Sentry Insurance | 2015 Annual Report | ON SMART, STEADY GROWTH—AND SEIZING NEW OPPORTUNITIES
 
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A message from
Pete McPartland


I am pleased to present to you
Sentry’s 2015 Annual Report.

2015 was a terrific year for Sentry, one in which we thrived financially while staying true to our beliefs and values as a mutual company with 112 years of history. These include running the company conservatively; treating customers, claimants, employed associates, and retirees well; and giving back to the community. Our financial results reflected our ability to grow, expand into new businesses effectively, and manage the company’s business profitability while continuing to strengthen our ability to meet commitments to our claimants, retirees, current associates, and the community. All but one of our business areas grew. Each was profitable. Our premium and premium equivalents grew strongly, to $3.3 billion, due to strong growth of our mature businesses, continued acquisition, and new organic initiative growth. Cash and invested assets grew a half billion dollars to nearly $10.6 billion. Our surplus grew $264 million to $4.4 billion. Sentry remains one of the best-capitalized insurance companies in the industry. A.M. Best recognized that by awarding Sentry an A+ (Superior) rating for the 24th consecutive year.

Our strong financial showing in 2015 was enhanced by the fact that we are starting to harvest the half billion dollar investment in technology that began six years ago. We are finalizing the replacement of all major systems with new platforms that enable us to make faster, better decisions, utilize data and analytics more effectively, and improve our customers’ and agents’ experience. Our confidence in our ability to build and effectively deploy new technology is also behind our decision to expand our market presence in the independent agency commercial insurance market, a story you can read more about in Expanding through the Independent Agent on page 8.

Sentry is a mutual company with strong vitality, a big heart, and the resources to invest in the betterment of our communities. The Sentry Foundation contributes to worthwhile causes in Central Wisconsin and other areas of the country where our offices are located. Sentry associates give of their time and their money, with the Foundation matching their contributions to several designated charities. Learn more in Giving with a Purpose on page 16.

This year’s annual report updates a story from the previous year: the rebirth of the newly reimagined SentryWorld, the golf, recreation, dining, and special events complex adjacent to our Stevens Point headquarters. In 2015, SentryWorld completed its first full year of operation after a major renovation. I am proud to report that SentryWorld is delighting both local citizens and out-of-town visitors, as well as Sentry associates and retirees, and has earned the accolades of golf, restaurant, and travel writers. In the redesign of SentryWorld, we wanted a facility that would benefit the Sentry community and beyond, enhancing the quality of life in Central Wisconsin and giving visitors a special experience during their time here. It has succeeded on all counts.

Other stories in this year’s annual report include features on our affiliation with Florists’ Mutual Insurance Company, our dedication to helping our associates reach their full potential, and a profile of our Government Affairs team. Each of these articles is part of the overall great story of Sentry Insurance. I want to thank our policyholders, associates, and retirees for making Sentry what it is today.

We promise to continue to earn your trust and confidence.

Pete McPartland
Sentry Insurance
Chairman of the Board, President and CEO
Reaching New Markets Adding Flower Power Building Community
Giving with Purpose Developing Talent Advocating Good Government
 
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Expanding Through the Regional Independent Agent—New Distribution Channel Provides Exciting Growth Opportunities
Sentry has expanded over the last two years into an exciting growth area, the independent agent commercial insurance business. It started with the acquisition of Anchor Managing General Agency (now the base for Sentry’s Southeast region in Montgomery, Alabama) in 2014 and continued in 2015 with two new offices in Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin (Sentry’s Midwest region). Let’s take a closer look at our new Regional business unit.

(Read the full story)
Focused on the Horticultural Industry—Florists’ Mutual Affiliation
Adds Flower Power
In 2015, Sentry was pleased to announce that Florists’ Mutual, a 129-year-old mutual company now known as Hortica, decided to affiliate with Sentry. The affiliation agreement combined the two organizations, making Hortica part of Sentry.

(Read the full story)
A Vision in Action—SentryWorld Soars as a Community Resource
One year after fully reopening following a complete renovation, SentryWorld has returned to its roots enhancing the quality of life in Stevens Point—honoring its creator’s original intent and reaffirming Sentry’s commitment to the community. A closer look shows how it’s happening.

(Read the full story)
Giving with a Purpose—and a Million-dollar Milestone
In 2015, Sentry associates in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, conducted the first million-dollar corporate campaign for the United Way of Portage County, accounting for more than a third of its fundraising goal. Associates around the country raised nearly a quarter million dollars more for their own local United Way chapters. The annual United Way campaign is just one example of how Sentry and its associates take being a good corporate citizen seriously. Let’s take a closer look at where some of the money goes and what it does in our communities.

(Read the full story)
Investing in People—the Value of Homegrown Talent
A successful company is often one that can maximize the potential of its people at all levels, in every role. Sentry puts a priority on finding hidden talents. We invest in developing special skills—and in fitting people with unique qualities to unique roles. Both they and the company benefit when potential is maximized, resulting in rewarding, satisfying careers.

Take, for example, Jacki Podoll. She started out answering phones in customer service. Today, she manages the needs of some of Sentry’s largest, most sophisticated customers. A closer look at Jacki’s career at Sentry exhibits how seriously we take investing in our people.

(Read the full story)
Involved in Public Policy—Government Affairs Team Supports Company, Customers, and the Bottom Line
Sentry’s dedicated Government Affairs department keeps a keen eye on insurance issues and works tirelessly to lobby on our behalf. Let’s take a closer look at this lesser-known part of Sentry.

(Read the full story)
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