Who is Ageas?
Ageas is a listed international insurance Group with a heritage spanning almost 200 years, offering customized Life and Non-Life insurance products to retail and business customers.
As one of Europe’s larger insurance companies, Ageas concentrates its activities in Europe and Asia, which together make up a major part of the global insurance market. It successfully operates insurance businesses in fourteen countries (Belgium, the UK, France, Portugal, Turkey, China, Malaysia, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, and the Philippines) through a combination of wholly owned subsidiaries and long term partnerships with strong financial institutions and key distributors.
Today, Ageas ranks among the market leaders in all countries in which it is present. It represents a workforce of over 45,000 people and reported annual inflows close to EUR 36 billion in 2019.
We all need to be challenged in the right way and that is an important part of the role Trensition plays. They don’t replace human creativity and the analytic work that happens naturally inside the company, but they augment and objectify our thinking and ability to define actions and next steps. We gained a much more confident picture of Ageas’s preparedness for the future – and where to act and when. And their enthusiasm and hands on style of working makes the process exciting and productive always.
In a rapidly changing and an increasingly complex world full of uncertainties, it is a huge challenge for insurers to develop a mid- or long-term strategy. Consequently, they need to be able to estimate what the world will look like ten to fifteen years from now and what role insurance companies will play by then.
Even though the insurance industry is still often perceived as less dynamic compared to other industries, insurance companies are not the conservative institutions that some think they are. Insurers continuously find themselves at crossroads where they need to decide which path to take, based on identified opportunities in the future and the role they want to play in the lives of their customers. An insurance company can either carry on doing what it does today, ignoring the potential for disrupting the industry, at the risk of being marginalized or at worst deemed no longer relevant. Or an insurance company can recognize that under all possible scenarios, action needs to be taken today to ensure that they keep pace and stay relevant to the world and their customers of tomorrow.
The first option is clearly not an option at all. It is also the reason why Ageas thinks about life in 2030. Why 2030 you ask? It is still far enough away to allow scientific and technological advances to mature to the stage where they will likely transform our lives, but close enough to provide a sense of urgency to act. This timeline also forces Ageas to confront the future and reflect on what needs to be done today to ensure it is fit for purpose tomorrow. Regardless of how one sees insurance evolving and how the role of an insurer is ultimately defined, one thing is clear, the time to think 2030 and to act is now.
Last year, as part of the preparations around Ageas’s new three-year strategic plan Connect21, a special 2030 working group was created, focusing exclusively on what the future might look like. Ageas soon realized that such a working group should not be a one off, and a 2030 Think Tank was born. Comprised of diverse profiles from within the company the Think Tank reflects on the future evolution of possible influential and impactful phenomena and trends.
To support future strategic decision-making on different levels (risk strategy, business development, operations and local strategies), the 2030 Think Tank periodically analyses the following ten megatrends that directly impact the insurance industry: the future of work, the future of banking and financial services, society, environment, world economy, world politics, demographics, technology & science, mobility and evolutions in customer behaviour.
In May 2019, the Ageas Think Tank further enhanced its methodology by extending human-based judgements and opinions with the 100% data-driven trend insights and foresights provided by Trensition. The collaboration with Trensition not only helped Ageas to challenge its existing methodology, but also introduced a detailed expert view on trend and foresight management that is aligned with the specific business context of the organization.
This is how our collaboration with Ageas looked like thus far.
Based on the ten megatrends considered by the 2030 Think Tank and in close consultation with Ageas, Trensition identified and defined a set of 130 possible impactful trends. Then, Trensition randomized and grouped all the trends into ten online surveys that were sent to around 1,000 Ageas employees worldwide. Respondents were asked to score each trend in terms of estimated impact level and time horizon. Simultaneously, Trensition ran their unique data-driven trend analytics engine to obtain machine scores about the estimated impact level and time horizon, based on the analysis tens of millions of documents.
Subsequently, Trensition processed and compared the results of both the human and machine scoring. This resulted in a comprehensive report that, for each considered trend, provides detailed insights and foresights, considering the specific business context of Ageas (insurance sector and all its subsectors, regions in which Ageas is active, Ageas competitors, …).
Finally, an intensive two-day workshop was held in London with the 2030 Think Tank to discuss the results, reflect on possible future actions for each phenomenon, and subject the time-consuming, human-based methodology to a critical evaluation. Concerning the latter, Trensition was able to expose some inconsistencies related to the human scoring.
Added value of Trensition
Following the London workshop, several sessions were organized by the Ageas strategy team to internally report on the key findings of Trensition. The results were communicated to the management and are of great value for different business units within Ageas, such as risk strategy, local strategy, operations office, business development office, innovation and merger & acquisitions.
Today, Trensition continuously supports the group strategy team. with new insights and in-depth reports on impactful trends like Blockchain, Open Insurance, The Sharing Economy, etc… . These reports are a combination of quantitative data insights and relevant case studies of competitors. To dig deeper in what the competition is doing, a strategic competitor scan was created to closely monitor all innovation activities of the competitors which delivers extra proof points that fuel Ageas’ strategic decisions and innovation programs.
Working with the Trensition team has enabled Ageas to speed up its strategic analysis methodology and obtain more detailed insights. With the help of Trensition, Ageas is now able to:
- Achieve continuous monitoring on impactful phenomena (emerging technologies, socio-economic and political evolutions, environmental changes) and competitor activity, on both a global and regional level, across a wide range of industries.
- Make better informed strategic decisions and expedite action
- Deliver support and advice to its businesses using real-time data and insights and recent case studies.
For Ageas, preparing for the future is now fully integrated into its “business as usual” processes. The continuous data-driven trend analysis, tailored to their business context, will allow Ageas to timely adjust or define new strategies to remain competitive and relevant in the future.