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o narrate the history of a company means retracing the thread that links the corporate mission originally conceived by its founders to today’s reality. It means embarking on an ideal voyage that is all the more exciting the further the distance between the departure and the point of arrival. In this voyage of discovery, the original seed that was sown so long ago is often difficult to recognise looking at today’s robust and vigorous plant. The history of Assicurazioni Generali starts from the desire to unravel a thread stretched across two centuries, during which serious crises have sometimes jeopardised the Company’s survival. This book is not a mere analysis of corporate facts, but a comprehensive overview of the unsettled, challenging and often hostile scenarios that have unfolded over the course of the Company’s history. As all real travellers well know, the lure of travel lies in the voyage itself rather than in the destination. The same can be said for Generali: success has never been a point of arrival, but rather a stage along the path of constant growth. This path, started in 1831, has since been trodden with caution, yet with the steady pace of those who know the ground they’re walking upon and the dangers it hides, overcoming obstacles and maintaining their route. Today, the Generali Group’s worldwide prestige owes a great deal to the longsighted vision of the Company’s founders, who developed a highly modern project based on solid pillars: a wide and diverse shareholding community, a sound capital base to achieve the ambitious goals set, a diversified operating and geographical structure, in line with the insurance concept of risk fragmentation. Over the decades, the men who have been at the helm of the Company have focused their efforts on enhancing professional skills, nurturing and passing on a strong corporate culture and a heritage of shared values from generation to generation. This unique and dynamic corporate culture is what allowed Generali to confront global changes and the challenges they pose. In a nutshell, the history of Assicurazioni Generali is but the result of the interaction between two forces: the value of tradition and the drive towards innovation.


Index of chapters 1800-1830

Trieste: a fertile ground. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



The foundation of Assicurazioni Generali Austro-Italiche . . . 8


A new name for the Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14


Investing in land and agriculture. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18


Difficult years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22


At the top of the Italian market . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24


The establishment of the Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26


The golden age . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30


New impulse for real estate investments . . . . . . . . . . . 34


United to Italy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36


Postwar problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40


A century of success. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44


The losses of the Second World War . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50


The recovery. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56


The years of the economic miracle. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60


Overcoming the crises. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64


Towards new horizons. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70


A leading player in the global market . . . . . . . . . . . . 76

Scenarios for the third millennium. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84



Focus sections A tormented city . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 The Group’s homes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 From the eagle to the lion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 The house organs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 The chairmen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 After work… commitment to sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 The farming strategy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 The Company’s share capital growth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Community and environment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Generali and the web . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94

Analytical indexes Persons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 Companies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 Images . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97



Trieste: a fertile ground


he beginning of the century brought great pros-

lishment of an insurance company: Compagnia

perity to Trieste: these were years of bustling ac-

d’Assicurazione. Other companies were founded

tivity during which trade expanded, the popula-

between the end of the 18th and the beginning

tion grew and the many neo-classical buildings

of the 19th century. In 1804, faced with the dam-

that can still be admired today were built. The

age caused by the violence of the Bora wind, 15

insurance business developed, too. It had taken

insurance companies formed a syndicate, the

root in Trieste in 1766 when Maria Theresa of

first in the history of marine insurance, entrusted

Austria – who had given impulse to the develop-

with the task of fixing common conditions and

ment of the free port – encouraged the estab-

premium rates.

Napoleon in Trieste. French troops enter the city in 1797 in a painting by Alfredo Tominz. A flourishing port. Trieste in an early 19th century print.


Trieste: a fertile ground

Looking out 1800 - Alessandro Volta announces the invention of the pile. 1804 - Napoleon declares himself Emperor of the French.

The situation, howev-

1806 - After a thousand years, the Holy Roman Empire officially ceases to exist.

er, soon changed. During the second and, par-

1807 - Idealist philosopher Friedrich Hegel publishes Phenomenology of Spirit.

ticularly, third occupaGiuseppe Lazzaro Morpurgo

tion by the Napoleonic troops, Trieste – which

free port” that the right

had been cut off from its hinterland and stran-

conditions were creat-

gled by the British naval blockade – underwent

ed for an economic re-

a major economic disaster. It was only with the

birth. The change was

restoration of Austrian sovereignty and the re-

also reflected in the

introduction of the “former privileges of the

rapid growth of the insurance industry, with a flurry of new initiatives. One of the personalities who stood out in this period was Giuseppe Lazzaro Morpurgo, a businessman who was

1815 - Napoleon is defeated at Waterloo. After the Congress of Vienna, the Lombardo Veneto Kingdom is assigned to Austria and the Papal States are restored. Russia, Austria and Prussia forge the Holy Alliance. 1819 - Sir Walter Scott publishes Ivanhoe. 1821 - Simón Bolívar defeats the Spanish in the Venezuelan battle of Carabobo. 1825 - The first passenger railway is inaugurated in England, eleven years after George Stephenson had invented the steam locomotive. 1829 - Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is performed for the first time. 1830 - In France, the “July revolution” overthrows King Charles X; Louis-Philippe of Orléans, is crowned King. Hokusai paints The Breaking Wave Off Kanagawa, a masterpiece of Japanese Art.

fascinated by insurance theory and practice. He was the first, in 1814, to give renewed impetus to the insurance business by establishing Accomandita di Assicurazioni. This was followed by the foundation of Azienda Assicuratrice in 1822, for which he succeeded in gathering significant venture capital. However, his dream of creating an all-round insurance company based on extensive capital, multi-branch operations and widespread territorial range had to wait for another ten years before it eventually became a reality.

An ambitious initiative. Thanks to his experience matured in the insurance sector, in 1822 Giuseppe Lazzaro Morpurgo established Azienda Assicuratrice, the first ever Trieste company to have significant capital at its disposal. The early companies. A stock ownership certificate issued by Unione di Assicuratori, established in Trieste in 1794.



A tormented city 5th century BC


In his Histories, Herodotus writes that the ancient

The Arab traveller Idris

road on which Mediterranean-bound goods are

recalls Trieste as “a flour-

conveyed from the Danubian hinterland ends at

ishing city, full of en-

the “sinus tergestinus”.

trepreneurs, indus-

1st century BC

tries and traders”.

Trieste becomes a Roman colony. The theatre


and the forum on the Capitoline hill are built be-

Trieste is forced to

tween the 1st and the 2nd century AD.

swear allegiance to the Republic of Venice.

Trieste in the Middle Ages, around 1370.


Venice renounces all claims on Trieste, which readily submits to Austria.

1719 Charles VI of Hapsburg grants Trieste free port status. The benefits arising from imperial privileges and exemptions attract traders and entrepreneurs from all over Europe. The new status proves to be a decisive factor in bringing about

948 King Lothar II grants the Church of Trieste, which

that blend of cultures and experiences that ultimately forge Trieste’s cosmopolitan character.

is contended by Aquileia and Grado, juridical


and fiscal immunity.

Maria Theresa of Hapsburg launches a major development drive by introducing the urban registry, extending education to all social classes and, with the removal of the city walls, accelerating the integration between the old aristocratic nucleus and the new mercantile classes already settled in the new part of town, the Borgo Teresiano.

Trieste is solemnly declared a free port by Charles VI in 1719, in a painting by Cesare dell’Acqua. Maria Theresa of Hapsburg, Sovereign of Austria from 1740 to 1780.


A tormented city

Plan of the city and free port around 1800.

1918 At the end of the First World War, Trieste becomes


part of Italy.

Francis Joseph elevates Trieste to the status of


“immediate town of the Empire”, granting the

After the armistice of September 8, the Germans

local Diet greater autonomy.

establish the OZAK (Operationszone Adriatisches


Küstenland), which comprises the north-eastern

From Miramare Castle, the residence he has built not far from Trieste, Maximilian, brother of Emperor Francis Joseph, embarks on his ill-fated journey to assume the imperial crown of Mexico.

border region of Italy with Trieste, Gorizia and Udine, as well as parts of present Slovenia and Croatia (Ljubljana, Istria and the Kvarner Gulf ).

1945 After forty days under Yugoslav occupation, Trieste is placed under Anglo-American administration.

1954 With the Memorandum of Understanding (signed in London on October 26), Trieste reverts to Italian rule.

1975 The treaty of Osimo definitively endorses the agreement of 1954: Trieste and Zone A are assigned to Italy, whereas Zone B is handed over to Yugoslavia. Maximilian of Hapsburg departs for Mexico.

In 2004, Trieste celebrates the 50 th anniversary of its reversion to Italy with the national Alpini reunion and other events.


The foundation of Assicurazioni Generali Austro-Italiche Looking out 1831 - Vincenzo Bellini composes Norma and The Sleepwalker. 1834 - A number of German states form the Zollverein or customs union.


here were in Trieste in 1831 some twenty insurance companies. With the sole exception of Azienda Assicuratrice, all were small entities with modest financial means, operating mainly in ma-

Louis Braille develops the systems of printing allowing the blind to read.

rine insurance. At that time, the conditions in the

1836 - Davy Crockett dies in the battle of Alamo during the war between Mexico and Texas.

surance company that could compete with the

1837 - Queen Victoria ascends the throne: she will reign over the British Empire until 1901. Louis Daguerre develops the first photographic technique. 1839 - The Opium war begins; China will ultimately cede Hong Kong to Great Britain in 1842. 1840 - The first stamp, known as the penny black, is issued in Great Britain.

city were suitable for the creation of a large in-

big players emerging in nearby Lombardo Veneto Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe. The man behind this initiative was once again Giuseppe Lazzaro Morpurgo. Drawing on the experience gained with Azienda Assicuratrice (and in full awareness of the limits of that type of insurance company), Morpurgo gathered around him a group of entrepreneurs who shared his drive and enthusiasm to launch the ambitious project he had been nurturing for many years. On December 26, 1831, the memorandum of association of Assicurazioni Generali AustroItaliche was signed.

The first headquarters. The neo-classical Palazzo Carciotti, built in the early 19th century by a wealthy Greek merchant, housed Generali’s headquarters from its foundation to 1866.


The foundation of Assicurazioni Generali Austro-Italiche

Looking in 1831 - On December 26, the memorandum of association of Assicurazioni Generali AustroItaliche is signed. 1832 - On February 16, the shareholders’ meeting approves the articles of association and appoints Giovanni Cristoforo Ritter de Zahony as chairman of the Company. In July, the Company rents a number of rooms in the Procuratie Vecchie building in Venice’s Piazza San Marco where it establishes the Veneto Head Office, in charge of operations in the Italian peninsula. 1835 - Ritter de Zahony resigns. The Board of Directors decides that a new chairman will not be appointed. The post will remain vacant until 1909. 1836 - Masino Levi, Generali’s agent in Padua, is called to Trieste and is appointed secretary general – a post he will maintain for forty years. Leone Pincherle is appointed secretary general at the Veneto Head Office.

December 26, 1831. The foundation date of Assicurazioni Generali is remembered for a tremendous storm that struck the city of Trieste, as depicted in a painting of the time. Initial capital. Assicurazioni Generali’s initial capital was 2 million Florins, divided into 2,000 shares of 1,000 Florins each: a truly remarkable sum, enough to sustain four or five families for an entire year.

The memorandum. Assicurazioni Generali’s memorandum of association, made up of 47 articles, was approved by the shareholders’ meeting held on February 16, 1832.




Kingdom of the Two Sicilies 1833 - Generali opens its first agency in Naples. 1846 - Restrictive laws are enforced against foreign insurers. 1855 - Generali is once again authorised to operate in the Kingdom. 1863 - Following the annexation of southern Italy to the Kingdom of Italy, Generali opens agencies in Sicily. Duchy of Parma, Piacenza and Guastalla 1837 - Generali is authorised to operate and opens an agency in Parma. 1849 - The license is withdrawn following the introduction of the insurance monopoly in the Duchy. 1860 - Generali resumes operations following the annexation of the Duchy to Italy.

The Italian territories in 1840 Kingdom of Sardinia Lombardo Veneto Kingdom Duchy of Parma Duchy of Modena Grand Duchy of Tuscany Papal States Kingdom of the Two Sicilies

THE DIFFICULT EXPANSION IN THE ITALIAN TERRITORIES Kingdom of Sardinia 1832 - Generali opens an agency in Genoa, which is soon closed as a consequence of disappointing results. 1840 - Generali obtains a new licence from King Charles Albert authorising it to operate in all lines of business except fire, which is reserved to Società Reale Mutua. 1855 - Generali is authorised to underwrite fire insurance in Piedmont.

Duchy of Modena 1839 - Generali is granted formal authorisation to operate and opens two agencies, in Modena and in Reggio Emilia. 1841 - Insurance monopoly is intoduced and all foreign companies are expelled. 1860 - Generali resumes operations following the annexation of the Duchy to Italy.

Papal States 1832 - Generali opens two agencies, one in Ferrara and the other in Ancona. 1836 - Generali opens an agency in Rome. 1837 - Local authorities establish Società Pontificia di Assicurazioni, which enjoys a monopoly of insurance business (granted by the State). All foreign companies are expelled. 1860 - Società Pontificia di Assicurazioni cedes the portfolio of its agencies in the regions of Emilia and Romagna – now annexed to the Kingdom of Italy – to Generali. 1862 - Generali takes over the entire insurance business of Società Pontificia di Assicurazioni. Grand Duchy of Tuscany 1832 - Generali opens an agency in Florence. Its activity in the Grand Duchy proceeds smoothly.


The foundation of Assicurazioni Generali Austro-Italiche

The new Company could rely on a capital of two

were opened in all Italian states, in the most

million Austrian Florins, ten times as much as the

important cities of the Empire – from Vienna to

average capital paid up by other Trieste-based

Prague and Pest – and in Europe’s major ports,

insurance companies.

starting with Bordeaux and Marseille.

The appellation “Generali” underlined the will on the part of the Company to operate in all lines of business – as explicitly stated and explained in a notice published with great emphasis on the announcements page of the Osservatorio Triestino, shortly after Generali’s foundation. From the outset, the Company adopted a dual managerial structure: the Central Head Office in Trieste and the Veneto Head Office in Venice. The task of the Central Head Office – with premises in the prestigious Palazzo Carciotti on Trieste’s seafront – was to supervise overall operations and to develop business in the Austrian Empire, whereas the Veneto Head Office – occupying part of the Procuratie Vecchie building in Venice’s Piazza San Marco – was to handle operations in the Lombardo Vene-

The expansion in Europe. After barely a few years, Generali established offices in the main cities of the Austrian Empire as well as in Europe’s major ports. The Veneto Head Office. In July 1832, Generali rented a portion of the Procuratie Vecchie building in Venice’s Piazza San Marco.

to Kingdom and in the rest of the peninsula. Growth in the first decade was rapid: agencies



The Group’s homes Generali Immobiliare The Generali Group has worldwide real estate assets worth approximately 23 billion Euros. Established in 2008, Generali Immobiliare, based in Paris, is responsible for developing and co-ordinating real estate activities for the entire Group. All Generali real estate divisions located in the countries where the Group operates will report to the new entity.

New horizons Between the end of the second and the beginning of the third millennium, the Group decided to seize the significant growth opportunities offered by the emerging markets of Asia and eastern Europe, where a number of new companies have been established, also through local partners. In the pictures: the Beijing headquarters of Generali China and the Warsaw offices of Generali Towarzystwo Ubezpieczeń.

CityLife, a winning project Through the establishment of Generali Properties (since 2008 Generali Gestione Immobiliare) – the company that manages a big portion of the property portfolio of Assicurazioni Generali and Alleanza – in 2002, the Group gave autonomy to the new real estate core business. Generali Properties’ CityLife project won the international tender in 2004 for the urban redevelopment of the Milan fair district. New head offices New modern head offices have been built to enhance integration among different Group features, with a view to rationalising and streamlining company structures. An example is given by the Saint-Denis complex, just outside the centre of Paris, where around 3,000 employees have been working since 2003, who were formerly assigned to 26 separate units in the French capital city.


The Group’s homes

Implementing sustainable development Generali Switzerland’s new headquarters in Nyon incorporate sustainability principles aimed at minimising environmental impact by employing energy saving technologies. This new dynamic and interactive environment also includes a restaurant, a crèche and a gym.

A consolidated presence in Europe A number of important subsidiaries are located in west-European countries, where the Group is among leading companies on the market. This role is reflected by the prestigious buildings that house the local head offices such as the headquarters of Vitalicio and of the Austrian holding company, in Paseo de Gracia, Barcelona, and in Landskrongasse, Vienna, respectively.

An “embassy” in Rome Between the end of the 19 th and the beginning of the 20 th century, chairman Marco Besso commissioned the building of Generali head offices – decorated with the winged lion of St Mark – in the historic squares of major Italian and European cities. In particular, the Piazza Venezia building in Rome, inaugurated in 1906, houses the Representative Office, a sort of “embassy” for Generali colleagues and guests from abroad.

A tower in Latin America The Generali Tower was built in 2002 in Avenida Samuel Lewis – one of the main streets in Panama City – in a residential area with a number of important embassies. The tower houses the Generali Branch in Panama and was awarded the Magno prize in the commercial facilities category by the Sociedad Panameña de Ingenieros y Arquitectos, the local engineers’ guild.


A new name for the Company


decade after its foundation, Generali could look back at its performance with satisfaction. The Company had already set up a network of agencies that covered a dozen countries, and its results were good both in terms of expansion and profit. At the helm of the Company during this delicate phase was Masino Levi, Generali’s former agent in Padua, who had been asked to fill the highest executive post within the Company – that of secretary general – in 1836. He would ultimately remain in that post for forty years. However, business in the independent states of the Italian territories was not progressing well: diffidence was high and governments did not trust “foreign” companies. In particular, things took a bad turn in the Duchy of Modena, where the licence granted in 1839 was withdrawn following the decision to set up an insur-

Looking out 1841 - The “Straits convention” proclaims the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles off-limits to nonTurkish warships. 1843 - Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman is performed for the first time. 1844 - The first telegraphic line between Washington and Baltimore is inaugurated: messages are relayed using the alphabet invented by Samuel Morse. 1845 - The Irish potato famine forces millions to migrate to the United States and other countries. 1848 - Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish the Manifesto of the Communist Party. 1849 - Victor Emmanuel II becomes King of Sardinia after the abdication of Charles Albert, defeated in the first Italian war of independence. Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield is publishes in instalments.


A new name for the Company

The first lion. St Mark’s lion, head facing left with unsheathed sword: this was the symbol that appeared on the early policies issued by the Veneto Head Office. The earliest plaques. Utilised prior to 1848 also in Italy, they bore the Hapsburg two-headed eagle. After 1848. The plaques placed on property or insured buildings were different in Italy and in the provinces of the Empire.

The earliest print-outs. Starting the 1840s, the graphic layout of insurance policies gained a more commercial look: life policies bore the image of the Parcae, mythological divinities that preside over human destiny. Masino Levi. Called by the Company to head operations in 1836, Masino Levi gave a strong impetus to Generali’s activities throughout the Empire.

ance monopoly in 1841, and in the Duchy of Parma, where similar laws led to the expulsion of Generali at the end of the decade. There were difficulties also in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, where the request put forward by the Naples agency to extend operations also to Sicily was rejected in 1846, and in Piedmont, where the monopoly on fire insurance, granted to SocietĂ Reale Mutua of Turin, seriously hindered business growth. Abroad, the Company focused on strengthening operations in the German states. In 1844, the Munich agency was opened, while in central and northern Germany operations were extended from the agencies in Hamburg and Leipzig (set up in 1837) to the Kingdom of Hannover in 1847 and

In the Empire. In the map, different colours identify the entity of claims paid in 1848 by Generali in the various territories of the Austrian Empire.

to Prussia and Saxony in 1848.




