GEB Moves Headquarters to Luxembourg
Generali’s Trieste, Italy-based mother company Assicurazioni Generali SpA in May 2018 announced it would set up a new branch in Luxembourg, dedicated to the global employee benefits business.
It will operate as the insurance and reinsurance operation of Generali Group serving global companies and their employees from the multinational corporate as well as the international middle market segments. The Luxembourg branch also will be used as a base to launch new health & wellness, business travel assistance, and voluntary employee benefits and pensions products.
It will be run by Ludovic Bayard as General Manager of Assicurazioni Generali SpA – Luxembourg branch.
Being a branch, as opposed to a full-fledged corporation, the new operation will benefit from the rating of Assicurazioni Generali itself and will be co-regulated by Luxembourg’s Commissariat aux Assurances (CAA) and by the Italian regulator IVASS.
According to Frédéric de Courtois, CEO Generali Global Business Lines & International, the establishment of the “new branch is another important step towards the strengthening of our position in the Employee Benefits market. ”. Sergio di Caro, CEO Generali Employee Benefits, commented on GEB’s strategy: having a “new branch […] solely dedicated to EB, together with ongoing initiatives in customer segmentation, product offering and technology, highlights the strategic importance of this line of business for the Group”.
A Partial Relocation to a Favorable Environment
It is understood that GEB will keep most of its back-office, and most of its staff in its current location of Brussels.
As a multinational pooling network, GEB joins Swiss Life in relocating its global headquarters to Luxembourg, where many U.S. and Japanese insurers have announced they would base their Continental European operations in the wake of Brexit. Relocating Brussels-based staff to Luxembourg is far easier than doing so from Zürich, Switzerland, except for the cost of living, which is substantially higher than in Brussels and only a little lower than in Zürich; what is more, living in Belgium near the Luxembourg border is cheap, easy, and commonplace; and shuttling back-and-forth between Brussels and Luxembourg is something that many people working for E.U. institutions do on a frequent basis (two hours by car or three by train). Therefore, GEB is expected to experience few if any difficulties in relocating to Luxembourg in spite of the current dearth of experienced, English-speaking insurance practitioners there.