We believe that sustainability is the only path to growth: this is why we are committed to implementing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda.
Our sustainable approach
The Bank and its people are focused on protecting households’ wealth with integrity, passion and dedication, with an emphasis on long-term objectives. A commitment to pursuing sustainable growth requires the vision needed to understand and anticipate the challenges of innovation and the other transformation of our society, an inclusive culture, openness to dialogue and an informed approach to creating value for the Bank’s stakeholders.
Our goal: a sustainable growth
A responsibility for taking a long-term approach is an intrinsic part of our way of doing business, focused on protecting wealth according to a long-term vision. Therefore, we promote sustainable development that listens to all our different stakeholders, seeking to understand their real needs and matching them to the Company’s business goals. Excellence in the wealth advisory market cannot ignore the focus on value creation for all stakeholders who participate in and interact with that market: shareholders, financial advisors, employees and their family, customers, suppliers, communities — with whom the Bank has daily contact.
Our sustainability strategy is characterised by:
- sustainable growth over time, with entrepreneurial actions aimed at achieving long-term economic and commercial results, minimising risks related both to the volatility of the economic-financial scenario, and the inadequate planning of objectives, due to short-term needs;
- people enhancement, encouraging the constant development of skills and professionalism and acknowledging the contribution of individuals to the success of the organisation;
- sensitivity to the social context, participating in charitable, cultural and sports initiatives;
- reduction of environmental impacts linked both to our investments, by monitoring our exposure to high-carbon companies and to our operational activities, by taking measures to minimise the consumption of energy, paper and water, and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to promote the energy transition towards an economy that protects the climate and biodiversity.
The year 2022 was marked by historic events, both on the geopolitical and financial fronts. The outbreak of war in Ukraine on 24 February and the growing tensions between the United States and the People’s Republic of China further undermined the process of globalisation of the world economy — already weakened during the pandemic. The effects of these events, combined with the economic recovery already underway, led to a double-digit rise in the price spiral, which central banks countered with highly restrictive monetary policies: the US Federal Reserve started the fastest rate hike cycle since 1980 and the ECB rapidly reversed direction after years of negative reference rates, while the Bank of Japan maintained its ultra-expansionary policy of negative rates, although changing the yield curve control target for the first time since the 1980s.
The reaction of bond markets to the new scenario of geopolitical tensions, inflationary pressures and restrictive monetary policies was disruptive, with double-digit losses in the global credit market, first and foremost in the United States and in Europe. Pressures also hit stock markets, recording the worst year since 2008 for Wall Street and since 2018 for Europe.
Despite the difficult context, which will find space in textbooks due to the extent of the crisis, Banca Generali was able to record solid financial results, with capital ratios and shareholder remuneration among the best on the Milan Stock Exchange. The Bank also reported solid commercial results, as confirmed by its positive net inflows. As evidenced by figures, the Bank once again proved the resilience and flexibility of its business model, the soundness of the decisions made in recent years to diversify and innovate its range of products and services, and the high-quality and experience of its Financial Advisor network, which, even in the most complex moments, succeeds in giving its best, standing out for the relationship quality offered.
At the beginning of last year — shortly before the outbreak of the market crisis — Banca Generali presented the 2022-2024 Strategic Plan to the Financial Community, with the explicit objective of continuing on the path of rapid, profitable and remunerative growth in line with the results obtained since its listing back in 2006, and in full keeping with its Vision of being the No. 1 private bank by service value, innovation and sustainability. The Plan is based on three pillars, which aim at increasing the value of the Bank’s service, both towards its Financial Advisor network and towards its customers. The second pillar focuses on the innovation of the business model with a view to building a data-driven, digital and open Bank. The third aims at strengthening the Bank’s sustainability stance to the benefit of all of its stakeholders. The Plan set some ambitious objectives in terms of consistent, profitable and remunerative growth, which the management team has confirmed, despite the deterioration of market conditions.
