During the past year, we raised our national profile while maintaining a laser-like focus on serving our members. It’s not an exaggeration to say we’ve entered a new era for the company and for the members we serve.
Recognizing that our On Your Side® promise is one of our strongest assets, in 2014 we realigned as one company under the Nationwide brand. While we historically reaped the benefits of going to market under many brands, including Allied, Harleysville and Scottsdale, we know that now is the right time to bring them together. With this transition, the comprehensive solutions that Nationwide offers to members and partners in all 50 states are becoming visible to all.
Building on a solid foundation
Of course, this didn’t happen overnight. Over the years, we thoughtfully evolved our company. This journey took us from being known for providing auto insurance to rural members, to expanding our business into a full suite of financial services, personal and commercial lines products.
This ongoing evolution continues our quest to serve member needs. We established a bank, expanded our offerings and completed a thoughtful integration of several strategic acquisitions. While staying true to our beginnings, we’ve been successful because we’ve been flexible and responsive to changing member and societal needs. The business expertise and cultural legacies that served as our building blocks have become even more integral to who we are.
Today, our footprint stretches from coast to coast, and our customers can interact with us however and whenever they wish. We’ve grown from a small local mutual into a Fortune® 100 company, yet we’ve continued the tradition of being a place where people can come to make a difference for those we serve. We’ve adapted, and we’ve flourished.
Strong performance across our product lines
In 2014, the Nationwide team introduced new products and services that address the challenges consumers are facing today and continued to work together with our partners to better serve our members. Everything we have accomplished wouldn’t have been possible without sound business fundamentals and strong financial performance.
Our financial results were solid and our core performance remained strong in both our financial services and property and casualty businesses. Continued growth helped offset the financial impact of unusually severe storms in the first half of the year. We remained focused on profitable growth, disciplined expense management and capital efficiency.
While our personal lines property and casualty products have been the foundation of our business, many don’t realize that financial services and commercial lines growth now leads much of our success.
In 2014, Nationwide’s individual life sales grew to $1.5 billion, moving to No. 9 in the overall market and making it the eighth product in our financial services portfolio that is in the top 10 in the country. Additionally, retail mutual fund sales topped $1 billion, driven by the performance of the HighMark funds acquired last year. Nationwide also remains the top provider of corporate-owned life insurance.
Additionally, Nationwide’s commercial lines business continues to increase and has been bolstered by standard commercial, excess and surplus and farmowners, where we are the No. 8, No. 2 and No. 1 carrier, respectively.
An eye on the future
As our business thrives, we continue to focus on what will be needed in the future. Nationwide’s strengths as a company — how we leverage the diversity of our portfolio, our mutual heritage and the depth of our relationships — will serve us well in the coming years.
By moving forward as One Nationwide, the company is better positioned to leverage our most powerful attributes to deliver a more seamless experience to our members and business partners.
That experience also translates to the difference we make in our communities. Nationwide leverages our resources well beyond the products and services we provide. We have a long history of helping families prevent accidents in and around the home. And now, we are broadening our efforts to shine a spotlight on children’s safety to help reduce preventable injuries, the No. 1 cause of child death in the United States. To us, that’s what it means to be More Than a Business®.
The improvements we made in 2014 will transform Nationwide in exciting ways and reinforce to our members and partners that we are in this together. It is, indeed, a new day for Nationwide. Yet in the final analysis, our mission remains the same: to help our members plan for the future and protect what matters most.
Chief Executive Officer