as well as within Baloise itself. We customer requirements and markets. We
should take a good look of ourselves and de- must open up new areas of growth and lower Group. Martin Strobel’s goal is to put Baloise among the
cide where action is needed. our costs as the sole way to stay competitive. leading insurers in terms of income and growth. this is to
Part of our strategy is to optimise existing What is Baloise doing to retain employees?
be accomplished with the Baloise 2012 project.
set-ups and exploit synergies. Parts of IT We have many talented employees on board,
and Purchasing are being centralised as a something I am extremely pleased about. For
result. Will there be further centralizations? me, they are the company’s future: commit-
Both initiatives – “Group IT” and “Group ted employees who achieve remarkable
Purchasing” – are on course, which I warmly things through their knowledge and abilities.
welcome. Beyond that, we are exploiting sy- Under the leadership of Group HR, we have
nergies in the areas of Safety World and Hu- established processes to identify, bond with
man Resources, and continue to successively and develop talented individuals. Through
roll out the various strategies. our talent pool, we were able to fill more than
70% of vacant management positions with
“We have many talented internal candidates in 2009.
employees on board!”
How is Baloise fulfilling its pledge of
I currently see no other areas where consoli- “Making you safer” to its employees?
Grafics: Baloise Group
dation could be considered. What must be First of all, the many offers tied up with the strategy crystal
done now is to put the measures we already Safety World are open to our employees as explains the positioning
of Safety World and its
have into practice and hold back on new well. since they are also Baloise customers connection with our
ones. of course. A clear and well-communicated strategic approaches.
strategy should also make all employees feel
Will there be job cuts? secure about the future course of Baloise.
Unfortunately, yes. Compared to our compe- Last but not least, our values and achieve-
titors, we produce our products at high costs. ments should convey safety: “partnership” rahel Mohler, Basel
We must take urgent action here if we want to and “professionalism” are important pillars
keep up with the market. And, unfortunately, of Baloise as an employer. Some visible successes arising from the pro- to grow organically
this makes a reduction in staff inevitable. It is ject became evident at the close of 2009. In The focus of Baloise 2012 is on speeding up
important to me that this is done in a socially How does the future look for Baloise? Europe our innovative products now mean organic growth. Examples of this are mea-
acceptable and respectful manner. Now more Promising! During the crisis we held our own we number among its fastest-growing insur- sures to raise the number of products per
than at any other time, we must practise our as a reliable and strong company. We are ers. The CEO and his “crystal strategy ball” target customer and to improve customer
core set of values. now using this strength to continue on our (chart) explain how the current year will run loyalty.
path of growth and raise our competitive- its course.
A great deal is being done to lower costs. ness through targeted innovations such as to develop new growth areas
Where are investments being made? Safety World and new life products. The cri- Safety World Baloise Life in particular was very successful
We are investing large sums in developing sis has clearly shown that the future does The new Safety World positioning had been last year with asset-linked life insurances.
growth potential. For example in Eastern not belong to the large players, but to fast implemented in all international subsidiar- We were at the right place and at the right
Europe, a growing market, as well as in and innovative companies. And it is precise- ies by November 2009. No other insurer time with the right team and products. Our
Liechtenstein and Germany. At the same ly this group to which we belong. in Europe offers such a wide-ranging pro- good products and reputation as a Swiss
time, we are investing in Safety World and gramme covering every aspect of safety. The quality insurer are helping us to tap into the-
in improved business processes. Project task now at hand is to firmly establish Safety se new growth segments. Baloise Luxem-
GEPARD, for instance in the Swiss business, World and to bring it into the lives of our em- bourg has also grown strongly on the back of
oversaw the establishment of a completely ployees and customers. these innovative life products. With Liech-
* opex intends to improve its operational earning power by
new business process landscape with con- means of numerous initiatives and orientation to target client
tenstein and Luxembourg we are penetrating
siderable investments in IT. management. to optimise new markets, among them France, Italy and
Despite the successful growth, costs must Northern Europe.
be reduced further. We produce our products Other new growth areas are the Safety World
at high cost compared to those of our com- positioning and our expansion into Central
petitors. We were able to make the first cost and South-Eastern Europe. In Eastern Europe
Martin Strobel in person reductions in 2009. We expect a clear impact we are already active in five countries. We
from Baloise 2012 starting in 2010 and be- aim to expand business in these countries in
What makes you laugh? What couldn’t you live without? yond. the coming years.