In the same year, however, a general insurrec-

lation “austro-italiche” – which had become a

tion broke out in various provinces of the Em-

cause of embarrassment in the peninsula and

pire, which changed the course of the Compa-

the Empire – removed from the Company’s

ny’s history. Senior officers at Generali’s Vene-

name. On April 8, 1848, Generali announced

to Head Office espoused with enthusiasm Dan-

that the Trieste imperial authorities had given

iele Manin’s republican cause, causing deep

the go-ahead to use the simplified version of its

embarrassment in Trieste. Freedom fighters as-

Company name: “Assicurazioni Generali”. Three

saulted a number of Generali buildings in Italy,

days later, the name change was approved by

tearing down the symbol of the Company: the

the provisional government of the Republic of

imperial two-headed eagle. Consequently, the

Venice, paving the way to similar decisions in

Board of Directors decided to have the appel-

the other Italian states.

Defending Venice


A new name for the Company

Looking in 1842 - The Osijek agency (Slavonia) is authorised to underwrite fire insurance in Belgrade. 1844 - The Munich agency is opened. 1847 - The Hamburg agency is authorised to extend operations in the Kingdom of Hannover. 1848 - The Company changes its name to Assicurazioni Generali. Operations are started in Prussia through the Königsberg agency.

The Paris uprising

The 1848 revolution. In Europe, a combination of liberal, democratic and social aspirations triggered a rebellion against the established order. Early in 1848, the tensions broke into revolutionary uprisings that hit Europe’s capitals from Paris to Berlin, from Vienna to Prague. The Hapsburg Empire was seriously undermined by the independence movements, above all in Italy and Hungary: the Five Days revolt broke out in Milan, while in Venice the insurrectionists, headed by Daniele Manin, set up a provisional republican government. Within a year, however, the reactionary forces regained the upper hand, although some social achievements – the abolition of aristocratic privileges, the democratisation of institutions and the implementation of constitutional charters – were not swept aside.

1849 - After Austria’s re-occupation of Venice, three of Generali’s leading figures – Pincherle, Maurogonato and Francesconi – are forced to seek shelter abroad following their political involvement with Daniele Manin’s republican movement.

Isacco Pesaro Maurogonato

Generali and the Venetian Republic. The establishment of the Venetian Republic by Daniele Manin was enthusiastically endorsed by numerous Generali officials, who openly backed the revolutionaries by taking up key roles in the new government. Leone Pincherle, secretary of the Veneto Head Office, was appointed Minister of Commerce, while Isacco Pesaro Maurogonato, head of the legal department became Finance Minister. Another Generali official, Daniele Francesconi (who would become head of the Veneto Head Office in 1850) was in charge of the Treviso legion, whose task was to defend Venice against attacks from the mainland. The insurrection was put down with the fall of Venice in August 1849 and forty citizens who had been closely involved with the Manin government – among whom the three Generali men – were forced to seek asylum abroad. The Five Days revolt in Milan




Investing in land and agriculture


y 1850 the economy was once again booming

there were approximately 2,000 homes with a

in Trieste. Its port was the biggest in the Empire

population of 61,000, including 2,500 Greek Or-

and second only to Marseille in southern Europe.

thodox, 3,100 Protestants and 3,400 Jews. Twen-

The new Südbahn railway across the Semmering

ty steamers belonging to the Lloyd Austriaco

connected Trieste to Vienna and opened new

shipping company linked Trieste not only to the

horizons for the port. The city was in full flow:

Mediterranean and the East but also to Switzer-

Looking out 1851 - Louis Napoleon gains power in France with a coup d’état; the following year he is proclaimed Emperor under the name of Napoleon III. Herman Melville publishes Moby Dick.

There were at that time 22 insurance companies in Trieste. Generali, too, benefited from the positive economic climate, finally overcoming the downturn

1854 - The Crimean war begins.

caused by the 1848 insurrection, when the Com-

1857 - The Sepoy mutiny breaks out in India: the East Indian Company transfers full powers to the British Crown, which imposes direct rule over the colony.

pany recorded a sharp fall in premium income and

1859 - An oil well is drilled for the first time in Titusville, Pennsylvania. Charles Darwin publishes The Origin of Species. 1860 - Robert Burke and William Wills explore the inner regions of Australia, from South to North.


land, through the Po River and Lake Maggiore.

Investing in land and agriculture

in profits. Over the next decade, Generali increased premiums by over two and half times, while average profit rose by 50%. Thus Generali became the Empire’s largest insurance company. The southern railway. In 1857, the Südbahn was inaugurated. The railway line connected the port of Trieste with Vienna and thus with the rest of the Empire, thus helping to boost the volume of trade in the city. The print depicts the Barcola viaduct, just before Trieste.

True to its growth-oriented entrepreneurial vision, not only did Generali set aside significant portions of its annual profits in reserves, but it also made the decision to double its capital in 1856 to keep up with increased business. Thanks to this operation, total available funds rose to the considerable sum of 11.4 million Florins, six times as much as the capital subscribed by the founding partners just 25 years earlier. To diversify its growing investments, Generali began to focus on real estate. In 1851, it bought a huge piece of property in a marshy area in the Veneto region. A major land reclamation drive

Ca’ Corniani. In 1851, following a decision by Daniele Francesconi, general secretary of the Veneto Head Office, Generali bought Ca’ Corniani. As is clearly visible from a map of the period (below), the property was mainly a swampy area with just a few shacks. The land reclamation work lasted a number of decades and was finally completed with the installation of a large water pumping plant in 1879 (right).

followed: channels were dug and a large water pumping plant was built. The outcome of the effort was Ca’ Corniani, a 1,770-hectare farm. The highlight of this period was Generali’s involvement in the setting up and management of

The first 25 years. A page from Generali’s 1856 financial statement, on its 25th year of activity.

Daniele Francesconi




Società delle Tontine Sarde, which was later renamed, following the unification of Italy, Società di Tontine Italiane. The form of mutual savings called the tontine had been promoted by the Piedmontese government in a bid to stop the flow of capital out of the country to France, but the initiative did not produce the results that were expected. In particular, Generali chose not to pursue this initiative in the Austrian Empire and in the rest of Italy, encouraging more modern forms of life insurance involving profit sharing for policyholders. The decade closed with the momentous events that changed the history of the nation. In 1859, Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy said he could not The tontine. Invented in 1653 by mathematician Lorenzo Tonti (in the portrait), the tontine was a system for the distribution of annuities to subscribers that proved particularly successful in France. In the picture, a tontine insurance policy issued by Società delle Tontine Sarde, which was managed by Assicurazioni Generali.

A city in full swing. The 1850s were fast-paced years for the city of Trieste, as testified in contemporary prints: the port was busy and trade flourished on the waterfront. This 1854 print (below) depicts the Carciotti seafront. The Greek orthodox church – built at the end of the 18th century – is clearly visible on the right.


Investing in land and agriculture

Looking in

“remain deaf to the cry of pain that reached him from all parts of Italy” and decided to challenge the Austrians. In 1860, Giuseppe Garibal-

1851 - Generali buys a large 1,770-hectare estate in the Veneto region. After a massive land reclamation initiative, this will become the Ca’ Corniani farm. 1852 - Generali is entrusted with the management of Società delle Tontine Sarde, a newlyestablished company based in Piedmont.

di’s Redshirts liberated Sicily and the South,

1855 - The Company creates a pension fund for agents and employees.

while Piedmontese troops occupied Marche

1856 - Generali celebrates its 25th anniversary.

and Umbria, which formed part of the Pa-

The share capital is increased from two to four million Florins.

pal States. A few months later, the representatives of all regions met in Parlia-

1857 - Generali shares are listed for the first time in the Trieste Stock Exchange.

ment in Turin and the Kingdom of Italy was formally established.

Independence. The second war of independence and the exploits of Garibaldi’s Redshirts allowed Victor Emmanuel II of Savoy to liberate Lombardy, the South of the peninsula and Sicily. In the meanwhile, the duchies of Parma and Modena, Tuscany, Emilia, Marche and Umbria rose up against their sovereigns and through plebiscites opted to join the nascent Kingdom of Italy.




Difficult years


Looking out

crucial phase in the nation-building process, the 1860s proved to be very difficult for Generali. The economic climate had been affected by the Italo-Austrian conflict. The war had seriously hampered economic growth in both countries, especially in Austria, which had been defeated. Trade in the port of Trieste stagnated also due to the delay in the construction of the railway line connecting it with the hinterland and, as a consequence, business moved further North. Assicurazioni Generali was left with no option but to take note of the new situation, as

1861 - Serfdom is abolished in Russia. 1863 - The world’s first underground railway is inaugurated in London. 1864 - The International Red Cross is founded. 1865 - After the victory of the Unionists, the American civil war comes to an end. Abraham Lincoln is assassinated. Lewis Carroll writes Alice in Wonderland. 1867 - Maximilian of Hapsburg, Emperor of Mexico, is executed by the rebels led by Benito Juárez. Reinforced concrete is used for the first time in the construction industry. 1869 - Dmitry Mendeleyev publishes the periodic table of the elements.

stressed in the 1860 Board report: “The political complications, paralysing industry

stopped growth […] and ordinary operations in

and trade, bringing up the

the main insurance sectors.” But the worst was

prices of primary goods be-

still to come. While eight insurance companies

yond all control, naturally

were forced to shut down in Trieste, Generali’s results in 1865 were the worst in the Company’s history, with a loss of nearly 400,000 Florins. The following year the gloom did not lift due to several factors, the main one being the cholera outbreak in the city, the fourth in

The unification of Italy. On March 17, 1861, the Kingdom of Italy was solemnly established by the Parliament in Turin. The unification of the country, however, was still unachieved: only after the 1866 war, Venice – with the Veneto and Friuli regions – became part of Italy, whereas Rome was only conquered in 1870. In the pictures (from top to bottom): the first Italian Parliament meets in Turin; the battle of Bezzecca won by Garibaldi over the Austrians in 1866; the breach of Porta Pia on September 20, 1870, marking the fall of Papal Rome.


Difficult years

Looking in 1862 - Generali resumes operations in the Papal States, after the interruption in 1837 due to the introduction of an insurance monopoly. Generali takes over the portfolio of Società Pontificia di Assicurazioni. 1866 - Generali moves its Central Head Office from Palazzo Carciotti to Palazzo Stratti, a building that had been purchased in the 1850s. 1870 - The Central Head Office is once again transferred, this time to a building located in Via Procurerie.

the century. In 1866, the Company – which had recorded continuous growth in the course of

The Suez Canal. Pasquale Revoltella, senior Board member of Assicurazioni Generali, was one of the men behind the Suez Canal initiative. Works for the construction of the canal, based on a project by Ferdinand de Lesseps, began in 1856. Over 74 million cubic metres of soil were dug and removed. The Canal was solemnly opened on November 17, 1869.

its 35-year history – decided to move its headquarters from Palazzo Carciotti, where they had been since its foundation, to Palazzo Stratti, a prime property in Piazza Grande purchased in the early 1850s. The new location was not to last, though: barely four years later, faced with increasingly disappointing results and tougher competition, Generali decided to transfer its Central Head Office to a more modest property located behind the Town Hall in order to cut costs and create new sources of revenue.

New headquarters. In 1866, Generali left its original offices at Palazzo Carciotti and moved to Palazzo Stratti. Built in 1839 by a Greek merchant and purchased by the Company in the 1850s, the building would house the Central Head Office for only four years.




At the top of the Italian market


ith the fall of Papal Rome in 1870, the process leading to full unification took a decisive step forward. Despite regret – at an ideal level – for not having succeeded in annexing the eastern end of the Venezia Giulia region and the northern part of Trentino, from a geo-political point of view the nation had in fact been forged. In Rome, the magazine L’Assicurazione

Looking in 1875 - The Company begins to pay dividends in gold Franc pieces: this measure will remain in force until 1914. 1877 - Masino Levi resigns the post of secretary general that he had held for forty years. He is succeeded by Marco Besso, who will remain at the helm of the Company until 1920. Generali begins to underwrite glass insurance. 1880 - The first issue of Mittheilungen – a news bulletin for Generali employees in the Austrian Empire – is published.

published the first set of statistics

Marco Besso

on the insurance business in Italy,

Besso since 1877 – focused its attention on

revealing that Assicurazioni Generali

Italy, as Austria’s economy was in the throes of

of Venice was the country’s biggest

a profound financial crisis, followed by massive

insurer, followed by another company from

stock exchange speculation and uncontrolled

Trieste, RAS, whose Italian head office was in

credit expansion. The bubble eventually burst

Milan. The outlook for the Italian insurance

and 74 banks had to file for bankruptcy. Soon,

industry in the 1970s appeared to be bright.

Generali’s supremacy in the Italian insurance

As a consequence, Generali – led by Marco

market annoyed its competitors, who did all they could to hamper the Company’s expansion, stressing the fact that it was after all a foreign company. Nevertheless,

Corporate communication makes its debut. In 1880, Generali published the first issue of Mittheilungen, a German-language information bulletin for employees and agents operating in the territories of the Austrian Empire. The publication provided data relating to the Company’s activity, market figures and in-depth technical articles. At the same time, client communication was intensified using posters and billboards, such as the one shown above, to advertise the services offered by Generali agencies.


At the top of the Italian market

The extermination of the Indians. The end of the civil war in the US heralded the intensification of the fight against the native populations, who are determined to defend their rights over the land of their ancestors. In 1876, General Custer – who had commanded the Cheyenne massacre on the Washita River eight years earlier – was defeated and killed at the Little Bighorn River. The military success did not, however, halt the massive deportations of native Americans into reservations.

Looking out 1871 - Giuseppe Verdi composes Aida. “Dr Livingstone, I presume” are the words attributed to journalist Henry Morton Stanley when tracking down the famous explorer disappeared in Africa. Trade unions are legalised in Great Britain. 1872 - The world’s first ever national park is established at Yellowstone.

this did not prevent Generali – known everywhere in Italy as “La Venezia” – not only from achieving constant growth, but also from

1873 - The repercussions of the slowdown in the economy are felt throughout the world: the “great depression” begins. 1875 - The Opéra is inaugurated in Paris. 1879 - Thomas Edison invents the first incandescent lamp.

recording an increase in the number of Italian shareholders. Besides the original shareholders from Venice, Padua and Milan, investors now also came from Turin, Rome and Naples. A note issued by the Company announced that fourfifths of its share capital were in “Italian hands”. To safeguard the interests of shareholders, Generali made the decision in 1875 to pay dividends in 20 gold Franc pieces, regardless of the shareholders’ country of residence. This measure, aimed at avoiding dividend depreciation, remained in force until the outbreak of World War I.

Impressionism. The term comes from the title of a painting, Impression, sunrise, by Claude Monet. Displayed for the first time in Paris in 1874, it became the building block of an artistic movement that involved artists of the calibre of Renoir, Cézanne, Degas and Pissarro.




The establishment of the Group


ifty years had passed since the foundation of Assicurazioni Generali – half a century of hard work to achieve remarkable experience, financial solidity and international presence. With a consolidated position in Italy, under the supervision of the Veneto Head Office, and in the Empire, the time had come for Generali to seek new markets. A major expansion drive was launched in the second half of the 1870s and in the 1880s, when as many as 15 new bases were added to the already significant network of foreign branches. The expansion was focused on two main areas: the Mediterranean – from Greece to the Middle East and northern Africa – and the large overseas ports that were becoming the maritime hubs of international trade. These were San Francisco and Valparaíso in the Americas and Bombay, Colombo, Shanghai and Hong Kong in the Far East.

The first offshoot. In 1882, Generali set up Erste Allgemeine – its first insurance subsidiary – in Vienna. The company’s headquarters were located in the building depicted in the watercolour above.

The turning point, however, came with the decision to ensure increased stability and autonomy in key markets by creating specialised operative units with separate financial means and structures. Thus, it was with this in mind that Erste Allgemeine Unfall und Schadensversicherung was established on January 24, 1882. Headquartered in Vienna, the new company became the first subsidiary of that Group, which would become one of the key players in the European insurance industry over the following decades. Erste

Developing hail insurance. The technical features of the hail sector led Generali to establish two specialised companies in Italy and Hungary. The picture above gives an indication of the intensity of hail fall in various parts of the Italian peninsula in 1881.


The establishment of the Group

Looking in 1881 - The Company celebrates its Jubilee year. Generali begins to underwrite accident insurance. 1882 - In Vienna, Generali establishes Erste Allgemeine Unfall und Schadensversicherung, the Group’s first subsidiary, specialising in accident insurance. The company will be later merged into Generali Vienna. Azienda Assicuratrice, Trieste’s oldest insurance company, folds up and its portfolio is taken over by Generali. 1886 - Generali transfers its Central Head Office to a new building on the seafront – the same building that currently houses the Company’s headquarters.

Generali’s new headquarters. “It commands the most enchanting view of the gulf on the waterfront”, proudly wrote Eugenio Geiringer, the architect who designed the building that houses the Central Head Office in Trieste. The building, the first in the city to be supplied with electric power, offered a vast array of very modern facilities, such as a conference hall, where three rooms, separated by columns and mobile walls, could be easily transformed into a single large space to host the ever increasing number of shareholders. Pictures from top to bottom: The Allegory of Electricity by Eugenio Scomparini, a painting owned by Generali and currently kept in one of the rooms of the building; the grand escalier, which was demolished in 1965 to make room for the new AGM hall; the Central Head Office building seen from the waterfront and from the sea in two pictures taken at the end of the 19th century.

1890 - Anonima Grandine in Milan and a company based in Budapest, both operating in the hail insurance line, are established.




Looking out 1881 - In Russia, the first pogroms against Jews are organised. 1882 - Austria, Germany and Italy form the Triple Alliance. 1883 - A law enforcing compulsory health insurance is passed in Germany. Gottlieb Daimler assembles the first internal combustion engine. Carlo Collodi publishes The Adventures of Pinocchio. 1885 - Louis Pasteur discovers the rabies vaccine. 1886 - The Statue of Liberty is assembled in New York as a gift from the French people. Chemist John Pemberton perfects the formula of Coca Cola. 1890 - The massacre of the Sioux Lakota at Wounded Knee brings an end to the Indian wars. The International Labour Day is set on May 1.

Allgemeine initially operated in the accident sector – a sector that Generali had also begun to tap in relation to the new demand for security that was emerging in the market. At the end of the 1880s, two other companies were established in Italy and Hungary: after a string of unfavourable years, Generali had decided to pull out of the hail insurance sector, entrusting the business to newly-established companies. Having set for itself ambitious goals, Generali felt that the time had come to move into more suitable headquarters. In 1886, the Trieste Central Head Office was transferred to a building at Riva del Sale, on the seafront, which had been designed to accommodate its expanding business.

Symbol of modernity. On the occasion of the International Exposition of 1889, the Eiffel Tower was inaugurated in Paris. Italy’s imperial quest. In 1885, from the bridgehead of Massawa on the Red Sea, Italian troops began the conquest of Eritrea, Italy’s first colony. The expedition met the bitter hostility of the local population, which led, two years later, to the Dogali massacre, when 500 Italian troops were annihilated.


The establishment of the Group

Setting sights elsewhere. Generali’s expansion guidelines were tightly linked to the maritime routes opened by the Lloyd Austriaco shipping company, which, following the opening of the Suez Canal, reached the distant ports of the Far East.

