2021 was the second year in which the world had to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its profound economic implications, such as low, even negative “risk-free” interest rates, exuberant equity markets, and record levels of new public debt – to name just a few. 2021 was also another year in which we witnessed the rising impact of climate change. In Germany alone, we recorded the biggest flooding losses for the insurance industry in 100 years!
Against this background, your company doubled down on its efforts to grow sustainable value for our customers, our employees and you, our shareholders. And hence, most of our financial performance indicators improved strongly.
Our revenues grew by almost 6 % to 149 bn euros and our operating profit increased by 25 % to 13.4 bn euros. These results were driven by a strong performance across all our businesses. In our Property-Casualty business, we generated solid revenues of 62.3 bn euros and an operating profit of 5.7 bn euros. Moreover, the combined ratio in the business improved by 2.5 percentage points to 93.8 %, despite the significant natural catastrophe losses.
In Life/Health, we grew our operating profit by 15 % to 5 bn euros. The value of new business surged by a strong 45 % to 2.5 bn euros, showing that we excel at generating returns for customers and shareholders at the same time. We have thus been able to free ourselves from the negative effects of the ultra-low interest rate policy in the eurozone.
In Asset Management, we generated an operating profit of € 3.5 bn and our cost-income ratio improved by 2.7 percentage points to 58.4 %. Moreover, total assets under management reached an all-time high of € 2.6 tn by the end of 2021. Third-party inflows at both PIMCO and Allianz Global Investors were very strong at 110.1 bn euros, and were driven by all regions and all asset classes.
But it wasn’t just operating performance that grew strongly, the health of our institution also once again improved.
The loyalty of our customers is reflected in Allianz’s Net Promoter Score (NPSTM), which measures the likelihood of customers recommending Allianz to others. This score has significantly and steadily improved over the last five years. The share of segments outperforming their local market in NPSTM jumped to 84 % – an all-time high. We were once again named the No. 1 global insurance brand by Interbrand. This year, Brand Finance also ranked us as the top globally operating insurance brand and the 30th most valuable brand in the world, giving us a brand strength rating of “extremely strong”.
Going forward, our focus must now be to achieve Loyalty Leadership across our franchise and to harness the corresponding economic benefits systematically. Market-leading customer satisfaction is at the heart of sustainable business success and hence our top-most priority.
The strong commitment towards our employees is also paying off. The results of our latest Allianz employee survey show that we have been able to maintain the trust and commitment of our workforce. Our Inclusive Meritocracy Index remained at an all-time high of 78 %, indicating, that at Allianz, we are fostering a culture in which performance and people play an equally important role. Allianz’s results also defy the market trend in 2021 of a strong decline in employee engagement scores.
Our compelling people scores also reflect our strong engagement in diversity and inclusion, a key to unlocking organizational performance. Women represent almost a third of our Board of Management, and about 30 % of our total operating profit is led by female CEOs. In 2021, Allianz was featured in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index for the sixth year in a row. Moreover, we ranked fifth in the respected Refinitiv Diversity & Inclusion Index in 2021, so we are the only German company in the top 20 and the only insurer in the top 100.
Beyond the strong trajectory in employee motivation, diversity and inclusion, a strong leadership position on other critical ESG topics, especially climate change, has been a top priority for us. Allianz plays a central role in key alliances and public-private partnerships, such as the United Nations-led Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance and the World Economic Forum’s Partnership for New Work Standards. Notably, we reinforced our leadership in sustainability, for example by achieving the highest score in our industry in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for 2021. Furthermore, we have created a dedicated Group Center for ESG, which is responsible for embedding this priority into our core businesses to maximize real-world impact.
Unfortunately, all these successes are not properly reflected in our share price performance in 2021, which yielded a total shareholder return of 8.1 %.
Our 2021 results were impacted by the various proceedings related to the Structured Alpha funds in the United States, which had to be closed following losses suffered in the wake of market disruptions in early 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Allianz decided to book a provision in the financial statements 2021 in anticipation of settlements with major investors in the Structured Alpha Funds, and in light of current discussions with U.S. governmental authorities. This provision reduces the 2021 Group net income by 2.8 bn euros. The settlements address a substantial majority of our Structured Alpha civil litigation exposure and offer fair compensation to investors for their losses.
We look forward to fully resolving this matter for the benefit of all parties, and we are determined to learn all that we can from this incident to be smarter, stronger and better as a company. The effort that we have invested over the past several years in streamlining our products, in strengthening our risk awareness culture and in verticalizing our processes will continue with vigor and consequence – not just at Allianz Global Investors U.S., but also across the entire Allianz Group.
Nevertheless, Allianz’ solidity and value creation power remains strong and keeps growing, as evidenced in our comfortable Solvency II capitalization and our strong Standard & Poor’s AA rating. We have therefore further raised our capital management ambitions through an improved dividend policy, and we are proposing to raise our dividend for 2021 to 10.80 euros per share, an increase of 12.5 %.
For 2022 and beyond, we have delineated a clear strategy at our Capital Markets Day on 3 December 2021. At the core, we believe that we can and will leverage the unique scale of Allianz into even higher value creation for our stakeholders, especially you, our shareholders.
In a world that looks increasingly fragile and challenged to deal with existential threats to our health, environmental, social and economic future, we at Allianz believe that living up to our purpose “We secure your future” is the only way to reinforce the trust that we need to succeed in a sustainable manner.
On behalf of our leadership team and all Allianz employees, we thank you for your trust and ongoing support.