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The History of the Wüstenrot & Württembergische-Group

The Wüstenrot & Württembergische Group (W&W) looks back on a long history and together these two strong brands constitute some 190 years of tradition.

2016: W&W AG to be listed on the SDAX

Effective 21 March 2016, Wüstenrot & Württembergische AG (W&W AG) is listed by Deutsche Börse AG on the SDAX. With a free-float market capitalisation of approximately EUR 360 million and a monthly order book volume of more than EUR 26 million, W&W AG joins the large stocks in the SDAX.

2015: Record profit of W&W-Group

In 2015, the Wüstenrot & Württembergische Group (W&W) posted the highest profit in the company’s history, according to final figures, which came in at EUR 274,3 million (previous year: EUR 242,0 million). The strongest profit driver in 2015 was property and casualty insurance, with favourable claims development over the whole year. Wüstenrot reached strong new business figures in construction finance and thus consolidated its position as no 2 among private Bausparkassen in Germany.

2011: Founding of the W&W Produktion GmbH

Since March 2011, the W&W Produktion GmbH has supported various companies in the group in administrative processing. Located in Berlin, members of staff ensure that despite increasing numbers of customers, service remains efficient and service orientated.

2009: The W&W Group continues to grow

In 2009 the W&W Service GmbH is founded and is the central service provider of the Wüstenrot and Württembergische Group.

In the same year, Wüstenrot took over the Victoria Vereinsbank Bauspar AG. Customer service is provided by staff in our office in Munich. A year later Wüstenrot took over the Allianz Dresdner Bauspar AG in Bad Vilbel near Frankfurt to continue strengthening the sales force.

2008: Unified brand image

After 9 years successful business operations between Wüstenrot and Württembergische it was time for a unified brand image and since February 2008 the red W&W cube represents a combined culture and unites the two traditional brands.

2006: Modernisation of W&W commences

In a response to market changes the W&W Group introduced a programme for modernisation as a reaction to changes in the market and its competitors and changing customer needs and demands. This applies also to the measures for cost reduction and restructuring of the product range by the Chairman of the Management Board Dr Alexander Erdland.

2005: Karlsruher Lebensversicherung AG becomes part of the W&W Group

In October 2005 the Württembergische Versicherung joined forces with the Karlsruher Versicherungsgruppe. Since then the Karlsruher Lebensversicherung is part of the W&W Group.

In the same year, the Wüstenrot Hypothekenbank AG and the Wüstenrot Bank merged to become the Wüstenrot Bank AG Pfandbriefbank.

2002: Founding of W&W Information Technology GmbH

A merger of the IT departments of the W&W Group enabled the founding of W&W Informatik GmbH. The company is the central service provider of the group in the business sector IT and develops and operates all IT applications in the W&W Group to include networks, decentralized systems, architecture and computer centres. Loading a website took approximately 12 seconds in 2002. The average internet use was 46 minutes a day and for today’s standards certainly unconceivable.

2001: Merger with the Leonberger Bausparkasse AG

In 2001 the Wüstenrot Bausparkasse AG merged with the Leonberger Bausparkasse AG. The Württembergischen Versicherungsgruppe has held a majority interest in the company since 1974.

1999: Foundation of the W&W Group

2000 – At the turn of the century the whole world is celebrating a new era. Just a year before, a new era also began for Wüstenrot und Württembergische with a merger of the two long-standing companies to create the Wüstenrot & Württembergische Group (W&W).

To enable an expansion of the range of financial products in the business sector of investment, the W&W Asset Management GmbH is founded in the same year and is also responsible for the administration of W&W Group capital.

1996: Opening of the Bauspar Museum (Wüstenrot Home Loan and Savings Museum) in the town of Wüstenrot in the south of Germany.

The museum is housed in the former home of the creator of the home loan savings plan and company founder Georg Kropp in the small town of Wüstenrot in south Germany. Both living and dining room on the first floor served as the first administrative office of the „Gemeinschaft der Freunde“ (GdF, Association of Friends). In other rooms of the small semi-detached house you can find exhibits of the early days of the German home loan savings plan and its further development after the Second World War.

1991: Founding of the Württembergische Versicherungsgruppe

The Württembergische Feuerversicherung and the Allgemeine Rentenanstalt merge enabling the foundation of the Württembergische Versicherung AG and the Württembergische Lebensversicherung AG.

A year later, the first company advertisements were broadcast on national television with the slogan „Der Fels in der Brandung“ (A Rock in the Waves). This has remained the slogan of the company to the present day.

1990: Establishment of the Wüstenrot Foundation

The Wüstenrot Foundation emerged from of the „Gemeinschaft der Freunde“, (Association of Friends), the founders and supporters of the first German Home Loan and Savings Bank. The Wüstenrot Foundation is a major stakeholder of the Wüstenrot & Württembergische AG under the Wüstenrot Holding AG.