My two children – two and four years old My wife and family.
– are a source of joy and strength. Many
of their “creative ideas” may not thrill us What is your dream?
at first (thinking of the cleaning up that Professionally: to have every reason to New name for the Group
has to be done afterwards), but are cer- the claim of being “one of the leading in-
tainly very refreshing every day! surers in Europe in income and growth” Since January the Group has appeared under not affected by this change. Bâloise Holding
through Baloise 2012. its new Baloise Group logo. We have modified retains its accent from prior usage. Use of
What makes you angry? Privately: to have a lot of relaxation time the name in texts and signatures as well. If the this name is restricted to a small group of
Dishonesty and insincerity make me very with my family and friends for once. Un- Group is the subject at hand, we speak of the users. In addition, this name may only be
angry. Luckily I very rarely encounter this fortunately the first dream sometimes Baloise Group or Baloise. No circumflex (“Chi- used after consultation with Legal Affairs
at Baloise. gets in the way of the second … nese hat”) appears in Baloise in any language. and Taxes. These changes reflect new legis-
The styles used by the local companies are lation affecting the names of companies.
4 Baloise | we.baloise | The Journal of the Baloise Group Issue 1 | April 2010
Fiscal year 2009
Baloise stands the test with strong growth
Group. Baloise performed remarkably well in 2009; earnings rose by 8,9% over the previous year.
Growth was exceptional, above all in investment-type life insurances.
Positive effects But how did these stories come to appear in
Our brand positioning, Safety World, has in the Annual Report? Employees were called on
the meantime been successfully launched through the Group Intranet to submit their
in all countries and is showing positive ef personal safety story in September. Around
fects. The number of insurance policies per 70 submissions were received. An jury of five
customer is on the increase in the target from Communications, Competence Centre
segments, as are sales productivity and Safety, HR and an external communications
customer loyalty. More and more customers agency chose five stories. The criteria for ap
are recommending us to others. praisal were authenticity and that the winning
The efficiencyraising and growth pro texts covered the most important aspects of
gramme “Baloise 2012” launched in 2009 safety (prevention, trust, good preparation
is proceeding well; the almost 100 sets of and good material). And the winners are:
Photo: Peter Schnetz, Basel
measures contributed CHF 33,6 million to Björn Denis, YvesLaurent Grize, Rolf Geiger,
the consolidated result last year. Ann Van Mol and Samuel Scharowski.
The Annual Report is published together with
safety Diary the Financial Report at the end of April and is
The 2009 Annual Report makes experiencing sent by request only. Shareholders are auto
safety its focus. In it, five employees relate in matically sent a summary.
The corporate executive committee with Olav Noack, Martin Wenk, Martin strobel, German egloff,
Jan De Meulder and Thomas sieber answered journalists’ questions. The questions centred on growth, diary entries one key event in their lives in For further submissions to the competition
in particular at Baloise life, on life insurances, as well on the business in Germany and acquisitions. which safety played a major role. see the Group Intranet from the end of Mai.
Thomas Kähr, Basel
Baloise has come through the recessive en strong growth Key figures 2009
vironment with flying colours. Our robust Baloise is growing. It is the result of our cus 2008 2009
growth shows that we successfully put the tomers’ trust in our stability, reliability and Total business volume 7858.3 9765.4
opportunities offered by the market to use services. Growth in investmenttype life in • Nonlife 3214.8 3136.4
and were able to build on our market posi surances was very strong; Baloise Life in • Life 3739.1 3723.4
tion. We have a healthy core business with Liechtenstein contributed by far the largest •Assetlinked life insurances 904.4 2905.6
powerful business divisions. Our balance share. Other units also posted growth Net profit 386.7 421.0
sheet is one of the strongest in Europe. Our above the market average: Luxembourg, Combined ratio nonlife net 90.9 94.4
innovative Safety World, which combines Belgium, Austria, Switzerland in group life Solvency 196% 230%
insurance and prevention, is producing (professional pensions), Germany in nonlife Equity 3895.6 4510.0
measurable effects. These successes take insurances. The purchase of Fortis Luxem Return on equity 9.0% 10.3%
us a good step closer to our goal of becom bourg IARD S.A. cements our market posi
ing one of the bestearning and strongest tion in Luxembourg. In Croatia we now ope
growing insurers in Europe by 2012. rate as Basler osiguranje Zagreb. Group Intranet > Communication > Notifications > Group CEO online
pressed its views on the proposed measures
and supported their implementation.
