Ageas

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Ageas
Type Naamloze vennootschap / Société anonyme
Traded as EuronextAGS
Industry Financial services
Predecessor(s) Fortis Holding
Founded 1990 (as Fortis); 2010 (as Ageas)
Headquarters Brussels, Belgium
Key people Jozef De Mey (Chairman), Bart de Smet (CEO)
Products Insurance
Revenue 13.65 billion (2010)[1]
Profit €223.1 million (2010)[1]
Total assets €99.17 billion (end 2010)[1]
Total equity €9.869 billion (end 2010)[1]
Employees 11,710 (end 2010)[1]
Website www.ageas.com

Ageas N.V./S.A. is a multinational insurance company co-headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. Ageas is Belgium's largest insurer and operates in 14 countries worldwide. The company was renamed from Fortis Holding in April 2010 and consists of those insurance activities remaining after the breakup and sale of the financial services group Fortis during the financial crisis of 2007-2010.

History[edit]

The company's roots reach back to the 1824 foundation of the Belgian life insurer Assurances Générales (now AG Insurance).[2] In 1990 AG merged with the Netherlands-based bancassurer AMEV/VSB to form Fortis.[3] AMEV/VSB had itself been formed earlier that year by the combination of savings bank VSB (Verenigde Spaarbank) and insurer AMEV, which took advantage of the recent relaxation of Dutch legislation preventing mergers between banks and insurers.[3] AMEV had originally been founded in Utrecht in 1920 as Algemeene Maatschappij tot Exploitatie van Verzekeringsmaatschappijen (English: General Society for Operation of Insurance).[3]

After its creation in 1990, Fortis expanded its offerings to include private and investment banking and asset management, establishing subsidiaries around the world, and by 2007 it had become the 20th largest business in the world by revenue.[4] That year Fortis agreed to jointly purchase ABN AMRO with Banco Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland Group, but the onset of the major financial crisis exacerbated problems with financing its part of the large acquisition and prompted fears of impending insolvency.[5] Considered "too big to fail", Fortis received an €11.2 billion bailout from the Benelux governments[5] and saw its retail banking operations in Belgium sold to BNP Paribas and its insurance and banking subsidiaries in the Netherlands nationalised.

The remaining assets of the company, consisting principally of insurance operations but also including some distressed assets, were rebranded Fortis Holding. In April 2010 its shareholders agreed a formal change of name to Ageas N.V./S.A., with ownership of the Fortis brand passing to BNP Paribas.[6]

Operations[edit]

The company is the largest provider of insurance in Belgium,[6] owning 75% of AG Insurance[7] (the remainder is held by Fortis Bank N.V./S.A., which was sold to BNP Paribas in 2009). Products are sold through independent agents, brokers and financial planners, and through branches of BNP Paribas Fortis and its subsidiary Banque de La Poste/Bank van De Post.[8]

Ageas also wholly owns the subsidiary Ageas Insurance International (formerly Fortis Insurance International), through which it is the United Kingdom's third-largest provider of private vehicle cover and fourth-largest provider of travel insurance through subsidiaries such as Kwik Fit Insurance.[9] Fortis Insurance International also operates in France, Germany, Turkey, Ukraine and Hong Kong and holds partnerships or joint ventures in Luxembourg, Italy, Portugal, China, Malaysia, India and Thailand. In addition, Ageas holds 45% of Royal Park Investments,[7] a special purpose vehicle[10] which manages a portfolio of "toxic" structured credit assets[11] previously held by Fortis Bank.

In September 2012, Ageas acquired Groupama’s UK insurance operations, boosting its presence in the automobile and home sectors. The deal will see Ageas add another million policyholders in the UK.[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Annual Report 2010" (PDF). Ageas. Retrieved 3 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "History". Fortis Real Estate. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "History > Precursors". Ageas. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "Fortune Global 500 2007: Fortis". Fortune (CNN Money). 2007. Archived from the original on 24 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  5. ^ a b "Deal agreed for Euro bank Fortis". BBC News Online. 29 September 2008. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Blenkinsop, Philip (10 March 2010). "Fortis returns to profit in 2009, unveils new name". Reuters. Retrieved 27 March 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "Legal Structure". Ageas. 30 April 2010. Archived from the original on 24 May 2010. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "General Meeting of Shareholders, 28 and 29 April 2010: Speech of Bart De Smet, CEO". Fortis Holding. 29 April 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010. 
  9. ^ Dey, Iain (28 September 2008). "B&B and Fortis both in crisis". The Times. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Legal Structure". Royal Park Investments. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  11. ^ Blenkinsop, Philip (8 May 2009). "BUY OR SELL-Fortis emerges from legal, shareholder battles". Reuters. Retrieved 9 May 2010. 
  12. ^ The Bourne Local (20 September 2012). "Ageas in £116m Groupama takeover". The Bourne Local. 

External links[edit]