Securing our shared future
Communities prosper when people and organizations demonstrate resilience in the face of challenges and confidence in achieving the future they envision. At American Financial Group (AFG), we seek to instill that sense of assurance and greater possibilities—not only with our insurance and annuity products, but also by acting as a responsible corporate citizen.
In 1959, Carl H. Lindner Jr. founded AFG to help customers secure their futures and protect what matters most to them. Mr. Lindner believed in investing AFG’s resources to make a positive difference beyond our core business. Today, the Lindner family’s legacy of service is ingrained in our Company values and realized through our corporate responsibility (CR) and sustainability initiatives.
Creating long-term value for our investors is our highest business objective, and we’re committed to doing so in a responsible and sustainable manner. This commitment starts with recognizing that many of our business decisions affect people and organizations in the larger community. Our Board of Directors and senior leaders embrace external perspectives as part of making informed decisions to keep our business viable.
We sustain AFG’s business success by effectively managing risk—financial, social, environmental—to help create stability for our customers and deliver value to our shareholders.
We focus our CR and sustainability strategies in four primary areas where AFG can achieve the most direct and substantial results:
- Operating our business with integrity and managing financial risk
- Giving back to our communities and promoting social opportunity
- Creating a welcoming, rewarding and safe place to work and build a career
- Managing environmental risk and operating sustainably
These actions help us run our business more effectively, enhance our products, protect our customers, serve our communities and support our 8,100+ employees in over 120 locations worldwide.
Operating our business with integrity and managing financial risk
Integrity and trust aren’t merely desirable in our industry—they’re critical to maintaining the stability and longevity that our customers and other stakeholders expect. We value our reputation as an ethical company and work to ensure that people at all levels of AFG understand their role in upholding it. Our Code of Ethics guides our employees in avoiding potential conflicts and making decisions that are ethical as well as aligned with AFG’s values. All U.S.-based employees participate in an annual Conflict of Interest certification and acknowledgment to ensure they understand and adhere to our Code of Ethics.
Our financial risk framework
We maintain a rigorous Enterprise Risk Management process with input from senior leaders across operations, finance, accounting, human resources, information technology, legal, compliance, information security and other areas. In addition, our Enterprise Information Security Group educates all employees and business leaders about the importance of data stewardship and cybersecurity in protecting our information assets and reducing risks.
U.S.-based employees who are required to participate in annual conflict-of-interest and information security training
Number of courses offered to employees that are focused on principle-centered leadership and integrity
Employees who receive education on security awareness strategies throughout the year to help keep them safe both at work and at home
As stewards of information assets, we prioritize the protection of information technology, computer systems, corporate data, email communications, applications, software and other elements of AFG information and technology assets. In 2014, AFG established its Enterprise Information Security Group to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the Company’s enterprise information assets. This group operates independently from our Information Technology Group, and AFG’s Board of Directors and senior management oversee the program.
We build measures into the design, implementation and day-to-day practices of our technology environment as a part of our ongoing commitment to risk management.
We use a variety of techniques including:
- Processes and technology designed to conform with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity framework
- SSL (TLS) encryption, providing the top tier of security
- Information technology controls governed by Sarbanes-Oxley, subject to regular compliance audits
- Company laptops and desktops that utilize full-disk encryption
- Annual security awareness training and routinely scheduled educational programming
- Regular scanning of external websites and internal applications
- User protections including stringent password requirements, two-factor authentication and timed logoffs
- Regular phishing testing of all employees and additional cybersecurity training for those employees who fall victim to the tests
- A dedicated team of cybersecurity professionals who are regularly trained on best practices for combatting advanced cyber threats
- A comprehensive incident response team involving the AFG Information Technology group and key business departments, in addition to a dedicated team of cybersecurity professionals
At AFG, protecting the Company from cybercrime is part of our culture. Through our Protect Us. Protect You. Program, we emphasize education and awareness. All employees receive education about security awareness strategies throughout the year to help keep them safe both at work and at home. They also participate in cybersecurity awareness training annually.