From the eagle to the lion 1833


A year after its foundation, Assi-

With the changes under

curazioni Generali Austro-Italiche

way in Generali’s market-

is allowed to use the qualification

ing strategy, the tradi-

of imperiali regie privilegiate (i.e.

tional image of the lion

operating under imperial privileges)

of St Mark is deemed no longer responding to the

and to include the image of the two-headed

tastes of the time and to modern forms of expres-

eagle, the symbol of the House of Hapsburg, in its

sion. As a consequence, the trademark undergoes


a profound restyling and the Generali logotype is added. The new corporate identity is accompa-


nied by an advertising campaign that hinges on

Following the insurrection that led

the message: “From now on, call us Generali”.

to the establishment of the Vene-


tian Republic, Generali has the appellation “austro-italiche” re-

The need for strategic

moved from its company name

co-ordination of the

and chooses the lion of St Mark as

entities operating in

its symbol for operations in the Ital-

various markets leads

ian territories. On early hail insurance policies,

to the design of a Group

the lion is depicted brandishing an unsheathed

trademark, whose introduction is combined

sword; this representation will co-exist for nu-

with the updating of the consolidated financial

merous years with the traditional swordless lion

statements: a fundamental instrument repre-

printed on fire insurance policies.

senting the variety of interests that refer to the Parent Company.

1881 In its Jubilee year, the Company


decides to unify its trademark,

In coincidence with the first ever international

adopting the lion facing

advertising campaign, sustained by the claim

right, which will be

“Generali: the insurer without frontiers”, the

the symbol of Ge-

Group’s trademark is fur-

nerali up to the early

ther fine-tuned in order to

20th century, when the classic representation

enhance its visibility and

– with the lion facing left – will be re-instated.


From the eagle to the lion



The golden age


he international economic outlook in the last dec-

to develop. The following year, Generala was set up

ade of the 19 century appeared to be improving,

in Brăila, Romania. It had the necessary financial

although the depression that had characterised

means to operate in marine insurance and soon

the 1880s was yet to be entirely overcome. The

widened its business to include – after its head-

situation in Trieste was particularly ebullient: the

quarters were moved to Bucharest – fire, accident,

resident population in the last twenty years had

hail and life insurance. By this time, Assicurazioni

risen from 70,000 to 120,000, while the number

Generali had become the parent company of a


of houses as well as the volume of trade had almost doubled. Generali, in the meantime, continued

Looking in 1893 - The first number of Il Bollettino is issued. The monthly magazine, in Italian, is distributed to Generali employees in Italy. 1896 - Anonima Infortuni is set up in Milan. 1897 - Generala is set up in Romania. 1898 - At the Italian Expo of Turin, an important trade fair, Anonima Grandine is awarded the Grand Prix gold medal.

to strengthen its organisational structures. In Italy, a specialised company – Anonima Infortuni – was set up in 1896 to boost the accident sector. The Parent Company transferred to the newly-established company its entire portfolio in the accident line of business that had taken fifteen years

In Romania. The Bucharest headquarters of Generala, set up in 1897.

Picasso’s sketches. In 1900, a young artist by the name of Pablo Picasso submitted to a Spanish insurance company (which was part of the Generali Group for many years) a drawing in which maternity was represented as a metaphor of insurance.


The golden age

Boosting communication. The 1892 calendar poster reproduced the gold medals received by the Company in international exhibitions and trade fairs: it is a proof of the prominence Generali had already gained in the Italian insurance market.

Looking out 1891 - Work begins on the TransSiberian railway, which will be finished in 1917. 1895 - The Lumière brothers held the world’s first public motion picture screening in Paris using their Cinématographe. The inventor of the dynamite, Alfred Nobel, establishes the Nobel prize institute. 1896 - With the defeat of its troops at Adwa, Italy is forced to acknowledge Ethiopian sovereignty. The gold rush starts in the Klondike. 1897 - Bayer researcher Felix Hoffmann synthesizes aspirin. 1898 - French writer Émile Zola defends Alfred Dreyfus and accuses the military establishment. Following the Hispano-American war, Cuba gains independence. Hawaii is annexed to the United States. Mr and Mrs Curie (Nobel prize for Physics in 1903) discover radium and polonium. 1900 - King Umberto I of Italy is assassinated. Sigmund Freud publishes The Interpretation of Dreams. China is swept by the Boxer rebellion against foreign legations. The rebellion is quelled by an international force comprising the major European powers, Japan and the United States. Italy sends its Bersaglieri.

The belle époque. The last decade of the century was a prolonged period of peace that brought about a beneficial phase of prosperity and great discoveries: electricity, the internal combustion engine and chemical products. It was at this very time that the automotive industry began to develop, which over the next century would act as the powerhouse of economic growth (on the left: a vintage car, looking more like a cart with no horse). This period saw two other particularly significant inventions: the cinema, which would ultimately transform entertainment into an industry, and the radio, thanks to Guglielmo Marconi’s experiments (second photo from top). The peace that prevailed in most of the world was conducive to the reintroduction, thanks to the initiative of Pierre de Coubertin, of the Olympic Games, whose first modern edition in 1896 was aptly held in Athens (top picture, the 100 metres dash). Trieste, too, was undergoing a period of great prosperity, as witnessed by the number of ships in the port at the end of the century (picture on the left).




complex organisational structure that was gradually taking the form – very unusual in those days – of a Group and started to feel the need to establish a periodical communication channel to spread information while developing skills and forging corporate identity. To this end, Il Bollettino, a monthly magazine distributed to all Italian employees, was published in 1893. Written in Italian, it flanked the news bulletin in German targeted at employees in the Empire and central Europe. The house organ soon became a professional training and marketing tool, especially in the life sector, where the Company held a 22% share of the Italian market in terms of premium income and Prestigious headquarters in Milan. The positive development of the accident and hail businesses, handled by Anonima Infortuni and Anonima Grandine, respectively, led the Parent Company to design suitable headquarters in Milan for its two specialised companies. Works on the building, located in central Piazza Cordusio, started in March 1898 and were completed in September 1899. The building was the first in Milan and the second in the country to be made of reinforced concrete. Photos, from above: view of the façade as seen from a snapshot taken at the beginning of the 20th century; detail of the mosaic in the niche above the main entrance; the offices. At the centre, an automatic travel insurance vending machine placed by Anonima Infortuni at Termini railway station in Rome in 1898.


The golden age

insured capital, and 31% in terms of new business – a clear indication that the Company portfolio was booming.

The house organs Starting in the 19th century The first publications distributed to Generali employees date back to the 19th century: Mittheilungen has been published in German since 1880 for Company offices in the Hapsburg Empire, whereas Il Bollettino has been published since 1893 for Italian employees.

International impetus Il Bollettino, with its editorial office based in Trieste since 1940, widens its horizons in the postwar period. After an interruption during the war years, the publication is resumed in 1950 with a cover symbolising the Company’s renewed international impetus. In the Nineties photographic covers start to be used, sometimes dedicated to foreign Group companies (in the picture: an event sponsored by Vitalicio Seguros in a 2006 cover). Group News, a magazine focusing on Generali’s worldwide organisation, has been published in English since 1991.

Online magazines In 2007, Il Bollettino undertakes a new project: the paper version is dedicated to specials only and a new online periodical magazine is created to inform readers in a faster and more interactive way. Group News has also been published in an electronic format since 2008.

The house organs



New impulse for real estate investments


xpectations were high with the new century:

million Crowns). In Italy, Generali confirmed its

world economy was booming in the era that his-

position as the country’s top player in life insur-

tory would come to know as the belle époque, a

ance – which recorded in this period a major

period of peace and prosperity that was highly

upsurge – as well as in the fire insurance sector.

beneficial for all countries.

Generali’s two subsidiaries, on the other hand,

This, however, came to a

ranked first in the hail and second in the acci-

bloody end with the Great

dent sector, respectively. The size of its guaran-

War. In 1906 Generali cel-

tee funds increased at an even faster pace: up

Looking in 1903 - Generali begins construction of its building in Piazza Venezia in Rome. 1904 - Through Anonima Infortuni, the Group acquires Caja de Previsión y Socorro of Barcelona.

ebrated its 75th

from 56 to 293 million Crowns.



As its finances grew ever more solid, Genera-

Company was at

li announced a major real estate investment

the peak of a peri-

drive, whose ultimate goal was to create a Ge-

od of growth: over

nerali office in the centre of major cities and to

the previous 25

give adequate visibility to its financial standing.

years, premium in-

Thus, between 1900 and 1906, Generali went

come in the non-life sector

ahead with the construction of some of its

1909 - Marco Besso is appointed chairman, thus re-establishing a post that had remained vacant after Ritter de Zahony’s resignation in 1835.

more than doubled (from

most prestigious properties, such as the build-

13.5 to 31 million Crowns),

ings located in Florence (Piazza della Signoria),

The Company’s articles of association are radically revised: the number of Board members as well as executive directors is increased.

whereas production in the

1905 - La Concorde (later merged into Generali France), a company providing accident and theft insurance, is set up in Paris. 1906 - Generali celebrates its 75th anniversary. The share capital, previously in Florins, is converted into Crowns. A capital increase operation is carried out through a one-for-five rights issue.

life line of business literally exploded (from 5 to 39

Generali’s buildings. It was Marco Besso who, between the two centuries, initiated a policy of real estate investments to give Generali a “home” in the most prestigious spots of Italy’s main cities. In the photos, the buildings in Turin (Piazza Solferino), Rome (Piazza Venezia) and Florence (Piazza della Signoria). On the right, Marco Besso visits the construction site in Rome.


New impulse for real estate investments

Looking out 1901 - Guglielmo Marconi (Nobel prize in Physics in 1909) relays the first trans-Atlantic radio signal. King Camp Gillette and William Nickerson register the patent for the safety razor and blade. 1902 - Boers from the Orange Free State and the Transvaal are forced to accept British domination: the Union of South Africa is born. 1903 - The feminist movement is founded in England by Emmeline Pankhurst; suffragettes will often clash with the police.

The era of flight. On December 17, 1903, Orville Wright made man’s first ever flight aboard a powered aircraft assembled with his brother Wilbur.

Turin (Piazza Solferino) and Rome (Piazza Venezia). However, storm clouds were looming. In 1907, a serious economic crisis spread from the United States to Europe, followed shortly afterwards by the diplomatic crisis and the Balkan wars triggered by Austria’s annexation of Bosnia. Generali – as can be read in corporate reports – was seriously affected by the interruption of insurance activities in the countries at war, by the sharp decline in government bonds and fixed income securities and by the uncertainties that were seriously straining international relations.

1905 - Albert Einstein (Nobel prize in Physics in 1921) publishes The Special Theory of Relativity. 1907 - Pablo Picasso paints Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, a work that marks the birth of cubism. 1908 - Old-age pensions are introduced in England and the working day for miners is reduced to eight hours. 1909 - The first Manifesto of Futurism is published in Paris by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Robert Peary and Frederick Cook both claim the honour of being the first man to have reached the North Pole. 1910 - Rudyard Kipling (Nobel prize in Literature in 1907) publishes the poem If. A new style of expression. In the figurative arts, Europe saw the emergence of Art Nouveau, the expression of the will to break with tradition and to create a new aesthetics that, in painting, was above all personified in the figure of Gustav Klimt (founder of the Vienna Sezession school of painting).

Franz Kafka. The Bohemian writer worked at Generali’s branch in Prague from October 1, 1907, to July 15, 1908.




United to Italy


n the tense period prior to the outbreak of the Great War, a new threat came from the introduction – in Italy – of a monopoly in the life insurance business, a measure which aimed to limit the domination of foreign companies, namely Generali and RAS. While most operators pulled out of the market and sold their portfolios to the newly-established Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni (INA), Generali carried on its activities within the new regulation. Despite the dif-

Italy introduces life insurance monopoly. The first life insurance policy issued by Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni (INA) in 1913: the illustrious subscriber was none other than Industry Minister Francesco Saverio Nitti, the man behind the decision to make life insurance a state monopoly in Italy.

ficulties that had been affecting business for a number of years, Generali’s results remained excellent, to such an extent that even during the war, in 1914, accounts closed with a profit of over seven million Crowns and a dividend of

The art of poster-making. A poster of 1911 – bearing the Company’s symbol and financial highlights – and a painting by artist Achille Beltrame for the almanacs of the hail insurer Anonima Grandine, both showing the development of the Company’s corporate communication over the years.


United to Italy

The Procuratie restored. Between 1909 and 1914, the Procuratie Vecchie building in Venice, which housed the Veneto Head Office, was radically refurbished. The Company logotype was engraved on the glass panes of the façade.

Looking out 1911 - The uprising against the Manchu dynasty spreads in the southern and central provinces of China: the following year, Emperor P’u-Yi abdicates and the republic is proclaimed. In Mexico, the peasant uprising led by Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa succeeds in overthrowing dictator Porfirio Díaz. Roald Amundsen is the first man to reach the South Pole. 1913 - The first novel of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time and Thomas Mann’s short novel Death in Venice are published. The first assembly line is set up at the Ford factory.

500 gold Francs was regularly paid. Italy’s entry into the conflict led to the immediate interruption of relations between the Central and the Veneto Head Offices, while restrictions were imposed on the Company’s activity in both countries.

1914 - The Panama Canal, which connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, is opened under the administration of the United States. The Canal is approximately 51 miles long and 565 to 984 feet wide.

The Austrian government ordered that part of the Central

1916 - Emperor Francis Joseph dies; he had ascended the Austrian throne in 1848.

Head Office be transferred to Vienna and disapproved of

The Dada movement – an avant-garde artistic and cultural movement – is born.

the sympathy expressed by Generali employees for the Italian cause. The Austrians even threatened to seize Company assets in order to avoid the transfer of funds abroad. At the same time, pressure was mounting on the part of competitors to ban Generali’s operations in Italy, just as had already happened in both England and France. In this

1919 - Gabriele D’Annunzio occupies the Dalmatian port of Fiume (today Rijeka), where he establishes the “Italian Regency of the Kvarner Gulf”. 1920 - Prohibition is declared in the United States. Adolf Hitler becomes leader of the German Workers’ Party, later renamed the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

The Titanic goes down. In the night of April 14, 1912, the ocean liner, on her maiden voyage, struck an iceberg and sank. Out of the 2,200 passengers aboard on that ill-fated journey, over 1,500 lost their lives.



1911-1920 1951-1960

The First World War 1914 - June 28: the Archduke of Austria Francis Ferdinand is assassinated in Sarajevo. July 28: Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia; Russia imposes a state of general mobilisation. 1915 - April 22: the Germans use poisonous gas against French troops in the trenches of Ypres in Belgium killing 5,000: this is the opening act of modern chemical warfare. May 24: Italy joins the war. 1917 - October 24: the Italians are routed at Caporetto (the Slovenian town of Kobarid, near the Italian border). 1918 - November 3: Italian troops enter Trento and Trieste; the armistice of Villa Giusti marks the end of the Hapsburg Empire.

The King in Trieste. On November 10, 1918, Victor Emmanuel III and General Diaz arrived unexpected in Trieste and were welcomed with great enthusiasm by the local population.

Trieste is Italian. On November 3, 1918, a huge jubilant crowd celebrated the arrival of the Italian warship Audace at a pier in the port that has borne her name ever since.


The recovery

Looking in 1914 - The restructuring of the Procuratie Vecchie building – by this time, almost entirely owned by Generali – is completed. The refurbishment had started in 1909 in view of the expanding volume of business at the Company’s Veneto Head Office 1915 - Following Italy’s entry into World War I, the Austrian authorities accuse Generali and a number of its officials of sympathising with the Italians. 1916 - The government in Rome grants Generali an Italian nationality certificate, allowing the Company to carry on business in the peninsula.

War posters. During the war years, Beltrame’s paintings for Anonima Grandine focused on war themes. The Italian nationality certificate. Issued by the government on April 26, 1916, the document allowed Generali to continue operations in Italy.

1917 - Following the Italian rout at Caporetto, the fear of Austrian reprisals in Venice leads the Company to transfer part of the Veneto Head Office to Padua. The Ca’ Corniani farm is flooded to slow down the Austrian advance. 1919 - Generali becomes an Italian company in all respects. The share capital is converted into Liras. 1920 - Following Marco Besso’s death, Edgardo Morpurgo is appointed chairman.

light, the granting of an Italian nationality certificate to Assicurazioni Generali with a Head Office in Venice, in 1916, was – to say the least – providential. Following the Italian rout at Ca-

The Russian revolution. In November 1917, the Bolsheviks assaulted the Winter Palace in Petrograd (today St Petersburg). The following year, the last Tsar, Nicholas II, was put to death with his entire family.

poretto, fears of Austrian reprisals in Venice led the Company to transfer its Italian Head Office to Padua, while business in the Entente countries, as well as in the marine sector, were handled from Rome. On December 4, 1919, after the end of the war, Assicurazioni Generali was able, for the first time ever, to convene its shareholders’ general meeting in an Italian Trieste.




Postwar problems


ollowing the end of World War I, Generali had to

out operations in the various countries in a de-

face an unprecedented series of organisational,

centralised way. To this end, the main agencies

administrative and financial problems. With the

in the capital cities of newly independent coun-

fall of the Hapsburg monarchy, a previously uni-

tries (Vienna, Prague, Budapest and Warsaw)

tary body politic had splintered into a number of

were transformed into largely autonomous re-

independent countries, each with their own set

gional head offices in charge of supervising the

of laws, monetary systems and insurance regu-

sales network in the countries of operation. Par-

lations. It therefore became necessary to set up new organisational structures that could carry

Europe’s new geopolitical map. The dissolution of the Central Empires led to the birth of a number of independent states, mainly in central-eastern Europe where Generali’s presence had always been well established. The new countries. A poster published midway into the decade shows that Generali was thriving in Hungary. Above: the headquarters of Assicurazioni Generali in Zagreb, in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.


Postwar problems

Looking out

The Fascists climb to power. In October 1922, the National Fascist Party organised the “march on Rome”, a coup that ultimately brought Benito Mussolini to power as Prime Minister.

1921 - The British Parliament recognises the Irish Free State as a dominion of the Empire: in exchange Ulster will remain under British rule. The first electric refrigerator is invented. 1922 - James Joyce publishes Ulysses. 1923 - After the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Turkey becomes a republic under president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. 1924 - After Lenin’s death, Stalin takes over and begins his rise to power in the Soviet Union. 1925 - Sergey M. Eisenstein’s The Battleship Potemkin – which describes the mutiny of 1905 – and Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush are screened for the first time. 1926 - Ernest Hemingway (Nobel prize in Literature in 1954) publishes The Sun Also Rises, under the original title of Fiesta. 1927 - Charles Lindbergh successfully accomplishes the first non-stop solitary flight across the ocean, from the United States to France.

ticularly complicated was the monetary issue, as many of the old currencies had been strongly devalued and in some cases they were no longer legal tender. Besides having to redefine previous debit and credit items, in compliance with peace treaties or interstate agreements, the Company

Alfredo Binda wins the first road cycling World Championship. 1928 - The Threepenny Opera by Bertolt Brecht, set in music by Kurt Weill, is an international success. Alexander Fleming discovers the antibiotic properties of penicillin. 1929 - The Oscar prize is established.

had to sustain the tremendous costs arising from the radical devaluation of reserves, most of which had been invested in government bonds. Posi-

ny was able to continue doing business regularly

tive developments, on the other hand, came in

albeit with the obligation to cede to INA a quota

the life insurance sector in Italy, where Generali’s

share of its premium income. The improved eco-

position was upheld by the government. The im-

nomic climate allowed Generali to take part in a

plementation of an absolute monopoly, sched-

number of initiatives and investments in favour

uled for April 1923, was revoked and the Compa-

of both the development of the insurance sector and the economic reconstruction of the country. As countries abroad stabilised, Generali further pursued its consolidation drive by investing

The crash of ‘29. The crash of the New York Stock Exchange triggered a major financial and economic crisis that, in a few months, led to a virtual halt of the industrial output worldwide and to the sacking of over 40 million employees.




