WORCESTER, Mass., Feb. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE: THG) today introduced its go-forward business strategy, Hanover 2021, at the company's Investor Day conference, reinforcing its commitment to its partners, defining its five-year growth and financial targets, and announcing organizational changes to drive the successful execution of its plans and superior returns for its shareholders.
"This is an exciting time for us," said Joseph M. Zubretsky, president and chief executive officer of The Hanover. "Our company is well positioned financially and competitively, is nimble and agile, and adept at delivering creative solutions to the market quickly and efficiently. We are intensely focused on growing responsibly in all of our businesses, managing volatility and generating strong returns for our shareholders. "
Zubretsky projected the successful execution of the company's go-forward strategy would result in increases in revenue and book value per share, and generate top-quartile returns on equity over the next five years.
Hanover 2021 is based on an ambitious, balanced strategy that focuses on three key areas: leveraging the strengths of the company's agent-centered distribution strategy, significantly increasing its capabilities in the domestic and international specialty markets, and investing in an innovation unit that will develop new growth solutions to help its distribution partners expand their businesses in rapidly changing markets.
As part of this strategy, the company's small commercial, middle market and personal lines businesses will be combined into one division, leveraging and building on the respective strengths of each. This division, Hanover Agency Markets, will provide the organization's distribution partners with products and services that enable them to meet a wide range of their customers' evolving needs. John C. Roche will serve as president of Hanover Agency Markets. In this new role, Roche will lead the company's efforts to grow business written through the company's agent partners, capitalizing on the company's unique franchise value strategy and industry-leading agency analytic capabilities. Hanover Agency Markets will enhance existing offerings, selectively expand its risk appetite, pursue new customer segments, and grow its presence in under-penetrated geographic markets. Roche most recently served as president of commercial lines.
The company plans to expand its specialty business, leveraging its existing capabilities in the U.S. and internationally. The Hanover will manage its domestic specialty business as a separate division. A search is underway for a head of domestic specialty. The business will report to Zubretsky in the interim. The company's international specialty business, written through Chaucer, a leading Lloyd's syndicate whose hallmark is underwriting large, complex global risks in major insurance and reinsurance classes, will be headed by John Fowle. Fowle has more than 25 years of London market underwriting experience and has held key leadership roles at Chaucer since 2002, including chief underwriting officer and active underwriter of Chaucer's main syndicate, 1084.
The Hanover also is forming a separate unit to drive innovation across its businesses, identifying emerging customer segments, leveraging data and analytics, and creating business solutions to address customer needs, helping the company's distribution partners innovate and strategically grow their businesses. Richard W. Lavey will serve as chief growth innovation officer. He will lead efforts to develop innovative business models that help the company's partners compete and grow in rapidly changing markets. Lavey most recently served as president, personal lines and chief marketing officer. Mark L. Berthiaume will serve as chief technology innovation officer. He will be responsible for the delivery of technology-based solutions that provide digital platforms for the company's partners and customers, predictive analytics and other services. He most recently held the position of chief information and administration officer.
All other members of the executive leadership team remain in place in their current roles.
"The future of our marketplace will continue to be highly competitive and dynamic," Zubretsky said. "We believe our company, together with our distribution partners, is uniquely positioned to thrive and that Hanover 2021 will drive profitable growth in our business and consistent returns for our shareholders."
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
Certain statements in this release, including statements regarding the outcome of the key tenets of The Hanover's strategy; ability to increase book value and premiums written and achieve top-quartile return on equity over the next five years; ability to leverage data and analytics to improve underwriting, claims and service functions; and the success of Hanover 2021 to drive profitable growth and superior shareholder returns, are forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Use of the words "believes," "anticipates," "expects," "projections," "outlook," "should," "plan," "guidance" and similar expressions is intended to identify forward-looking statements. The company cautions investors that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and actual results could differ materially. Investors are directed to consider the risks and uncertainties in the company's business that may affect future performance and that are discussed in readily available documents, including the company's annual report and other documents filed by The Hanover with the Securities and Exchange Commission and which are also available at www.hanover.com under "Investors," as well as the risks inherent in any long-term strategic plan.
ABOUT THE HANOVER
The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. is the holding company for several property and casualty insurance companies, which together constitute one of the largest insurance businesses in the United States. For more than 160 years, The Hanover has provided a wide range of property and casualty products and services to individuals, families, and businesses. The Hanover distributes its products through a select group of independent agents and brokers. Together with its agents, the company offers specialized coverages for small and mid-sized businesses, as well as insurance protection for homes, automobiles, and other personal items. Through its international member company, Chaucer, The Hanover also underwrites business at Lloyd's of London in several major insurance and reinsurance classes, including marine, property and energy. For more information, please visit hanover.com.
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SOURCE The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc.