insurance giants communicate better than mutualists, Actualité/Analyse Epargne

A study by French and German companies Castom and Zielke Research Consult, experts in insurance financial analysis, ranked the best companies in the sector in terms of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance Commitment).

This study, based on publicly available data released in 2021 by the 20 largest companies in the French market, shows that the level of maturity of non-financial insurance indicators tends to be higher within large groups than among mutualist structures.

In general, the report of Custom and Zielke Research Consult ” real, huge and tangible effort […] report your non-financial results “, carried out under more favorable French legislation compared to European standards.

Heterogeneous communication

However, in a rapidly changing regulatory context, the study points to pitfalls in the transmission of this non-financial information, in particular because it appears in various media from one company to another (ESG reports, environmental report, press releases, information intended for the general public). the public, etc.) and that it is still difficult to compare data from one company to another, because the quantitative indicators used are heterogeneous.

Custom and Zielke Research Consult relied on the “internal” methodology of the ESG rankings, in which each of the “three pillars” (environmental, social and environmental) makes up a third of the ranking, to rank the best students in all of these three criteria and in each of these topics.

AG2R and CNP, good students of the table

In all of these criteria, AG2R La Mondiale and CNP Assurances topped the rankings, ahead of Axa, HSBC and Aviva France. The lowest scores are from Groupama, Société Générale Assurances and Le Conservateur.

Large internationally registered insurance groups generally score higher than national mutual insurance groups. This conclusion may seem surprising at first glance, given that mutualist organizations essentially have strong social beliefs and democratic governance. This observation is due, in part, to less transparency towards the public than multinational insurance companies. “, the study notes.

Suravenir, Crédit Agricole Assurances and Axa, followed by Generali France and Allianz France, go to the top students in the Environment category. At the bottom of the ranking are Groupe des Assurances du Crédit Mutuel, Covéa and Le Conservateur.

CO2 emissions are not always quantifiable

With regard to the environmental aspect, in particular, the lack of a recent quantification of greenhouse gas emissions by volume, accuracy in relation to electricity consumption from renewable sources or the lack of specific information on possible impact investments have hurt some companies in the ranking.

With regard to the social component, the market shows significant differences between actors “. The best-scoring companies tend to have excellent job equality indices, as well as employment rates for people with disabilities above the market average. AG2R and CNP stand out again and respectively occupy the top two places. HSBC, Covéa and Aviva France have risen from 3- to number 5. In contrast, the last two places are occupied by Société Générale and Le Conservateur.

Management: several evaluation criteria

Finally, in terms of management criteria, the differences are less pronounced. Eight companies share the lead, the rest are at the same level instead of nine. Since the number of criteria for assessing corporate governance is small, many insurance groups give the same scores. The main discriminatory criterion is the assessment of the level of transparency of the solvency and financial position report (SFCR).

Romaric Chalendar, President of Custom, acknowledges that the evolution of the French rules and set of standards has led to a ranking favoring large groups, as the ESG survey methodology provides a very important measure of non-financial transparency.

FinallyFor example, ratings obtained by mutual companies that are more in the middle of the table do not necessarily mean that their ESG commitments are insufficient or lower than those of companies that are higher in the ranking.

With the development of European regulations, companies in this sector must also develop in terms of communication. However, for Custom and Zielke Research Consult, transparency and access to information about ESG data is fundamental.

This choice is made ”, explains this specialist in financial analysis, “ we wanted to put ourselves in the shoes of the general public with regard to the information available to them. on these important topics, important but often difficult to decipher “.

Efforts to be made regarding the content of ESG reports

The authors of the study offer several suggestions for insurance groups to overcome this trap, for example, creating a single ESG report. consolidation of all current and future regulatory requirements ”, or even an indication, every year “the implied temperature of their investment portfolios based on identical methodologies “.

In our opinion, and also in terms of transparency to the general public, this indicator should be preferred over the indicator related to fluctuations in greenhouse gas emissions. “, says Romarik Shalandar. ” It’s very simple and easy to understand. As for CO2 emissions, we don’t know where to start. Companies list decline percentages without specifying where they start from, it doesn’t make much sense. “.

In the eyes of an actuary, groups must move from balance sheet presentation their ESG performance – ” which ultimately gives the photo only at time T “-to one” view income statement », offering a year-by-year comparison and goals to achieve. Some market players have already adopted such methodologies,” but it’s not common “He regrets.

Leave a Comment