Looking in 1922 - Generali takes part in the establishment of Unione Italiana di Riassicurazione, together with INA – the reinsurer’s main shareholder – and other major private companies. 1923 - The Italian Parliament revokes the implementation of a life insurance monopoly, introducing a regime of compulsory cessions in favour of the state insurer INA. Generali can thus continue to operate in this sector.

The Nobile expedition. On May 23, 1928, the airship Italia, commanded by General Umberto Nobile, crashed on the icy wastes of the North Pole. The survivors sought shelter in the Red Tent, which was ultimately spotted by search parties a month later. The crew was insured by an accident policy in which Generali held a significant share. In the photos from top: airborne Italia, the Red Tent and the rescue of General Nobile.

The company capital is increased from 13.23 million to 40 million Liras through a rights issue operation, while the nominal value of each share is reduced from 2,000 to 500 Liras. 1925 - Another operation, involving a one-for-two rights issue, raises the Company’s share capital to 60 million Liras.

in local companies or by establishing new ones. In those years, over ten companies were set up, mostly in central and eastern Europe but some also in the Americas.


Postwar problems

Dudovich and Generali. Generali’s corporate communication was strengthened by the arrival of another great artist, Marcello Dudovich. The posters he designed for Generali over more than a decade are part of the history of poster-making in Italy. On the left: La Veneziana; below: Il Todaro sul molo di piazzetta San Marco.

The chairmen 1832-1835




Giovanni Ritter de Zahony

Antonio Cosulich

Gino Baroncini

Antoine Bernheim

(1782 - 1838)

(1875 - 1957)

(1893 - 1970)






Marco Besso

Mario Abbiate

Cesare Merzagora

Alfonso Desiata

(1843 - 1920)

(1872 - 1954)

(1898 - 1991)

(1933 - 2006)





Edgardo Morpurgo

Mario Tripcovich

Enrico Randone

Gianfranco Gutty

(1866 - 1948)

(1893 - 1964)

(1911 - 1998)






Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata

Camillo Giussani

Eugenio Coppola di Canzano

Antoine Bernheim

(1877 - 1947)

(1879 - 1960)

(1921 - 2006)


The chairmen



A century of success


n its centenary year – which was celebrated with great éclat – Generali was a healthy company, internationally strong and with enviable finances. The Company had survived virtually unscathed local financial crises (such as the one that rocked Austria in 1873 and the depression at the end of the 19th century), a world conflict and even the latest scare: the crash of 1929. It could rely on reserves amounting to 1.5 billion Liras and on real estate and agricultural investments

A prestigious achievement. Generali’s 100th anniversary was celebrated in May 1932. In Rome, Prime Minister Benito Mussolini attended the official celebrations organised by the Company (above), while in Trieste it was the Duke of Aosta who represented the Royal Family during the AGM (below). To mark the solemn occasion, Generali minted a coin and published a book on its history – which has proven extremely useful in retracing the early years of the Company.


A century of success

Looking in 1931 - Generali turns 100. 1932 - The solemn celebration in Rome is attended by Prime Minister Benito Mussolini. 1933 - Generali acquires a majority stake in Alleanza, a company that will emerge as one of the main players in the life business over the following decades. Fresh initiatives are taken in the agricultural sector, including the acquisition of the 2,300-hectare farm at Portonovo. The Dopolavoro (after-work club) of Assicurazioni Generali is established in Trieste, in line with the other recreational clubs promoted by the Opera Nazionale Dopolavoro (the Italian Fascist leisure and recreational organisation). Acquisition of Alleanza. With a view to expanding into the life business market, Generali acquired Alleanza Assicurazioni in 1933. The company had been established in Genoa in 1898.

1934 - The nominal value of Generali shares is doubled and the share capital increases from 60 to 120 million Liras. 1937 - The central accounting department sets up an electromechanical accounting unit powered by modern Hollerith machines, thanks to the great mathematician Bruno de Finetti, formerly Generali employee and subsequently consultant of the Company.

worth nearly 300 million. The Company’s share capital had risen from 13 million at the end of the war to 60 million Liras and was soon to be doubled through a free capital increase. Generali could also record with pride that no dividend payment had ever been defaulted, not even in the gloomiest pe-

1938 - Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata is appointed chairman. 1940 - Italy’s entry into World War II leads to the immediate severing of all contacts with Group companies and branches in France, England and in all Commonwealth countries.

riods. Fifty years after the creation of its first subsidiary, the Group included some thirty companies, with new ones to be set up over the following years in Italy, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Poland and the Netherlands. Real estate investment was constantly pursued, to such an extent that the overall worth of Generali’s assets amounted to over 700 million in 1939. In this context, fresh initiatives were taken between 1933 and 1936 in the agricultural sector, where five new farms increased total

Technology. The electromechanical accounting unit at the Central Head Office in Trieste was equipped with Hollerith tabulating machines, which represented state-of-the-art technology in the Thirties. Generali city. The strong impetus given to real estate investment in the Thirties was forcefully represented in this poster depicting an ideal “Generali city” through a photomontage of the Company’s most prestigious buildings in the world.



1931-1940 1951-1960

The golden age of posters The Twenties and the Thirties were the golden age of posters. These, starting as a medium of mass communication – one of the very first – soon attained the status of art. Generali, which in those years was in the process of re-launching its business after the war, extensively used this tool to promote its products, calling on the most talented artists to design its posters. In the Thirties, the images shown on posters, though relaying a convincing message of reassurance, were always somehow


The recovery

linked to contemporary events. On this page: Contadina con fascio di grano – female farmer holding a sheaf of wheat – (M. Dudovich, 1938), a subject inspired by the government’s “Battle of Wheat”, launched with the aim of achieving self-sufficiency in the production of grain; Il ritorno del legionario – the return of the legionary – (G. Boccasile, 1937), which – although reflecting the rural character of the country – expresses not only the joy of homecoming but also the soldier’s pride in having tak-

en part in a truly significant deed. Following the conquest of Ethiopia and the proclamation of the empire, posters began to feature the environment and the symbols of Italian Oriental Africa, as in Il legionario e l’africano seminatori – the sowing legionary and African (M. Dudovich, 1937). Finally, the poster of the 6° Campionato del mare (G. Rosa Salva, 1940), a rowing championship, evokes wartime memories with its motto “during the war sport is a must”.

International expansion. On the eve of World War II, Generali had reached its maximum international expansion, as clearly indicated in the above map. Opportunities for expansion came with the Italian colonial adventure in eastern Africa. The Italian conquests inspired highly original advertising campaigns, such as the brochures entitled I risparmi di Faccetta nera, below (literally: Little Black Face’s savings), written by Orio Vergani. On the right, the Generali agency in Addis Ababa, in Abyssinia.

land property by over 5,000 hectares. The constant and rapid growth of business, organisation and assets was matched not only by an upgrading of administrative and managerial structures, but also by greater investments in technology, which was beginning to develop in those years. Already in the early Thirties, a “pilot� automated device had been utilised for the calculation of mathematical reserves. This first, successful experiment led the Company to set up an electromechanical accounting unit, equipped with Hollerith tabulating machines, supporting the central accounting department and fulfilling the technical needs of the various lines of business. Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata. In 1938, Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata was appointed chairman of the Company. Born in Venice, Volpi di Misurata started his career as an entrepreneur in international trade, energy and industry, after which he held a number of significant public posts: Governor of Tripolitania (whose high uniform he is wearing in the portrait on the left), Senator and Finance Minister.




Sustaining the industrial development. In the Thirties, Generali and its main subsidiaries actively took part in the initiatives carried out by the manufacturing sector, taking part in important exhibitions and trade fairs, in Italy and abroad, where the best of the country’s industrial output was on show.

When World War II broke out in 1939, Assicurazioni Generali was at its peak in terms of assets and business expansion: the sales network in Italy could rely on over 3,000 agencies and subagencies, Parent Company branches and regional head offices in 40 countries, and the Generali Group included 60 companies.

A popular sport. As passion for football grew in Italy – thanks also to the string of extraordinary successes of the all-vanquishing squad which won the World Cup in 1934 and 1938 and the Olympic Gold Medal in Berlin in 1936 – L’Agendina del Calcio (the Football Agenda) distributed by Generali was a big hit with the public. The dawn of mass motorisation. FIAT Balilla hit the roads in 1932. It was Italy’s first version of the utility car – “everyone’s car” as the ads put it. Cartoons come to life. In 1937, nine years after creating Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney produced Snowhite and the Seven Dwarfs, the first ever feature-length animated film.


A century of success

The rise of Nazism. In 1934, following the death of President Paul von Hindenburg, Adolf Hitler (who had been made Chancellor the previous year), proclaimed himself Führer of the Third Reich, concentrating all powers in his hands.

Looking out 1931 - Japan invades Manchuria. The Empire State Building is constructed in New York. 1932 - Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt is elected President of the United States and launches the New Deal to create jobs for over 12 million unemployed people. Al Capone is arrested for tax evasion. 1933 - The National Institute for Social Security (INPS) is established in Italy. 1934 - In China, the People’s Communist Army led by Mao Zedong sets off on the Long March. Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express is published. 1936 - American black sprinter Jesse Owens wins four gold medals at the Olympic Games in Berlin. 1937 - Italy joins the anti-Comintern pact formed in the previous year by Germany and Japan, and leaves the League of Nations. 1938 - During the Kristallnacht, a campaign of terror unleashed throughout the German Reich by the Nazi Party, many Jewish stores and houses are destroyed. 1939 - Gone with the Wind and Stagecoach are screened.

Spanish civil war. In 1936, the military coup led by Francisco Franco against the republican government triggered a civil war that would last three years and bring Franco to power at the cost of a million dead. The horrors of the civil war were immortalised by Picasso in his masterpiece Guernica.

The invasion of Poland. On September 1, 1939, German troops invaded Poland and united Danzig to the Reich. Two days later, Great Britain and France declared war on Germany: World War II had begun.




The losses of the Second World War


ight from the outset, the Second World War had disastrous effects on Generali’s activities. All contacts were immediately lost in all enemy countries, while those with non-belligerent states proved increasingly difficult. The USA’s entry into the war led to the seizure of 2.5 million Dollars, which the Company had not been allowed to transfer. When the war reached Italy in 1943, contacts with the operating structure were seriously undermined: soon they were limited to the North East, Piedmont and Lombardy, while abroad the Central Head Office maintained relations only with Austria and Germany. Despite the irremediable deterioration of the situation, Generali was able to close its annual accounts and

Italy divided. In 1943, war was fought on Italian soil: the Allied troops landed in Sicily and the German retreated putting up strong resistance. Following the armistice signed by the Badoglio government, the Social Republic of Italy was set up in the North: the country was divided in two and Generali lost all contacts with its agencies in the South. The end of the conflict. The red flag of the USSR is hoisted atop the Reichstag: Berlin had fallen and Germany unconditionally surrendered in early May 1945. In the Far East, barely three months later, two atom bombs were dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, forcing Japan to surrender.


The losses of the Second World War

The uncertain destiny of Trieste. On May 1, 1945, Yugoslav partisan formations led by Marshall Tito, entered Trieste. During the 40-day occupation, the city and the entire Istria peninsula witnessed the unfolding of atrocities as thousands of Italian citizens were thrown into karstic wells, known as foibe. After June 12, the control of Trieste was transferred to the Allied forces, which would administer the city until 1954. Faced with the city’s uncertain future, Generali decided to transfer its Registered Office to Rome. In the photos, from top: The Yugoslav flag flies over the Trieste Town Hall; ANZAC troops from New Zealand enter the city; searching for victims in the Basovizza foiba; Generali’s Central Head Office is partially confiscated by the Allied Military Government.

The Second World War 1939 - September 1: Germany invades Poland. Two days later Britain and France declare war on Germany. 1940 - June 10: Italy declares war on France and Britain. 1941 - December 7: Japanese airplanes launch a surprise attack against the US fleet at Pearl Harbor. 1943 - February 2: German troops are routed by the Red Army at Stalingrad. July 10: Anglo-American troops land in Sicily. July 25: in Italy, the Fascist regime falls and Mussolini is arrested. A new government, led by Field Marshall Badoglio, takes office. September 8: the armistice between Italy and the Allies is announced; the country is severed in two. 1944 - June 6: Allied forces land in Normandy. 1945 - February 11: the conference between the three chief Allied leaders – Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin – closes at Yalta (photo above). April 25: an insurrection breaks out in northern Italy; on the 28th of the same month, Mussolini is executed by the partisans. April 30: Hitler commits suicide; he is succeeded by Admiral Dönitz who, a few days later signs an unconditional surrender: the war in Europe is over. August 6: an atomic bomb is dropped over Hiroshima; three days later another bomb flattens Nagasaki: Japan surrenders. October 24: the Charter of the United Nations, which had been approved earlier on June 26 at the San Francisco conference by the heads of state of fifty countries, comes into force. 1946 - October 1: the Nuremberg trial comes to a close. Twelve death penalties are inflicted against German war criminals. 1947 - Sixteen European nations endorse the European Recovery Program (ERP), also known as the Marshall Plan after the American Secretary of State who proposed it.




Looking out 1943 - Harvard Professor Howard H. Aiken assembles the first electromechanical computing device, the Mark I, which is over 50 ft long and made up of almost 760,000 pieces. 1944 - With the Bretton Woods agreement, which establishes the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the monetary system is pegged to the convertibility of the US Dollar into gold. 1945 - George Orwell’s Animal Farm, an allegoric satire of Stalinism, is published. 1946 - After the Italian constitutional referendum of June 2, voters – including, for the first time, women – choose the republic, bringing the monarchy to an end. The first official television transmission is broadcast in the United States. 1947 - Great Britain grants independence to India, which is partitioned into the Indian Union, with a majority of Hindus, and Pakistan, with a large majority of Muslims. 1948 - After the proclamation of the state of Israel, Arab troops enter Palestine: it is the first Arab-Israeli war. Mahatma Gandhi is murdered by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu fanatic. 1949 - Twelve countries (Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the USA) sign the North Atlantic Treaty, which leads to the creation of NATO.

to convene its shareholders’ meetings all the way up to 1944. All corporate deadlines were regularly met again immediately after the end of the conflict, with the convening of the AGM in 1946, when shareholders approved the 1944 financial statements. Slowly, relations were once again resumed with the Company’s operating units, in Italy at first – where the crisis unit in Rome had continued to co-ordinate activities in the centre and in the South – and then abroad. After 40 days of Yugoslav occupation, Trieste was separated from Italy and handed over to the Allied Military Government for Occupied Territories. Due to the uncertainty over the future of the city, Generali chose to transfer its Registered Office to Rome in 1945, thus formalising its position as an Italian company, while the Central Head Office remained in Trieste. If material losses turned out to be less se-

Ethologist Konrad Lorenz (Nobel prize in Medicine in 1973) publishes King Solomon’s Ring. The plane carrying Torino Calcio crashes on Superga hill killing all the players who had dominated Italian football by winning five championships in a row.

Back to normal. The end of the war saw Europe under a heap of rubble, burdened by the weight of over 30 million dead. However, the desire to forget and to return to life was strong and all occasions, such as Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali’s cycling feats and fierce sporting rivalry at the Giro d’Italia and at the Tour de France, provided a welcome diversion from the arduous task of living.


The losses of the Second World War


Looking in 1943 - Antonio Cosulich is appointed chairman. Following the armistice announced on September 8, the Company is no longer in contact with its agencies in central and southern Italy, where operations are co-ordinated by a special crisis unit set up in Rome. 1945 - The uncertain destiny of Trieste, which has been handed over to the Allied Military Government for Occupied Territories, leads Generali to transfer its Registered Office to Rome, while the Central Head Office is maintained in Trieste. The end of the war brings about the loss of all company assets in central and eastern Europe, where incoming governments have nationalised insurance activity. 1947 - The share capital is increased from 120 million to 1.2 billion Liras. Successive rights issue operations will raise company capital to 4 billion. Anonima Infortuni and Anonima Grandine are merged into Assicurazioni Generali. 1948 - Mario Abbiate is appointed chairman. Following the acquisition of Providencia in Argentina, Generali once again expands activity abroad, focusing its attention on markets overseas.


1950 - Generali takes over a controlling stake in Buffalo, an insurance company based in New York State.

rious than expected


the sheer violence and extension of the conflict, the organisational consequences of the

Resuming business: in Italy… With the end of the war, contacts between the Veneto Head Office and agencies in the South were re-established. … and abroad. Already by the end of the Forties, the extension of the Group’s network of interests had returned to pre-war levels, with the exception of all the assets definitively lost in central-eastern Europe, which were offset by a series of new acquisitions in South America. Above, Generali headquarters in Buffalo, USA.

war were dramatic. All company assets in central and eastern Eu-

erations had resumed in most of western Eu-

rope – especially those in Hungary, Czechoslo-

rope, where all company assets had been re-

vakia, Poland and Romania, but also those in

instated. The return to normality in the Mid-

Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Albania and East Germa-

dle East and overseas would take a few more

ny – were irremediably lost. These included a

years, although the Company sought new

vast network of branch offices and agencies,

markets, focusing its attention on Latin Amer-

14 insurance subsidiaries (often leading play-

ica. In Argentina a branch office was opened

ers in the domestic scene), real estate compris-

in 1948 and a majority stake in a local concern

ing 186 buildings and all other Generali assets

was acquired, completing the expansion strat-

were seized as war damages or nationalised. In

egy in that area, which already included op-

the other markets, despite extreme difficulties,

erating units in Brazil, Guatemala, Venezuela,

reconstruction was launched and, by 1948, op-

Ecuador and Colombia.



After work… commitment to sports


haring commitment to sports certainly con-

ment, whereas the Dopolavoro of the Generali

tributes to strengthening Group spirit and af-

Central Head Office can be traced back to 1933.

ter-work clubs have played an important role

Over the following 75 years, the lion was seen

in this regard since the beginning of the 20


in a large number of initiatives, with teams of

century. In Italy, the Opera Nazionale Dopolavo-

the numerous Generali Group clubhouses tak-

ro was founded in 1925 by the Fascist govern-

ing part in real sports competitions, amateur challenges among the employees of different Group companies and sporting performances where personal satisfaction, rather than official prizes, was the main reward.

Since its foundation, the Trieste Generali Clubhouse has taken part in a large number of sports competitions. In the picture: the start of a cycle-tourist race.

Passion for the mountains: a colleague of Generali Pojišt’ovna waves a flag with the Generali logo at a height of over 6,000 meters.

The European Marathon in Trieste, sponsored by Generali, attracts a large number of colleagues from different countries every year. In the pictures: two groups of athletes at the Generali Clubhouse terrace and before the start.


After work… commitment to sports

2005: the Generali Hong Kong team wins the Richards Butler Five-A-Side Football Competition – a prominent local amateur championship – for the second year in a row.

2005: the annual AMB Generali Cup is played among the football teams of the Group’s German companies and a representative team of the Italian Central Head Office.

1998: double challenge in Barcelona, where the teams of Vitalicio and Assicurazioni Generali compete against each other in a football and basketball match.

2007: bicycle riders of Generali Switzerland cover the 600 km distance and 10,000-meter discontinuity from Rapperswil to Venice in five days.

2007: the basketball teams of the Central Head Office and Generali France challenge each other in Paris.

1997: the “flying lions” of the Milan Generali Clubhouse take a 1,200-km bicycle ride through Vienna and Prague, where they are welcomed by their local colleagues.