In terms of business expansion, net inflows reached 5.7 billion euros in 2022, and total assets stood at 83.1 billion euros, slightly below the record level reported for the previous year and proving highly resilient in the face of double-digit corrections in financial markets. The Bank’s net profit amounted to 213.0 million euros, with a lower contribution of variable fees linked to financial markets. Net of these non-recurring items, Banca Generali’s net profit rose by 25% for the year, thus exceeding the commitment it had undertaken with its stakeholders upon the presentation of the 2022-2024 threeyear Plan. In light of the foregoing, the Board of Directors has submitted a proposal for distributing a 192.8 million euro dividend, with a payout of 90.5% calculated on Banca Generali’s 2022 net profit, confirming its commitment to providing a generous shareholder remuneration, which is amongst the highest of those offered by the companies listed on the Milan Stock Exchange.
Despite market complexity and volatility, the Bank’s business expansion was driven by its intense activity, carried out through its Financial Advisors, who remained close to households in their protection choices. The hundreds of local events held by Financial Advisors in 2022, in addition to their intense daily activity, helped not only to keep customers informed of the most important themes in today’s investment scenario, but also, and above all, to provide an objective view of the financial context, avoiding first and foremost the risks triggered by personal emotional reactions to the strong shocks of the various asset classes. It is at the most difficult of times that the role played by professionals in supporting households comes clearly to the fore, as they keep the focus on goals and remain aware of the value of diversification and the risks of a limited, short-term vision. The Bank’s support — in the form of tools, analyses, research and thorough training of its Financial Advisors, which exceeded 60 hours per capita — was once again fundamental to consolidating the relationship of trust with customers, promoting dialogue and hence, ultimately, to growing thebusiness. In this regard, I think it important to draw attention, once more, to the leading position achieved by the Banca Generali network of professionals in terms of portfolio size and expertise quality.
If the Bank’s numbers bear clear witness to its excellence, its strong efforts in pursuit of sustainable growth are also deserving of mention. Noteworthy sustainability improvements and efforts continued to be made in 2022, as borne out by the numerous recognitions received from the main ratings agencies in this field: a top rating was awarded by Morningstar’s agency Sustainalytics, which has recently ranked Banca Generali first in its world ranking for the sub-industry Asset Management & Custody Services, assigning a ‘negligible’ ESG risk rating to the Bank. Banca Generali also placed fifth in the ranking of the 97 retail and specialised banks analysed by Moody’s Vigeo-Eiris, thus confirming its inclusion in the MIB ESG Index. I would also like to mention that MSCI has raised Banca Generali’s sustainability rating from BBB to A. Equally important are the
improved ratings received from Standard Ethics — from EE (Strong) to EE+ (Very Strong) — and ISS (Institutional Shareholder Services), which, for the Social category, awarded the Bank the “QualityScore Badge”, recognised to companies that have achieved the maximum score. In addition, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) awarded Banca Generali a score of A- for its 2022 climate change reporting.
The awards received on the sustainability front — far from being a point of arrival — are actually the starting point for a renewed commitment to environmental, social and governance issues.
Banca Generali is, in fact, strengthening its commitment to the environment in general, and specifically to the fight against climate change, by promoting initiatives aimed at reducing direct and indirect environmental impacts. In particular, in 2022 the Bank started monitoring the carbon footprint of direct investments, with a medium-term reduction objective. A campaign was then launched to raise employees’ awareness of conscious use of energy resources (BG Smart Energy) and the operational refitting project continued at several branches and operating sites, with a more sustainable focus. Although the Bank was already in line with many pillars of the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), as in 2021 it had adopted Responsible Investment Policies — which introduced investment and lending restrictions for companies engaged in high climate impact industries and companies that obtain a significant share of turnover or electricity production from coal — it decided to become a PRI signatory in December 2022.
In the social dimension, the Bank has taken part in various initiatives, also alongside its Group, committing in particular to the care and development of its people, with a focus on well-being and equal opportunities, the development of quality investment solutions and the safeguarding of specific local features, enhancing its impact on the community.
In 2022, Banca Generali forged ahead with several Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) projects, among which the signing of the Charter “Donne in Banca: valorizzare la diversità di genere” (Women in Bank: enhancing gender diversity), promoted by the Italian Banking Association (ABI). Several other DEI initiatives were implemented: BG Forever Young, focused on young talent; BGeneration Month and BGenerAction, aimed at dialogue between the different generations within the Bank; BG Impact People and Women’s Empowerment, designed to enhance female professionalism and managerial skills. In 2022 as well, space was given to the younger generations, with over 60% of new hires made up of professionals under 35. On the employment front, Banca Generali confirmed the choice of the hybrid model ‘Next Normal’ for the entire employee population, so as to ensuring work-life balance.