We ask each employee to pledge to protect our information assets by:
- Increasing their awareness of the types of Company information they use each day and responsible ways to manage that information
- Learning more about how to protect Company information they use as part of their job
- Using what they learn through the Protect Us. Protect You. Program to improve the security of Company information
- Following important policies, processes and guidelines in their work areas, which are designed to help us protect the Company’s information assets
- Learning how to protect their personal digital life and home technology environment
Giving back to our communities and promoting social opportunity
Our founder, Carl H. Lindner Jr., made philanthropy a cornerstone of AFG’s values nearly 60 years ago. We carry on the Lindner family’s example by supporting over 200 organizations that make a difference in the greater Cincinnati area, where our headquarters are located, and around the country.
The Company contributes to a range of educational programs that span kindergarten through college, including outreach to students in low-income and underserved neighborhoods. Company gifts to the University of Cincinnati and its Lindner College of Business have helped to make these institutions a catalyst for innovation and cutting-edge research. The university’s programs have also earned national acclaim in several academic areas.
AFG engages in annual campaigns to promote health and fight disease with non-profit organizations such as the American Heart Association and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. We also work closely with the Lindner Center of Hope, a comprehensive, state-of-the-science mental health center providing patient-centered, scientifically advanced care for individuals suffering from mental illness.
AFG’s leadership giving to the United Way and Freestore Foodbank helps to fund programming that transforms the quality of life for all people in our region, with a focus on self-sufficiency and lasting change. Our Company is also a major supporter of Big Brothers Big Sisters and the YMCA, both of which provide essential programs for children and families.
AFG is a proud sponsor of Cincinnati ArtsWave, which supports more than 100 arts and community organizations in the greater Cincinnati area. The Company also sponsors the historic Cincinnati Ballet along with other efforts to bring art and culture to life through events like BLINK® and the Over the Rhine International Film Festival.
Reflecting our insurance roots, AFG and many of our employees contribute to and volunteer with organizations that provide disaster relief services such as medical care, shelter, food and clothing.
Creating a welcoming, rewarding and safe place to work and build a career
Our 8,100+ employees are AFG’s most important asset. As an employer, our highest goal is for all people in our Company to feel included, respected, safe and empowered to perform at their best. We help propel their success—and ours—by cultivating specialized knowledge, professional education, leadership development and a service-oriented culture.
Consistent with our Purpose, Vision and Values
We respect human rights, appreciate diversity and value the unique perspective each employee brings to the workplace. We operate with integrity and self-discipline in an environment that values clear and open communication and where the importance of family, community and work-life balance are priorities. Read about Our Commitment to ethical behavior, diversity and inclusion, non-discrimination, health and safety, and other important considerations about working for AFG.
When employees feel actively engaged with our mission and strategy, they deliver higher levels of service to our customers and create stronger bottom-line results for our business. We strive to attract diverse and exceptional people who can grow with our Company. We do this by fostering a workplace culture that inspires and rewards people, and by developing a workforce that can meet our Company’s goals today and tomorrow.
This is our framework for investing in employees’ career growth, health and wellness, and financial prosperity.
We offer training programs that encourage people to build careers in insurance and develop professional skills that positively impact our employees’ careers as well as our customers and our business. Tuition reimbursement programs, monetary incentives and a full suite of personal and professional learning opportunities have helped us develop a culture in which learning is valued and rewarded. Professional development is one of many reasons why our average employee tenure exceeds industry averages.
Health and Wellness
As part of managing our business responsibly and supporting our employees to be at their best—away from work as well as on the job—we provide a competitive benefits package that includes an extensive wellness program. We offer onsite fitness centers at many of our locations, financial incentives for taking care of one’s health, and health management programs to increase employees’ engagement with their healthcare providers. We were early adopters of consumer-driven healthcare, and we support employee empowerment with regard to healthcare.