The recovery


hanks to reconstruction efforts of the previous

erations in the new and dynamic economies

five-year period, Generali entered the Fifties in a

of Latin America and Australia, as well as in the

position of regained normality. The picture was

world’s largest market: the USA, where the New

aptly outlined in an annual report published in

York Branch was reopened following the ac-

that period: “The Company, whose prestige has

quisition of Buffalo Insurance Company. In the

remained unscathed in the tumultuous events

mid-Fifties, the Generali Group had operations in some sixty countries on five continents and was a leading player in key European markets (France, Spain, Austria and Germany), where it had been present for several decades. This was a literally unprecedented territorial expansion. No doubt, growth was favoured by the positive international and domestic economic climate. In most markets, economic recovery was solid, thanks also to the massive reconstruction underway – especially in those countries where the war had been most destructive. The Italian economy, buoyed by the overall positive out-

A tradition rekindled. Started in the Thirties, the ritual of feeding pigeons in Piazza San Marco was again put into practice in 1953.

of the past years, has been able to extend operations to new important markets while consolidating its presence in the traditional ones.” Without considering the assets lost in eastern Europe, in a number of former British colonies (India and Burma) and in China (after the declaration of the People’s Republic in 1949), the extension of Generali’s network abroad was virtually the same as prior to the world conflict. Simultaneously, significant steps were being taken to boost op-

The Milan Head Office is established. In 1947, Generali’s two historic hail and accident subsidiaries – Anonima Grandine and Anonima Infortuni, both of which had been founded at the end of the previous century – were incorporated into the Parent Company. Their organisational structures formed the base of the Milan Head Office, with headquarters in piazza Cordusio, which began operations in 1955.


The recovery

look, was solidly

sustained by exports,

which – thanks

to the healthy bal-

Looking in 1951 - Standard General is acquired in Johannesburg, South Africa. 1953 - Mario Tripcovich is appointed chairman. The European Insurance and Reinsurance Federation (CEA – Comité Européen des Assurances) is set up. By grouping the insurance associations of 18 European countries, its aim is to promote harmonisation of sector regulations. CEA’s first chairman is Ranieri Babboni, previously a legal consultant for Generali. 1955 - The Milan Head Office, whose task is to manage operations in the TPL, accident and health lines of business in Italy, is established. 1956 - Camillo Giussani is appointed chairman. Generali celebrates its 125th anniversary with great pomp. Generali acquires Vanguard, an insurance company based in Sydney, Australia. 1960 - Gino Baroncini is appointed chairman.

ance of payments – became fuel for growth. In the decade, the volume of exports grew four times, that of reserves currencies eight times. In this scenario, Generali devoted considerable attention to reorganising its structure in the Italian market by streamlining management, improving co-ordination and containing administrative costs. Within this framework, the most significant change was the creation – in 1955 – of the Milan Head Office, which took over the activities previously carried out by the two long-established subsidiaries Anonima Grandine and Trieste reverts to Italian rule. Following the agreement between the Italian and Yugoslav governments with the London memorandum in 1954, Trieste – where the Company had been established and its Central Head Office had always been located – returned to Italy after a decade of foreign military rule. Il Bollettino, the Company’s house organ, published Trieste Nostra, a deeply felt celebration of the city’s “second redemption”, thereby ideally joining the 100,000 who welcomed the Bersaglieri regiment in Piazza dell’Unità d’Italia.




Looking out 1951 - American endocrinologist Gregory Pincus creates the oral contraceptive pill. 1952 - Elisabeth II is crowned Queen of Britain.

Anonima Infortuni. The task of the new unit, over the next three decades, was to manage operations in the TPL, accident and health sectors in Italy. Among the many events of the decade, two had a particularly significant impact on the Company and marked the symbolic end of a tormented phase and the opening up of new opportuni-

1953 - New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Nepalese sherpa Tenzing Norgay conquer Mt Everest. The warring factions in Korea sign the Panmunjom armistice, whereby the 38th parallel becomes the border between North and South Korea. 1954 - The first nuclear submarine, the Nautilus, designed by Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, is launched. Elvis Presley sings his first chart busters: That’s All Right Mama and Blue Moon of Kentucky. 1956 - The Suez crisis erupts after the Canal is nationalised by Egypt. The Soviet military intervention in Hungary quashes the reformist movement led by Imre Nagy, who is subsequently executed. 1957 - The dog Laika is the first living creature to be shot into space onboard Sputnik 2. Feltrinelli publishes Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago, which had been banned in the Soviet Union for its “slanderous” nature. Pasternak won the Nobel prize in Literature in 1958. Jack Kerouac publishes On the Road. 1958 - Pelé’s Brazil wins the World Football Championship in Sweden. 1959 - The rebels led by Fidel Castro and Che Guevara seize power in Cuba. Volvo patents the threepoint safety belt system.

The 125th anniversary. In 1956, Generali celebrated its 125th anniversary with two great events: on May 20 in Trieste, and on May 21 in Venice, where the Group’s international gathering – with over 8,000 members of staff from 31 countries – took place. In the photos: two moments of the Venice gathering; the ceremony in the courtyard of Palazzo Ducale and the distribution of mementos by workers of the Ca’ Corniani farm dressed in traditional costumes.


The recovery

The Polesine flooding. Italy, which was struggling back to normality after the war, was struck in 1951 by a catastrophic flood that submerged the entire delta of the Po River, killing 84 and forcing thousands to leave their homes. The nation responded generously to the tragedy. The insurance industry – through its association ANIA – donated over 40 million Liras in relief funds. Besides the significant financial aid, topped up by donations from individual employees, Generali hosted over 100 children, aged between 6 and 12, from the disaster areas in its farm at Ca’ Corniani.

ties. On October 26, 1954, Trieste – which hosted the Central Head Office – reverted to Italian rule after a decade of foreign occupation. On March 25, 1957, the treaties establishing the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community were signed in Rome. This was the first step of the process that would ultimately lead to the creation of the European Union and of the single currency. Generali, a European company by vocation, was ready for the challenges ahead.

The signing of the treaties of Rome. Representatives of the German, French, Italian, Belgian, Luxembourg and Dutch governments met in Rome on March 25, 1957 and signed the treaties establishing the European Economic Community and Euratom. It was the building block of the new European integration, whose first immediate goal was to create a customs union to encourage the free circulation of goods among member countries.

A major export boom. At the beginning of the Fifties, Italy had fully emerged from the postwar recession. The economy, however, was still under-developed, with over 40% of the active population working in agriculture. Thanks to low labour costs and to the gradual opening of foreign markets, the flow of Italian products abroad increased substantially. Initially, exports mainly consisted of agricultural produce, but starting from the second half of the decade the nascent Italian industry – textile and mechanical – played an increasingly significant role in the international market and paved the way for the major economic boom of the Sixties.




The years of the economic miracle


fter the destructions caused by the war and the reconstruction efforts of the Fifties, the outlook for the new decade was bright with the promise of more diffused wealth and greater economic stability. Italy witnessed the years of the “miracle”. National income was constantly improving in real terms, industrial output was booming and the balance of payments was firmly in the black. However, public spending both at a central and regional level was growing out of control. The insurance sector benefited from the positive economic trend and particularly the overall increase in wages. Other positive aspects were the strong development of trade and exchange between various economic

Europ Assistance. Following an initiative by the French subsidiary La Concorde, Europ Assistance was established in Paris. The new company, providing assistance to tourists and workers abroad, offered a wide range of innovative services. Over the decades, Europ Assistance has grown to become the world’s leading player in the business, supported by the Generali Group international network in terms of marketing and services.

areas and the spreading of mass motorisation. In Europe, premium income was growing at an

Australia and Latin America. However, some less

annual rate of 15%, while the pace was even

positive factors did exist, such as the imbalance

faster in some emerging markets, namely Japan,

between supply and demand. The motor third party liability sector, for example, came under the spotlight in all markets as a consequence

New headquarters in Milan. In 1961, the Milan Head Office was transferred to Via Tiziano. A truly imposing complex, the new headquarters spread over 3,800 sqm (the façade was over 200 m long). On the first floor was the Generali logo: the St Mark’s lion in gilded bronze, measuring three meters at the base and two and half metres in height.


The years of the economic miracle

Looking out 1961 - Soviet cosmonaut Jury Gagarin is the first man in space. The Berlin wall is constructed to prevent the exodus from East to West Germany. 1962 - Dr. No, the first film starring Sean Connery as secret agent 007, is released. 1963 - US President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas. 1965 - The Mont Blanc tunnel, which connects Italy and France, is opened. The Beatles release one of their biggest hits ever: Yesterday. 1967 - Surgeon Christiaan Barnard performs the first human heart transplant operation. 1968 - Martin Luther King, leader of the movement for the emancipation of black people and Nobel peace laureate in 1964, is murdered. Student revolts break out throughout the world. Large risks. In the Sixties, growing assets in the industrial and commercial sectors, concentrated economic interests in calamity prone areas, increasingly large means of transport led to serious difficulties in the handling of risks, with huge sums being paid when claims arose. It was in this period that the first ever space insurance policies were issued. Generali played a leading role in this sector by designing a specific coverage for the San Marco initiative, a space project developed by the Italian aeronautical research centre in Rome together with NASA. In the photo above, the Santa Rita platform, used for the first ever Italian launch in 1964.

Jim Hines is the first man in the world to run 100 meters in less than ten seconds. 1969 - A student from Prague, Jan Palach, dies after setting himself on fire as a protest against Soviet occupation.

of the explosive and disorderly development of car circulation in a situation where road networks, the legal framework and preventive measures were still inadequate. It was in these years that the international insurance market was beginning to confront the issue of large risks, due to the increasing size of instruments used for travel, life and work. These were the years of the first jumbo jets, supertankers, megastores




Moonlanding. On July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 blasted off from ramp 39 at Cape Canaveral: destination Moon. On July 21, US mission commander Neil Armstrong was the first man ever to set foot on the Moon, an event which he defined as a “giant leap for mankind”.

and huge industrial plants. The demand for increasingly extended coverage was beyond the means not only of individual insurance companies but often of the entire international insurance system. As a result, insurers within the same market were forced to pool resources to generate greater underwriting capacity, while agreements with foreign partners were signed to provide satisfactory services for international clients. The Generali Group, which was directly affected by

the changing scenario in view of its international structure and position, was among the first to pursue this policy. An important partnership with Aetna Life & Casualty, the largest multibranch insurance group in the USA, was signed in 1966. A few years earlier, acknowledging the importance of the British underwriting market for international risks, Generali had set up the The Prague Spring of 1968. The crowd watches helplessly as Warsaw Pact tanks invade Czechoslovakia to bring to an end the short-lived democratic re-awakening.

United Kingdom Branch in London, thereby reestablishing those relations, which had been severed in the war years. Generali’s policy aimed at strengthening its international presence was, however, affected by the protectionist trends that were emerging in several developing

Motorisation comes of age. As available income in households grew thanks to the “economic miracle”, Italy witnessed the phenomenon of mass motorisation: the number of circulating vehicles increased from less than two million in 1960 to over ten million in 1970. The rapid diffusion of cars was sustained by the development of an efficient road network: the A1 motorway linked Milan to Naples in 1964.


The years of the economic miracle

Looking in 1961 - The Milan Head Office is transferred from Piazza Cordusio to the new building in Via Tiziano. 1963 - Generali re-enters the British market by setting up the United Kingdom Branch in London, operating in direct business as well as reinsurance. On the initiative of La Concorde, Europ Assistance is set up in France. The organisation will emerge as the world’s biggest operator in the private assistance business. 1964 - Generali makes its debut in space insurance by providing the San Marco project with coverage for the construction and launching of Italian scientific satellites. Generali insures the transportation of the bronze door of St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, made by Italian sculptor Giacomo Manzù. 1966 - Generali signs an important partnership with Aetna Life & Casualty, the largest multi-branch group in the USA. 1968 - Cesare Merzagora is appointed chairman, succeeding Gino Baroncini who is acclaimed honorary chairman at the shareholders’ meeting.

The Generali-Aetna agreement. Above: The two chairmen Olcott D. Smith of Aetna and Gino Baroncini of Generali sign the agreement setting up important international co-operation between the two companies at the new Milan headquarters in Via Tiziano.

1969 - Generali launches a series of initiatives with a view to strengthening its ties with shareholders: a service is set up to assist shareholders in the administration of shares and a newsletter containing details of business trends is published twice a year, disclosing, for the first time, consolidated figures.

countries. As a matter of fact, numerous banks

following restrictions imposed on foreign

and insurance companies were nationalised

operators, Generali was forced to pull out of

in many of the countries where Generali had

Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Algeria and Congo

heavily invested in postwar years. In particular,

and to curtail operations in Latin America.

Cesare Merzagora. In 1968, a public figure was called on to chair the Company. An economist “involved in politics”, as he liked to define himself, Cesare Merzagora gained solid experience in finance and industrial manufacturing and held numerous government posts, including the second highest institutional role in Italy – President of the Senate – for three legislatures in a row. In his private life, Merzagora was a fine sculptor as well as talented medal maker and he etched several influential figures of the 20th century.




Overcoming the crises


t the beginning of the Seventies, the impressive

ternational scenario was worsened by a crisis in

phase of growth that had lasted for two dec-

industrial relations, which led to a series of mas-

ades began to ebb. Economic slowdown and

sive strikes and ultimately to the loss in compet-

inflationary pressure went hand in hand with

itiveness of Italian exports.

political and ideological tensions – to which


May 1968 in France had been a prelude – and

was also directly affected

widespread union demands on industry. The

by the bleak climate. Gal-

entire world system was rocked by a very seri-

loping inflation combined

ous slump, which initially manifested itself on

with recession led to the

the monetary front (with the suspension of the

so-called stagflation, with

US Dollar’s gold con-

tremendous repercussions

vertibility standard in

on savings, industrial out-

August 1971) and sub-

put and, consequently, pre-

sequently in the energy

mium income. In turn, the

sector (with the explo-

widespread currency fluc-

sive increase of prices

tuations that followed the

decided by oil produc-

end of the gold standard

ing countries in 1973).

triggered exchange risks.

In Italy, this dramatic in-

Another source of major



concern – especially in It-

Technology. With a view to boosting efficiency and reducing costs, in 1971 Generali set up a new EDP centre, which was equipped with stateof-the-art technology.

aly – came from the motor TPL sector, which had become compulsory in 1971. The “political” pricing policy imposed by the government regardless of real underwriting results recorded by insurance companies created serious imbalance within the market, causing many insurers to fold up. Generali, which could rely on very solid finances at the beginning of the Seventies, quickly realised the real extent of the crisis and decided to accelerate its asset strengthening policy launched in the late Sixties. Thus, a massive investment plan was implemented in the real estate sector, which ultimately led to a doubling of Generali’s property in three years. At the Real estate investments. Between the end of the Sixties and the beginning of the Seventies, a major investment campaign was launched in the real estate sector. Generali’s urban real estate assets were doubled over a period of three years. Particularly remarkable is the building designed by Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer in Segrate, near Milan, that would become the headquarters of the Italian publishing giant Mondadori.


Overcoming the crises

Looking out 1972 - During the Olympic Games in Munich, swimmer Mark Spitz wins seven gold medals; a Palestinian attack against the Israeli team casts a dark gloom over the games.

data processing unit in Mestre. A new, single marketing department was set up midway through the The motor TPL conundrum. In Italy, as a consequence of the high number of road accident victims – 10,000 deaths and 250,000 injuries every year – following the dizzying growth in the number of circulating cars, lawmakers made third party liability insurance compulsory. The law was officially enforced on June 12, 1971. Rightly hailed as a social conquest, and backed by insurers since the Fifties, motor TPL almost led to the collapse of the insurance industry due to the pricing policy imposed by the government.

decade for branches

The computerized axial tomography (CAT) is used for the first time. 1973 - Following the signing of a peace agreement, the United States withdraws its troops from Vietnam.


The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Nobel prize in Literature in 1970) is published: the book is a heart-rending indictment against the horrors of Soviet lagers.

Head Offices, in a bid

1976 - Apple creates the first personal computer.

to streamline and en-

1977 - The meteorological satellite Meteosat is launched into orbit.

supervised Veneto




hance the Company’s sales strategy and net-

same time, organisational structures and servic-

work. In-depth reno-

es were restructured and rationalised to improve

vation also involved

profitability and contain costs. From 1971, Gene-

the corporate image:

rali’s accounting and administrative operations

the aim was to stand-

were concentrated in the Company’s hi-tech

ardise the Company’s presence in all markets around the shortened name “Generali” – easily pronounced in

The film Star Wars opens the famous motion picture saga. 1979 - After the flight into exile of Shah Reza Pahlavi, Ayatollah Khomeini rises to power in Iran, where an Islamic republic is subsequently declared. The first elections for the European Parliament take place; the European Monetary System, joined by EEC member states with the exception of Great Britain, is created. 1980 - The Polish independent workers’ union Solidarność is established. Bill Gates launches the MSDOS system.

all languages – combining it with a more modern graphic representation of the winged lion. The new trademark was launched in 1971 and sustained by a massive communication campaign based on the slogan “from now on, call us Generali”. In line with the objectives set, the Parent Company’s trademark and logo were also adopted

The great crises. In 1971, the suspension of the convertibility of the US Dollar into gold marked the end of a system of fixed exchange rates that had been in force for thirty years. This led to a period of great uncertainty in international trade. Two years later the oil crisis, triggered by the OPEC’s decision to increase prices, accelerated the inflationary trend that was already undermining economies in industrialised countries and worsened recession.




Space risks. To foster the exchange of ideas with clients, Generali promoted an international forum in 1979 to discuss the issues connected to the commercial and industrial utilisation of space, which soon emerged as a crucial fixture in the agenda of space operators and experts. Industry and insurance. Being aware of the necessity to establish a dialogue with counterparts to work out solutions to common issues, Generali and Confindustria – the Confederation of Italian Industry – promoted a roundtable to be held on a biennial basis. The “Insurance and Industry” talks became a traditional appointment, taking place at Villa Manin, the residence of Venice’s last Doge.

to deal with new and highly sophisticated risks, such as those relating to satellites or involving multi-national companies. As to the latter sector, a number of

by the new companies established over the fol-

partnerships with promi-

lowing years as part of the restructuring process

nent insurance groups – such as Mitsui, Taisho

in France, Belgium, Brazil and Austria.

and Tokio from Japan and General Accident

For the first time, a Group trademark was also

from Britain – integrated the agreement signed

introduced. The decision was dictated by the

in the Sixties with the US Aetna group and

increasing need to co-ordinate and support

proved particularly profitable. In the Seventies,

companies in various markets, with a view to

Generali’s increasingly

harmonising strategies while maintaining each

strategic focus on

company’s operative autonomy. It was with this

the market found

in mind that consulting and technical assistance

expression in a se-

provided to Group companies were strength-

ries of initiatives, mainly

ened – especially with regard to

for the benefit of share-

special risks, reinsurance and in

holders and of the public

the asset and real estate manage-

at large, aimed at provid-

ment sector. At the same time, centralised structures were set up

The Financial Statements Award. Generali received this award in 1970 from the institute for public relations.

A new corporate image. The renovation of the Company’s organisational structures was reflected in the creation of a new, more dynamic corporate image: the lion underwent a restyling, while the logo was re-designed and shortened to “Generali”. In the photo, managing director Fabio Padoa presents the new trademark.


Overcoming the crises

Looking in 1971 - A new trademark is launched with the shortened name “Generali”. Within the framework of a major organisational overhaul, a new EDP centre is set up in Mestre. 1972 - Generali and Aetna establish the Generali European Marketing Office (GEMO) in Brussels. After its transfer to London, the unit changes its name to Generali-Aetna European Marketing Office (GAEMO) in 1977. After nearly 30 years, the Company Articles of Association are amended. Rules governing the AGM are also introduced. 1974 - Genagricola is established. Starting in 1980, it will take over all the Group’s agricultural companies.

