Suncorp Group Ltd. history, profile and corporate video
Suncorp Group Ltd. provides general insurance, banking, life insurance, superannuation and investment brands in Australia and New Zealand. Its operations are carried out through the following business segments: Banking, Personal Insurance, Commercial Insurance, General Insurance and Life. The Banking segment provides personal and commercial banking, property and equipment finance, personal and small business loans, and agribusiness products. It also offers savings and transaction accounts, as well as foreign exchange and treasury products. The Personal Insurance segment includes home and contents insurance, motor insurance, boat insurance and travel insurance. The Commercial Insurance segment includes commercial motor insurance, commercial property insurance, marine insurance, industrial special risks insurance, public liability and professional indemnity insurance, worker’s compensation insurance, and compulsory third party insurance. The General Insurance segment is Provision of general insurance products to customers in New Zealand including home and contents insurance, marine insurance, business insurance, rural insurance, construction and engineering insurance, travel insurance, public liability and professional indemnity, and director’s and officer’s liability. The Life segment renders services such as superannuation administration, financial planning, and fund administration. Suncorp Group’s other activities include investment and wholesale investment management. The company was founded in 1916 and is headquartered in Brisbane, Australia.“
“Suncorp Group History
State Government Insurance Office
The Government of Queensland established the State Accident Insurance Office in 1919, to provide mandatory workers’ compensation insurance to the state’s business sector. Soon after, the government enacted new legislation creating a larger insurance body, the State Government Insurance Office (SGIO). The SGIO took over the State Accident Insurance Office, which then became the SGIO’s Workers’ Compensation Department. Operations were extended its operations into life insurance, general insurance and compulsory third party insurance, and over the years, superannuation, building society and finance operations were added.
In 1960, the Queensland government enacted new legislation establishing the SGIO as a separate corporation, and the group was subject to state regulatory oversight. In 1971, the SGIO took another step toward full-fledged corporate status, forming its own board of directors. At this time, the workers’ compensation operations were placed under a separate board. By 1976, as SGIO’s insurance operations took on a more commercial orientation, the company closed down its building society operations.
The next step toward the SGIO’s move toward the private sector came in 1985, with the passage of the Suncorp Insurance and Finance Act. Under this legislation, the company dropped the SGIO name in favor of the Suncorp name. and its employees lost their status as civil servants. At the same time, Suncorp Insurance and Finance became an independent corporation, although still fully controlled by the Queensland government. By the mid 1990s, Suncorp was operating as an allfinanz group (i.e. combining banking, financial, and insurance services) with approximately $10 billion in assets.
Metway Bank was established as the Metropolitan Permanent Building Society in 1959. In the late 1980s, Metropolitan joined the trend among Australia’s building societies to expand into full-scale banks. Metropolitan abandoned its status as a building society in 1988, reincorporated as a bank and listed its shares on the Australian Stock Exchange. Metway, as the new bank was called, then began acquiring a number of rival banks and building societies.
In 1990, Metway Bank acquired Prudential Finance Limited and, in 1992, the Household Building Society. By the mid 1990s, Metway Bank was Queensland’s largest locally based bank with operations in New South Wales and Victoria, and had approximately $7.1 billion in assets.
Queensland Industry Development Corporation
QIDC evolved from the Queensland Agricultural Bank (Agbank) established in 1902, and wholly owned by the Queensland Government. Initially operating primarily as a rural financier, its activities expanded to include commercial lending to small and medium sized businesses. In recognition of this, the Queensland government passed new legislation to incorporate and regulate the bank as the Queensland Industry Development Corporation, which began operations in 1986. By the mid 1990s, QIDC had total assets of approximately $3 billion.
Merger as Suncorp-Metway: 1996 to 1999
The Queensland government took steps to respond to sweeping changes in Australia’s financial and insurance industries in the mid 1990s, and especially the increasing convergence of the banking and insurance sectors. On 1 December 1996, the government-owned Suncorp and QIDC entities were merged into the publicly listed company Metway Bank. The new company, Suncorp-Metway, became Queensland’s largest financial and insurance group, also became one of the largest in Australia, ranking fifth in the national market. By 1998, the company’s combined total assets exceeded $22 billion.
The Queensland government initially controlled 68 percent of the new company, but quickly made good on its promise to sell off most of its holding within five years. In 1997, the company conducted a public offering that reduced the government’s stake in Suncorp-Metway to 4 percent. One year later, the government sold the remainder of its shares in the company. In 1999, Suncorp-Metway completed the integration of the Metway, Suncorp and QIDC operations, and launched a single unified brand, Suncorp-Metway. As part of this process, the company also trimmed its branch network, shutting down a number of redundant branches.
Further conglomeration: 2000 to 2006
The completion of its integration phase enabled Suncorp-Metway to begin putting into place a new strategy for the future. The company sought to launch itself on a truly national scale, replacing its allfinanz model with a new financial conglomerate strategy. As part of that effort, the company sought to expand its mix of products and services, particularly in its more profitable insurance division. In 2001, the company made its first acquisition, of the general insurance operations of AMP, known as GIO General Ltd. That purchase enabled Suncorp-Metway to become the second largest general insurance group in Australia, with more than $2 billion in premiums per year.
The company next carried out another rebranding exercise, adopting the Suncorp name for all of its operations in Queensland, and for its banking and wealth management operations outside of the state. The company’s insurance business, excluding Queensland, took on the GIO brand. This rebranding was completed in 2002.
Suncorp continued to seek to build up its insurance business into the middle of the decade. The company acquired 50 percent of Queensland-based automobile club insurance RAA, a joint venture originally formed between AMP and RACQ. Suncorp bought out AMP’s share of the joint venture in 2002. In 2004, the company boosted its insurance operations outside of Queensland with the purchase of Tasmania’s RACT Insurance.
Promina acquisition: 2007
Suncorp then began preparations for a still larger acquisition of insurance giant Promina Group Limited. By early 2007, the two companies had agreed to terms of a merger, which, valued at AUD 7.9 billion ($5.9 billion), represented one of the largest completed in Australia’s financial services sector since the beginning of the new century.
Promina had formerly been the Australian wing of UK-based insurance giant Royal and Sun Alliance, until it was spun off as a separate, publicly listed company in 2003. The merger transformed Suncorp into a true giant in the Australia and New Zealand market, doubling its total assets to nearly AUD 85 billion ($65 billion).”
*Information from Forbes.com and Wikipedia.org
**Video published on YouTube by “Olivia Kurta“