Deep Impact aha moments and further ideas
Some cost reductions are easier to bring off
Switzerland. launched in February 2008, Project OriON::: set out to if everyone plays along – for example, by re
make recurring savings of cHF 19.5 million. The ambitious target was ducing paper consumption by printing on
reached in December 2009. both sides. This prompted us to launch a
campaign – “ORION::: the aha experience”
stephan Waser, Basel – to sensitise employees to the issues in
volved. Through posters and a quiz on the
ORION::: is the first Baloise 2012 project in We assigned the measures we developed Swiss Intranet, we are making it fun to learn
Switzerland to achieve its impressive goal. into three sets: shortterm savings (e.g. em about the use of resources and individual
We have already handed over the results to ployees attending external courses), medi ways to save. The feedback shows us that
the Baloise 2012 impact team to ensure that umterm measures (fewer officebased em the topic has met with acrosstheboard un
these savings are realised over the long ployees, pay adjustments in the insurance derstanding.
term. sales force) and longterm enhancements But even now that the project has ended,
(e.g. in advertising and sponsoring). Many everyone can lend a hand. After all, the ex
Many measures employees contributed their ideas to its pense ratio affects us all. Thanks to all em
Orion was a huntsman in Greek mythology.
From the start, we sought ways to save success. The Employee Commission (MAKO) ployees for their support and we look for artemis is said to have elevated him to the
throughout corporate division Switzerland. was also represented in the workgroup, ex ward to each new idea. heavens in remorse for killing him.
Issue 1 | April 2010 The Journal of the Baloise Group | we.baloise | safety World 5
ccs leaDer iNiTiaTive
Did you know that Baloise Getting customers enthusiastic
has a Safety Lab?
Switzerland. it’s all about change at Baloise as the leader initiative
Group. Baloise talks about its virtual safety lab in its advertising. passes the six-month stage.
But it also has a real one: the ccs, or competence centre safety.
amos Winteler, Basel
The new vision puts the customer in the spot leaders, they should “have the courage to do
light: “Customers really like our Safety World the right thing.”
and our innovative dialogue focused on value Concrete implementation of Leader is going
added.” To accomplish this goal, the Baloise ahead in more than 30 “key initiatives”
Switzerland management has reorganised among others. They are the link between all
itself. One of the core elements is the endto operating segments. The Touchpoints initia
end focus on sales that places customers at tive, for example, examines all customer
Photo: Peter Schnetz, Basel
both the beginning and the end of every pro contacts across all areas (customer advisors,
cess. “It is easy to do business with us” is one contract conclusions, claims handling etc.).
of the key principles. From start to finish, the The goal is systematic Touchpoint quality
reorganised product management bears full management with a qualified team for every
responsibility for the business processes customer contact point. Other key initiatives
“Making you safer.” The specialists from the real-life safety lab will tell you how it works; left to right: (endtoend philosophy). deal with simplification of the products, an
Dominik simmen, sabine Westmoreland-Herran, Bruno Hauser, Dominik Treutlein, carsten Pöhlmann Basically, the Leader Initiative encourages innovative advisory approach (Baloise Invest
and Dominic Währy. Berta rachmanov is missing from the picture.
entrepreneurship at all levels and gives every ment Advice) and new Internet platforms
employee the chance to succeed. As credible (My Account).
