Nationale Suisse and Bank Coop work together - building market presence through strategic partnership

Friday, 06. July 2007 07:04
Nationale Suisse and Bank Coop, a subsidiary of Basler Kantonalbank,
will be cooperating with each other from 1 January 2008. Both
partners aim to use this venture to provide even more comprehensive
coverage for their clients' needs and to strengthen their market
position.


The strategic partnership of Nationale Suisse and Bank Coop will
begin on 1 January 2008 and is designed to drive the growth of both
companies and reinforce their market presence in Switzerland. In
addition, the resulting attractive combination of banking and
insurance products should add value for clients. Both financial
service providers state in their corporate strategies that they want
to provide fairly priced and high-quality products.

Nationale Suisse and Bank Coop see the complementary nature of their
products and services as an opportunity to offer their current
clients a more complete service and gain new customers. This deal is
a major step in the home market strategy of these two companies,
which are both based in Basel. It will also allow them to
consolidate their presence in the Swiss market by opening up new
distribution channels.

If you want to know more about this venture, read the following
interview with Dr Hans Künzle, CEO of Nationale Suisse, and Andreas
Waespi, CEO of Bank Coop.




Brief profile

Nationale Suisse is an innovative, The headquarters of
international Swiss insurer providing Nationale Suisse is in
first-rate risk and pension solutions and Basel. Nationale Suisse
tailored niche products. The Group has gross is listed on the SWX
premiums of CHF 1.74 billion, approximately Swiss Exchange (NATN).
35% of which come from subsidiaries in On 31 December 2006 the
Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, Spain and Group employed 2,013
Liechtenstein. persons (1,884 FTEs).


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Auskünfte

Sabrina Pagnetti
Head of Information & Communication
Tel. +41 61 275 22 33
Fax +41 61 275 22 21
sabrina.pagnetti@nationalesuisse.ch

Nationale Suisse
Steinengraben 41
4003 Basel
www.nationalesuisse.ch




Interview with Dr Hans Künzle, CEO of Nationale Suisse, and Andreas
Waespi, CEO of Bank Coop, on the new strategic partnership

"Cooperation"

1. Why have Bank Coop and Nationale Suisse entered into this
cooperation agreement?
Hans Künzle: You need the right partner to cooperate successfully.
Bank Coop have offered us a unique opportunity to work with a banking
institution of about the same size as our company which, just like
us, is represented throughout Switzerland. This partnership will
allow us to strengthen our presence on the Swiss market by having a
new distribution channel and being able to offer our clients a wider
range of financial services.
Andreas Waespi: The cooperation with Nationale Suisse allows us to
improve our service to clients and provide them with added value by
placing banking and insurance products under one umbrella and
developing new products which are better aligned to the latest market
requirements.
2. What strategy will you both pursue? Do you intend to work more
closely together.
Andreas Waespi: Bank Coop positions itself as a fair bank, whose core
competency lies in its distribution network and which distinguishes
itself by its first-class service. Our cooperation with Nationale
Suisse matches this strategy perfectly because it is based on
mutually enhancing our products and services with our clients' needs
in mind. That is how we will manage this cooperation going forward.
Hans Künzle: We are following a strategy of differentiation in the
Swiss market, which means we see ourselves as a provider of quality
services with an emphasis on personal advice, support and claims
service. Our partnership with Bank Coop and rapid development of
joint innovative products fit perfectly with this strategy.
3. Many cooperative ventures in bancassurance have failed. How will
you ensure your cooperation model is a success.
Andreas Waespi: The fundamental requirements for success in
cooperation are, primarily, an interest in a partnership-based
working model to achieve a win-win situation (for partners and
clients), secondly, good communication before and during the
implementation of our cooperation and, thirdly, ongoing training for
our staff who work with clients. Provided these conditions are met,
there is nothing to stand in the way of a successful cooperative
arrangement.
4. How does your cooperative model stand out from the competition?
Hans Künzle: Both of us will continue to focus on our respective
core business. At the same time we want to develop combined products
targeting a specific client segment each time. There are not many
financial services providers who can match what we have to offer.
5. How does the cooperation benefit both partners?
Andreas Waespi: The main benefit is the improved service we can offer
our clients by adding insurance products to our range of services.
However, developing a common distribution platform and network and
raising awareness of Bank Coop are the main benefits of the
cooperation from our side.
Hans Künzle: In addition to the benefits already mentioned, we see
the opportunity to broaden our range of financial services through
the addition of banking products as another important advantage.

"Clients, products, services, starting the cooperation"

6. Which products and services will be affected by this cooperation?
And what will be the added benefit for clients of both companies?
Hans Künzle: This agreement will give Nationale Suisse clients easier
access to rapid and straightforward financial services provided by
Bank Coop, such as medium-term notes, third pillar accounts etc.
Andreas Waespi: Bank Coop clients will be able to purchase
comprehensive products under one roof, for example, risk protection
with pension products or life cover with a mortgage. This will save
time and money, two commodities which are becoming increasingly
precious for many people these days.
7. Will the cooperation apply throughout Switzerland?
Andreas Waespi: Yes, by merging the distribution networks of both
cooperation partners, ie the general agencies of Nationale Suisse and
the Bank Coop branches, we cover Switzerland even better than before.

"Implementation"

8. What consequences does this arrangement have for the staff at
Bank Coop and Nationale Suisse and their branch networks?
Hans Künzle: Our pension experts will have an attractive range of
banking products, which will allow them to offer a more comprehensive
service to our clients. They and our field staff will be able to
count on the competent support of Bank Coop advisers on financial
issues.
Andreas Waespi: Bank Coop staff working in advisory roles will be
able to further broaden their skills through this cooperation. But
that does not mean they need detailed knowledge of all the insurance
products. They can always consult an insurance specialist to give our
clients even better advice.
9. This agreement was first announced in July 07 but it only applies
from 1 January 2008. Why the delay?
Hans Künzle: We are starting pilot projects at selected locations in
our French, German and Italian-speaking regions. This will enable us
to gain experience and optimise processes so we can guarantee a
professional launch throughout the whole country, including combined
products, on 1 January 2008.



--- End of Message ---

Nationale Suisse
Steinengraben 41 Basel

WKN: 1081197; ISIN:
CH0010811971; Index: SMCI, SPI, SPIEX;
Listed: Main Market in SWX Swiss Exchange;
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