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Strategy

Thanks to a clear strategy and consistent implementation of Group-wide programmes, Swiss Life can make its customers a long-term, solid, attractive value proposition – so that they can lead their longer lives in an assured and self-determined way.

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The Swiss Life Group is one of Europe’s leading comprehensive life and pensions and financial solutions providers. Swiss Life’s success is due to a clear strategy, sound corporate values and a charismatic brand.

Key trends for achieving full potential

In addition to regulatory and political trends, socio-economic changes such as increasing life expectancy affect Swiss Life’s environment. The social and economic consequences of demographic developments have a wide-ranging impact on human life, and are not to be underestimated. Self- determination and providing for a longer life are at the core of the company’s activities: Swiss Life helps its customers lead a longer self-determined life with confidence.

Changing customer behaviour has an equal effect on Swiss Life. Innovation, process security and competence are the ingredients of a good customer relationship. Customers are better informed than ever; they are able to compare benefits immediately and demand new products and services. And new modes of access as well as the ability to receive all relevant information any time, any place are also de rigueur.

Continuity and consistent implementation of strategic goals

Swiss Life reports regularly on its strategic priorities and associated financial objectives. In November 2015, Swiss Life presented its current Group-wide programme, “Swiss Life 2018”. The Group-wide programme is based on the “Swiss Life 2015” and Milestone programmes, both now successfully concluded, which sustainably consolidated Swiss Life’s competitive position despite a difficult environment.

Alongside profitability, margin management and cost efficiency, disciplined asset and liability management remain central to Swiss Life’s market success. Swiss Life’s long investment duration and robust direct investment income enable it to withstand the current low interest rate environment and protect the interest margin. The investment strategy is structured so that consistent asset and liability management ensures the interest rate margin remains protected for decades. The company can thus meet its customer guarantees, even if the low interest rate environment endures over the long term.

“Swiss Life 2018” – strategic thrusts

To promote quality of earnings and earnings growth, Swiss Life is prioritising four profit sources: the savings result, the risk result, the fee result and the cost result. Swiss Life will increase the resilience of its business model by continuing the expansion of its fee business, which is comparatively capital-light. Swiss Life will continue to consistently focus all business processes on customers. In addition, Swiss Life will increase overall investment by well over CHF 100 million within three years to further the development of the business model, and thus lay the foundations of the Group’s future success. Swiss Life invests in consulting, digitalisation and organic growth. Such investments include automating processes, and thus further reducing costs. In addition, thanks to improved customer centricity, it has also been possible to augment customer satisfaction and loyalty as well as the Net Promoter Score.

The financial objectives of the “Swiss Life 2018” Group-wide programme are as follows:

  • We aim to increase the fee and commission result by the end of 2018 to CHF 400–450 million.
  • Our target for the risk result is CHF 350–400 million.
  • Cumulatively over the three years 2016–2018, we are aiming at new business worth over CHF 750 million.
  • To free up resources for investment, we will make additional cost savings of CHF 100 million by 2018. We will invest these funds in digitalisation, quality of advice and organic growth initiatives, which should keep operating costs (without Asset Managers) stable.
  • We also aim to remit at least CHF 1.5 billion in cash to the holding company cumulatively over the next strategic phase.
  • We aim to achieve a payout ratio in the 30–50% range.
  • We continue to expect an adjusted return on equity of 8–10%.

Continuous reporting

As part of its reporting on annual and semi-annual results, Swiss Life regularly provides detailed information on the current status of its strategic implementation and the progress of its objectives achievement. Swiss Life’s product strategy and innovations in designing its offering are presented in the “Products and Services” chapter. In view of its varied positioning in the relevant markets, Swiss Life uses a multi-local approach. Swiss Life also reports on its strategic thrusts and investments by individual divisions in its segment information.

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