Dominik Treutlein, Basel they take out a policy, but whenever they
come into contact with Baloise. Whenever
This is where specialists develop innovative they are studying our products, processing a
ideas covering every aspect of safety. They claim or calling the Service Centre, customers
work closely with the Group companies to must experience safety in every way. But how
get as close to the Baloise markets as pos can this approach be put into practice?
sible, and support the colleagues on the So far, mainly Sales and Marketing dealt with
Photo: Photostudio Steiner, Schwyz
ground with help and advice. Safety World. But now other departments are
In the areas of house and home, accident, considering how they can bring the feeling of
sport and leisure, safety on the move and safety into their areas too. Since the many
mortgages, private customers are being good ideas this process is generating should
made safer already today through sophisti be made available to the whole Group, the
cated safety programmes. Now, safety pros CCS is organising and promoting the ex
at the CCS and in the countries are currently change of best practices between the com
working on a safety programme for small and panies. It also serves as an interface bet The leader initiative kicked off last september with a two-day workshop for managers in Morschach.
midsized enterprises (SMEs). A pilot project ween Baloise and research institutes,
is in fact already underway in Switzerland. universities and state and private security
The specialists will also be looking for an facilities to ensure everyone is aware of the
swers to how the Safety World can best func latest advances in technology. Coordinating cusTOMer saTisFacTiON
tion in the broker market. safety equipment manufacturers and retail
Clearly above the market average
ers is also within the remit of the CCS.
always and everywhere To sum up, the Safety Lab produces mea
What is important is that customers feel the sures to focus and drive Safety World for
promise of “Making you safer” not only when ward in cementing its positioning. Germany. Baloise carried out a telephone survey on claims and
related topics last year. in it, customers with household goods and
comprehensive car insurance claims were contacted for their views.
NeW year recePTiON annette ruhl, Bad Homburg
In the sign of Safety World
These customers were questioned on vari tribution towards this achievement,” says
ous issues such as friendliness of the claims Dieter Hack, Head of the Main Claims Depart
staff and the speed at which settlements ment, of the results.
Belgium. Following tradition, Mercator invited its partner brokers to were reached. They were then asked to rate
a reception at the end of January to toast the New year together. on a scale of one to five their satisfaction
with the service on offer.
charlotte van Tiggelen, antwerp fixed values, but also to three innovative ele The result was very good, with more than
ments: its positioning as part of the Baloise 85% of surveyed customers saying that they
CEO Gert De Winter took the opportunity to Group, the focus on the end customers and, were “very satisfied” overall with claims pro
follow up his welcome to employees into of course, Safety World. That is because pre cessing at Baloise. This not only puts our sa
Photo: Jörg Schellin, Bremen
Safety World by extending the same to sales vention and wellbeing in communication tisfaction levels clearly above the market
partners. At the reception, the Baloise song with the brokers is taking on an important average, but also sets standards for our com
was intoned over the loudspeakers and the role. Gert De Winter naturally reflected on the petitors. “I am very pleased that we have
film about the Tree Guards shown. Gert De results of 2009 and ventured a forecast been given such good marks. After all, our
Winter spelled out Mercator’s new position for the coming year. Before raising his glass customers’ satisfaction is one of our most
ing within the Baloise strategy in his speech. for the toast, he ended by announcing important goals. The employees of the The staff of the New claims service in Bremen
He drew attention not only to permanent Mercator’s imminent move. claims departments have made a huge con received a lot of praise.
6 People | we.baloise | The Journal of the Baloise Group Issue 1 | March 2010
BLOG-NOTES 10 QuESTiONS TO DOMiNik TREuTLEiN
Privacy involved in rooting it in all areas of the
Group so that we can offer our customers
an end-to-end brand experience.
Rahel Mohler, Basel
What is the biggest challenge involved?
His name is Gustav. I have never met To further enhance the Safety World con-
Gustav personally, and yet I know quite cept, taking into account current conditions,
a few things about him. Almost more and to set the right focuses for the future.
than I really want to know. Gustav re-
cently “came out”. He separated from What book do you recommend to your
his very attractive wife and their two friends?
children to move in with his new, also A book about a courageous man: “No Angel”
very attractive, boyfriend Karl. In two by Jay Dobyns & Nils Johnson-Shelton.
weeks the couple will move into their
new flat. I know where the new flat is What is your favourite dish?