As started some years ago, 2022 again saw a huge focus being placed on the theme of financial education, expanding the initiatives promoted in collaboration with FEduF (the ABI Foundation that promotes initiatives in primary, middle and high schools) with an innovative project — EduFin 3.0 — together with the well-known digital influencer Marco Montemagno, to simplify and make understandable the key concepts of savings, investments and IT tools governing the financial sector. The project, which is continuing in 2023, has had better than expected results, with millions of views reported by the events organised in the first months alone. The Bank’s branded initiative “Banca Generali – Un campione per amico” (A Champion for a Friend) has continued throughout Italy: for years, this event has been supplementing messages on the values of sport with financial education content thanks to the side project “Un salvadanaio per amico” (A Moneybox for a Friend), together with FEduF.
The Bank’s significant commitment to supporting institutions also continued, with collaborations with the various universities that ensure privileged access to research and innovation. With Milan Bicocca University, Banca Generali presented the first O-Fire Observatory report, developed thanks to the Bank’s promotion and support for research in the field of green finance and sustainable investments, with a particular focus in its first year on the EU Taxonomy and its implications for the industrial and financial sectors. The fintech-oriented agreement with Politecnico di Milano for the Blockchain & Distributed Ledger 2022 Observatory has been renewed, as has the agreement with Bocconi University on SME corporate governance, whose annual report has been much followed by the financial community and the business world. Worth of mention are also the traditional surveys on preferences and trends in private banking developed in partnership with LIUC University in Castellanza and Cattolica University in Milan. The Bank also benefits from close synergies with other institutions in Venice and Trieste, thanks to the preferential relationships within the Generali Group and the commitment of its local network.
In 2022, Banca Generali redefined the ESG attribute within its commercial approach and the wealth advisory service provided to its customers, adding to the ESG score the regulatory label pursuant to Articles 8 and 9 of EU Regulation No. 2019/2088. In this regard, I am glad to highlight the fact that 32.2% of the Bank’s managed solutions are composed of ESG products, both as direct investment and as underlying assets of financial and insurance investment solutions. This result demonstrates even more how Banca Generali’s commercial offer is permeated by the sustainability culture.
Banca Generali also recorded improvements in ESG governance, thanks to the addition to the Articles of Association that recognises the Board of Directors’ commitment to sustainable development and to its implementation in corporate strategies. In this context, a long-term programme of indepth ESG initiatives was also defined and launched, with a view to strengthening Board members’ competencies in light of constant changes in the regulatory framework, in line with the Bank of Italy’s supervisory expectations on the integration of climate-related and environmental risk in the management of financial institutions. The addition to the Articles of Association is in line with the process that has already introduced sustainability within the Managerial Steering Committee and provided for each of the Board Committees to assume responsibility within their respective purview. More generally, I would like to emphasize the fruitful dialogue between the Board of Directors and the company’s management, through regular inductions on topics of primary interest for the Bank’s development. During the year, internal control systems have also been further strengthened, with particular attention to the harmonisation of the Company’s control functions.
To conclude, I would like to emphasise how all these numerous activities and the quality of the results achieved have been made possible by the all-round vision and the shared values that unite the people of this extraordinary Bank. In this regard, I would like to sincerely thank all the Financial Advisors, Employees and Top Managers led by the Chief Executive Officer, as well as the other members of the Board of Directors, for their commitment, which has made it possible to face and overcome such a complex year from which Banca Generali has emerged even stronger, in the best position to continue on its three-year path and bring out its full potential.
Our Sustainability Policy outlines the system defined by the Banking Group for identifying, assessing and managing the risks connected with Environmental, Social and Governance factors in keeping with our goal of promoting sustainable development of business activities and generating durable value over time.
In particular, this Policy sets the rules to:
- identify, evaluate and manage ESG factors that may pose risks and opportunities for the achievement of business objectives;
- identify, evaluate and manage the positive and negative impacts that business decisions and activities may have on the external environment and on legitimate interests of stakeholders.