The earthquake in Friuli. On May 6, 1976, a devastating earthquake rocked the Friuli region in the North East of Italy, killing 1,000 and leaving 100,000 homeless. Generali, too, was affected by the disaster: two agency employees died, the agency of Gemona was completely destroyed, the offices in Spilimbergo, San Daniele and Tolmezzo were severely damaged, while numerous other buildings were also hit.

ing complete information on Group activities. Particularly significant was the publication of a consolidated Group statement – considered to be the most suitable tool to provide an exhaustive picture of Generali’s complex web of interests – and a half-yearly report by the chairman. These initiatives were extremely innovative at that time and obtained important

1975 - Following the setting up of a single marketing department for the Milan and Veneto Head Offices, Generali is the first company in Italy to adopt an underwriting planning and control system. 1978 - The first conference promoted by Generali and Confindustria – the Confederation of Italian Industry – is held at Villa Manin, near Venice. The aim of the biennial conference is to discuss common issues. 1979 - Enrico Randone is appointed chairman, succeeding Cesare Merzagora who is acclaimed honorary chairman at the shareholders’ meeting. The Middle East Office Branch is established. Based in Dubai, its operations mainly focus on reinsurance and on providing support to middle eastern multinational clients.

acknowledgments, such as the Tagliacedole d’Oro and the Oscar di Bilancio (Financial Statements Award), awarded to an insurance company for the first time.

John Paul II. Following the sudden death (after a pontificate lasting only 33 days) of Albino Luciani, Pope John Paul I, the Archbishop of Krakow Karol Wojtyla became the new Pontiff.



The farming strategy 1851


The first investment. With a view to

New acquisitions. In the years between the two

diversifying assets set aside to back re-

world wars, Italy invests heavily in agriculture

serves, Assicurazioni Generali decides

thanks to the law enforced in 1928 to encourage

to invest in agriculture: the first acqui-

reclamation of marshes and agricultural lands in general. The Company thus further pursues investments in agriculture by purchasing farms in Emilia and in Tuscany, including the 2,300hectare Portonovo farm.

1950 The land reform. Following the land reform, Generali’s agricultural estate – which was enlarged after the war with acquisitions in the countryside around Rome and in Emilia – is halved: an entire 1,700-hectare farm is expropriated, while a further 2,000 hectares are handed over to the “Fund for the establishment of small agricultural properties” and to individual farmers. Further investments are carried out in the Six-


sition is a 1,770-hectare plot in a marshy area

ties, mainly to restructure and consolidate ex-

of the Veneto region. Following a massive land

isting property and to enhance specialisation.

reclamation drive – culminating in 1879 with

Generali launches a “protein plan” to develop

the installation of huge water pumping plants –

the zootechnical sector and intensifies farm

Generali establishes the Ca’ Corniani farm.

processing initiatives.

The farming strategy

1974 Establishment of Genagricola. The need to optimise the management of such a wide range of agricultural activities leads to the establishment of a specialist company: Genagricola. The new company begins operations with the acquisition of Poggiobello farm in eastern Friuli and the San Martino farm in Lazio. Five other farms were acquired between 1976 and 1978, giving a total area of 1,100 hectares.

1980 The concentration of activities. In 1980, shareholders approve the decision to transfer

enters the rice farming and foresta-

all the Parent Company’s farmlands to Genagricola, whose share capital is in-

tion sectors, with the acquisition of two woods in the Carnia region and a rice farm

creased from 15 to 90 and, subsequently, to 123

near Pavia. In 1992, Generali takes over the

billion Liras. In the Eighties, Genagricola widens

Sant’Anna estate, a producer of fine wines in the

the range of its activities by acquiring not only

Veneto region. Some years later, Genagricola will

new property but also firms specialising in the

transfer its headquarters to Sant’Anna.

production and sale of seeds, fungicides, insecticides and powder serums.

2004 New horizons. Genagricola expands to Roma-


nia with the acquisition of 3,000 hectares of

Diversification and specialisation. With a view

grain fields and 300 hectares of vineyards, in the

to further diversifying activities, Genagricola

Timisoara region.

Genagricola chairman Giuseppe Perissinotto points out the area in Romania, where the fields acquired in 2004 are located.


Towards new horizons


n December 1981, Generali turned 150. The

recorded another upsurge early in the Eighties,

event was solemnly celebrated in June of the fol-

hitting an all-time high in Italy of 21.1%. To make

lowing year at the AGM for the approval of the

matters worse, tight mon-

150 report. On that occasion, the meeting took

etary policies adopted by

place at the Verdi theatre, Trieste’s opera-house.

central banks in the main

After one and a half centuries, Generali’s posi-

industrialised countries

tion was as strong as ever. It was leader in the

– above all the US – seriously

domestic market, controlled a Group compris-

slowed down the economy,

ing 35 insurance and 67 real estate and financial

triggering a recessive climate

companies and was among the biggest players

and growing unemployment.

in Europe. Generali’s accounts recorded an un-

Insurers, too, had to face a

broken spell of good results, while its assets were

string of problems: in the life

extremely solid. The Generali share was the blue

sector, new business had prac-

chip in the Italian stock exchange, also thanks to

tically ground to a halt as a


a 46.5% appreciation in 1981. The overall economic picture, however, was not a very favourable one: inflation, which had exploded in the mid-Seventies,

A century and a half. The pictures highlight moments of the celebrations marking the Company’s 150th anniversary, which were held in Trieste in 1982. From top to bottom: the special postage stamp issued for the occasion; the commemorative postcard depicting the storm that struck Trieste on December 26, 1831, the day when the Company was founded; the medal etched by Emilio Greco and minted for the occasion; the San Giusto castle decorated with the Generali trademark for the gala evening; the AGM held at the Verdi theatre.


Towards new horizons

Antarctic mission. In 1988, Generali insured the Italian expedition to the Antarctic. The initiative confirmed Generali’s commitment to scientific research, which had started sixty years earlier with the Nobile polar mission in 1928.

Looking in

1982 - Generali’s 150th anniversary is solemnly celebrated with a series of official events. 1984 - “Generali: an open book” is the first advertising campaign launched on the mass media. 1986 - Generali, in co-operation with Taisho, opens its first branch in Japan.

in the course

1988 - Generali obtains the San Giusto d’oro, a prize awarded to persons or organisations that honour the name of Trieste in the world.

consequence of the enormous gap between the

of the decade,

“technical rates” awarded to policyholders and

individual life

the current interest rates on savings. In non-life

premium income

business, inflation bloated claims and premium

grew at an aver-

income was affected by the competitive pres-

age annual rate

sure arising from the so-called cash-flow under-

of 28%. Moreo-

writing: a practice aimed at achieving maximum

ver, in 1982 Generali de-

cash flow, even at the cost of charging non-

signed the first policy in

technical premium rates,

ECUs (European Currency

so as to take advantage

Units) and the following

of the high interest rates

year it established Gener-

applied in the financial

Comit mutual funds, in

market. Thanks to its vast

collaboration with Banca

international experience,

Commerciale Italiana. In non-life business, the

Generali radically reno-

Company further pursued its strategy aimed at

vated its life business in

curbing the claims-to-premiums ratio – which

Italy by launching Gesav,

continued to be a source of underwriting losses –

a highly innovative policy

and at designing innovative products to encour-

ensuring excellent profit-

age new business.

sharing. The success of

Though absorbed in dealing with current prob-

the new policy was

lems, Generali did not neglect to look ahead and


to create the base for future development, espe-

1989 - The new Mogliano Head Office becomes operative. Following the establishment of AB-Generali Budapest, Generali is the first insurer to start a joint venture in an eastern European country that is still under a communist regime. Generali obtains the Premio Torta, a prize for the restoration of the Squero Vecio in Venice, an old shipyard depicted in a painting by Canaletto and currently the headquarters of Generali’s nautical club. 1990 - The Registered Office is brought back to Trieste.

Restorations. As part of the long-running initiative aimed at safeguarding its real estate property, Generali restored the historic San Marco café in Trieste, which had been the favourite haunt of Italian patriots during the Great War. Italy’s ambassadors. In 1988 Generali’s gondolas – caretakers of an ancient tradition – took part, as Italy’s official representatives, in the opening ceremony of the first New York International Art Festival.




cially in the Italian market. As early as 1981, the Company had finalised the acquisition in Mogliano Veneto – between Venice and Treviso – of a vast plot of land for the construction of more modern headquarters, best suited for meeting future challenges. Half-way through the decade, Generali launched a vast technological upgrading project, with the installation in its offices of thousands of computerised working stations The Head Office for Italian operations. Opened in 1989, the new Mogliano Veneto complex – on the mainland near Venice – houses the departments supervising operations in Italy, a task originally managed separately by the Milan and Veneto Head Offices. The futuristic complex, which spreads over an area of 34 hectares and includes 55,000 sqm of office space, is the venue of the new IT unit, the Group School, the underwriting, administrative and marketing departments, as well as the centralised archives and warehouses.

and the creation of a network linking all its agencies. On the other hand, Generali’s expansion policy abroad in the early Eighties remained very cautious and only highly selective acquisitions were carried out. However, the international scenario was rapidly changing: in the wake of the US, world economy was gradually moving out of recession, accompanied by the good performance of international stock markets. Inflation, too, was beginning to slow down, following the stabilisation of raw material prices. However, it was on the political side that the signs of the changing times were more evident. The rise to power in


Towards new horizons

World Cup glory. In 1982, the Italian football team, coached by Enzo Bearzot, won the World Cup in Spain: it was Italy’s third title. On the right, the commemorative stamp.

Looking out 1981 - The first flight of the Space Shuttle program blasts off from Cape Canaveral. 1982 - Philips and Sony launch the compact disc on the Japanese market.

the Soviet Union of Mikhail

1983 - The marketing of Swatch watches starts.

Gorbachev in 1985 and the

1986 - During the 27th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in Moscow, Mikhail Gorbachev announces the beginning of perestroika.

implementation of the perestroika – a sweeping reform policy – triggered an unstop-

Reactor unit 4 of the Chernobyl nuclear power station in Ukraine explodes, causing a major nuclear disaster.

pable process culminating in a great symbolic event: the

Reinhold Messner is the first man in the world to climb all fourteen peaks in the Himalaya exceeding a height of 8,000 metres.

fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. These were the first warning signs of a process that – over

1987 - Intifada, the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation, starts.

the following decade – would

economic, political and social events would have

forty years earlier.

a planetary impact, thanks also to the new infor-

That was just the first

1988 - The Ramstein air-show disaster took place in front of an audience of 300,000 people in Ramstein, Germany. Sixty-seven spectators and three pilots died.

mation technology, capable of cancelling both

step towards new

1990 - Iraqi troops invade Kuwait.

time and space distances.


Generali’s actions were in line with the chang-

a global market requires adequate size, a wide-

ing times, and the Company was in a position

spread international presence, ability to achieve

to seize opportunities and rise to challenges as

synergies as well as expertise and advanced

they emerged. A clear indication that times were

technology. These facts were well known in the

indeed changing was the decision to purchase

corporate world, which had often been char-

a significant stake in a Hungarian company: the

acterised by disorderly merger and acquisition

lead to globalisation, in which


operation marked Generali’s return to eastern Europe, from which it had been expelled over

Environmental disaster. In 1989 the American tanker Exxon Valdez spilled 35,000 tons of oil in the sea in Alaska. It is considered one of the most devastating manmade environmental disasters ever to occur at sea.

The wall comes down. In November 1989, the wall that had divided Berliners for thirty years came crashing down as the citizens of the East took to the streets. The fall of the symbol that stood for the division between two opposing visions of the world heralded the advent of globalisation – a new era in which events and ideas have planetary implications and repercussions.




Growth of average life expectancy in Italy from 1890 to 1990

■ ■ Female


Life expectation increases. One of the most visible consequences of increased wealth in the last century has been longer life expectancy. In the last decades of the millennium, longer life has seriously affected the stability of state pension systems and boosted demand for additional insurance-oriented private pension schemes.

time, the Company was taking steps to strengthen its international presence with the acquisicampaigns. Against this highly competitive background, Generali was successful in

opening of branches in numerous markets such as Japan, Switzerland,

finalising its projects: in 1989, it inaugurated

Belgium, Germany, Great Britain and

the first section of the Head Office for Italian

the United States. The largest operation, how-

Operations in Mogliano Veneto, near Venice,

ever, was the take-over bid for Compagnie du

which housed the new IT centre – the techno-

Midi in France launched in late 1987. Though

logical heart of the Company – and the Group

the bid was unsuccessful, the operation marked

School for the professional training and up-

a turning point in Generali’s international ex-

grading of its employees, with a view to forg-

pansion strategy, paving the way for the impor-

ing a common corporate identity. At the same

tant acquisitions of the Nineties.

Back to the East. In 1989, Generali became the first insurer from the West to initiate a joint venture in an eastern European country that still had a communist government. Above: chairman Enrico Randone, Generali CEO in Austria Dietrich Karner and the head of the Hungarian state insurer Allami Biztositó join hands to mark the setting up of AB-Generali Budapest.


tion of new companies and the

Towards new horizons

Generali in space. As evidence of the Company’s leading role in the complex space insurance sector, the Generali trademark was reproduced on a launcher that orbited the Soviet spacecraft Soyuz from the Bajkonur space centre.

The Company’s share capital growth 1831 Generali is founded with a share capital of 2 million Florins, divided in 2,000 shares of 1,000 Florins each.

1857 Generali shares are listed for the first time on the Trieste Stock Exchange (right).

1906 The company capital is converted into Crowns.

1919 Generali becomes Italian. Its share capital, now expressed in Liras, amounts to 13.2 million.

1939 On the eve of World War II, following two rights issues and a split operation, the capital rises to 120 million Liras; the face value of each share is 200 Liras.

1947-49 Following the postwar monetary devaluation, the company capital is increased initially from 1.2 billion and successively to 4 billion Liras through three operations.

1969 Starting 1951, seven bonus issue operations bring up company capital to 16 billion Liras.

1970-75 With three operations, including rights and bonus issues, the company capital increases to 41.1 billion Liras.

1987 In ten years, eight bonus issue operations raise the company capital to 420 billion Liras.

1988-2000 In order to finance the large expansion of the Nineties, the company capital is brought up to 2,506 billion Liras.

2001 The company capital is converted into Euros.

2008 On July 21, 2008, Assicurazioni Generali’s share capital amounts to 1,410,029,542 Euros.

The Company’s share capital growth



A leading player in the global market


he drive towards globalisation was growing.

ingly complex demands and thus to lure them

Barriers were falling not only in geopolitics but

away from competitors. In this context, insur-

also on a business level. As competitive pressure

ance was gradually expanding into the area of

increased, many operators were setting their

financial services, on which a growing number

sights away from their traditional core activi-

of savers were relying for their changing needs.

ties, making inroads into related business. The

Among these, was the demand for additional

aim was to provide clients with an ever wider

pension coverage that had been stimulated

range of services, in order to meet their increas-

by the crisis of state funded pension systems. In Italy, this situation boosted the life insurance sector, which passed from 25% to 60% of overall premium income in just a decade. Quite naturally, the boom attracted a significant number of big banking and financial groups. As an answer to these changes, which were taking place in all major markets, Generali responded by signing business co-operation agreements with prominent banking groups and by designing innovative life products (in-

The European Union. On February 7, 1992, the ministers of the twelve countries that made up the EEC signed the Maastricht treaty, defining the process for the establishment of the European Union. Generali without frontiers. In 1990, the Company‘s growing international presence was highlighted by the launch of an innovative advertising campaign in the main countries of operation that hinged around the catch phrase “Generali: the insurer without frontiers”. Generali’s example – it was the first insurance group to present itself with a unique message worldwide and a strong corporate identity – would soon be imitated by competitors.


A leading player in the global market

Italy’s first astronaut. August 1992: Franco Malerba, on his return from the space mission aboard the Atlantis shuttle, embraces his son Michele. Italy’s first ever astronaut, Malerba subscribed an insurance policy with Generali: a further evidence of the Company’s involvement with the space business.

Looking in 1991 - Eugenio Coppola di Canzano is appointed chairman, succeeding Enrico Randone who is acclaimed honorary chairman at the shareholders’ meeting. 1993 - Generali is back in Romania. 1994 - Genertel is established: the Generali Group is the first in Italy to launch a telephone selling insurance company. 1995 - Antoine Bernheim is appointed chairman. 1997 - Generali acquires the Migdal group, Israel’s largest insurer. Following an agreement with Allianz and AGF, Generali takes over the German group AMB and three French companies, thereby significantly increasing its market share in the two countries.

dex- and unit-linked policies) with a high financial performance. The Company’s most significant strategic move, however, was the decision to widen its sphere of interests outside the

Cigar, a thoroughbred horse winner of 19 races, including the prestigious Breeders’ Cup, becomes Generali’s property following the payment of 25 million US Dollars as a compensation for infertility damages.

exclusive field of insurance, transforming itself into a global provider of financial services to savers. Generali’s repositioning in the market started in the mid-Nineties, with the acquisition of Prime – a prominent mutual fund man-

La Fenice. For the second time in 160 years, Generali paid for the damages caused by fire at the famous La Fenice theatre in Venice: the first time in 1836 and the second in January 1996.




ager – and subsequently of BSI - Banca della Svizzera Italiana, a private bank based in Lugano, Switzerland. Moreover, Banca Generali was established in 1998 with the task of providing Generali Group clients with competitive and innovative banking services and drawing on a hi-tech platform. This initiative was further proof of Generali’s focus on technology, already witnessed by the establishment in 1994 of Genertel, Italy’s first telephone selling insurer and top direct operator. Generali was just as quick in perceiving the importance of the Internet: again, it was among the first insurance companies to create a website. The Internet, however, is not

fered by e-commerce, at the

only a window for products or an informa-

end of the decade Generali

tion tool: to enhance the possibilities of-

launched a twofold project designed to transform Gener-

Innovation. Thanks to the rapid development of IT in the second half of the Nineties, the Generali Group launched an extensive programme to boost the sale of insurance and banking products as well as financial services by telephone and over the Internet.

tel into a portal for the online sale of insurance and financial products, and to enhance the services offered by Banca Generali. This innovation process was accompanied by a clear-cut strategy of expansion abroad. The deregulation of markets offered new medium-term growth prospects and provided welcome openings, offsetting the market saturation levels recorded in industrialised countries. Generali seized the opportunity by reconstructing its business base in eastern Europe. Following its comeback in Hungary (1989), new companies were gradually set up in Romania (where the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Generali’s first subsidiary was celebrated in 1997), the


A leading player in the global market

Looking out 1991 - The declarations of independence by Slovenia and Croatia bring about the beginning of war in Yugoslavia. In space. The first module of the International Space Station – a joint project involving 16 countries – was launched in 1998.

Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Poland. Generali also focused its attention on the Far East, starting

After the failed coup against Gorbachev, the Soviet Union, under the pressure of president Boris Yeltsin, is dissolved. 1993 - With the Velvet revolution, Czechoslovakia splits into the Czech and Slovak Republics. With the release of the first browser (Mosaic), the Internet comes of age. 1994 - Nelson Mandela (Nobel peace prize in 1993) is South Africa’s first black president.

with China. By setting up a representative office in

The tunnel under the English Channel is opened.

Beijing in 1996, Generali met the first requirement in

1997 - Hong Kong reverts to Chi-

the process leading to full operating license, which

nese rule.

it obtained four years later. At the same time, signifi-

British author J.K. Rowling publishes Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

cant partnerships were signed with local companies in the area. One of these led to the setting up of two insurance companies in the Philippines. The establishment of new bases in emerging

1999 - After the crisis in Kosovo, NATO troops bomb Serbia. 2000 - Pope John Paul II opens the Great Jubilee to mark the 2000th anniversary of the advent of Christ. After 21 years, Ferrari wins the Formula One World Championship with Michael Schumacher.