Photo: Peter Schnetz, Basel
and precisely when work will begin From Swiss “schoggi” to pancakes all the
with shifting the boxes. Gustav’s two way to Leonidas pralines – all kinds of
sons and his wife will help moving. I
could also tell you a few things about
the wife and the sons, but that would
Fun at work sweet food.
How do you keep fit?
be taking things too far… My wife, our two dogs and I make extensive
Gustav, by the way, is the managing di- Monika Schweizer, Basel Why did you move from Germany to the tours around the beautiful countryside in
rector of a company with 45 employees Group head office? the three countries that meet at Basel.
and 17 trainees. He enjoys his work. He What did you want to be as a child? Expanding my focus from a single interna-
drives a silver Audi and is thinking of Discoverer of new countries, continents or tional subsidiary to cover the entire Group Where will you spend your next holiday?
buying a Harley Davidson. Sometimes planets. was in and of itself very interesting. The In Locarno, not least because of the fantas-
he is also out and about on a bicycle. possibility of then moving to Switzerland tic tiramisu on the Piazza Grande.
Gustav and Karl like to spend their Why did you come to Baloise? with the whole family made the decision
weekends outdoors. They usually tra- I was looking for a company that I could easy. Dominik Treutlein (47) heads the Compe-
vel to the sea for their holidays. They help shape. At Baloise I have found the right tence Centre Safety at the Group head office.
like taking photos, too – mostly of mix of tradition and a willingness to travel How would you describe your work in one He has a degree in business management
themselves. Did I already mention that new paths. I also appreciate the corporate sentence? and is the father of two children. He joined
Gustav has a tattoo? culture. The committed work, the respectful Making you safer! Baloise Germany in January 2003. Three and
If I should ever meet the pair of them and very collegial way people deal with each a half years ago he switched to the Group,
on the street, I would immediately re- other and the wish to bring their company What are your goals for this year? taking over as head of the Safety World
cognise them. But they wouldn’t know forward – these are all something special I want to build on the success of Safety Group project and for which he also set up
me, as they probably don’t even know I and make the job fun. World by getting even more colleagues the Competence Centre Safety.
How is that possible? It’s because I
have a Facebook account. And on Face-
book the people caper about without
the slightest feeling for their own pri- MAkO
vacy. They share the most intimate
of details with the world without a
thought, and do not begin to imagine
the sort of people that can watch their Who’s that?
holiday videos and the photos of their
children. Switzerland. The Employee
So take care what sort of information Commission – MAkO for short –
you reveal on Facebook, otherwise you is composed of 13 members
may well end up appearing in a future elected for a term of four years.
column of mine…
Stefan Heizmann, Basel
Its members are elected from the office-
based employees of all Group companies
operating in Switzerland.
Photo: Peter Schnetz, Basel
The MAKO’s main task is to represent the
employees’ concerns and interests to the
management. In many areas it has a right of
codetermination. It was able to score impor-
tant successes in the 2009 wage round, for
example, and the renewal of the collective The staff committee under President Stefan Heizmann (3rd from the right) intend to make sure the con-
agreement. It also scored a victory regarding cerns of their colleagues get a hearing.
the set of measures for Project GEPARD, pre-
vailing on the issue, among others, of a Since the beginning of June 2009 the MAKO pion is a market-driven loyalty bonus that
longer notice period. What is less well known has been led by Stefan Heizmann. For 2010, will naturally be included in this year’s wage
is that besides HR, employees can also he and his team have taken on the task of round. The MAKO is delighted when employ-
approach the MAKO’s members with their further strengthening their positioning and ees come to it with their questions or con-
personal issues. And they can be involved as raising the level of awareness about the work cerns. It will continue to put its efforts into
mediators in problematic discussions. they do. Another issue it has set out to cham- mediating for the best possible solutions.
