Headquarters St. Gallen, Switzerland
|Key people Philipp Gmür
(President of the Board of Directors)|
Revenue 8.23 bn CHF (2015) (business volume)
Total assets 54,145 bn CHF (31 December 2015) (balance sheet total)
Number of employees 6,675 (31 December 2015)
Stock price HELN (SWX) CHF 568.00 -1.50 (-0.26%)9 Mar, 12:49 PM GMT+1 - Disclaimer
CEO Stefan Loacker (1 Sep 2007–)
Founded 1858, St. Gallen, Switzerland
Subsidiaries Swiss National Insurance Company Ltd
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Helvetia is a Swiss all-lines insurance company with operations throughout Europe. The company has been organised as a holding structure since 1996, with the holding company's registered shares listed on the Swiss stock market, SIX Swiss Exchange. The two public limited companies, Helvetia Life (Basel) and Helvetia Insurance (St. Gallen), belong to the parent company Helvetia Holding either directly or indirectly. The largest shareholder in the insurance group is Patria Cooperative Society, which holds 30 per cent.
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The registered office of Helvetia Group is in (St. Gallen). Its market presence focuses on the country markets in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy and Spain, with emphasis on its core areas: risk management (life and non-life insurance, reinsurance) and in private and occupational pension plans. Helvetia also provides transport insurance services in France as a niche line of business and is engaged in reinsurance worldwide. Helvetia has around 6,600 employees throughout Europe and provides services for more than two million customers. The core strengths of Helvetia are in risk management (life and non-life insurance, reinsurance) and in private and occupational pension plans.
Helvetia adheres to the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM). The EFQM model is applied in order to raise quality and service on a continuous basis, aiming at efficient processes and satisfied customers and staff.
The firm was formed in 1858 as “Allgemeine Versicherungs-Gesellschaft Helvetia” in St. Gallen. Three years later it established its own private fire insurance company called “Helvetia Feuer” in St. Gallen, prompted by the Glarus fire. In 1862, Helvetia Feuer established its first branches in Germany and, starting in 1876, expanded into the USA, opening offices in California and New York. Following the California earthquake in 1906, Helvetia attempted to withdraw from the U.S. market without paying on claims from the earthquake.
Between 1920 and 1962 further subsidiaries were set up in France, Italy, Greece (sold in 1997), the Netherlands (sold in 1995) and Canada (sold in 1999). In Austria, the history of Helvetia goes back to the establishment of "Der ANKER, Gesellschaft von Lebens- und Rentenversicherung" in 1858. Helvetia Austria also traded under this name until 2006. Subsidiaries in Spain, Italy and Germany were formed in 1986 to 1988.
In 1968 “Allgemeine Versicherungs-Gesellschaft Helvetia” merged with the accident specialist “Helvetia Unfall” and the life insurance business, “Helvetia Leben”. In 1974 the fire insurer Helvetia Feuer and Helvetia Allgemeine then merged into Helvetia Feuer.
On 11 October 1988, at a general meeting of the twin companies “Helvetia Feuer” and “Helvetia Unfall”, the shareholders decided to completely separate the two partner companies. “Helvetia Unfall” became “Elvia”, the name already used by its travel insurance subsidiary. “Helvetia Feuer” was renamed “Helvetia Insurance” and adopted the logo consisting of the three-dimensional triangle.
The firm in its present form reflects the merger with Basel-based life insurer, Patria. The origins of Patria go back to the formation of the “Basler Sterbe- und Alters-Kasse”, an insurance fund covering death and old age, in 1878. Following several name changes and mergers, “Schweizerische Lebensversicherungsgesellschaft Patria” was formed in 1910. In 1992, Helvetia and Patria decided to operate jointly in the Swiss market and entered into a strategic alliance. This led to the emergence of Helvetia Patria Holding in June 1996.
The company has been operating under the uniform name “Helvetia” throughout Europe since September 2006. The logo was also adapted and a new mission statement was developed when the single-brand strategy was launched for the whole group.
In 2008 Helvetia celebrated its 150th anniversary and produced a commemorative publication. In 2010 it acquired the Swiss insurance companies “Alba Allgemeine Versicherungs-Gesellschaft AG” (Alba) as well as “Phenix Versicherungsgesellschaft AG” and “Phenix Lebensversicherungsgesellschaft AG” (Phenix). The Alba/Phenix portfolio of health/accident insurance services was sold to the two insurance companies innova and Solida.
In July 2014 Helvetia announced it was acquiring rival Nationale Suisse in a deal worth about CHF 1.8 billion ($2 billion). The company already owned 18.7% of National Suisse at the time, and was bidding for the balance with the backing of the Nationale Suisse board.