The last wars of the 20th century. The Nineties were characterised by serious international tension and by the explosion of numerous conflicts. In the photos: oil fields aflame in Kuwait during the Gulf war (1991) and international troops on patrol duties in the Balkans.




The new bases in the East. Following its comeback in Hungary in 1989, Generali successfully recreated its network in eastern Europe. In the photo, the Generali Pojišt’ovna headquarters in Prague.

countries, however, was but one of Generali’s guidelines: as a matter of fact, the Company’s

size alone was not enough to ensure true com-

acquisition policy in selected markets aimed

petitiveness. It was necessary to integrate the

at enhancing the Group’s position among in-

numerous entities that made up the Group, to

dustry top players. A number of operations

enhance business focus, streamline operations

over the second half of the decade led to the

and generate synergies. It was with this in mind

transformation of the Group’s structure: with

that Generali launched a major organisational

the acquisition of AMB, Generali became one

restructuring programme in major countries of

of Germany’s top three insurance groups and

operation, starting with France, Austria, Ger-

also raised its ranking in France. The success-

many and Switzerland. In Italy, a wide-ranging

ful takeover bid for INA not only consolidated

business integration plan between Generali

Generali’s position as top insurer in the Italian

and INA was launched. The project involved the

market, but turned it into Europe’s largest life

unification of the two companies’ insurance

insurance provider. In this period, Generali also

activities into two poles – life and non-life –

became market leader in Israel and Argentina

and closer co-ordination of the sales networks,

with the acquisitions of Migdal and Caja.

dealing with the Group’s entire range of insur-

Though the operations carried out over the

ance, banking and financial products. The vast

decade allowed Generali to increase its consoli-

reorganisation, which led to the merger of

dated premium income by six times and to rank

companies, the sale of non-strategic entities

third in Europe’s insurance industry, growth in

and the re-allocation of insurance portfolios The insurance policies of Holocaust victims. Thousands of requests from the heirs of Holocaust victims who had subscribed life insurance policies were received by insurance companies that operated in central and eastern Europe at the time. Though Generali had no legal obligations – its entire activity in those countries having been nationalised immediately after the end of World War II – it allocated 100 million US Dollars following the decision of an international commission set up to solve the painful controversy, thus showing great understanding for the suffering of the victims. In the photo: a Company delegation, headed by Gianfranco Gutty, visited in 1997 the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. On that occasion, the delegation handed a complete list of all Generali policyholders in the period between the two wars to museum authorities, providing historians with a precious tool in their effort to reconstruct the victims’ lives.


A leading player in the global market

Generali in China. Following a series of talks with Chinese authorities – in the photo, the meeting in Beijing between Prime Minister Zhu Rongji and managing director Fabio Cerchiai – in June 2000 Generali was given the green light to operate in the country.

Looking in 1998 - Generali acquires BSI - Banca della Svizzera Italiana, while Banca Generali, whose activity is based on innovative telecommunication technology, begins operations. The Generali Global project becomes operative: a network of regional coordination and marketing units (located in Europe, America and Asia) providing services to the Group’s multi-national clients. 1999 - Following the acquisition of a controlling stake in Caja de Ahorro y Seguro, the Group becomes market leader in Argentina. Generali signs an agreement with Commerzbank, which becomes the Group’s main banking partner in Germany. Alfonso Desiata is appointed chairman. 2000 - In February, Generali ‘s takeover bid for INA (launched in September 1999) is finally accepted. Following the acquisition, Italy is once again Generali’s main market of operations.

and functions, was accompanied by a stronger focus on corporate identity, with an extensive use of the Generali name among Group companies to replace old names. Over the decade, this process involved over thirty insurance subsidiaries as well as numerous holding and service companies.

The INA acquisition. With the acquisition of INA, Generali not only strengthened its leading role in Italy, but also emerged as Europe’s top life insurer. The operation was the launching pad for a major restructuring of Group operations in Italy: the new business model was based on the co-existence of a number of operative units having autonomous trademarks and business policies but sharing common service centres. Private banking. With the acquisition of BSI - Banca della Svizzera Italiana in 1998, the Generali Group strengthened its position in the asset management sector and confirmed its role as a global operator in the insurance and financial services.



Community and environment


ver the years, the Group has undertaken a plentiful array of initiatives in favour of the local communities in which it operates. Its

Operation breakthrough. Generali USA Life Re supports the American organisation United Way, that takes care of over 600 poor children, helping them develop to their fullest potential in a safe, loving and educational environment.

initiatives support scientific and medical research, cultural, artistic and sporting events and training projects. Other efforts are aimed to help the suffering, to foster education and training programmes, to raise social awareness and to protect the environment. Particular attention is paid to children and the youth, the future of our society. Hereafter are some of the activities supported by the Group in social and environmental matters.

Supporting the poor. Generali do Brasil gives the Associação Amigos do Barração its contribution to support the families living in the favelas in Ibiúna (São Paulo, Brazil).

Klinik-clowns. In Austria and Slovenia, the Group sponsored the volunteering foundations of clown doctors who visit, entertain and cheer up sick children in hospitals.


Community and environment

The Children’s Festivals. CEO Giovanni Perissinotto hands out the charity funds raised by Generali employees on the occasion of the Children’s Festival to three welfare foundations selected by the employees themselves.

Educational help to bedridden students. The Israeli company Migdal sponsors the Tlalim project, offering free learning support to pupils that are absent from school due to illness or accident.

Sichuan earthquake. Following the disastrous Sichuan earthquake in 2008, Generali China promptly organised charity initiatives as well as individual donations from members of staff nationwide, contributing € 130,000. Environmental protection. The Group in France fosters a number of initiatives aimed at developing social awareness of environmental matters, also thanks to testimonials like Zinédine Zidane and other well-known personalities.

Apples and lemons to drivers. On the occasion of the annual road safety educational campaign sponsored by the Group in Hungary and in the Slovak Republic, children award good drivers with an apple and punish reckless rule-breakers with a lemon.

SOS turtles. In Italy, Europ Assistance adhered to “Tartanet”, the initiative to safeguard the loggerhead sea turtle (also known as Caretta Caretta): a 24 hour toll-free number has been activated to report sightings of stranded or injured turtles.

Green Power Hike. Since 2002, Generali Hong Kong Branch has successfully taken part in the Green Power Hike, the race along the Hong Kong Trail, aimed at raising donations to support green education in local schools.

The “SuperC” Project. The building of a new students’ service centre at RWTH Aachen University – called “SuperC”, as it looks like a giant “C” – was partially financed by AMB Generali through the funds allocated since 1825 for scientific and social projects.

Scenarios for the third millennium


t this point, history merges with current affairs.

“product factories” and sales networks, sup-

At the beginning of the third millennium and

ported by common back-office units supplying

following its expansion in key markets at the

administration, IT, claim settlement and asset

end of the Nineties, Generali is now in the proc-

management services, all within the framework

ess of reorganising its Group structure with a

of a unitary strategy and control.

view to improving efficiency. The initiatives un-

As to business strategy, Generali’s underwrit-

der way are aimed at creating an organisational

ing policy focuses on the development of the

model hinging on a number of market-oriented

life branch – which accounts for over 70% of the Group’s overall turnover – and of the retail side of the non-life sector. This policy – which is accompanied, in the corporate sector, by selective underwriting in specific segments, namely multi-national risks and employee benefits – goes hand in hand with an increased involvement in the area of financial services, where the Group aims to provide comprehensive responses to the needs of savers. This process of integration also includes distribution, where both

Ongoing improvement. With a view to enhancing the overall efficiency of the Group, Generali has provided its operative units – “product factories” and sales networks – with a number of common service structures in the areas of administration, IT, real estate, asset management and claim settlement.


Scenarios for the third millennium

Looking out the traditional sales network – based on agents –

hoped for a period of

and innovative channels – based on telecommu-

relentless growth and

nications technology – are in a position to deliv-

easy profits. At the

er the entire range of Generali Group services.

same time, the process

The new millennium has brought about a se-

leading to the closer

ries of challenges, possibly the toughest in Ge-

integration of econo-

nerali’s long history. At world level, the gener-

mies, cultures and soci-

al downturn and the fall of the stock markets

eties has triggered ten-

have swept away the illusions of those who had

sions and protests both inside and outside industrialised countries. In a society already unsettled by doubts and fears, the attacks on America of Septem-

2001 - Wikipedia, the biggest multi-lingual freecontent online encyclopaedia is launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger. The film The Fellowship of the Ring, based on the trilogy The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, is released. 2002 - The single currency is introduced in 12 countries of the European Union. 2003 - The USA accuses Saddam Hussein’s government of possessing weapons of mass destruction and attacks Iraq. 2004 - Ten new countries enter the European Union: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Hungary. The tsunami that strikes the Indian Ocean area on December 26 causes over 200,000 dead and billions in damage. 2006 - After the “mad cow” disease in 2001, a new collective psychosis is caused by the “bird flu”.

ber 11, 2001, have pro-

The challenges of the new millennium. The process leading to the integration of different economies, cultures and societies is proving extremely difficult. In this background of uncertainty, the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the following attack on the international coalition in Afghanistan provoked an unprecedented crisis.


Looking in 2001 - Gianfranco Gutty is appointed chairman. Genertel, already a successful online insurance company, wins the Customer Satisfaction Award for the quality of its service.

voked an ever deeper sense of anguish and uncertainty. Economic and geopolitical instability has had inevitable repercussions on the insurance system, which is facing exceptional challenges, including new risk exposure on a global scale, the increasing importance of company size, the delay of pension reforms, the restrictions set by the law and technological innovation. The action taken so far by the Generali Group are part of a strategy aimed at achieving growth, underwriting balance, profitability and asset strengthening, through the diversification of both the in-

2002 - Antoine Bernheim is appointed chairman. 2003 - Generali launches the first three-year strategic plan in the Group’s history. With the establishment of Generali Bank in Austria, Internet banking further develops. 2004 - With the CityLife project, Generali Properties is awarded an international tender for the urban redevelopment of the Milan fair district. Genagricola expands to Romania with the acquisition of 3,000 hectares of grain fields and 300 hectares of vineyards. 2005 - Three gondolas of the Generali Nautical Club are welcomed on lake Chaoyang near Beijing as Italy’s cultural envoy with the support of Generali China. Over 2,000 people take a ride.

surance and investment portfolios by sector and geographical area. These guidelines have identified Generali’s business tradition right from the outset, reflecting continuity in strategy, albeit in different contexts and eras. This very consistency is also mirrored by the men that have been at the helm of the Group and who, today as yesterday, can boast a deep-rooted corporate and professional experience.

The strategic plan. In January 2003, Generali’s top management launches the first three-year strategic plan in the Group’s history, whose targets will be fully achieved. In March 2006, the new plan is introduced for the three-year period 2006-2008.


Scenarios for the third millennium

Strengthening presence in foreign countries

The Generali Group is the third insurance group in Europe, with a total premium income of over 66 billion Euros in 2007. It has operations in 40 countries, with 67,300 employees and 54 million clients worldwide.

Alongside specific operations in western Europe, in recent years increasing attention has been paid to those areas – such as eastern Europe, China and other Asian countries – characterised by low insurance penetra-

tion, high saving rates, significant growth and profitability perspectives. This has allowed the Generali Group’s business abroad to reach 70% of total premium income (life and non-life), up 10% on 2003.

Western Europe The Group maintains its focus on western European core markets through specific strategic operations aimed at consolidating its leading position in these markets, developing financial programmes and enhancing operations effectiveness and efficiency. As far as effectiveness is concerned, important transnational projects have been launched following both a traditional country-based approach and a distributive channel approach. As to efficiency, restructuring projects have been carried out in key areas, primarily in France – with the merging of ten companies into only two entities (life and non-life) – and Germany – with the merging of two companies characterised by a traditional distribution network and the search for economies of scale in back-office structures.

High honours from France. Chairman Antoine Bernheim is the first corporate man to receive the Grand Croix de la Légion d’Honneur by French president Nicolas Sarkozy. AMB Generali. The German holding company presents its financial statements.


In January 2003, Generali’s top management – chairman Antoine Bernheim and managing directors Sergio Balbinot and Giovanni Perissinotto – presented the first strategic plan in the Group’s history for the three-year period 2003-2005. The plan’s targets were fully achieved both in terms of increased business volume and results. Over three years, total premiums increased by 28%, consolidated net profit by 67%, embedded value by 13.8% and overall return on embedded value by 10.2% up to 11.9%. Generali shares rose from 17.53 Euros in 2003 to 29.49 Euros at the end of 2005 (+69%), reportAngels. Generali’s agents are pictured in everyday situations but “casually” close to the brand so that the lion’s wing is on their back: this is the creative idea for the Angels press and TV campaign, launched internationally. The commercial is awarded the 2004 Media Key Award.

Savana. The TV campaign Savana – first broadcast in Italy in April 2007 – is so successful that other Group companies start to use it for their campaigns. In particular, the Dutch version of Savana is selected by the public and eventually ranks second among the most popular commercials broadcast in the Netherlands in February 2008.


Scenarios for the third millennium

Central and eastern Europe After the fall of the Berlin wall, the Generali Group was the first western insurance group to enter those markets where all company assets had been lost following World War II and the communist regime. Since its entry into Hungary, the Group has extended its presence to 10 countries, with approximately 4 million clients in 2006. With a view to further developing business in one of the most attractive areas for the insurance sector, in 2007 a joint venture contract was signed for the establishment of Generali PPF Holding. The joint venture held by the Generali Group (51%) and PPF group (49%) began operations in 2008 with a portfolio of over 9 million clients in 12 markets, namely Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Ukraine.

10 years. In 2003, Group companies in Romania and the Czech Republic celebrate their 10th anniversary.

New agreements. The agreements for the establishment of Generali PPF Holding (2007, first photo above) and the entry into Bulgaria (2006, second photo above) are signed.


Socio-environmental values. In 2004 Generali publishes the Group’s Ethical Code, identifying the principles that inspire the business conduct of people operating within the Group. Other documents implemented afterwards are the Sustainability Report – outlining the Generali’s socio-environmental initiatives – and the European Social Charter, defining the Group’s reference values with regard to the protection of human resources.

ing an increase of over 15 points compared to MIB 30 (+53.6%).

with regard to the protection of human resources.

In May 2004, acknowledging the strong link

The Group’s steady commitment to pursuing a

existing between economic growth and socio-

sustainable economic, social and environmental

environmental values, Generali drew up and ap-

growth is of particular importance, as the gener-

proved the Group’s Ethical Code, identifying

al public is gaining greater awareness of the im-

the principles that inspire the business conduct

pact of pollution on climate and of its connec-

of people operating within the Group. Along-

tion to natural disasters such as the devastating

side the Ethical Code, other important docu-

tsunami that struck Southeast Asia in December

ments were published in 2004. In particular the

2004. On that occasion, Europ Assistance made

Sustainability Report encourages dialogue with

a significant contribution to the international re-

shareholders and provides an overview of the

lief effort, while Generali and Group employees

Group’s socio-environmental initiatives and tar-

gave their support to reconstruction.

gets, whereas the European Social Charter defines

With regard to international expansion, in the

the Group’s guid-

first years of the third millennium the Group fo-

ing principles and

cused its attention on the emerging markets of

reference values

eastern Europe and Asia.

After the tsunami. Europ Assistance mobilises its vast international network to deal with the devastation of the tsunami that strikes Southeast Asia in 2004, while Generali and Group employees make their contribution to reconstruction.


Scenarios for the third millennium

Far East In China, the Generali Group has been active in the life market since 2002 with Generali China Life – with a sales network of more than 6,500 agents – and in the P&C market since 2007 with Generali China. Generali’s local partner is the highly regarded China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), a leading player in the hydrocarbons industry with 1,200,000 employees. In 2005, Generali China Life wrote a singlepremium group policy – for approximately 2 billion Euros – covering 390,000 CNPC retirees. In 2007, Assicurazioni Generali was granted a licence by India’s regulatory authority to operate in the life and nonlife insurance sector in India through Future Generali India Life and Future Generali India. The two companies, headquartered in Mumbai, were established through Generali’s joint venture with Future Group India, the country’s leading retailer.

Ribbon cutting ceremony. The inauguration of the Beijing branch attended by Generali CEO Sergio Balbinot (2004).

Advertising. Some examples of advertising initiatives launched by Future Generali India and Generali China to promote their image.


Recognitions for excellence. Generali Group companies worldwide received a large number of recognitions for their excellent performance. In the above pictures: Vitalicio Seguros in Spain wins the 2004-2005 Dinero prize as the best insurance company, while Generali International’s Vision policy receives the prestigious Portfolio International Award for Best Regular Premium Product.

In central and eastern Europe, the Group further

placed not only on emerging markets but also

consolidated its position and strengthened its

on the new distribution channels through its

expansion strategy started in 1989. At the end

leadership in Italy, Germany and France in the

of 2006, Generali was present in ten central and

sale of insurance products by the telephone

eastern European countries, having entered Ser-

and over the Internet.

bia, Bulgaria and Ukraine and consolidated its

As far as Italy is concerned, with the acquisition of

presence in Croatia. In 2007, the Group further

Toro Assicurazioni in 2006 Generali consolidated

broadened its horizons by signing an agreement

its leadership in the life sector and became leader

with PPF to establish a joint venture in central

in the non-life business, too. In the same year Ban-

and eastern Europe.

ca Generali – that had turned from an online to a

As far as the Far East is concerned, only three

multi-channel bank, thus integrating the financial

years after its entry into China Generali became

advisers’ networks already owned by the Genera-

one of the country’s leading insurance groups

li Group – was listed on the Milan Stock Exchange.

in the life sector. After the opening of the first

As on the occasion of its 100th and 150th anniversa-

Branch in Guangzhou, Generali China expand-

ries, Generali celebrated its 175th year in a flourish-

ed to other towns – including Beijing, Foshan

ing condition. The 2006 results exceeded the tar-

and Shanghai – and developed a sales network of some thousand employees. At the beginning of 2006, the Group was authorised to operate in the non-life sector, too. The Group’s focus was

World champions. In 2006, the Italian football team, sponsored by Generali, defeats France in a penalty shootout and wins the World Cup in Germany: it is Italy’s fourth title.


Scenarios for the third millennium

Looking in 2005 - At the end of the first three-year strategic plan, all targets and significant value creation are achieved. The Generali Group Innovation Academy is established to identify corporate reference values and to consolidate the Group’s identity. Toro enters the Generali Group. Through the acquisition of Toro Assicurazioni in 2006, Generali consolidates its leadership in the life sector and becomes leader in non life business, too.

2006 - Banca Generali is listed on the Milan Stock Exchange. Generali Investments, the Group’s new European asset management company, is established. 2007 - The whole Italian sales network gathers in Trieste to celebrate Generali’s 175th anniversary. An agreement is signed with PPF to establish the leading joint venture in central and eastern Europe.

gets set in the new strategic plan and Generali’s financial statements were the best in the Group’s history. For the fourth year in a row, all targets were achieved, thanks to premium income growth and increasing mark-up, also due to the Group’s cost containment policy. This allowed the management to distribute a record dividend of nearly one billion Euros, up 39% on 2005. No matter what lies ahead, Generali will continue to play a leading role in the years to come, writing other successful chapters in its history.

175th anniversary. At the beginning of 2007 the Company organises the first special events to mark this very important celebration: chairman Antoine Bernheim meets Italian President Giorgio Napolitano at the Quirinal Palace in Rome and presents him with a commemorative medal; the Central Head Office in Trieste, illuminated by an unusual beacon, hosts “The Roots of the Present”, an exhibition of archaeological finds confirming the Group’s commitment to culture; a concert is held at La Scala in Milan, attended by the Company’s top management and local authorities.


