ERGO Insurance Group

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ERGO Group
ERGO Versicherungsgruppe
Subsidiary
Industry Financial services
Founded 1997
Headquarters Düsseldorf, Germany
Key people
Markus Rieß (Chairman of the Management Board)
Nikolaus von Bomhard (Chairman of the Supervisory Board)
Products Reinsurance, primary insurance
Number of employees
53 217 (2008)
Parent Munich Re
Website www.ergo.com

ERGO (ERGO Group, German: ERGO Group) is one of the major insurance groups in Europe. Worldwide, ERGO is represented in more than 30 countries and is concentrated in Europe and Asia. In Europe, ERGO claims to be no. 1 in the health and legal expenses insurance segments, and in its home market of Germany it is among the market leaders. 50,000 people work full-time for the Group, either as salaried employees or as self-employed sales representatives.

With premium income amounting to €19bn, ERGO offers different types of insurance and other services. 40 million customers – of which 20 million are in Germany – currently buy the services provided by ERGO and its companies.

ERGO is part of Munich Re, one of the world's leading reinsurers and risk carriers. Munich Re holds a 99.69% stake in ERGO.

Main activities[edit]

ERGO Group belongs to one of the largest German companies in the field of insurance. The activities of the group include life insurance, health insurance, non-life and casualty insurance, legal expenses insurance, travel insurance, and financial services.

The main activities of the group focus on private clients, company pension schemes, and medium-sized business. In Europe, ERGO is the first in health and legal expenses insurance; in its home market Germany ERGO claims to belong to the market leaders in all lines of business. The company consists of:

  • D.A.S.
  • DKV
  • ERGO Life Insurance (formerly Hamburg-Mannheimer)
  • ERGO Insurance (formerly Victoria)
  • Vereinsbank Victoria Bauspar
  • Europäische Reiseversicherung AG (in short ERV)
  • ERGO Direkt Versicherungen (formerly KarstadtQuelle Versicherungen)
  • MEAG - Munich Ergo AssetManagement (capital investment company of ERGO)
  • Neckermann Versicherungen
  • ITERGO (IT services provider of Ergo)

Outside of Germany, ERGO Group operates in over 30 countries. The foreign participations are mostly bundled in ERGO International AG. ERGO is mostly active in Southern, Middle and Eastern Europe and Asia.

ERGO Group changed the structure of its group in late 2010 to offer non-life and life insurances in Germany under the ERGO brand. Furthermore, the direct insurer KarstadtQuelle Versicherungen was renamed ERGO Direkt Versicherungen, health insurance was consolidated under the trademark DKV, and legal expenses insurance was put under the trademark D.A.S. The trademark ERV will remain in business for travel insurance. The trademarks Victoria and Hamburg-Mannheimer were removed from the market.

History[edit]

ERGO Group AG came into being at the end of 1997 by fusion of Victoria Holding AG and Hamburg-Mannheimer AG; the latter evolved from Hamburg-Mannheimer Versicherungs-AG, the life insurance company of Hamburg-Mannheimer-Gruppe.

On December 1, 1997, the shareholders of Victoria Holding AG that was formerly listed on the stock exchange, approved the transfer of the whole property of their companies to ERGO Group AG. Every nominal share of Victoria could be exchanged for ten bearer shares of ERGO. Victoria Holding AG disappeared from the stock exchange after the closure of the transaction on February 2, 1998; its place in MDAX was taken by Ergo Group AG.

On April 1, 2001 the majority shareholder Münchener Rück (today Munich Re) announced an exchange offer to the shareholders of ERGO, in the framework of which two shares of ERGO could be exchanged for one share of Münchener Rück plus cash payment of 18 Euros. After the offer had expired in July 2001, the shares of ERGO left MDAX due to the reduced free float.

Share capital[edit]

On the balance sheet day December 31, 2006 the share capital of ERGO Group AG totalled €192,279,504.20, divided in 75,492,117 bearer shares 2.60 € each. The shares of ERGO Group AG are listed on the stock exchange under WKN 841852 and ISIN DE0008418526. 94.7% (since November 25, 2009 99.69% with the purpose to raise the participation to 100% by means of the so-called squeeze out) of the shares belong to Munich Re.

Sex Scandal of Hamburg-Mannheimer[edit]

The BBC reported in May 2011 that in 2007 one of the company's subsidiaries (Hamburg-Mannheimer) had held an orgy with around 100 guests and 20 prostitutes in order to "reward" independent agents. Even though first stated as one-off event, in 2012 it was revealed by Handelsblatt that incentive trips were also arranged to Jamaikan swinger-club in 2009-2011 in Hamburg-Mannheimer.

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