Protección answered the challenges of 2020 by committing to sustainability

Protección answered the challenges of 2020 by committing to sustainability
  • To address the pandemic, the Company focused on taking care of its collaborators, resizing its digital services and accompanying people and companies.
  • The promotion of youth employment, support for SMEs and the elderly, as well as the strengthening of pedagogical programs that promote financial health allowed the company to be closer to its customers.
  • Protección managed to reverse the market effects evidenced in customer savings during the first semester, recording positive returns for customer savings and a historically rapid recovery for the magnitude of the crisis.
  • Financial results reflect positive dynamics, despite the effects of the pandemic and unemployment.
  • The Board of Directors presented a proposed dividend of COP1,976 per share for consideration by the General Shareholders’ Assembly, which will be held on March 19.

Protección’s transformation allowed it to navigate the uncertainty that generated an unprecedented event such as COVID-19 and, in turn, ratify its commitment to sustainability, as well as to the construction of possible futures where well-being, inclusion and equality are pillars of the economic reactivation that the country must begin to experience as of 2021.

In this sense, in 2020 Protección focused on caring for its collaborators and families; in the resizing of its services, with which it achieved directing 98% of its transactions through digital channels; and in the design of easily accessible savings and investment solutions that continue to contribute to the generation of value for Colombians at every moment of their lives.

In turn, the Company was in solidarity with the economy and the country, promoting youth employment, providing support to SMEs and the elderly, as well as strengthening pedagogical programs that promoted financial health.

“Although we did not expect a pandemic, we were able to quickly rewrite and design the actions ahead, giving priority to the protection of life, the care of our team and their families, the continuity and transformation of the accompaniment model for our clients and generating value for them in the construction of their future”, this is how Juan David Correa, President of Protección, defines the challenges they faced as a company in 2020.

Relevant steps during 2020

Despite the strong impact that the pandemic had on investment portfolios at the beginning of the year, the timely intervention of the authorities and the hope of a speedy recovery, allowed positive annual variations in Foreign equities assets, public debt assets and local and foreign Private Equity Funds (PCF) by the end of the year, followed by other alternatives and local equities. On the other hand, foreign and local fixed income presented negative variations, which managed to be compensated thanks to the diversification strategies. This allowed both the voluntary pension and mandatory pension and severance pay portfolios to register positive returns for the savings of its 8.3 million clients and a historically rapid recovery for the magnitude of the crisis. Protección closed the year managing more than 130 trillion pesos, the equivalent of 10% of the country's GDP.

Years of great volatility such as 2020 put us to the test and confirm our conviction to continue recommending a diversified investment strategy according to the risk profile to our clients, with a long-term investment horizon, discipline and persistence for the construction of their future”, concluded the CEO of the company.

In terms of responsible investment, Protección is convinced that generating returns for the savings of its clients is as important as safeguarding economic, environmental, social, and corporate governance assets. Therefore, in addition to voluntarily adhering in 2020 to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the Company is promoting the development of investments with ASG criteria with the firm purpose of promoting sustainable well-being.

Protection accompanied throughout 2020 the discussions around the adjustments required by the pension system in Colombia, always insisting that the vision of addressing the short-term contingency cannot be detrimental to the higher purpose of pension savings, which is security for old age. At the same time, and understanding the situation of unemployment and income reduction in the country, it helped to promote adequate personal finance habits, through its Take Control program, which reached 450,000 families throughout the country and redefined severances as a lifeline for Colombians in times of high uncertainty. This is how more than 136,000 families were able to access severances benefits due to a decrease in income.

2020 Consolidated Results

Protección’s consolidated results showed operating income of COP $ 1.01 trillion, 2.2% less than in 2019, while expenses showed a decrease of 2.2%, based on efficiencies and process optimization. Thus, profit before taxes reached COP$388,575 million and decreased 30.1%, while profit for the year was COP$291,394 million, 34.2%. less than in the previous year. The foregoing allows to ratify the coherence in the development of the corporate strategy, specifically in its ability to generate value even in the midst of complex scenarios, such as COVID-19.

The Board of Directors presented a dividend proposal of COP $ 1,976 per share, a value that will be caused and paid in the manner determined by the General Shareholders' Assembly on March 19, 2021.

"We can say that 2020 was the year in which taking care of life was our main focus and 2021 will be the year of transition, in which the global vaccination process, as well as self-care schemes and the reactivation of the economy will allow us to strengthen our model of personal and professional balance, and to continue raising the levels of social and human awareness, around caring for and building the future through savings”, stated the President of Protección.

In the framework of the celebration of its 30 years, Protección will make investments for more than 20,000 million pesos that will be directed, mainly, to continue improving customer experience, continue its digital transformation process, generate efficiencies, and continue advancing in terms of cybersecurity and development of solutions, products, and channels.

Finally, Protección clearly sees that the country must carry out a tax reform in 2021, with a large social and fiscal component that allows greater equality in the country and leaves the short, medium, and long-term fiscal horizon resolved, maintaining the confidence of Colombian investors. The above in addition to the measures that lead to the reactivation of the labor market and that tend to reduce inequality, the deterioration of employment and the future conditions of retirement of many people, actions with which the Company is fully committed and on which it will seek to build bridges towards the construction of possible futures around the well-being of Colombians.

About Protección

Protección S.A. is an expert savings and investment company with over 30 years of experience in managing resources worth over COP 130 trillion from nearly 8,3 million customers in Mandatory and Voluntary Pension Funds and Severance Pay Funds, and 73,000 pensioners.

The Company has gone beyond its category, revitalizing the business approach to mandatory pension and severance pay fund related asset management and taking it to the next level, which involves savings movement and management, in order to become an ally of its stakeholders aiming to join them in making their dreams come true and building their future.

Included in its shareholders are Sura Asset Management (49.36%), Caja Colombiana de Subsidio Familiar – Colsubsidio (16.41%), Bancolombia S.A. (10,68%), Fiduciaria Bancolombia S.A. (9.9%), Cornerstone LP (7.53%), and other minority shareholders (6.12%).