About the Gjensidige Foundation

Information about the foundation

About the Gjensidige Foundation

A modern financial foundation supporting a philanthropic mission with a 200 year history from the insurance industry

Gjensidigestiftelsen is the largest Norwegian financial foundation – established in 2007 as a charitable foundation then converted into a financial foundation prior to the listing of Gjensidige Forsikring ASA in 2010.

In connection with a partial demutualization and the listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange, the foundation sold 38 percent of its shares in the Gjensidige forsikring ASA for 10.4 billion, but retained the remaining 62 percent.

The dividends earned on the 62 percent stake are re-distributed to insurance policy holders.

The proceeds from the sale of 38 percent stake have been invested in a diversified portfolio managed by Gjensidigestiftelsen’s professional in-house investment team. The financial return earned is fully dedicated to the advancement of the Foundation's program and philanthropic purposes.

The Gjensidige Foundation’s financial objectives are to manage its long-term ownership of Gjensidige, to pass on a share dividend to Gjensidige’s non-life insurance customers, and to manage the revenue raised from the sale of shares.  

For the 2009 financial year, Gjensidige paid out a total of approximately NOK 1.2 billion in dividends to its customers. Since its flotation, it is the company’s shareholders who have received the dividend. The Gjensidige Foundation distributes its share of the dividend to non-life customers in Norway. For the 2015 financial year, this amounted to approximately NOK 1.8 billion, and since 2010 a total of approximately NOK 11 billion.

The Foundation’s non-profit objective is to promote health and safety through charitable donations. Such donations are made in accordance with the Foundation’s fundamental values, which are : “Preventive – Developing – Activity creating – Society building”.

From its establishment in October 2007 up until 2017, the Gjensidige Foundation has distributed over NOK 1.9 billion to more than 6.000 projects that promote health and safety initiatives.  

 

Ownership

The Gjensidige foundation is the largest shareholder in Gjensidige Forsikring ASA.

The Foundation’s governance model

The foundation is governed by 120 representatives, elected by and among the insurance company's customers in 19 regions. The electoral representatives constitute the foundation's general assembly and are organized in 19 local grant committees selecting the projects eligible for funding. The board has 11 members, while the administration consists of 25 employees. Of these, five work within the Mutual Fund's asset management.

Ownership in GJF ASA

As a majority owner, the foundation is committed to perpetuating more than 200 years of insurance history, ranging from the 19th century Brannkasser (mutual fire insurance schemes) to Gjensidige today, a leading listed Nordic non-life insurance company with operations in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the Baltic States. In Norway, Gjensidige Forsikring ASA has also a banking, pension and savings offering.

The Foundation is a long-term and predictable owner that acts on behalf of Gjensidige’s Norwegian general insurance customers. The dividend model provides customers with the chance to share in the growth of Gjensidige Forsikring ASA.

The Foundation exercises its ownership through fixed representation on the company's governing bodies.

Since listing in 2010, the company has paid shareholders over NOK 22 billion in ordinary dividends, NOK 11 billion of which has been redistributed by the Foundation to insurance policy holders.

Ordinary shareholder dividends are redistributed to the insurance company’s insurance customers.

Extraordinary dividends and other capital distributions are transferred as inflows to The Gjensidige Foundation’s investment portfolio.

Shareholder policy

Long-term management of the Foundation’s capital
  • Gjensidige has a long history and the Foundation’s investments are managed on the basis of it existing in perpetuity.
  • The financial return earned by the Foundation is fully dedicated to the advancement of the Foundation's program and philanthropic goals.
  • The Board has the ultimate responsibility for the Foundation’s investment management.
  • The Foundation’s investment management strategy is approved by the Board, which delegates its execution to the Foundation’s management, the investment team in the finance department.
  • The Foundation manages NOK 62bn billion of assets comprising its stake in Gjensidige Forsikring ASA and its globally diversified investment portfolio.
  • The Foundation owns 311 million shares in Gjensidige Forsikring ASA, which represents a 62.4% stake with a market value of around NOK 42 billion.
  • The investment portfolio has been built up since 2012 and has grown from initial capital of NOK 10.4 billion to over NOK 20 billion in 2017.
  • Returns on the investment portfolio ensure a stable level of grants is distributed to social causes over time, while the dividends earned on the Foundation’s 62% stake in Gjensidige are redistributed to insurance policy holders.
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Values and goals

The foundation aims to provide expertise and financial support to create a safer, healthier and more active society.

The singular purpose is to best achieve its philanthropic objectives by earning sufficient return to secure a substantial and stable level of grants for good projects. We are a long-term investor committed to support sustainable economic growth. Through our majority stake in Gjensidige Forsikring ASA we perpetuate 200 years of insurance history.

Collective profit sharing: As largest shareholder, Gjensidige Foundation continues to represent policy holder’s interests in Gjensidige Forsikring ASA after the company was listed on the stock exchange. The foundation participates in the company's governing bodies and annually distributes its share of dividends to insurance policy holders.

From strategic investments to grants: Financial returns from the foundation’s investment fund grants of more than NOK 200 million allocated annually to programs fulfilling the Foundation's mission of promoting health, wellbeing and safety. We support projects that are within the following five areas: Safety, Mastering and learning, Social inclusion and diversity, Physical activity, Nutrition.