Issue 1 | March 2010 The Journal of the Baloise Group | we.baloise | People 7
OuR SAfETy CRACk*: DiETMAR AMMANN GuEST COLuMN
A really good thing Innovation – time to
Germany. Dietmar Ammann is on the road daily as a general agent. With his
infectious enthusiasm for Safety World he convinces customers and succeeds
in a hotly contested market.
processes analyses and claims, and heads the agency.
He willingly makes time for his customers too, as he
enjoys finding mutual solutions to their concerns and
in this way gives them a feeling of security.
Doing something for customers
Dietmar Ammann is enthusiastic about Safety World.
He finds its core philosophy of preventing damage be-
fore it happens particularly convincing since, “there is
damage that cannot be made good again. Especially “if you want success, you must be innovative.”
Photo: Ammann & Partner, Bad Arolsen
when people are involved.”
But while this line of argument easily convinces, the
battle for customers has become tougher in the last Robert Wildi, Zurich
few years and much costlier to woo them. But Dietmar
Ammann is convinced that Safety World makes Baloise It is clear, logical and really a law of nature: if you want success, you
fit to compete: “We now have the decisive advantage must be innovative, or at least flexible. This applies to all areas of life
over the competition of offering something new and and begins right from when we are babies. For example, when the
different. Word quickly gets around about that sort bottle of milk falls on the kitchen floor because that pudgy little hand
“The Safety Box has become my constant companion when of thing. The general feeling is that Baloise is doing could not grab it and the milk squirts all over. Small children quickly
talking to a client.” something for its customers.” In other words, its good learn how to get food to where it’s needed and will use both hands
reputation puts the company at the forefront – not least next time. It means more effort and use of resource, but for all that
Sarah Pally, Basel thanks to committed people like Dietmar Ammann. it’s a safer bet. It is the first successful risk management system, an
innovative act that does justice to external conditions. This is how
When Dietmar Ammann visits his customers, they can’t > Group Intranet > Communication > Notifications > we go through life, perpetually coming up against barriers and cir-
wait to see what’s in the box that he has brought along: Take a break> Our Cracks cumventing them by modified, flexible or, and this is the important
the Safety Box. He enjoys explaining in detail how to *Without people who put all their energy, creative ideas and outstanding abili-
thing, innovative means. Failing to do this brings us into difficulties
use the lightning surge absorber, smoke alarm and fire ties into the development of Safety World and who continue to work towards its and, ultimately, to a grinding halt.
success, this excellent outcome would not have been possible. With this in mind,
blanket, and in this way he generates enthusiasm we present employees here who are making an outstanding personal contribu- The same causality reigns in the business world and must be con-
tion to Safety World.
among his customers for Safety World and Baloise pro- tinually factored in by countless small and medium-sized enter-
ducts. “Safety World has been warmly received by cus- prises if they wish to survive. If a certain product is no longer in
tomers. They immediately see the value added and Dietmar Ammann (48) is Head of Bad Arolsen General demand in the market, a new one must be developed. If a service is
customer loyalty has noticeably improved. It is a really Agency in Hesse, Germany. The qualified banking and no longer hip, it has to be made hipper, marketed in a more original
good thing,” says the general agent. insurance specialist has been with Baloise Germany way, improved, enhanced or at least offered cheaper. Every entrepre-
As Head of Bad Arolsen General Agency, Dietmar since 1990. Always in good spirits and backed up by neur is aware of these rules.
Ammann’s days are fairly full. He visits businesses and Safety World, he visits customers every day with the But does this logic really apply to all of them? The last few years of
advises them on insurance and pension solutions, he goal of finding the right solution to every problem. crisis prove the contrary. When a group first becomes big enough
and is thus inherent to the state’s functioning, the urge to innovate
as a strategy for survival rapidly loses momentum. Even losses in the
thousand millions will not lead to its business models and strategies
being called into question. At the end of the day, the state can rush
BANkiNG AND iNSuRANCE to the rescue and stop the holes with tax money, as indeed recently
happened in the global financial world once again. Many high-rank-
ing executives at the banks involved show their spirit of innovation
in repeatedly subsidising their thousand-million-dollar bonuses
with state rescue money without batting an eye. This development
leaves little room for hope that they have drawn lasting lessons from
Switzerland. Jürg Ritz becomes head of Baloise Bank SoBa at the beginning of April. their mismanagement of recent years and disturbing parallels to
those toddlers with long-term problems handling a milk bottle spring
Sonja kunz, Solothurn to mind. And it’s no surprise if mother (state) simply clears up the
mess on the floor after every blunder and immediately brings a new
He will succeed Alois Müller, who is Jürg Ritz knows all about trans- bottle of milk with even more chocolate powder that they will hardly
retiring. Before Jürg Ritz (45) came forming regional operating activi- come up with any (innovative) effort to avoid future spillages.
