China's Ping An Insurance Group has been ranked first among insurers on the Forbes Global 2000 list of most powerful companies.
On the overall list, Ping An moved up from spot #20 last year to #16 on this year’s list. Over the 12 months to 7 April, when Global 2000 data was locked in, Ping An generated US$106.6 billion in revenue, $9.5 billion in profits and its market capitalisation stood at $100.8 billion. The tech-driven company boasted of 131 million customers at year-end 2016, up 20% from the beginning of the year, with nearly a quarter of the newcomers coming in online.
Germany’s Allianz ranks #2 among insurers, staying at #21 overall on the Forbes Global 2000. After posting strong 2016 results, Allianz announced a share buy-back of up to $3 billion over the next year to return unused funds once targeted for acquisitions.
France’s AXA Group, ranked #3 (#27 overall), just announced a big change as part of its Ambition 2020 transformation plan: its intention to launch an IPO for its US operations, specifically its life and annuity units and its interest in struggling asset manager Alliance Bernstein.
Forbes says that these top three insurers are diversified players, with life & health, property & casualty, and financial services divisions.
Among the world’s 25 largest insurers, China, Japan and the US each house four, Switzerland and the United Kingdom house three, Germany has two, and Canada, France, Italy, Hong Kong and Taiwan each claim one spot.
The Forbes Global 2000 ranking, released last week, is based on a composite score from equally-weighted measures of revenue, profits, assets and market value.