The images that appear in this timeline are reproduced from and also appear in ‘The Time of the Lion’ (Generali, 2015) or from public domain. Generali would like to thank once again all those who have contributed to the wealth of imagery in this book. The images that appear in this timeline are from the following sources:
A century and a half - of future
Castello di San Giusto in the city of Trieste hosts the company’s 150th anniversary celebrations. Generali is at the apex of the domestic insurance market and outside of Italy controls 35 insurance providers as well as a further 67 of Europe’s top companies.
New products for new challenges
This is the period that would see the formation of new types of policies, such as the Gesav variable life policy, the GenerComit fund and the first policy in European Currency Units. Particularly successful is Gesav, which revolutionises the life insurance market.
Return to Hungary
The long, drawn out process begins that will eventually see Generali return to the Hungarian market. Allami Biztositó - Generali Budapest is founded in 1989 and by 1991 Generali Group will become the majority shareholder.
Computers in the office
Midway through the 1980s a technological revolution hits Generali, as the company installs thousands of computer terminals and creates an intranet connecting every part of the Group in Italy.
1985 sees Generali employ the talents of Italian cartoonist Giorgio Forattini to publicise its association with Alitalia. Not long after, Alleanza (in 1990) and Toro (1995) will follow suit, signing up artists Milo Manara and Marco Biassoni for their advertising campaigns.
Generali’s brand new centre of operations in Italy is unveiled in Mogliano Veneto. Hitherto, coordination of the Group’s activities in Italy was divided between the Veneto and Milan offices. Now all operations will be centralised.
End of an era
The fall of communism hails the end of a chapter in history that began with World War I - and coincides perfectly with Generali’s decision to relocate its legal head office from Rome back to Trieste.
A global advertising campaign
Generali’s increasing international presence is highlighted with an innovative and historically significant advertising campaign throughout its main territories. The Group becomes the first insurer to send one unique message out across numerous markets, accompanied by a strong corporate identity.
Italy-Spain - everybody wins
The company strengthens its position in Spain with the foundation of Generali España Holding, a joint venture with Banco Central Hispanoamericano.
Insurance by phone
Genertel is founded - the first company in Italy to specialise in the sale of insurance policies over the phone and later, online; and quickly becomes the national forerunner in the area of direct marketing.
Generali opens an overseas liaison office in Beijing, thanks to which, four years later the company is granted licence to operate. Good relations with the locals subsequently lead to the creation of two new insurance companies in the Philippines.
The bank of the lion
Banca Generali opens its doors, created to offer customers innovative and competitively priced banking services, with the strength of the Group behind it.
Even more ahead of the game
Generali successfully acquires Ina, consolidating its dominance in Italy and becoming Europe’s premier life insurance provider.
A plan of action
Generali launches a three-year strategy for the first time in its history, succeeding in all its objectives by the end of 2005: a 28% increase in premium income and a 67% rise in consolidated earnings.
A code of ethics
The Group creates an official company code of ethics, putting into black and white the principles that it has always stood by; honesty and fairness, impartiality, professionalism and valuing people.
The fine wines of Genagricola
Italian wine producers with a combined yield of 9,000 tons of grapes per annum are brought together to form Le Tenute di Genagricola. The wines are produced in each vineyard’s own facilities by skilled winemakers aided by the consultation of a world-renowned specialist.
The years of the lion
Four years after opening its first Chinese branch in Canton, General China Life expands to Beijing and beyond, with a sales network of several thousand employees. 2006 sees the company expand into non-life.
The lion and the bull
Generali’s continued expansion in Italy brings the acquisition of Toro and its subsidiaries, making the company domestic market leader in non-life now as well as life.
A solid core
By the end of 2006 Generali is present in ten countries in central and eastern Europe. A year later the company will enter into a joint venture with PPF Group, and in doing so becomes one of the major players in the region.
Generali in sport
Generali is an official partner of the Italian national football team as they win the World Cup in Germany, but the successes don’t end there; the national fencing team, roared on as ever by the winged lion, win seven medals at the World Cup in Turin.
A higher level
The company’s 175th anniversary sees Generali in peak condition, with the 2006 balance sheet exceeding all targets. The dividend to shareholders is close to €1bn - up 39% on 2005.
The height of the recession
Not even Generali is able to withstand the impact of the global financial crisis: capitalisation is at a historic low, profit margins are lower than those of its competitors and capital strength is at dangerous levels.
A new direction
The board of directors appoints the experienced Mario Greco as the Group’s CEO, charged with the task of implementing a new phase of growth, to restore the company to its former glory as industry leader.
Culture in the blood
Generali takes on the role of patron to various artistic endeavours: Generali for Music is launched, in partnership with organisations such as the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome and the educational museum Radici del Presente in Romeʼs Piazza Venezia.
Three words for the future
Investor Day in London is chosen by CEO Mario Greco as the day Generali will outline its strategy for transformation, based on three core principles: discipline, simplicity, focus.
Close to the people
Maintaining the company’s historic tradition of social responsibility, Generali strikes up a partnership with Revert, an Italian non-profit organisation performing clinical experiments in cell therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
The plan to sell off non-core assets comes to fruition a year ahead of schedule. At the same time, strategic acquisitions in central and eastern Europe continue to strengthen the Group’s position in this all-important growing market.