28 November 2017 – La Vanguardia
The insurance company Fiatc is going to give a fresh boost to its nursing home business, with the opening of two new centres, one in Vall Park and the other in the former Sant Josep clinic. Altogether, the firm is going to make an investment amounting to €27 million. Meanwhile, it is also considering growing its business as an operator of buildings built for this purpose.
Joan Castells (pictured above), President of the insurance company, explained that, in the end, they have opted to convert the former Sant Josep del Putxet clinic into a nursing home and day centre. “We want to build an above-ground complex measuring 4,500 m2 and we are negotiating the plans with the Town Hall to decide whether to demolish the building and construct a new one or conserve the existing structure and restore it”, he explained. The centre will focus on elderly people who have a certain degree of personal independence and the firm wants to obtain the necessary municipal permits to begin construction in 2018. Fiatc purchased the property from Building Center in the summer for €4.1 million and plans to invest €15 million in the project in total.
Meanwhile, according to Castells, Fiatc is also finalising the municipal permits to start construction work on a new nursing home in Vall Park, above the Ronda de Dalt in Gràcia. That property will have 150 beds and will require an investment of more than €12 million. The firm wants to grow in the sector, including as an operator, and is also considering taking over the management of a residence owned by a private group in Terrassa.
The insurance company started to operate nursing homes for elderly people in 2006, with Blau Almeda, a complex measuring 8,600 m2 with 144 beds. It then added the Cugat Natura complex in Sant Cugat, which includes 32 sheltered apartments and a nursing home with 172 beds. Its most recent project, in 2014, was in Les Masies de Mollet, with 148 beds and 40 spaces in the day centre.
Fiatc recorded revenues from premiums of €539 million last year, up by 7.9% compared to 2015, and a profit of €3 million. In recent years, the insurance company has focused on growing its life division, which grew by 23% in 2016, to account for 30% of its total portfolio. Life now exceeds the health insurance division (27%), whilst the automobile division, where the firm first started out, accounts for just 14%. The company now has 50% of its business outside of Cataluña, as well as 60% of its 517,000 members.
The insurance company currently employs 850 people, although that figure rises to 1,450 for the group as a whole, including the Diagonal clinic in Esplugues de Llobregat, two medical centres in Barcelona and another one in Vilanova i la Geltrú. According to Castells, the company bases its growth on its network of exclusive agents: it has 54 branches located all over Spain and a network of 1,700 agents, as well as agreements with around 3,000 brokers.
Original story: La Vanguardia (by Rosa Salvador)
Translation: Carmel Drake
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