Ping An Insurance of China is now the world’s most valuable insurance brand worth US$16 billion, dethroning Allianz of Germany, according to Brand Finance, a global business valuation consultancy.
The China-based insurance group reported a net profit of US$9 billion for 2016, its highest since 2003. Another contributor to its rise is the insurance climate of China, which in spite of a slowdown, still remains more dynamic than the more mature markets of the US and Western Europe where many leading insurance brands are based.
Aside from the macroeconomic factors, Ping An has also proved successful in cross-selling based on excellent core products. The firm’s online platform offers a limited number of free products and services to potential customers. According to Brand Finance, this created significant goodwill and expanded the company’s user base, which means a larger platform for cross-selling.
Ping An is also the first Chinese financial group to employ a Net Promoter Score (NPS) model to track customer feedback and brand loyalty. This move resulted in a high customer equity score in the Brand Strength Index.
“Ping An has lofty ambitions, aiming to become the world’s leading provider of personal finance,” commented David Haigh, CEO of Brand Finance. “Based on this evidence, in the long term it may not be an unrealistic goal.”
Meanwhile, Allianz, which dropped to second place, saw its brand value decrease by 7% to US$15 billion. Its revenues took a hit from high damage claims from several storm and flooding incidents in its home market of Europe. Weaker investment performance and the loss incurred by its sale of its South Korean business affected profits. Despite the losses, the company still posted strong full year results, partly due to increased demand for retirement products caused by Europe’s aging population.
The US’s largest life insurer, MetLife, saw third-quarter profit fall 52% on derivative losses and costs tied to the spinoff of its US retail business. Like Allianz, it has been affected by low interest rates. With brand value down by 12% to US$6.6 billion, Metlife went down four places, from 5th to 9th place. It is currently rebranding, ending its partnership with cartoon mascot Snoopy and adopting a more serious image.
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The fastest growing insurance brand was Chubb, with a brand value growth of 180%, leaping from 36th place to 11th place. While Chubb itself is performing strongly, the jump is more of a one-time boost due to the merger with Ace, resulting in one of the largest publicly traded property and casualty (P&C) insurance businesses in the world.
Conversely, the biggest loser was NN Group, with a brand value that dropped 48% to US$650 million. The Netherlands-based group struggled with low interest rates and market volatility, which resulted in a profit decline of 60% in the last quarter of 2016.
This article is from Insurance Business NZ by Gabriel Olano