Risk management and financial instruments
The VIG risk management system is firmly anchored in the management culture of the Company and is based on a clearly defined, conservative risk policy, extensive risk expertise, a highly developed set of risk management tools, and risk-based Managing Board decisions.
The detailed risk report for VIG is provided in the notes to the consolidated financial statements on page 106.
For information on the financial instruments used, please see the notes to the consolidated financial statements (Summary of significant accounting policies) and the risk report (starting on page 106 (see Notes)).
Internal control and risk management system in the accounting process
Preparation of the consolidated financial statements includes all activities required for presentation and disclosure of the net assets, financial position and results of operations of the Group in accordance with the provisions of the law and the IFRS. The consolidated financial statements consist of the balance sheet, income statement, statement of comprehensive income, statement of changes in equity, consolidated statement of cash flows, segment reporting and all necessary disclosures in the notes. The financial statement process includes the aggregation of all data from accounting and upstream processes for the annual financial statements.
Risk management is implemented in the Vienna Insurance Group accounting process in accordance with the five elementary components of the COSO (Committee of Sponsoring Organisations of the Treadway Commission) framework model for internal risk management.
The organisational structure consists of the local accounting departments of the individual Group companies and the Group accounting department at the Vienna Insurance Group headquarters in Vienna. The accounting departments of the Group companies prepare both local GAAP and IFRS financial statements and then send the IFRS figures to the Group accounting department in Vienna. The IFRS financial statements are prepared in accordance with uniform Group accounting policies.
The Group companies mostly send their data using the local SAP system in which the data are entered. Some international companies and all Austrian insurance companies upload their balance sheets and income statements. The Group accounting department consolidates the data and prepares the consolidated financial statements.
In order to identify risks in the accounting process and eliminate them as far as possible, the annual financial statement process has been documented. The documentation covers the entire process all the way from data entry by the employees of Group companies and automatic and manual controls and analyses during the consolidation process, to publication of the final annual report.
The IFRS financial statements are prepared in accordance with uniform Group accounting policies. The newest version of the IFRS manual and detailed information on Group-wide reporting requirements are sent to the responsible persons in the local accounting departments before each set of quarterly and annual financial statements are prepared in order to ensure uniform reporting across the Group. Both automatic (using SAP validations) and manual checks (performance analyses and plausibility checks by employees in the Group accounting department) are performed for the financial statement data that is received. Additional checks in the form of control calculations and reconciliation of, in particular, reinsurance and financing balances are performed to identify and eliminate potential errors.
In addition, an earnings reconciliation statement is prepared, the accuracy of individual parts of the consolidated financial statements is checked, and a plausibility check is performed for the consolidated financial statements as a whole to ensure that the presentation is complete and correct.
The accounting employees also work together closely with the Controlling department (e.g. variance analyses) when the financial statements are prepared. The data are also regularly submitted to the Managing Board for review and checking.
In order to ensure that the annual report is completed correctly and on time by the publication deadline, strict deadlines are set for the quarterly and annual financial statements and the Group companies are already informed of these deadlines at the beginning of the 4th quarter for the coming financial year.
The employees of the Group accounting department ensure in advance that the Group companies can send their data on time.
Information and communication
The intensive collaboration with other areas of the Company, in particular Controlling, generates a lively exchange of information and communications.
In addition to the annual report at the end of each financial year, interim reports are published each quarter in accordance with IAS 34 and statutory provisions.
The Investor Relations department is responsible for reporting to Vienna Insurance Group shareholders. This takes place both in personal meetings and via the Company website. This provides shareholders and other interested parties access to annual and quarterly reports, and to regularly updated information on key figures, share prices, the financial calendar, ad hoc news and other relevant topics.
The Group accounting department is managed by the Vienna Insurance Group Chief Financial Officer and is responsible for preparing the Group Annual Report. Quarterly reports are provided to the Managing Board and Supervisory Board to ensure regular monitoring of the internal control system. Risks are continuously monitored by internal cross-departmental Group controls (e.g. Group accounting department, Controlling).