The Policy aims to integrate into business processes the Banking Group’s Sustainability model outlined in the Charter of Sustainability Commitments in force from time to time and approved by Banca Generali’s Board of Directors that defines the long-term strategic goals for doing business responsibly and living in the community, helping to create a healthy, resilient and sustainable society.
Internal Code of Conduct
In pursuing its growth objectives, we remain faithful to the fundamental principles that characterize its ethics, such as transparency, fairness and impartiality. These principles are reiterated in the our Internal Code of Conduct, which is in line with the rules of conduct reported in the Generali Group’s Code of Conduct.
The Internal Code of Conduct defines the minimum rules of conduct to be observed in dealings between colleagues, as well as with customers, competitors, suppliers and the Group’s other stakeholders and contains specific provisions governing the promotion of diversity and inclusion, protection of company assets, conflicts of interest, bribery, financial information and the processing of insider information, the prevention of money laundering, financing for terrorism and international sanctions.
Whistleblowing and AML/CTF Policy
To monitor compliance with the Internal Code of Conduct and in accordance with the applicable legal framework, we have adopted a whistleblowing procedure that makes it possible to collect, assess and manage reports of potential fraudulent phenomena, violations of internal rules and suspect behaviour. The procedure guarantees those involved protection from all forms of retaliation, discrimination or penalisation and ensures them the utmost confidentiality, without prejudice to legal obligations.
Zero reports were received in 2021. With reference to 2022, the number of reports will be disclosed in the second half of the year.
In addition, with the aim of combating money-laundering and the financing of terrorism, which constitute a serious threat for the legal economy and can result in destabilising effects, above all for the banking and financial system, we have adopted an Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorist Financing (AML/CTF) Policy. The AML Policy, approved by the Board of Directors, is part of the broader internal control system of our Bank, aimed at ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations.
The materiality analysis is a tool for strategic reading of the Bank’s internal and external environment aimed at identifying and determining the priorities of the economic, environmental, social and governance aspects deemed material and significant to its business and its stakeholders. In order to efficiently identify the materiality of these impacts, we launched a structured process made up of the following 4 macro-phases and in compliance with the requirements set forth in the Sustainability Policy we analysed a wide range of internal and external sources of information.
Our documents were then organised in two clusters referred to our main stakeholders: on the one hand Banca Generali Universe and on the other hand the external stakeholders — according to a top-down approach.
The analysis of the above-mentioned documents led to the definition of a set of 12 topics, identified, linked to the E, S or G areas and to the Pillars of the Strategic Plan.
In order to assess the materiality of the topics and the related impacts, we assigned a score equal to 0, 1.5 or 1 to each topic, based on the relevance of the topic itself and its connection to significant impacts on the economy, environment and people.
Afterwards, we assigned stakeholders an individual specific weight, based on their degree of materiality for the Bank. The score of each topic was then weighted accordingly.
The materiality matrix displays the topics on two dimensions — the internal (the Bank’s Universe) and the external (external stakeholders) dimensions — and positions them based on the scores obtained. The top right-hand corner plots the 12 priority topics, i.e., those with a score exceeding 0.5 in both analysis dimensions.
The matrix analysis reveals that the key topics identified by the Banca Generali Universe are investment protection, quality of service and environmental aspects, through responsible investments and the development of sustainable products.
This occurred through the enhancement of Human Capital and a focus on people, including through risk management system and business solidity.
Among material topics, cybersecurity is increasingly relevant to both internal and external stakeholders. Compared to the 2021 matrix, a new topic was introduced, namely digital transformation.
The correlation between the material issues and the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative) guidelines are reported below, with a focus on their internal and/or external impact.
The priorities that guide our sustainable business model are:
- Business management and culture dissemination
This topic extends both to our commitment to combating active and passive corruption through an adequate assessment of the associated risks and the adoption of safeguards designed to mitigate them and to the adoption of tools intended to govern the behaviour and spread the values that are the foundation of our company and commercial conduct.
- Governance and sustainable strategy
We have adopted a set of tools, rules, relationships, processes and company systems designed to ensure proper, efficient management of the organisation, with a particular focus on the challenges posed by the current environment and the management of new organisational models.
