1st January 1988: Creation of APRIL
APRIL was founded by Bruno Rousset and based initially in the Rue Maurice Flandin in Lyon. Rousset was zealous about “Changing the image of insurance”. He was intent on making insurance services clearer and more accessible, making the client the focus of the organisation.
APRIL, a wholesale insurance broker, was born. It offered a range of solutions intended for a network of independent distributors, brokers and general insurance agents.
1996: Creation of AGLAE, its first subsidiary and the birth of a Group
In 1996, APRIL created its third-party management business, which became Aglaé in 1998.
APRIL would be renamed APRIL Assurances and then, more recently, APRIL Santé Prévoyance. APRIL’s original business is personal insurance, distributed through a network of independent brokers.
From 1997 onwards, APRIL expanded through acquisitions, adding insurance to its original wholesale brokerage model, diversifying its product range (group, as well as individual, health & personal protection) and set up a network organisation.
First acquisitions: on 30 December 1997, a 65% stake in CPA VIE (later to be re-named Axéria), a personal protection insurance company. The deal was made in partnership with CARDIF, which held a 35% interest. On 1st January 1998, CPA VIE took over part of APRIL’s personal protection portfolio. The purpose of the acquisition was to make APRIL more independent from the insurance companies covering the risk on APRIL products and to step up the pace of management and decision-making.
On 8 September 1998, APRIL acquired a 100% stake in CETIM, which specialises in group health and personal protection insurance under a private label. This deal helped the Group ramp up its third-party management business and rounded out its skills in key account management.
14 April 1997: First certification for APRIL and development of its “Quality” policy
APRIL has always considered client quality and satisfaction to be top priorities.
In April 1997, APRIL and its subsidiary Aglaé were the first two insurance service companies to be awarded ISO 9001 certification. This provided them with the most comprehensive quality standard, encompassing both product design and personal insurance policy management (for instance, 24-hour claims handling).
1997 was also a key year, with several awards heralding APRIL’s service quality, including Téléphone d’Or for the best telephone service, Prix Qualité Rhône-Alpes awarded by the Mouvement Français pour la Qualité sponsored by the Ministry for Industry and Prix de la Satisfaction Clients awarded by Arthur Andersen Management.
23 October 1997 – Initial public offering
On 23 October 1997, APRIL was listed on the Second Marché of the Paris Stock Exchange. The initial public offering was a resounding success, with the share oversubscribed by a factor of 11.6, i.e. 6,718,458 shares requested with an order-fill ratio of 3.74% to 25% depending on the number of shares subscribed.
Since the IPO in 1997, APRIL’s management has prided itself on devoting special care to individual shareholders and investors and keeping to its commitments, with a top-level economic performance. APRIL has notably undertaken to pay out at least 25% of its net profit in the form of dividends.
1999 - Creation of APRIL S.p.A, the first European subsidiary
The 2000s were the years of European expansion. This growth was made possible by focusing on insurance niches and an organisation based on a business-line approach. The objective is to support the development of new lines, such as property and casualty insurance for individuals and companies and life insurance by tapping the entrepreneur network's capacity for innovation, the Group's true source of cultural distinction within its industry.
First new company outside France: APRIL S.p.A, the Milan-based Italian subsidiary, which designs and manages personal insurance policies. It was followed by startups in Spain and Germany and acquisitions in the United Kingdom and Canada.
2000 - Creation of Avandia, first steps in Property & Casualty
End-1999, APRIL created Avandia, a company dedicated to designing and managing property and casualty insurance policies. Avandia successfully started commercial operations, with car insurance in the first half of 2000, followed by home insurance.
2003: New logo for the Group
In order to highlight its changing structure, APRIL adopted a new logo.
AIPS was the first subsidiary to assume the APRIL brand and was renamed APRIL Mobilité.
2007: Distribution becomes “multi-channel”
Distribution evolved into “multi-channel”. APRIL still distributed through its long-standing network of brokers and general insurance agents, but developed a whole network of directly-operated boutiques (APRIL Santé and APRIL Mon Assurance), relying on a promising distribution channel: the Internet.
January 2008: APRIL celebrates its 20th anniversary
On 6 June 2008, APRIL celebrated its 20th anniversary! For this occasion, it hosted a unique event at the Cité Internationale in Lyon, convening 1,700 people from 65 companies and 10 different countries.
2008: APRIL goes international
In 2008, in a bid to export its business model and expertise outside France, APRIL created a division dedicated solely to foreign subsidiaries: APRIL International.
1st November 2008: APRIL acquired a 66% stake in the insurance company CORIS International, with operations in more than 20 countries in Western and Eastern Europe, North Africa and Asia.
Two years later, it completed its global footprint with the acquisition of the remaining shares of Coris International.
1st January 2010: APRIL rolls out the “Convergence” project
In 2010, APRIL decided to streamline its structure and buttress its position as a multi-line insurer. The Group embarked on a “Convergence” strategy that was completed end-2012. The strategy was based on three areas:
- refocusing its activities on APRIL’s core business: brokerage in health, personal protection, and property and casualty so as to strengthen its expertise;
- combining small entities with complementary skills to make the most effective use of resources and consolidate their business;
- capitalise on a single brand, APRIL, and a new slogan, “L’assurance n’est plus ce qu’elle était”, or “Changing the face of insurance”, to increase brand awareness and support the sales strategy.
To provider greater transparency by segmenting its businesses,, the Group now has four major brands for different types of clients:
- APRIL for individuals,
- APRIL Entreprise for self-employed professionals, companies/key accounts and public authorities,
- APRIL Courtage for distributor partners,
- APRIL International for solutions outside France.
2011: Changing the image of insurance by simplifying the customers’ lives
Since its beginning, APRIL has stood by its ambition to change the image of insurance. In 2011, the company has reinforced its brand management strategy. A brand promise that translates into a strong commitment for everyone at APRIL. APRIL aims to change the image of insurance by simplifying its customers’ lives.
Other milestones: the launch www.april.fr: an e-commerce website. An online communication campaign focused on the APRIL brand was launched in November 2011, to increase brand awareness and recognition.