Following the fall of the Berlin wall, business operations in the east of Germany commenced. Under the slogan “Kraftakt in Kraftfahrt” (mobile tour de force) office and field sales agents of the company took to the east of Germany in a fleet of campervans. In just eight weeks they sold some 127,000 policies. Wüstenrot also carried out an advertising campaign for the innovative concept of the home loan and savings plan in the east of Germany.

1974: Kooperation mit der Leonberger Bausparkasse Business Partnership

The Württembergische Feuerversicherung and the Allgemeine Rentenanstalt begin their cooperation together with the Leonberger Bausparkasse AG. A cube design represents the concentrated strength of the three companies.

1971: Founding of the Württembergischen Rechtsschutzversicherung

The Württembergische Versicherung expands further: Founding of the Württembergische Rechtsschutzversicherung.

1950er Jahre: The Insurance Boom

The so-called economic miracle years were characterised by a spirit of optimism, numerous inventions and innovative technology and associated new risks in the economy, on the road and in households led to an economic boom in the insurance industry.

1949: Founding of Hausbau Wüstenrot

A major consequence of the war was the residential apartment market. Many families lived in cramped conditions in the few remaining intact apartments as many were simply glad to have a roof over their heads. It was therefore of utmost priority to create living space. With the aim to actively contribute to a solution, the Association of Friends, the first private home and loan savings bank founded the non-profit organization Wüstenrot House Building. The first apartments were built in 1949 as privately owned apartments and were the forerunners of the millions of apartments later built and known as “Eigentumswohnungen” (condominiums). The photograph shows the construction of apartment houses in 1952.

After a merger with Wüstenrot Städtebau- und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH in 2001, the company operated under the name Wüstenrot Haus- und Städtebau GmbH.

1930: Relocation to Ludwigsburg

Overcrowded offices in the former company headquarters in Wüstenrot and challenges such as the lack of living space in and around the Waldorf area, the difficulties of public transport and post services increased. The management and supervisory boards of the meanwhile non-profit Bausparkasse decide to relocate. The Bausparkasse is soon to become the biggest and economically strongest enterprise in Ludwigsburg. To commemorate its company origins in Wüstenrot, now the epitome of home and loan saving, the company incorporates the name and trades for many years under the name „Bausparkasse GdF Wüstenrot“ (Home and Loan Savings Bank GdF Wüstenrot).

1924: The first Building Savings Contract and first edition of the Company Magazine „Mein Eigenheim“ (My Home)

Founded in 1924, the Wüstenrot Bausparkasse issues its very first home and loan savings contract to the Railway Chief Inspector Johannes Rau from Heidenheim. The procedure for the allocation of funds for building by the GdF Wüstenrot was unique in the first few years. Whenever there were enough funds, a random selection, via a drawing of lots, led to the allocation of funds for a home loan saver’s first house. This procedure was first implemented during a conference of local priests on 29 July in 1925 and the first 362,000 Reichsmark were distributed among home loan savers.

1921: Founding of the „Gemeinschaft der Freunde“ (Association of Friends)

The Association of Friends, predecessor of the Wüstenrot Bausparkasse, was initially founded on the initiative of Georg Kropp with headquarters located in the small town of Wüstenrot in the State of Württemberg. His aim was to create an association on a purely non-profit basis and in accordance with land reform regulations to create new opportunities for home building and retirement homes for the general public. To Georg Kropp, home saving was much more than a good business idea as he genuinely wanted to help people from middle and lower classes to prosperity, financial security and a healthy life in their own homes.

1906: New offices at the Feuersee in Stuttgart

Offices became too small for the administration of some 200,000 insurance policies in the Paulinen Straße in Stuttgart. The meanwhile newly-named company Württembergische Feuerversicherung therefore moved to the new administration building at the Feuersee in the west of Stuttgart and has remained company headquarters to the present day.

1833: Founding of the „Allgemeinen Renten-Anstalt zu Stuttgart“

At the end of May in 1833 the Royal Wuerttemberg State Government approved statues for a General Pension Fund in Stuttgart. This was the first company in Germany to do business in the field of life and pension insurance (annuity assurance business). Two years later, Friedrich Scholl founded a pension fund in Karlsruhe which later became the Karlsruher Lebensversicherung.

1828: Founding of the Württembergische Privat-Feuer-Versicherungs-Gesellschaft (Private Fire Protection Insurance Company Wuerttemberg).

By the beginning of the 19th century it was possible to insure moveable property however only with companies outside the state of Wuerttemberg. The 29 year old George Wechsler and owner of a tobacco trading company therefore called for the founding of a goods, furniture and fire insurance company in Wuerttemberg. Three years later the Württembergische Privat-Feuer-Versicherungs-Gesellschaft“ and the first private property insurance company in south Germany, opened for business. In the first 5 years 5000 policies were issued and more and more homes carried the symbol of the company: two red hands entwined on a black background symbolising the nature of the mutual association.

A previously agreed minimum insurance sum was later remitted to enable the poorer sectors of the population to insure their property making it the only company offering fire protection insurance to all sectors of the population under the same terms and conditions.