a.s.r.'s purpose is to help its customers by sharing risks and accumulating capital for later. a.s.r. serves over 2.8 million customers through a network of approximately 6,000 advisors and online. These advisors are independent financial advisors who advise their clients in the field of insurance, mortgages and pensions. Their specific knowledge of the local market is valuable for a.s.r. and its customers. In creating sustainable value, it is essential to maintain an ongoing dialogue with stakeholders regarding trends, developments and the strategy and activities of a.s.r.
a.s.r. believes that through its business operations, it can contribute to solving societal issues within its sphere of influence, taking sustainable value as its starting point. a.s.r. wants to create as much of a positive impact as possible and to reduce its negative impact wherever it can. As a company, it feels it is important to set an example, to help society to become more sustainable.
a.s.r.'s key stakeholder groups are customers, employees, investors and society.
Customers expect to obtain good value for the premiums they pay. They must be confident that their funds are being managed skilfully and in a socially responsible way, and that a.s.r. is protecting and upholding their rights. Customers must be able to rely on a.s.r. being able to meet its financial obligations, now and in the future. a.s.r. is committed to delivering a high level of customer service in its product offering in order to sustain strong customer relationships. a.s.r. measures its customer satisfaction through the NPS scores. a.s.r. distributes most of its products and services through independent advisors. They have a broad knowledge of the insurance market, including of products, prices and providers, and an acute sense of the needs of insurance purchasers. Their specific knowledge and experience of local markets and customers is invaluable for a.s.r. In 2022, a.s.r. initiated the What action can achieve online news bulletin (Wat doen kan doen journaal). During this bulletin, customers are invited to share their experiences with a.s.r. A price is awarded to the department with the highest NPS score.
Employees look for a professional working environment where they can manage themselves, make choices relating to their work and career and enhance their sustainable employability. They want good terms of employment, work that is enjoyable, a good work-life balance, attention for their health and well-being and an appreciation of the contribution they make. a.s.r. encourages and supports employees to develop themselves to enhance their opportunities on the internal and external labour market. They also want to be recognised for who they are and to feel included and at home. a.s.r. aims to achieve a balanced workforce in terms of gender, age, religious conviction, physical and mental capacity, background and sexual orientation.
Investors rely on a.s.r.'s management to devise and successfully execute the best strategy in order to create long term value. a.s.r. does so with a continued focus on value over volume, maintaining a strong cost discipline, and only concluding mergers and acquisitions (M&A) that tie in well with its strategy. a.s.r. also maintains a strong balance sheet and a robust Solvency II ratio with manageable sensitivities and ample financial flexibility. Investors are also increasingly interested in the social relevance of the companies they invest in. It is important to them that a.s.r. represents the interests of all stakeholders in order to create long-term value and a good return on capital.
As well as the aforementioned stakeholders, a.s.r. has a range of other stakeholders to take account of when doing business, such as civil society organisations, the government, tax and regulatory authorities, trade unions, the media, suppliers, academics, peers and business partners. Depending on the topic and type of relationship involved, expectations and interests may vary from responsible investments, regulatory compliance, helping people to become financially self-reliant, inclusiveness, and constructive cooperation with business partners in different contexts. Overall, these various stakeholders expect a.s.r. to create sustainable and responsible societal value.
Strategic, constructive and proactive consultations with all stakeholders are of great importance. a.s.r. does this by means of investor roadshows, customer and employee surveys, round table discussions, dialogue and participation in sector initiatives.
One example of stakeholder dialogue is the Council of Action (Raad van Doen), an a.s.r. customer and advisor panel which was set up in 2020. The Raad van Doen consists of over 6,000 a.s.r. advisors and customers. It represents both private and business customers, employers and employees and the Ditzo, Ardanta and Loyalis subsidiary brands.
The Raad van Doen gathers feedback on existing products and services and brainstorms on new initiatives. In 2022, it took part in over 60 surveys, including those on needs, prototypes and communication. For example, it examined the way customers expect a.s.r. to deal with the topic of sustainability, and the findings have since been implemented in the product range and two innovations have been tested for viability.
Due to its ambition with regard to digitalisation, My a.s.r. (Mijn a.s.r.) has been an important and frequently recurring theme within many of the surveys over the past year. Several parts of Mijn a.s.r. have been reviewed and improved. The organisation has assessed which functionalities customers regard as important and considered ways to persuade more customers to create an online account. Older people have been approached to share their experiences of interacting with the digital domain. Advisors boost the ongoing improvement of a.s.r.’s services and product range by contributing ideas about the online portals they use in their daily work and how they think a.s.r. can better serve its customers.
Please refer to chapter 7.9 for more information on a.s.r.'s stakeholder consultation.