Rising from the ashes

Ageas is the new name for the old Fortis insurance business. And while it’s a company that still grappling with it’s past, that’s not been stopping it in its search for a brighter future. We hear how Ageas has gone back to basics: like trying to have happy clients, employees and distributors; we hear too how the world of insurance isn’t going to go global any time soon, and we hear some thoughts on dealing with consultants.

For the financial services group Fortis, the financial crisis could have spelled the end. Previously the 20th largest company in the world, after 2008 they were forced to pay off their government bailout which they did by dividing the company into parts and selling off most of them. However, for one arm of Fortis, this change was only the beginning.

While the rest of the company changed hands, the insurance operations remained under Fortis control, taking on a new name – Ageas - to signal a fresh start for the future. Since then, the company has achieved what at one time seemed a “mission impossible” - transforming their reputation and leaving the past behind.

Today, Ageas sports divisions across Europe and Asia, with more than 13,000 employees in Europe and more than 15,000 employees in Asia and an annual inflow of over €21 billion. They are Belgium’s largest insurer, finding success in taking the skills they have learned in international markets and applying them locally, wherever that might be.

We met with CEO Bart De Smet to discover how Ageas has succeeded in transforming their destiny, and to find out what their plans are for the future.


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