Generali and the web


ince its early days at the end of the Eighties, online communication has become more and more important both for private people and for companies. E-mail messages, hyperlinks and multi-media are now part of our daily lives and have radically changed not only the way people interact, but also the way journalists, clients and stakeholders relate to the companies. From a marketing point of view, websites are a powerful, easy-to-manage, inexpensive way to promote the company’s image and products worldwide and to communicate with the market and society. Generali’s corporate website was created in 1996 to provide an overview of company results, press releases and official documents. In April 2004, following a thorough analysis of the market’s communication requirements, the Group launched its new website The Group’s homepages. Top to bottom:

– co-ordinated by the Corporate Communication department –

in Italian and English, with a number of new sections and a more modern graphic layout. At the same time, the first web guidelines – for graphics and contents – were developed, with a view to harmonising all Group websites worldwide, while guaranteeing transparency and accuracy. Due to the continuous evolution of IT technologies and increasing users’ demands, the website must be constantly improved and updated: to this end, access statistics are regularly monitored and annual surveys are conducted by an international consulting company evaluating the websites of Europe’s major companies. Besides the standard, traditional sections – dedicated to financial analysts, economic journalists, shareholders, clients and job opportunities – new items have recently been added. These include a Sustainability section – including the interactive Sustainability Report – and some publications, which have been updated to more accessible formats, such as the interactive PDF versions of Il Bollettino on line and Group News.


Generali and the web

Analytical indexes


Index of persons This list includes the names of corporate men as well as those historical figures and cultural personalities who came into contac with Assicurazioni Generali

Abbiate Mario . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43, 53 Babboni Ranieri . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Balbinot Sergio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88, 91 Baroncini Gino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43, 57, 63 Beltrame Achille . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36, 39 Bernheim Antoine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43, 77, 86, 87, 88, 93 Besso Marco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24, 34, 39, 43 Boccasile Gino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Cerchiai Fabio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Coppola di Canzano Eugenio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43, 77 Cosulich Antonio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43, 53 de Finetti Bruno . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Desiata Alfonso . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43, 81 Dudovich Marcello . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42, 46 Francesconi Daniele . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17, 19 Geiringer Eugenio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Giussani Camillo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43, 57 Greco Emilio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Gutty Gianfranco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43, 80, 86 Kafka Franz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Karner Dietrich . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Levi Masino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9, 14, 15, 24 Malerba Franco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Manin Daniele . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16,17 Manzù Giacomo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Merzagora Cesare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43, 63, 67

Morpurgo Edgardo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39, 43 Morpurgo Giuseppe Lazzaro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5, 8 Mussolini Benito . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44, 45 Napolitano Giorgio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 Niemeyer Oscar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Nobile Umberto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42, 71 Padoa Fabio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Perissinotto Giovanni . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82, 88 Perissinotto Giuseppe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Pesaro Maurogonato Isacco . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Picasso Pablo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Pincherle Leone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9, 17 Randone Enrico . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43, 67, 74, 77 Revoltella Pasquale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Ritter de Zahony Giovanni Cristoforo . . . . . . . . . 9, 34, 43 Rosa Salva Giuseppe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Sarkozy Nicolas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Savoia Carlo Alberto . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Savoia Aosta Amedeo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Scomparini Eugenio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Smith Olcott Damon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Tripcovich Mario . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43, 57 Vergani Orio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Volpi di Misurata Giuseppe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43, 45, 47 Zhu Rongji . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Zidane Zinédine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

Index of companies AB - Generali Budapest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71, 74 Accomandita di Assicurazioni . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Aetna Life & Casualty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62, 63, 66, 67 AGF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Allami Biztositó . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Alleanza . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12, 45 Allianz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 AMB Generali . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55, 77, 80, 83, 87 Anonima Grandine . . . . . . . . . 27, 30, 32, 36, 39, 53, 56, 57 Anonima Infortuni . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30, 32, 34, 53, 56, 57 Azienda Assicuratrice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5, 8, 27 Banca Commerciale Italiana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Banca Generali . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78, 81, 92, 93 BSI - Banca della Svizzera Italiana . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77, 81 Buffalo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Caja de Ahorro y Seguro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80, 81 Caja de Previsión y Socorro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Commerzbank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Compagnia d’Assicurazione . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Compagnie du Midi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Erste Allgemeine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26, 27, 28 Europ Assistance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60, 63, 83, 90 Future Generali India . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Genagricola . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67, 69, 86 General Accident . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Generala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Generali Bank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 Generali China . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12, 83, 86, 91, 92 Generali do Brasil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Generali France . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12, 34, 55, 83 Generali Gestione Immobiliare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Generali Hong Kong Branch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55, 83 Generali Immobiliare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12


Index of persons and companies

Generali International . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 Generali Investments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 Generali Middle East Office Branch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Generali Panama Branch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Generali Pojišt’ovna . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54, 80 Generali PPF Holding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 Generali Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12, 86 Generali Switzerland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13, 55 Generali Towarzystwo Ubezpieczén . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Generali US Branch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Generali USA Life Re . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Generali Vienna . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13, 27 Genertel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77, 78, 86 INA - Istituto Nazionale delle Assicurazioni 36, 41, 42, 80, 81 La Concorde . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34, 60, 63 Migdal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77, 80, 82 Mitsui . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Mondadori . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 PPF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92, 93 Prime . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Providencia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 RAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24, 36 Società delle Tontine Sarde . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20, 21 Società Pontificia di Assicurazioni . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10, 23 Società Reale Mutua . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10, 15 Standard General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Taisho . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66, 71 Tokio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Toro . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92, 93 Unione di Assicuratori . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Unione Italiana di Riassicurazione . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Vanguard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Vitalicio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13, 33, 55, 92

pages 2-7

Index of images The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

Gino Parin Portrait of Giuseppe Lazzaro Morpurgo The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

The Central Head Office The Besso Foundation Collection, Rome

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

Marcello Dudovich The Legionary sows the Land in Africa The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

Museo Volta, Pavia


Katsushika Hokusai The Breaking Wave Off Kanagawa Hakone Museum, Hakone (Japan)

Carlo Wostry Annexation Celebration Civico Museo del Risorgimento, Trieste

The De Dolcetti Archive, Trieste

Gino Parin (attributed) Portrait of Giovanni Ritter de Zahony The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

From Il Trecento a Trieste Grafad, Trieste

The Generali Group Archive

Cesare dell’Acqua Free Port Status for Trieste Civico Museo Revoltella, Trieste

The Generali Group Archive

Portrait of Maria Theresa Civici Musei di Storia ed Arte, Trieste

Ph. Claudio Tommasini The Generali Group Archive

Biblioteca Civica, Trieste


Carlo Wostry Annexation Celebration Civico Museo del Risorgimento, Trieste

Alberto Rieger Bird’s-eye View of Trieste Civico Museo Revoltella, Trieste

Cesare dell’Acqua The Departure of the Royal Family to Mexico Museo Storico del Castello di Miramare, Trieste

Alfredo Tominz Napoleon in Trieste Civici Musei di Storia ed Arte, Trieste

Ph. Gabriele Crozzoli The Associazione Nazionale Alpini Archive


pages 7-14


Ph. Claudio Tommasini The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

Robert Jenkins Onderdonk The Fall of Alamo Texas State Library, Austin

The Generali Group Archive

Š Crown Copyright

The Generali Group Archive

Giovanni Pividor The Carciotti Seafront in Trieste Civici Musei di Storia ed Arte, Trieste

Ph. HervĂŠ Thouroude The Generali Group Archive

The Trieste Marina Civici Musei di Storia ed Arte, Trieste

The Generali Group Archive

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

The Generali Group Archive

Portrait of Leone Pincherle The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

Ph. Lukas Beck The Generali Group Archive

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

Ph. Fotottica Randazzo The Generali Group Archive

Portrait of King Charles Albert The Bertarelli Collection, Milan

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

Antonio Quadri View of Procuratie Vecchie The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

Library of Congress, Washington

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

Ph. Massimo Goina The Generali Group Archive

Domenico Induno Portrait of King Victor Emmanuel II (detail) Museo del Risorgimento, Milan

The Generali Group Archive

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

Index of images

pages 15-22

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

Luigi Sorio Portrait of Masino Levi The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

Gino Parin Portrait of Daniele Francesconi The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

Trieste Civici Musei di Storia ed Arte, Trieste

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

Battle at the Campana Inn near Mestre Private Collection

From Bilder zur Versicherungsgeschichte Verlag Versicherungswirtschaft, Karlsruhe

The Paris Uprising MusĂŠe Carnavalet, Paris

Marco Moro The Carciotti Seafront in Trieste Civici Musei di Storia ed Arte, Trieste

Guglielmo De Sanctis Portrait of Isacco Pesaro Maurogonato The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

Giovanni Fattori The Italian Camp after the Battle of Magenta Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome

The Five Days Revolt in Milan Museo del Risorgimento, Milan

From Storia dei Mille Giunti Editore, Florence

From I Propilei Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, Segrate (Milan)

The Piedmont Army Museo del Risorgimento, Turin

The Viaduct of Barcola From Il Lloyd Triestino 1836 - 1936 Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, Segrate (Milan)

Museo Civico del Risorgimento, Bologna

The Generali Group Archive

Library of Congress, Washington

The Generali Group Archive

Tetar Van Elven The First Italian Parliament Museo del Risorgimento, Turin

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

Giuseppe Lorenzo Gatteri The Battle of Bezzecca Civico Museo del Risorgimento, Trieste

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

The Breach of Porta Pia Museo del Risorgimento, Brescia


pages 23-30


The Officine Meccaniche Vidali Archive, Trieste

The Head Office of Erste Allgemeine The Besso Foundation Collection, Rome

Augusto Tominz Portrait of Pasquale Revoltella Civico Museo Revoltella, Trieste

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

The Trieste Chamber of Commerce Archive

Eugenio Scomparini The Allegory of Electricity The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

The Officine Meccaniche Vidali Archive, Trieste

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

The Edizioni Italo Svevo Archive, Trieste

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

The Besso Foundation Collection, Rome

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

Civici Musei di Storia ed Arte, Trieste

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

From Pinocchio Editrice La Sorgente, Milan

Clymer The Migration of the Indians during Wintertime From La Terre des Peaux-Rouges, Gallimard, Paris


Howattney Portrait of General Custer From La Terre des Peaux-Rouges, Gallimard, Paris

From I Propilei Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, Segrate (Milan)

Edgar Samuel Paxon Custer’s Last Stand From La Terre des Peaux-Rouges, Gallimard, Paris

The Departures from Trieste The Lloyd Triestino Collection, Trieste


Michele Cammarano Battle of Dogali Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome


The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

Claude Monet Impression, sunrise Musée Marmottan, Paris

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

Index of images

pages 30-36

The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

The J. M. Abattu-Valence Collection

Pablo Picasso Allegory of Insurance (draft) Museu Picasso, Barcelona

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

Pablo Picasso Allegory of Insurance (draft) Museu Picasso, Barcelona

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

Benaki Museum, Athens

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

M. Anzolle - E. Pichol Cinématographe Lumière Museo del Cinema, Turin

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

From L’Illustrazione Italiana Treves Editore, Milan



From Donne in filigrana Progetti Mussali Editore, Rome

From Cento Anni della Fiat Umberto Allemandi & C., Turin


From La Domenica del Corriere Edizioni Corriere della Sera, Milan

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

From Trieste Romantica Edizioni Italo Svevo, Trieste

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

Gustav Klimt Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer Österreichische Galerie, Vienna

The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

The INA Archive, Rome

Ph. Giuseppe Colombo The Generali Group Archive

F. Chiurlotto The Roaring Lion The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

The Generali Group Archive

Achille Beltrame Departing Soldiers The Assicurazioni Generali Collection


pages 37-42


The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

From Atlante Storico Zanichelli Editore, Bologna

Ph. Marco Albèri Auber The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

The Generali Group Archive

From Al Grido di “Rivoluzione!” Demetra, Colognola ai Colli (Verona)

Graphic by Massimo Goina The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Giovanni Cividini The Vittoria Arzilli Cividini Archive

The Allegory of Insurance The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

From Atlante Storico Zanichelli Editore, Bologna

The Parabola Foto Archive, Milan

Willy Stöner The Sinking of the Titanic Staatsbibliothek, Berlin

From La Marcia su Roma Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, Segrate (Milan)

Civici Musei di Storia ed Arte, Trieste

From Atlante Storico Zanichelli Editore, Bologna

Paolo Caccia Dominioni In Castagnevizza, September 8, 1917 Musei Provinciali, Gorizia

From L’aeronautica, gli aerei e le battaglie aeree Demetra, Colognola ai Colli (Verona)

From L’aeronautica, gli aerei e le battaglie aeree Demetra, Colognola ai Colli (Verona)


From Guida Sentimentale di Trieste Universitas Editrice, Trieste

From Atlante Storico Zanichelli Editore, Bologna

Civico Museo Diego De Enriquez, Trieste

From La Tenda Rossa Syntagma, Milan

Achille Beltrame The Parade of the Soldiers The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

From La Tenda Rossa Syntagma, Milan

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

From La Tenda Rossa Syntagma, Milan

The Generali Group Archive

Marcello Dudovich The Venetian The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

Index of images

pages 42-46

Marcello Dudovich The Todaro on the Pier at Piazzetta San Marco The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

Ph. Italfoto The Generali Group Archive

Gino Parin (attributed) Portrait of Giovanni Ritter de Zahony The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

Ph. Italfoto The Generali Group Archive

Ettore Tito Portrait of Marco Besso The Besso Foundation Collection, Rome

Ph. Marino Sterle The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

The Generali Group Archive

Celebrative Medal The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

Ph. Giornalfoto The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

Pollione Sigon Celebrative Calendar The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

Ph. Foto Cerretti The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

Giovanni Guerrini The Allegory of Insurance The Alleanza Assicurazioni Collection, Milan

Ph. Foto Pozzar The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive


Ph. Piovesan The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Italfoto The Generali Group Archive

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

Ph. Ermete Marzoni The Generali Group Archive

Marcello Dudovich The Peasant Girl at Harvest Day The Assicurazioni Generali Collection


pages 46-51


Gino Boccasile The Return of the Legionary The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

© Disney

Marcello Dudovich The Sowing Legionary and African The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

From Atlante Storico Zanichelli Editore, Bologna

Giuseppe Rosa Salva The 6th Rowing Championship The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

From La Seconda Guerra Mondiale Curcio Editore, Rome

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive


The Generali Group Archive

Karel Thole From Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, Segrate (Milan)

The Saving of Little Black Face The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

Pablo Picasso Guernica Museo Nacional Reina Sofia, Madrid

The Saving of Little Black Face The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

From Storia della Civiltà Ugo Mursia Editore, Milan

Ettore Tito Portrait of Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata Private Collection

Gino Boccasile To Arms! – Decima MAS (The Tenth Light Flotilla) Private Collection

The Generali Group Archive

National Archive and Records Administration Washington

The Generali Group Archive

From Le Battaglie della Seconda Guerra Mondiale Demetra, Colognola ai Colli (Verona)

The Generali Group Archive

From La Seconda Guerra Mondiale Curcio Editore, Rome

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

From Atlante Storico Zanichelli Editore, Bologna

From Italia e Ungheria: Cronaca Illustrata di Storia Comune Fratelli Palombi Editori, Rome

Franklin Delano Roosvelt Library, New York

Marcello Dudovich A New Balilla for Everyone from Effimera e bella Gutemberg 2000, Turin

Ph. Mario Magajna Biblioteca Nazionale Slovena e degli Studi, Trieste

Index of images

pages 51-57

From Trieste Diary Editrice Goriziana, Gorizia

The Generali Group Archive

Istituto Regionale per la Storia del Movimento di Liberazione nel Friuli - Venezia Giulia, Trieste

The Generali Group Archive

From Venezia Giulia - Immagini e Problemi Editrice Goriziana, Gorizia

The Generali Group Archive

Bruno Morelli From Animal Farm by George Orwell Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, Segrate (Milan)

The Generali Group Archive

From Atlante Storico Zanichelli Editore, Bologna

The Generali Group Archive

The Associated Press Archive

The Generali Group Archive

From Coppi, una Leggenda senza Confini Supplement to Gazzetta dello Sport RCS, Milan

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Giuseppe Colombo The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Olga Micol The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive


pages 58-64



The ICP - Digital Vision Archive



The Generali Group Archive

The ICP - Digital Vision Archive



The Assicurazioni Generali Archive


The Generali Group Archive


© The Palmas Archive

From È Successo un ’68 Demetra, Colognola ai Colli (Verona)

© European Community

From Universo De Agostini Editore, Novara

The Generali Group Archive

The Assicurazioni Generali Archive

The Generali Group Archive

Giacomo Manzù Death of Pope Gregory VII Panel of the bronze door at Saint Peter’s, Rome

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive


The Generali Group Archive


The Generali Group Archive

Index of images

pages 64-70

The Generali Group Archive

The Famiglia Cristiana Archive


The Generali Group Archive


The Generali Group Archive

Biblioteca Nazionale Slovena e degli Studi, Trieste

The Generali Group Archive


Ph. Claudio Tommasini The Generali Group Archive

The De Dolcetti Archive, Trieste

Ph. Claudio Tommasini The Generali Group Archive

The De Dolcetti Archive, Trieste

The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Foto Michelotto The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Gianni D’Affara The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Marino Sterle The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Marino Sterle The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Italfoto The Generali Group Archive

The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

The Trieste Marina Civici Musei di Storia ed Arte, Trieste

The Generali Group Archive

Emilio Greco Celebrative Medal The Assicurazioni Generali Collection

The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Italfoto The Generali Group Archive


pages 70-75


Ph. Italfoto The Generali Group Archive

Private Collection

The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Massimo Goina The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Olga Micol The Generali Group Archive

Courtesy of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council

Ph. Gabriele Crozzoli The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Jeff Widener The Associated Press Archive

Ph. Gabriele Crozzoli The Generali Group Archive

Ph. John Gaps III The Associated Press Archive

The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Lionel Cironneau The Associated Press Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The De Dolcetti Archive, Trieste

Ph. Piovesan The Generali Group Archive

The ICP - Digital Vision Archive

Ph. Piovesan The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Piovesan The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Piovesan The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Massimo Goina The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Armando Ongaro The Generali Group Archive


Ph. Armando Ongaro The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Massimo Goina The Generali Group Archive

The ICP - Digital Vision Archive

Ph. Massimo Goina The Generali Group Archive

Index of images

pages 75-82

Ph. Marino Sterle The Generali Group Archive

Graphic by Massimo Goina The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Massimo Goina The Generali Group Archive


The Generali Group Archive


The Generali Group Archive


The Generali Group Archive


© European Community

The Deutsche Vermögensberatung Archive Frankfurt




The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

Hartmann Schedel De Temporibus Mundi Nuremberg

Ph. Fotoattualità The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Vered Pe’er The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Fotoattualità The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive


pages 82-87


The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Massimo Goina The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Roberto Pastrovicchio The Generali Group Archive

© Médecins Sans Frontières

The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Chao Soi Cheong The Associated Press Archive

The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Simone Zaniol From Diario Editoriale Diario, Milan

Ph. Feng Song The Generali Group Archive


The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive


The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive


The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

Graphic by Massimo Goina The Generali Group Archive

The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Hervé Thouroude The Generali Group Archive

Ph. Paolo Pirona The Generali Group Archive

Graphic by Massimo Goina The Generali Group Archive

The ICP - Digital Vision Archive

The Generali Group Archive

The ICP - Comstock Archive

Ph. Didier Noizet Présidence de la République

Index of images

The Years of the Lion (ASIA - 2008)  
The Years of the Lion (ASIA - 2008)  

The Years of the Lion (version for ASIA)