Helvetia CEO Philipp Gmür is completely happy. “We are delighted with the broad-based growth and robust profit,” said the top manager in today’s statement from the insurance group for the first half of the year.
Plus 21 percent in business volume, even plus 31 percent in the non-life business, driven by an acquisition in Spain. Fantastico.
Another picture emerges behind the gleaming facade – one that employs the 4,000 Helvetia employees in Switzerland.
There is talk of a dismantling. 140 net jobs are lost as part of an austerity program called 20.25.
Officially, it is the new strategy of Helvetia, which Gmür and his troops had already presented in the spring and with which the group wants to save a total of 100 million in expenses by 2025.
“This is mainly done by reducing material costs,” said a spokesman for Helvetia yesterday evening when asked.
“In addition, around 140 jobs will be cut in Switzerland by the end of 2022, which corresponds to around 3.5 percent of the total workforce (in Switzerland).”
Then he states: “If possible, this should be done through natural fluctuation, retirement and reduced vacancies. It is not yet possible to quantify how many employer layoffs there will be. “
According to a source, dismissals are said to have already taken place. This also affects employees over 50 who have spent their entire professional life at Helvetia.
In fact, at Helvetia, all age and employee categories are equally at risk if layoffs should occur.
“If in addition to natural fluctuation, retirement and reduced vacancies also dismissals have to be pronounced, we do not differentiate according to age,” says the spokesman.
“In any case, the downsizing will be implemented in a fair and socially acceptable manner using a social plan and measures such as outplacement, training, etc.”
UBS emphasized on similar occasions that from 58 employees would no longer just end up on the street. The leading bank offers generous early retirement in this age category.
Conversely, this means for the 50 to 58 year olds that they belong to the group in which the dismissed in the worst case end up on the RAV.
Helvetia is now making it clear that it treats all employees equally. There is no group that would be protected from job loss due to one characteristic.
CEO Gmür had a year ago to announce a deep diver. His Helvetia was completely wrong with its investments around the Covid outbreak.
In St.Gallen, positions were closed at an inopportune time and were then forced to invest again when prices were high.
There was also a major bankruptcy with an IT project. This ended up in the junkyard and caused a steep copy-off.
The first half of 2021 now appears all the more brilliant, not least because it was fueled by the friendly stock exchanges.
“The IFRS result after taxes increased to CHF 262.4 million in the first half of 2021 (first half of 2020: CHF -16.9 million)”, Helvetia stated in its ad hoc communique this morning.
“A major driver of the improvement was stronger investment results, which benefited from the good performance of the equity markets in the first half of 2021.”
In addition, the “purchase of Caser”, the Spanish insurance company, paid off. “The Spanish insurance company, which was taken over in mid-2020, contributed CHF 32.1 million to the half-year result.”
The question arises: How much of your own performance is behind the brilliant plus of the Helvetia Group?