OVB Holding AG

Secure provisions for old age are only possible with professional advice - certainly not with populism

News from OVB

Secure provisions for old age are only possible with professional advice - certainly not with populism

Cologne, 21 January 2016 – The specialist periodical "Finanztest" has levelled serious accusations against the major German insurance companies. According to the periodical, life insurance policies have left customers with drastic losses and are therefore virtually pointless nowadays. OVB, which collaborates closely with many major insurance groups in 14 European counties, vehemently repudiates this sweeping judgement. Jürgen Kotulla, Head of Marketing at the Cologne-based financial service provider, unequivocally states: “That is far too much of a generali-sation and in some cases inaccurate. In principle we understand the policyholders’ situation, which we also consider to be unsatisfactory, because they are often promised a great deal and very little is actually delivered. But we cannot allow in-surance companies now to be held guilty by association, with the low-interest phase blamed virtually on our industry alone. We really are not responsible for this. Nor are we to blame for the poor development on the capital markets.”

Furthermore, Jürgen Kotulla continues, there are laws that simply have to be fol-lowed. To explain, he borrows an example from another industry: “If a car manu-facturer has to install a catalytic converter in a car because that is the law, then it does so and of course it is not criticised for this. It is exactly the same when it comes to insurance companies and the additional interest reserve.  This is the law and is intended to ensure that insurance companies can keep their promises in a more targeted way. What’s more, this law was judged to be good by Felix Hufeld, the new president of Bafin (the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority). There is a similar situation with regard to departing customers’ reduced share in the valuation reserves. This is also the law. And therefore it must be followed. But in spite of this, public opprobrium is being heaped upon the insurance industry.”

The experts at OVB also particularly criticise the fact that the report does not dif-ferentiate at all between asset formation and pensions and that the well-known issue of sufficient old-age provisions is completely left out of the picture. OVB also has considerable doubts as to whether one of the “Finanztest witnesses” is really able to handle her capital accumulation independently without any kind of advice. She had made the following statement in the specialist periodical: “Nowadays I wouldn’t even put my money in a pension insurance scheme; instead, I would han-dle asset formation for myself.” OVB CEO Michael Rentmeister considers this to be pure populism: “I simply cannot imagine that this lady, however smart she may be, is able to maintain an overview of all the alternatives for old-age provisions inde-pendently, and above all objectively. Those at our company who can do this and accordingly provide serious advice have completed extensive professional training.” And the head of OVB Holding AG adds: “Building up sensible old-age provisions is something very different and much more complex than, for example, buying a new car. There are so many really good alternatives in our industry, there are so many different components that definitely allow people to enjoy a comfortable retirement and do not result in drastic pension gaps. We do not deny that this risk exists. But it can only be averted by obtaining professional and honest advice.  And that costs a fee or a commission. An investment that is guaranteed to pay off in the end – long before death.”

The CEO and the Head of Marketing of OVB thus both emphasise with total convic-tion: “Life insurance and pension insurance are not dead yet; they have taken a serious dent and will undoubtedly no longer have a unique selling point, but they will recover if they are integrated in a one-stop finance strategy. That is, old-age provisions that are based on several different financial services and are built up on a highly individual basis for each person.”


About OVB Group

OVB Group, with its holding company headquartered in Cologne, is one of the lead-ing European financial sales organisations. Since its founding in 1970, customer-oriented consulting for private households with regard to asset protection, asset building, pension plans and real estate acquisition has been the focus of OVB’s business activities. OVB currently advises some 3.3 million customers across Europe, working in cooperation with over 100 renowned product partners.

OVB is presently active in 14 countries, with more than 5,000 full-time financial advisors working for the Group. In 2014, OVB Holding AG and its subsidiaries gen-erated total sales commission of €214.0 million and EBIT of €12.3 million. OVB Holding AG has been listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (Prime Standard, ISIN DE0006286560) since July 2006.

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