to Baloise, he was chairman of the ties into national ones: from 1994
board of mortgage lender Lenz- to 2007 he was at Postfinance, ul-
burg. What prompted the keen timately as head of finance and
equestrian to switch? “The busi- risk management, and was on its
Photo: Peter Schnetz, Basel
ness model behind the interlinking management board for 12 years.
of what was more of a regionally fo- He was largely responsible for Robert Wildi (39) lives and works in the Zurich Oberland. He
cused bank with a nationally active Postfinance’s success. He won his predominantly writes on topics involving economics, tourism, travel,
insurance group is unique and has financial spurs studying business sports and transportation for various daily and weekly newspapers
huge potential. I also feel that the management at HF Bern, receiving and trade magazines. Since 2002 he has been running his own
employees are doing all they can an MBA from the University of Jürg Ritz (45) lives in Solothurn with press office, rowi press.
for the customers’ well-being.” Zurich. his wife and 10-year-old son.
8 Balorama | we.baloise | The Journal of the Baloise Group Issue 1 | March 2010
Expansion complete Mercator
Maja Boroša, Zagreb do not require a stay in hospital can now also be per- Monika Schweizer, Basel
formed in its two theatres.
Croatia. The Poliklinika Medico, part of Baloise The centre cost 100 million kuna (approx. 13.7 million Group. Our contest in the last is-
Group, opened its doors in the centre of Rijeka at the euros) to build. It provides the best possible protection sue was looking for the the name of
end of January. The medical centre is one of the region’s against radiation from its medical equipment, setting our Belgian subsidiary “Mercator”.
most modern and provides a broad range of services new standards in this area in Croatia. The protective Of the 438 entries we received from
over 2,200 square metres. These include routine system was developed in cooperation with the Ruðer all international subsidiaries, 429
checkups, X-rays and laser treatment. Operations that Boškovic Institute, the country’s largest research facility. were valid.
Photo: Monika Schweizer, Basel
The following people have won a
main prize, a trip to a Baloise city:
Katja Djuric, Jürgen Faller and Sand-
rine Penichot, all from Basel. Conso-
lation prizes go to: Markus Andrey,
Thomas Angst, Jana Bäumli, Tanja
Belau, Henry Berger, Kerstin Christina Meyer from Group HQ recep-
Boscher, Mireille Bruggmann- tion drew the winners. Christian Bieri
of Group Internal Audit Department
Heimann, Patrik Brüngger, Denis supervised the draw.
Photo: Lovro Šolman, Zagreb
A. Bucher, Hans Bucher, Marcel
Cattin, Marco Chetelat, Kathleen De
Cuypere, Sabrina Egger, Svenia Flury, Hans Werner Grossmann, Rudolf
Herren, Philipp Heutschi, Markus Jägle, Christoph Keiser, Heinz Kobel,
Nastia Kohlmann, Andreas Koller, Wolfgang Lehmann, François Majerus,
John H. A. Mamboury, André Marmy, Nicole Marx, Ann Mees, Nicole Meier,
The clinic’s 78 employees now use the very latest technology to ensure that patients are treated quickly and expertly. Patrizia Moser, Stéphan Moser, Pierre-Joël Muggler, Benoit Royer, Melanie
Rüde, Hedi Rühlin, Christoph Schacht, Alfred Stauffer, Evelyne Steiner, Marin
Stoop, Thomas Thieme, Steven Tirrito, Gieri Venzin, Marco Vidovic, Bernhard
von Allmen, Christian von Ganski, Niklaus Weissen, Ruth Wernli, Daniel
Employees as customers Widmer and Elisabeth Wolf-Ryser.
