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Societe Generale

The Fortune Global 500 generated $31.2 trillion in revenues and $1.7 trillion in profits in 2014.

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Methodology

Companies are ranked by total revenues for their respective fiscal years ended on or before March 31, 2015. All companies on the list must publish financial data and report part or all of their figures to a government agency. Figures are as reported, and comparisons are with the prior year’s figures as originally reported for that year. Fortune does not restate the prior year’s figures for changes in accounting.

Revenues

Revenue figures include consolidated subsidiaries and reported revenues from discontinued operations, but exclude excise taxes. For banks, revenue is the sum of gross interest income and gross noninterest income. For insurance companies, revenue includes premium and annuity income, investment income, realized capital gains or losses, and other income, but excludes deposits.

Profits

Profits are shown after taxes, extraordinary credits or charges, cumulative effects of accounting changes, and noncontrolling (minority) interests, but before preferred dividends. Figures in parentheses indicate a loss. Profit declines of more than 100% reflect swings from 2013 profits to 2014 losses. Profits for partnerships and cooperatives are reported but are not comparable with those of the other companies on the list because they are not taxed on a comparable basis. Profits for mutual insurance companies are based on statutory accounting. Revenue and profit figures for non-U.S. companies have been converted to U.S. dollars at the average exchange rate during each company’s fiscal year (ended Dec. 31, 2014, unless otherwise noted).

Balance Sheet

Assets shown are those at the company’s fiscal year-end. Stockholders’ equity is the sum of capital stock, paid-in capital, and retained earnings on the same date. Noncontrolling (minority) interest is not included. Figures for non-U.S. companies have been converted to U.S. dollars at the exchange rate at each company’s fiscal year-end.

Employees

The figure shown is either a fiscal year-end or yearly average number, as published by the company. Where the breakdown between full- and part-time employees is supplied, a part-time employee is counted as one half of a full-time employee.

Medians

The medians for profit changes from 2013 do not include companies that lost money in 2013 or lost money in both 2013 and 2014, because no meaningful percentage changes can be calculated in such cases.

Credits

This year’s Fortune Global 500 was prepared under the direction of list editor Scott DeCarlo. Financial statements and annual reports were reviewed by reporter Douglas Elam, accounting specialists Richard Tucksmith and Rhona Altschuler, and markets editor Kathleen Smyth. Reporter Cindy Kano (Tokyo) reviewed and verified figures for Japanese companies. Beijing bureau manager Zhang Dan provided figures for Chinese companies. Fortune’s Business Information Database administrator, Larry Shine, supplied technical support. Edith Fried reviewed and edited nonstatistical information. Researchers Viki Goldman and Kathleen Lyons assisted in data verification using data provided by FactSet Research Systems, Hoover’s, Morningstar Document Research, S&P Capital IQ and Thomson Reuters.

Company profiles were written by Scott Cendrowski, Erika Fry, Stephen Gandel, Ben Geier, Robert Hackett, Matthew Heimer, Tom Huddleston Jr., Beth Kowitt, Adam Lashinsky, Michal Lev-Ram, Laura Lorenzetti, Leena Rao, Daniel Roberts, Geoff Smith, Benjamin Snyder, and Phil Wahba.

The world's 500 largest companies generated $31.2 trillion in revenues and $1.7 trillion in profits in 2014. Together, this year's Fortune Global 500 employ 65 million people worldwide and are represented by 36 countries.

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48.

Assicurazioni Generali

Last year's Rank: 48
Headquarters of Generali Deutschland Holding AG, Cologne, Germany.
Photograph by Daniel Kalker — AP

Europe’s third-largest insurer Assicurazioni Generali is trying to embrace a shift in the insurance industry. Like other European insurers, Generali is being squeezed by low interest rates in its core business, which make it hard on general returns in its bond heavy portfolios. Generali is expanding into asset management and other fee-based businesses to be less reliant on investment income. It plans to invest in venture capital firms that are funding financial tech start-ups. But it is behind rivals like AXA and Allianz, which already have large asset management divisions. Generali still generates 70% of its income from traditional life insurance.

strengths
  • One of Europe’s largest insurers, with a commanding position in the life insurance market.
  • High solvency ratios show the company has a lot of financial strength.
weaknesses
  • Generali is not well diversified. Nearly three-quarters of its revenue comes from life insurance.
  • Its concentration in life insurance makes it more vulnerable than other insurers to low interest rates.
opportunities
threats
  • Continued low interest rates will hold down investment profits.
  • Other insurers are also looking to expand in asset management and other services, where Generali has lagged rivals.

Company Information

CEO Mario Greco
Industry Insurance: Life, Health (stock)
Sector Financials
HQ Location Trieste, Italy
Website http://www.generali.com
Years on List 21

Key Financials (last fiscal year)

($ Millions) % change
Revenues 118871.70 3.2%%
Profits 2215.3 -12.9%%
Assets 606555.40
Employees 78333

Profits as a % of

Profit as % of Revenues 1.9%
Profits as % of Assets 0.4%
Profits as % of Stockholder Equity 7.9%
* Figures prepared in accordance with International Accounting Standards.
* Includes revenues from discontinued operations.
Fortune's Take On Assicurazioni Generali
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