Moreover, the company strategy integrates environmental, social and economic considerations so as to create value for internal and external stakeholders from a medium-to-long-term perspective.
- Data protection and cyber security
In harmony with the process of accelerating digitalisation, we are committed to developing and enhancing adequate means and technologies to protect data and information technology systems in terms of availability, confidentiality and integrity.
- Investment protection and customer relations management
Our distinctive characteristics are our commercial model, based on a one-to-one relationship with our customers, and portfolio management focused on return and protection against all risks that, directly or indirectly, may compromise its value over time.
- Innovation and sustainable products
For us innovation implies, on the one hand, investments aimed at increasing the technological infrastructures to support the new offering of digital products and services, on the other, a focus on social, environmental and corporate governance issues, which are taken into account when designing products and services, integrating ESG criteria in the investment strategy of customers to raise awareness among them, and to deepen their knowledge of sustainability issues. Accordingly, we have identified and selected specialised partners with which to develop sustainable finance strategies, products and services.
- Business solidity
By ‘business solidity’ we mean the ability to maintain a strong performance over time and predict market trends, including through the renewal of the services offered, and development of robust organisational resilience in order to protect financial stability and business profitability.
- Growth and development of human capital
We promote the development of a company model capable of attracting talent and excellent professionals and harnessing the skills offered by our personnel through growth processes designed to hone their abilities and consolidate their professional expertise.
We view people as the centrepieces of our strategy: as a result, we develop initiatives and measures of various kinds designed to ensure equal opportunity and respectful, fair and flexible working conditions, while also avoiding all forms of discrimination. These range from work-life balance programs, a focus on individuals and attention to households, to engagement, development of growth and training initiatives and action plans for diversity and inclusion.
- Human capital protection
By ‘human capital protection’ we mean placing the protection of human capital at the heart of the organisation.
- Stakeholder and community relations
We believe it to be fundamental to listen to, consult and constantly engage stakeholders to understand their needs, while also contributing to the development of the community and local area. We also regard banks as contributing significantly to institutional debate for the development of mechanisms for economic facilities/support for individuals and businesses.
- Risk management system
We have set ourselves the goal of adopting a system for identifying, assessing and managing risks that includes ESG factors in order to integrate them into our strategy and operating model so as to govern the transition towards more sustainable economic and business models.
- Environmental impacts
To manage our direct environmental impacts, we have adopted policies aimed at enhancing efficiency and reducing consumption and greenhouse gas emissions; we also consider the indirect environmental impacts of investment activities on climate change and assess the climate risks of investment portfolios.
Discover our model of shared value creation to explore how the Bank translates these priorities into concrete initiatives that generate value that lasts over time and is shared with our stakeholders.
In Banca Generali we liaise with numerous stakeholders that differ by type, requirements and needs expressed. We recognise as stakeholders all those parties (Institutions, Organisations, groups or individuals) which, in a framework of shared but not always naturally converging interests, can influence or be influenced by its activities. The identification of stakeholders of priority interest for the Bank is carried out taking into consideration the following criteria: responsibility, influence, proximity, representation and strategy.
Overall, stakeholder listening and dialogue activities are carried out mainly in order to:
- understand the needs and expectations of stakeholders of priority interest in the medium to long term to support strategic planning;
- anticipate risks of a different nature (operational, reputational, etc.);
- monitor the level of satisfaction and check the extent to which the different stakeholder categories have a positive perception of their relationship with the Bank;
- seize new opportunities through the joint identification of solutions capable of creating shared value for the Organisation and its stakeholders.
Our awareness of the central role played by our stakeholders in the process of a sustainable growth, has engaged us in various forms of dialogue and discussion with them.