Sarah Pally, Basel > Group Intranet > Communication > Notification > Group News
Switzerland. Since the end of 2009, the employees
of the Baloise Advice Centre (BZB) have been receiving
advice on all aspects of insurance and, according to
the new 360° philosophy, on pensions and wealth
Photo: Peter Schnetz, Basel
management too. Kirstin Zeidler, Hamburg
“The new concept is aimed at defining the needs of em-
ployees better and actively reaching out to them,” Deutscher Ring. Under the MONEYMAXX brand, Deutscher Ring Lebens-
stresses its head Christian Blaser. Under the scheme, versicherung offers pension products exclusively to independent agents.
every new employee receives a checklist that helps MONEYMAXX was the first German insurer to receive certification at the end
them form an overview of their insurance cover and “We are happy to advise you.” The Baloise Advice Centre - of 2009 for its basic pension product Discover level 1. Since then, brokers
what Baloise has to offer. But people who have been with with Lukas Keller, Rudolf Schaub, Dominique Jundt, Conrad have had peace of mind, knowing that they are released from liability when
Wyss, Doris Frei, Thomas Schraner and Christian Blaser.
the company for some time already can also turn to the selling this product, and customers are assured of the deductibility of their
BZB for advice whenever they want (email@example.com). pension contributions when it comes to taxes.
That’s because Christian Blaser knows that employees In the medium term, the advice centre is also looking to The new mandatory certification has come about through the tightened
who get good advice are happier – and they show it: provide its brand of in-house consulting to other large rules governing state subsidisation. They stipulate among other things that
“We want the employees to enjoy their work and pass companies. But until then the employees of Baloise in a basic pension contract will only be subsidised if used as a personal life
this enthusiasm on to our customers.” Switzerland will be the focus. annuity. As a result, the most important criteria include the identity of the
insurance holder, the premium payer and benefit recipient. From April, tax
breaks will apply only to new basic pension contracts with certification.
Deutscher Ring has already submitted further products for certification.
Hitting the slopes!
Monika Schweizer, Basel
Switzerland. The 560 employees and their compan- Editor: Baloise Group, Corporate Communications, Basel.
ions enjoyed marvellous weather for the traditional Responsible for the publisher: Rahel Mohler.
Basel Snow Weekend in January. The event is held in a Editorial staff: Monika Schweizer, lead; Sarah Pally.
Editorial committee: Urs Erismann, Silvia Kalbermatten, Dietmar Kreisle,
different region every year. This time it was the Lower
Karl Signer, Max Voegelin, Antje Zuelch, Peter Zutter.
Valais General Agency’s turn to welcome skiers to
Photo: Melanie Rüde, Basel
Address: Baloise Group, Corporate Communications,
Crans-Montana. The village is perched on a plateau on Aeschengraben 21, P. O. Box, CH-4002 Basel
the sunny side of the Rhone Valley and has something Telephone: +41 61 285 84 79,
for all winter sports enthusiasts: 140 kilometres of ski E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Internet: www.baloise.com.
Issues: Published four times annually in German, French, Dutch and English.
pistes, 60km of hiking trails, 30km of cross-country
Next issue: June 2010.
trails, snow shoe courses, sledge trails and much more. Design and production: Medianovis AG, Kilchberg/Zurich.
The Snow Weekend began with an “apéro riche” on Only for Baloise employees: Eating raclette on the ski slopes. Translation: 24translate, Speicherschwendi.
Friday evening. The Saturday was devoted entirely to Printed by: Birkhäuser+GBC AG, Reinach.
skiing and snowboard racing, while those who pre-
ferred to take things easier went hiking in snowshoes. At and general agent Philipp Lamon greeted the guests. The articles represent their authors’ opinions and do not
necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial staff.
noon everyone met for the raclette, which was served on The party that followed went on until the early hours of
the piste itself. Before supper, Swiss head Olav Noack Sunday morning.