Group-wide guidelines exist in order to standardise the handling of significant risks throughout the Group, and also provide a tool for risk monitoring. Local management is responsible for implementing these guidelines in the individual Group companies.
The auditor takes the internal control system into account during the financial statement audit to the extent that it is relevant to preparation of the consolidated financial statements.
The financial statement auditor also assesses the effectiveness of the risk management system in accordance with Rule 83 of the Austrian Corporate Governance Code.
Disclosures in accordance with § 267(3a) in combination with § 243a UGB
1. The share capital of the Company totals EUR 132,887,468.20. It is divided into 128,000,000 no-par value bearer shares with voting rights, each share representing an equal portion of share capital.
2. The Managing Board is not aware of any restrictions on voting rights or the transfer of shares.
3. Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein holds (directly or indirectly) approximately 70% of the share capital.
4. No shares have special rights of control. See point 6 for information on the rights of the shareholder Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein.
5. Employees who hold shares exercise their voting rights without a proxy during general meetings.
6. The Managing Board must have at least three and no more than seven members. The Supervisory Board has three to ten members (shareholder representatives). The shareholder Wiener Städtische Versicherungsverein has the right to appoint up to one third of the members of the Supervisory Board if, and so long as, it holds 50% or less of the Company’s voting shares. General meeting resolutions are adopted by a simple majority, unless a different majority is required by law or the articles of association.
7. a) The Managing Board is authorised to increase the Company’s share capital by a nominal amount of EUR 66,443,734.10 by issuing 64,000,000 no-par value bearer or registered shares in one or more tranches on or before 2 May 2018 against cash or in-kind contributions. The terms of the shares, the exclusion of shareholder pre-emption rights, and the other terms and conditions of the share issue are decided by the Managing Board, subject to Supervisory Board approval. Preferred shares without voting rights may also be issued, with rights equivalent to those of existing preferred shares. The issue prices of common and preferred shares may differ.
b) The general meeting of 3 May 2013 authorised the Managing Board to issue, subject to Supervisory Board approval, one or more tranches of bearer convertible bonds with a total nominal value of up to EUR 2,000,000,000.00 on or before 2 May 2018, with or without exclusion of shareholder pre-emptive rights, and to grant the holders of convertible bonds conversion rights for up to 30,000,000 no-par value bearer shares with voting rights in accordance with the convertible bond terms set by the Managing Board.
c) The share capital has consequently been increased in accordance with Section 159 (2) no. 1 of the Austrian Stock Corporation Act (AktG) on a contingent basis up to EUR 31,145,500.36, through the issue of up to 30,000,000 no-par value bearer shares with voting rights. The contingent capital increase will only be implemented to the extent that holders of convertible bonds issued on the basis of the general meeting resolution of 3 May 2013 exercise the subscription or exchange rights they were granted. The Managing Board has not adopted any resolutions to date concerning the issuance of convertible bonds based on the authorisation granted on 3 May 2013.
d) The general meeting of 3 May 2013 further authorised the Managing Board to issue, subject to Supervisory Board approval, one or more tranches of bearer income bonds with a total nominal value of up to EUR 2,000,000,000.00 on or before 2 May 2018, with or without exclusion of shareholder pre-emptive rights. The Managing Board has not adopted any resolutions to date regarding the issuance of income bonds based on this authorisation.
As of 31 December 2015, no authorisation of the Managing Board under § 65 of the AktG (acquisition of own shares) was in effect, and the Company held none of its own shares as of 31 December 2015.
8. As of 31 December 2015, the Company was not party to any material agreements that would come into effect, change or terminate if control of the Company were to change due to a takeover bid, in particular, no agreements that would affect participations held in insurance companies. Existing agreements that would come into effect if control of the Company were to change due to a takeover bid relate to participations held in other (non-insurance) companies.
9. No compensation agreements exist between the Company and its Managing Board members, Supervisory Board members or employees covering the case of a public takeover bid.