Winterthur Group

The "Winterthur" Swiss Insurance Company was an international Swiss insurance group headquartered in Winterthur. She was one of the ten largest insurance companies in Europe. The group, which was since 1997 part of the Credit Suisse Group, was acquired by the end of 2006 by the French insurance group Axa and integrated into the Group.

  • 2.1 Overview
  • 2.2 DBV -Winterthur


The establishment of the company on July 1, 1875 in Winterthur as " Swiss accident insurance corporation ." In the years 1875 to 1882, the company expanded its operations to Germany, the Benelux countries, France, Austria -Hungary and Italy. 1879 they changed for the first time with its headquarters into the house to Warteck, only six years later, however, left this back around into today Bezirksgebäude draw. 1900 Winterthur also took the other classes on the product range. On 8 February 1923, the establishment of "Winterthur Life ." Under pressure from the political development of the Winterthur in 1936 expanded into the United States.

Around 100 years after the founding, in 1975 the company was renamed in "Winterthur" Swiss Insurance Company, and the Company to the outside under the short form Winterthur Insurance and the word and figurative mark "Winterthur" occurs.

The Winterthur legal protection insurance company is founded in 1978, In 1988, the acquisition of Neuchâtel Insurance Group, at the Winterthur owned since 1929 and 1990, the investments Winterthur Financial Services AG ( WFS) is founded.

The steadily growing Winterthur Group began in 1996 a cooperation with Credit Suisse Group (CSG ), then under the leadership of Peter Spälti, the joint venture Winterthur Columna was born. The collaboration is a merger of Winterthur Group and the CSG, which, similar to the proposed alliance, the conversion to a bancassurance group was in 1997. When taking over the Winterthur rated 12.5 billion Swiss francs.

During the year 1998, the now partially duplicate insurance companies were consolidated within CSG. The new CSG business unit Credit Suisse Financial Services was formed in 2000 and included in future the divisions Winterthur Insurance and Winterthur Life. As part of the consolidation, other business units were merged. Among other things, the property division of Winterthur was founded in 1999 merged with the real estate asset management activities of Credit Suisse and it founded the Wincasa AG as a wholly owned subsidiary of Credit Suisse Group.

As part of a change in strategy in 2004, the CSG scaled back the Winterthur to pure financial investment and put a sale or IPO in prospect. Thus the idea of ​​bancassurance group was abandoned. After no buyer was found who was willing to meet the price expectations of the CSG, the activities for an IPO were promoted. End of March 2006, the Swiss insurance group was led in the balance sheet of the bank at 9.4 billion Swiss francs.

Mid-March 2006 sold the Winterthur Group pooled their branded Wincare health insurance business in Switzerland as well as their individual health and personal accident insurance business at the Sanitas health insurance.

On 14 June 2006 Winterthur and AXA announced the complete takeover of the Swiss insurance company for a price of 7.9 billion euros ( 12.3 billion CHF ). The foreign activities of Winterthur were dissolved in the Axa Group. The Swiss parent company of Winterthur was merged with the former Swiss subsidiary of Axa and the end of March renamed AXA Insurance Ltd, 2008. Under the brand Axa Winterthur, it covers today for the Axa Group from the Swiss market.


In its last fiscal year prior to its resolution of Winterthur Group employed nearly 19,000 employees, including 4,700 in Germany, and achieved a premium volume of 27.3 billion Swiss francs.



The Winterthur Group was active in several countries, with a focus in Europe was. In Europe, offices found along with Switzerland in Germany, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the UK. Another focus was on Eastern Europe ( in the pension fund business ) with offices in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary. Outside of Europe, the company operated in the United States, Bermuda, and in Asia in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Indonesia.

DBV -Winterthur

An important subsidiary was the DBV- Winterthur Holding in Germany, which is integrated into Axa since 2006.