OVERVIEW

Eureko was a large European insurance, financial services and asset management company based in Amsterdam and Zeist in the Netherlands. The company was formed in 1992 and had operations in the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Portugal, U.K., Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Greece, Turkey, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria. The company grew significantly in 2005 when major Dutch player, Rabobank, merged its insurance company, Interpolis, into Eureko in exchange for a 37% share in the company.

CLIENT: Eureko B.V. Amsterdam, Netherlands

INDUSTRY: Insurance

SERVICES: Creating secure extranets, collaboration programs, corportate websites, rebranding, sub-brand intranets.

WEBSITE: https://www.achmea.nl/en

CHALLENGE

Eureko was a unique and highly complex organization in the way its shareholdings were structured. Each company within the group was a national brand per country, each OpCo holding shares in the holding Eureko B.V. Where an OpCo owned overseas operations, these were ceded to Eureko B.V and rebranded as Eureko companies. Shareholdings could be changed between all entities and as such could be considered as an anti-competitive structure since any hostile bid for an OpCo could result in shareholding changes making the take-over prospect un attractive i.e. the acquirer would have to acquire far more than a single OpCo. This resulted in authorisation from the European Commission to exist in such a structure.

Eureko was composed of mutual insurance companies and latterly a mix of listed and mutual, causing internal conflicts due to the vastly different shareholder requirements. Eventually, this resulted in an eventual spilt of the companies within the group, with EurApCo (European Alliance Partners Company) being established in Zurich, Switzerland.

During its existence, there was a requirement to manage the multiple political machinations between the various senior management and Board members to create a single vision and strategy that could be leveraged for the benefit of all OpCos and Eureko brands. This included knowledge sharing, common needs for product and service development, branding and corporate communication.

Increased political issues arose as expansion eastwards to Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia and the privatisation of insurance, banking and financial services within those countries. A number of legal cases against both Eureko B.V. and subsequently Achmea B.V. have been brought by the national governments of the eastern European countries.

Eureko became the central point for the creating or working groups comprised of senior managers within the overall group, for enhanced collaboration. The holding thus became a facilitator rather than being viewed as requiring it to be an operating company in its own right. However, a change of management led to a relocation of the HQ to Paris and with the intent to list the holding on the London and Lisbon stock exchanges. There was a need to determine how to create and execute systems and methods of information exchange across multiple territories and in creating a brand for the stock market listing of Eureko.

SOLUTION

We developed multiple secure extranets to enable working groups to collaborate, from technical working groups to Board minutes from CEO’s of the operating companies. These required 100% redundant backup solutions and we maintained a 99.75% uptime for an 8-year period.

With the need to build Eureko as a brand known within the financial markets reporting system, we created corporate websites, sub-brand websites, and developed the communications and branding strategy. Acting on behalf of Eureko, we developed and executed the selection process for the Eureko’s media and marketing partners. These included major corporate players such Leo Burnett, Wolf Ohlins, JWT, Hard Reality.

With the division of Eureko and the formation of EurApCo in Zurich, there was an additional need to develop the brand strategy for the new-to-be-named entity as well as the strengthening of the Eureko brand for the intended listing. We developed a communications strategy and logo for the new entity, which was rejected and adopted by Eureko instead, a logo that continues to today.

RESULTS

Eureko B.V. continued after the division with EurApCo and was absorbed by the Dutch operating company Achmea. The Eureko brands continue as stand-alone brands within the respective countries in which they operate (Eureko Sigorta).

With the then duplication of platforms and overall control being taken by Achmea, the exisiting platforms, after 8 years of successfully delivering the results required by the overall group, were migrated or eliminated as part of the overall restructuring of the business.

✔ Unique corporate structure; leader in eastern Europe for insurance and banking privatisation

✔ Eureko Alliance: Building a Pan European Network in Insurance and Banking (A) Award winner Prize Winner Harvard Case Solution & Analysis