For Banca Generali, 2018 was a very intense year, in which the foundation was laid for swifter long-term growth in a scenario of rapid change driven by new challenges of a technological, financial and regulatory nature. Wealth protection services were expanded, the range of investment solutions was reviewed and enhanced and further steps forward were taken thanks to various acquisitions. The details of the considerable efforts dedicated to ensuring the banks increasing competitiveness were presented to the financial community during the Investor Day held in December. Continuity in Discontinuity was the title of the strategic guidelines for the three-year period 2019-2021 presented to investors, who were immediately appreciative of the desire to pursue a solid, sustainable growth process, in keeping with our companys evolution. The strategy remains based on the three pillars that set apart Banca Generalis business model and services: the quality of its people driven by the awareness of the importance of the role played by financial advisors the unique nature of its wealth management services and its digital focus. Yet in addition to these, the companys initiatives in the coming three years will also be directed towards gradual international development, the renewal of the digital presence in relations with clients and increasingly complete integration into strategic and offering dynamics of a culture of sustainability, viewed as a way of making the most of people, the environment and the community. The sensitivity towards social responsibility and sustainability issues becomes a part not just of operating and business processes, but also an integral aspect of the banks very vision: To be the No. 1 private bank, unique by value of Service, Innovation and Sustainability. To reinforce the strategic alignment with social goals, a Board committee was formed to set sustainability guidelines. Various initiatives were launched in the areas of governance, respect for the environment and resource management, also extending to the sphere of commercial offerings. In future, we aim to further expand its effects and area of action. The goal, in fact, is to ensure that Banca Generali is an increasingly solid, cohesive member of the community. It is a company capable of creating value at various levels, starting with the remuneration of our shareholders, thanks to sustainable growth and results increasingly independent of market trends. Last year saw a scenario in which almost no asset classes succeeded in closing in positive territory. Volatility made a dramatic resurgence and risk averseness undid the traditional de-correlations, leaving investors with little cause for satisfaction at the international level. Within this scenario, Banca Generali nonetheless continued to grow in size, reporting net inflows of 5.02 billion euros, bringing its total assets to 57.5 billion euros. The solidity of its recurring business resulted in profits of 180.1 million euros, enabling the distribution of total dividends of 144.9 million euros, or 1.25 euros per share, bearing witness to the commitment to generous shareholder remuneration. This commitment was also reaffirmed by the top management on Investor Day as a target for the next three years. The economic uncertainty and the complexity of the global geopolitical scenario result in an outlook marked with unknowns for the coming months, yet the strength of Banca Generalis team, of all its people, and their determination to pursue increasingly ambitious milestones represent an ideal point of departure for the coming months. I would like to thank the top management, employees and network personnel for their hard work and ambition to continue to excel within Italys financial services industry. Heartfelt thanks also to the banks directors, who through their expertise and experience contribute to ensuring dynamic, constructive debate, thus aiding our bank in rising to the challenges of an increasingly challenging scenario for the benefit of all its stakeholders.
Chairman of Banca Generali