What are your priorities for the 2023-2025 strategic plan?
We are targeting three priority topics. In the field of insurance activities where AG2R La Mondiale is present – apart from supplementary pensions –, we must ensure control of financial balances, particularly with regard to provident insurance. The second priority is to change gear in terms of information and digital systems to ensure our operational excellence. Finally, customer satisfaction must be at the center of all our thoughts and all our actions.
What do you intend to do to rectify the pension?
Significant work needs to be done on the economic performance of AG2R Prévoyance. On June 9, we are going to present a recovery plan which aims to earn 130 million euros per year by 2025. Provident institutions must stabilize their financial costs in order to ensure the sustainability of their activities. We will first work on pricing. The end of designation clauses by branch agreement has led to new commercial costs for our teams. We have to take this into account and review the loadings. We will also seek to improve technical results by agreeing to terminate certain contracts. In insurance more than elsewhere perhaps, growth must be profitable, given Solvency 2, which requires the inclusion of future profit projections in equity calculations. We must be careful not to degrade our solvency margin. We also hope to improve multi-equipment. This lever has not been exploited enough, in particular via digital, in compliance, of course, with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations, Ed).
How can digital develop in the group?
The group has fallen behind in digital, no doubt because it was built through successive mergers. André Renaudin (his predecessor, editor’s note) carried out significant work to integrate entities and teams. We must now do the same for information systems. Customer knowledge remains today very fragmented, information systems present a risk of obsolescence, partnerships and synergies take a long time to deploy. We need to change gear and set up an open and shared organization that will benefit policyholders but also employees. It is in this context that Pascal Martinez joined the group management committee, where he is in charge of information systems and digital. He will lead the transformation over several years.
You announced a new direction at the beginning of May. What is the goal ?
The new management organization chart aims to encourage teamwork between businesses and functions and thus reduce silos. In addition to Pascal Martinez, François Rubichon also joined the group as general secretary. We are also setting up a young executive committee called “Comme1Comex”, made up of 8 women and 8 men under 40 years old. They will work on certain subjects and will have the duty to be prods, in particular on subjects related to new technologies.
Do you still have ambitions for a rapprochement with another player in property damage?
We have not given up opening up to property and casualty insurance despite the abandonment of the merger with Matmut. This would be helpful in terms of multi-equipment and solvency gains through business diversification. The idea of starting from scratch in P&C is discarded. We are putting three options on the table: either a merger with a player comparable to Matmut, a specialist in P&C, or a partnership agreement to distribute damage products from another player, or the takeover of a insurtech. We will wait for the right opportunity before acting.
Can a fintech be integrated into a large group like yours?
The question arises for a insurtech as for a traditional insurer. It all depends on cultural compatibility and leaders. We have also just finalized our work on a reference system for joining the group for all our entities and any new entrants such as the mutual Intériale, with which discussions with a view to a merger are ongoing. The group has grown to such a size that we need to get all parties clear on a set of rules for business planstrategy, human resources, finance, management of the cash and assets, risks, information, marketing and communication systems.
What are your points of attention on the evolution of the markets and the next major reforms?
The economic environment is strongly marked by uncertainty and geopolitics. We must now study several economic scenarios in our internal risk assessment process (Orsa). The recovery in interest rates promises to be good news overall, even if we prefer to count on our transformation plan.
We will also be attentive to the next pension reform. The increase in the legal retirement age had the side effect of creating an additional, unanticipated burden for the provident institutions responsible for paying more disability pensions. This question seems to have been better taken into account by the government. Finally, a possible dependency reform will concern us. Beyond the reflection on its financing, we will take care to raise the subject of training and human resources in this sector.
Interview by Alexandre Garabedian and Thibaud Vadjoux