Being a responsible employer and contributing to communities’ economic sustainability includes making sure our employees have the ability and access to achieve their financial goals. We maintain competitive and equitable pay by conducting regular market comparisons. We offer an employee stock purchase program, a retirement savings plan with matching employer contributions, and Company-wide profit-sharing programs. Plus, our employees have access to professional investment and retirement planning advisors to help prepare for their financial future.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the health and well-being of people worldwide. We have taken precautions across our workforce to help protect employees’ health and wellness, while also responding to the needs of our agents, insureds and claimants.
While the global economic impacts of the pandemic may not be known for years to come, AFG is financially strong and well-positioned to respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by COVID-19. Our successful execution of a long-term strategy focused on pricing discipline, profitable growth and prudent capital management enabled us to enter 2020 in the strongest financial position in our Company’s history, with assets exceeding $70 billion and excess capital of $1.1 billion. The Company’s operating model and portfolio of diversified property and casualty insurance and annuity businesses enable us to successfully navigate periods of uncertainty and various economic cycles.
AFG’s long-term investment in the planning, development and testing of business continuity plans enabled us to seamlessly activate these plans during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the onset of the pandemic, our COVID-19 Response Team quickly enacted work-from-home capabilities, alternate work locations and additional remote work options so that our employees continued to work in an uninterrupted manner and our operations remained fully functional. Our COVID-19 Response Team continues to meet frequently to review developments and act in accordance with the guidance provided by governments and relevant public health organizations around the world.
We continue to do our part to help prevent the spread of coronavirus by making decisions that are informed by health officials and government leaders and guided by AFG’s corporate values. We are extremely proud of our employees as they continue to provide outstanding service and support to our agents and policyholders. Our Company has proved we can operate successfully in a work-from-home environment, and we are grateful for our employees’ flexibility, creativity and commitment.
The 2020 AFG COVID-19 Employee Pulse Survey*
Results below highlight how our employees feel about the Company’s handling of the pandemic and what they think about their role and productivity during the COVID-19 situation.
The Company is showing care and concern for employees
I have the information I need to do my job well
My work schedule is flexible enough to allow me to meet my family and personal responsibilities
* Based on the 2020 AFG COVID-19 Employee Pulse Survey conducted by Korn Ferry.
Managing environmental risk and operating sustainably
As an insurance company, we have an inherent interest in managing risk and in helping protect natural resources and addressing the factors that might contribute to global climate change. We are taking steps to reduce our own impact on the environment as well as to create incentives, through AFG’s insurance products and services, for our customers to embrace more sustainable practices.
Managing climate risk is a priority in much of our commercial property and casualty (P&C) insurance underwriting practice. We consider the factors behind climate change and its impact when evaluating new business lines and product offerings. Our P&C businesses seek to reduce their exposure to catastrophes through individual risk selection, including minimizing coastal exposures that could be more directly affected by climate change. We provide services, training and educational information to help customers improve safety, remediate environmentally adverse events, reduce losses and operate more sustainably. Through limiting our exposure to catastrophic risk, helping our insureds manage the risk to their crops posed by uncertain weather conditions, or providing coverage for cleaning up environmental contamination, our Company places management of environmental risk at the core of several of our key operations.
AFG office space that is LEED-certified for energy efficiency and other sustainability features
Tons of paper and cardboard diverted from landfills and recycled in our Cincinnati operations in 2019
Tons of electronic waste diverted from landfills and recycled in 2019
Sustainable facilities and practices:
We recognize that our day-to-day business requirements—such as travel, lighting and technology equipment—have an impact on the environment and the Earth’s resources. We’re working to reduce our electricity and natural gas usage through actions such as constructing or leasing energy-efficient office space—including the first and largest corporate headquarters building in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio, that was designed and built under LEED sustainability guidelines—and upgrading air handlers on our buildings to more efficient technologies. To help reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfill, we designated a division to oversee the recycling of paper and electronics across our locations. We also educate our employees on environmentally friendly practices.
To learn more about how we manage these and other risks, please refer to our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K in the Investor Relations section of AFG’s website, or click here.