Generali Srbija’s integrated reporting journey

Posted
4 June, 2018

Generali Osiguranje Srbija issued its third integrated report on May 31, 2018 having resolved to change corporate publications in Serbia, from financial reporting based on historic information to integrated reporting based on future strategy.

Generali Osiguranje Srbija is the largest private owned company in the insurance market in Serbia, the market leader in health and life sales and the second biggest company in P&C sales. As a member of Generali Group, we are always focused on new innovations and on modernizing processes and products, which is regularly recognized by our Serbian clients through high customer retention.

It is due to this approach to innovation that we take steps to improve our reporting year on year. Soon after Generali group introduced its first annual integrated report and presented it to business units in 2014, Generali Serbia recognized the value of integrated reporting and promised to adopt it for 2015. Whilst we didn’t have all of the relevant material or an obvious reason to jump from regular and standardized reporting into a new world of integrated thinking, we were brave and curious to start.

At that time, only Generali Group consolidated report was published and we were the first business unit who decided to join the journey.

It was not easy at the beginning and it was not fully clear what the new challenge would require in the future.

The Group gave us great support, but still there was a challenge to prepare a report that fit to local needs and expectations. We looked at what other companies were doing in the market and the result was very poor. There were not any similar reports published in the market, and not just in the insurance market in Serbia, but in the wider business community as well.

Serbia is on its way to joining the EU, and is not fully aligned with IFRS/IAS. As a result, most of the companies are still publishing only statutory requested sets of financial reports. Very often we only have the Serbian version of the report, published nine months after year end, and in such a technical format that only professional users can understand it.

Generali Serbia was in a better position than most even in 2015, partially due to the Group reporting requests, but still we were at the beginning of integrated reporting century.

Our natural ambition and desire for improvements, together with the fact that we could be the first in the market to implement integrated reporting, gave us an additional reason to start.
Business is changing every day, expectations are changing, the environment, markets, technology, and customers are changing…so why not reporting?

Being a small entity, we took a simple approach and didn’t implement the full Framework in our first edition. Instead, we focused on finding the right balance between the size and understandability of the report. We focused on the graphical side of as well and on identifying solutions to transform text into graphics.

Our first edition was published only in English and was mostly prepared for international or Group related users and the professional finance community in the market. We held a small celebratory event, with presentations explaining the report. The resulting visibility inside the Group awarded us with great compliments not only from our Serbian management and colleagues, but also from the Generali group CEO and CFO, and many other important respectable stakeholders.

With the success of our first edition and the great feedback received from users, we decided to continue and enlarge our experience in 2016 as well.

In the second edition, published in May 2017, we met even more challenges as we wanted to really meet the Framework’s principles, but also to listen to recommendations received by colleagues who had used our first integrated report, which had led to suggestions.

We decided to involve more colleagues from risk, HR, corporate legal and compliance in order to give a better picture of value creation and strategy implementation. This is when our integrated thinking really started. The second edition was also published in the local Serbian language and was really appreciated and welcomed by the financial community and even faculties of economics that invited us to share our experience with the students.

Our Third Annual integrated report has just been printed. Whilst even more experienced, the team again faced new challenges to fulfill growing expectations. It is too early to say where we are on the way to satisfy all the users of our report, but is definitely the right moment to say that we are proud of all the steps that we have taken in our journey to bring integrated reporting and thinking in Generali Serbia. And the journey will continue.