International and Financial Sector (including companies, media, non-profit organisations and the welfare industry)
- Local conventions on financial education
- Press conferences
- Company points of contact dedicated to media and institutional relations
- Meetings with institutions
- Multistakeholder meetings
- Social activities in favour of community
Shareholders & authorities (including shareholders, investors, analysts, proxy advisors):
- General Shareholders’ Meeting
- Media news
- Meetings and interviews with analysts, investors and proxy advisors
- International roadshows
- Digital channels and social media
Suppliers and strategic partners
- Meetings with bank and networks
- Working groups on common projects
- Participation in local meetings
- Periodic engagement survey
- Dedicated portal
- Monthly communications and newsletters
- Individual performance evaluation interviews and joint determination of development goals
- Roundtables with unions and workers' representatives
- Annual meeting with all employees
- Internal meetings and cascading initiatives
- Training activities and team building
- Survey on ESG matters
- Dedicated focus groups
- Surveys on the level of satisfaction
- Market researches
- Dialogue with consumer associations
- Communications channels devoted to customers (website, e-mail, toll-free phone number)
- Dedicated events
- Advertising campaigns
- Periodic documentation and in-depth reporting
- Social support activities
- Social media
Financial Advisors (network)
- Survey on ESG matters
- Dedicated portal
- Monthly newsletter
- Dedicated conventions
- Survey on the level of satisfaction
- Website and apps for mobile devices
- Local events
- Social media
- Partnerships with observatories and research centres
- Dialogue with universities (e.g., Fintech & Insurtech Observatory of Milan Polytechnic; CeTIF Cattolica University of Milan)
- Website and social media
- Event organisation and participation in, sponsorship of and contribution to third-party events, such as collaborative projects on financial education (FEduF – Foundation for Financial Education and Saving; AbiEdu.n3.0) and cultural projects [BG Art Talent and Milano ArtWeek together with the Municipality of Milan; Banca Generali - Un Campione per Amico (A Champion as a Friend)
At Banca Generali, sustainability is an unquestionable strategic orientation supported by a strong internal commitment. In this regard, by amending the Rules Regulating the Proceedings of Meetings of Board of Directors and of Internal Committees, as approved on 11 May 2021, Banca Generali decided to integrate sustainability in its Managing Committee and all Board Committees.
The integration of sustainability in the aforementioned committees is briefly described below.
- Managing Committee
The Managing Committee is an advisory body set up to assist the company’s top management by subjecting the Bank’s most significant strategic and managerial aspects to in-depth assessment, as a panel. It consists of the CEO, the two Deputy General Managers and top managers. It is in charge of examining, on a half-yearly basis, all matters related to the Banking Group’s social, environmental and sustainability responsibility, in accordance with the guidelines and principles defined by the Nomination, Governance and Sustainability Committee. In this context, the Committee defines sustainability-related opportunities, risks, common objectives, targets, areas for improvement, content and reporting methods, and analyses the results set out in the Annual Integrated Report, discussing the achievement of the targets set, the difficulties faced and the problems still to be solved.
- Nomination, Governance and Sustainability Committee
The Committee is responsible for advising and making recommendations to the Board of Directors on nominations, governance and sustainability. It supports the Board of Directors with integrating sustainability into the definition of business strategies, as well as the formulation of the materiality matrix; it oversees sustainability matters; it proposes to the Board of Directors any updates to the Sustainability Policy and all other internal policy documents that are ancillary and/or connected to the latter and designed to pursue the Sustainable Success of the Company and Banking Group; it examines the general outline of the sustainability reporting process; it formulates opinions and proposals regarding other corporate governance decisions to be made.
- Internal Audit and Risk Committee
The Internal Audit and Risk Committee performs supporting functions for the body with strategic supervision functions with regard to risks and the internal control system. It also ensures that the risks and profiles connected to ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) factors are thoroughly assessed in order to foster the Sustainable Success of the Company and Banking Group.
- Remuneration Committee
The Remuneration Committee is responsible for advising and making recommendations on remuneration to the Board of Directors. It formulates proposals regarding plans, targets, rules and company procedures relating to social and environmental issues and, more generally, sustainability, in line with applicable laws and regulations.
- Credit Committee
The Credit Committee performs preliminary, consultative and propositional functions in support of the Board of Directors regarding loans, particularly the evaluation of loan applications. In supporting the Board of Directors to the extent of its remittance, the Committee ensures that the Board may adopt all appropriate lending resolutions in accordance with an assessment of the risks underlying the loans that also take account of the risks connected to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.
Discover more and read the Rules Regulating the Proceedings of Meetings of Board of Directors and Internal Committees
All the competences regarding sustainability are attributed to the General Counsel Area, within which the Banking Group Sustainability Service was established, with the task of coordinating the structures of the banking group on strategic sustainability projects.