COLUMBUS, Ohio, Feb. 28, 2022 /PRNewswire/ –Nationwide—one of the largest and most diversified insurance and financial services companies in the United States—reported 2021 earnings results today that were the strongest in the Fortune 100 company’s history. These results were achieved all while paying more than $18 billion in claims and benefits payments to its members in a year marked by catastrophic storms, wildfires and continued economic disruption from the ongoing pandemic.
As the company continues to accelerate strategy execution, it is prioritizing capital deployment for focused growth in financial services, commercial lines and excess & surplus/specialty markets in 2022.
Total sales for the Columbus-based mutual insurance and financial services company were $52.9 billion, up nearly $6.3 billion over 2020. Nationwide’s key measure of profitability—net operating income—was $2.8 billion. Total adjusted capital grew to $21.9 billion in 2021, up from $21 billion in 2020.
“These are outstanding, record-breaking results. Despite the uncertainties in 2021, we exceeded $50 billion in total sales and premium for the first time in our company’s history. It’s all evidence of a solid strategy at work,” said Nationwide Chief Executive Officer Kirt Walker. “The past year brought unique challenges for us all, but Nationwide emerged strong and stable by leaning into a focused strategy and doing what we’ve done since 1926 — providing protection and reassurance to our customers and partners.”
The details were outlined in the company’s 2021 Annual Report published online today, providing highlights from the past 12 months.
“Top-line results were driven by strong growth across both our financial services and property and casualty businesses,” said Nationwide Chief Financial Officer Tim Frommeyer. “This year’s record earnings were generated by favorable investment income and fee income from the strong equity market rebound, as well as sound business fundamentals across the enterprise. In financial services, full-year sales set new records for each of our business segments. Notably, the sales favorability was led by our suite of variable annuity products, which offer members income security, growth potential and a way to fill income gaps in retirement. Property and casualty underwriting performance improved despite the continuing impact of inflation on standard auto claims.”
Among key business, customer and community impact highlights:
- The company’s financial services businesses have become a significant driver of Nationwide’s overall performance, with record top-line sales and bottom-line earnings representing more than half of Nationwide’s growth and profitability.
- Nationwide’s annuity business had a record year and was a large driver of 2021 enterprise performance — providing a popular solution for savers looking to guarantee lifetime income they can’t outlive. The company was well-positioned to provide innovative annuity-based solutions that aligned with customers’ risk appetite and older savers’ desire to lock in gains from the market recovery. This included its first Registered Index-Linked Annuity, Defined Protection Annuity, which provides even more security for retirement income and protection of market gains.
- Nationwide’s leading telematics products continue to be popular with consumers with nearly a third of all new customers enrolling in SmartRide and SmartMiles. Drivers can earn up to 40 percent in discounts for safe driving. In 2021, Nationwide also incorporated coaching and feedback for drivers resulting in a 10 percent decrease in distracted driving for users.
- Strategic partnerships continue to be a priority for Nationwide, as the company successfully expanded distribution with one of the country’s largest and most recognized broker dealer firms to provide annuity and life insurance solution to its advisors, financial professionals and customers.
- The company accelerated its growth and profitability through several recent joint ventures in P&C including Geneva Re, a partnership with Ryan Specialty Group to provide reinsurance solutions to complex insurance markets, and N2G, a partnership with Italian insurer Generali to serve customers with international insurance needs.
- Nationwide also announced new partnerships with Walmart and Sam’s Club, as well as sponsorship of the National Women’s Soccer League.
- The company continued to grow its venture capital investments, expanding the portfolio to over 30 companies while increasing total capital capacity to $350M. Key investments included Beam Dental, Fortellix and Insurify.
- To address the mental health and addiction challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic, Nationwide spearheaded a new education campaign in partnership with the Ohio Opioid Education Alliance and RecoveryOhio. The well-received new campaign, called Beat the Stigma, is focused on changing perceptions about the stigma surrounding mental health issues and addiction. The campaign, funded by the state of Ohio and corporate philanthropy, was brought to life by the same creatives who produced Nationwide’s national advertising campaigns.
- Nationwide continues to position itself as a desired destination for top talent. In 2021 the company continued to implement a hybrid work model to respond to employee desire for increased flexibility in where and how they do their work. Fifty percent of Nationwide’s workforce is now permanently remote, with 40 percent operating in a hybrid format and approximately 10 percent of roles permanently working in the office. The company also leads with competitive compensation and an award-winning culture.
- Nationwide’s Financial Alliance Racial Equity (FARE) partnership continued to grow in 2021. The initiative was created in 2020 to bring together financial services firms, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other industry partners to increase racial diversity, drive greater equity and foster inclusion within the financial services industry and the communities we serve. The company recruited and hired its first FARE participant and added firm partners. The program has received several industry awards, including top honors for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the Wealth Management Industry Awards, the Diversity Champion Award from Investment News and the ThinkAdvisor Luminaries Award for Diversity & Inclusion. A scholarship component for HBCU students and financial professionals is set to launch in 2022.
“Our enterprise performance certainly deserves to be celebrated in a year that challenged so many,” Frommeyer added. “Our results provide a strong foundation for what we plan to accomplish in 2022 and beyond. The combination of our sound strategy, disciplined planning and execution, and talented associates will set us up to compete well for customers and partners in each of our diverse businesses.”
Walker echoed that sentiment, expressing optimism about the opportunity for Nationwide to grow in the coming year. The company currently employs approximately 25,000 associates across the country and had nearly 1,400 open roles as of February 1, 2022. Many of the jobs are early-career technology positions. The others include service center-based sales and customer service jobs along with claims, underwriting, data & analytics and finance positions. Many of the open roles are hybrid/remote eligible.
“There’s so much to be excited about at Nationwide,” Walker concluded. “We’re looking forward to what we’ll be able to achieve in 2022 and beyond. We have a strong mission, vision, strategy and culture, and incredible opportunities for continued growth across our uniquely diversified portfolio.”
Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities, mutual funds and ETFs; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; and pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow the firm on Facebook and Twitter.
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