Discover our history

NN has a strong history that stretches back 170 years. Over the years we have built leading positions in our chosen, predominantly European markets. Our roots lie in the Netherlands of the 18th century, when regional funds were founded.



NN has a strong history that stretches back 170 years. Over the years we have built leading positions in our chosen, predominantly European markets. Our roots lie in the Netherlands of the 18th century, when regional funds were founded. These regional funds insured people from certain communities, professional groups, as well as widows and orphans against adversity. RVS was one of them, founded as a funeral fund in 1838. In the course of the 19th and 20th century, many of these small companies and funds were acquired by the two largest Dutch insurers: De Nederlanden of 1845 and the Nationale Levensverzekering-Bank. In 1963, these two merged into Nationale Nederlanden. After the 1991 merger with NMB Postbank Group, which established ING Group, the Nationale-Nederlanden activities were absorbed by the new legal entity ING Insurance. Since the operational split off from ING in 2012, we accelerated our preparations for a stand-alone situation.

In March 2014 NN Group became the legal successor of ING Insurance. It became the holding company of ING’s European and Japanese insurance and investment management operations. On 2 July 2014 NN Group became a standalone, listed company. NN Group shares are listed since that date and are traded on Euronext Amsterdam under the listing name ‘NN Group’ (symbol ‘NN’).

Contact our History Department for more about our heritage and historical collection: Ingrid Elferink

1845 / Assurantie Maatschappij tegen Brandschade

In Zutphen, a small town in the east of the Netherlands, two cousins establish a fire insurance company. The company does not merely insure against fire and other risks, but also seeks to prevent risks by installing a voluntary fire brigade manned by all staff members of De Nederlanden. Several years later, the name changes to De Nederlanden van 1845 and the company moves to The Hague. It merges with de Nationale Levensverzekering-Bank in 1963 to form Nationale-Nederlanden.

1857 / Expansion abroad

Soon after its incorporation, focus shifts to expanding the scope of its operations in the Netherlands and abroad. De Nederlanden van 1845 expands first to the Dutch East Indies, then to other European countries and finally to the rest of the world. The first foreign agency is set up in Batavia in 1857. By 1900 there are over  400 representatives and agents.

1859 / Re Insurance

The first activities in re-insurance started as early as 1859 (by a subsidiary of De Nederlanden van 1845). After the Second World War, the company reinsures overall with the German Bayerische Ruckversicherungs Gesellschaft. In 1965, NN starts the Re Insurance Company, for its own activities.

1863 / Nationale Levensverzekering-Bank

Founded in Rotterdam in 1863, the Nationale Levensverzekering-Bank is one of the few Dutch life insurance companies at the time. The market was dominated by foreign life due to a provision in the law, which the Nationale helped abolish in 1880. Several takeovers consolidate the organization, which merges with De Nederlanden van 1845 into Nationale-Nederlanden in 1963.

1883 / Verzekeringsbank Victoria (health and life insurance)

Victoria started out in 1883 as a sickness fund in Amsterdam, and soon expanded into life insurance. From 1925 the focus was purely on non-life. Victoria is taken over by De Nederlanden van 1845 in 1938 and merges with Vesta in 1971, becoming Victoria-Vesta.

1893 / Vesta (life insurance)

Founded in Amsterdam as a social life insurance company before moving to Arnhem. In 1931, the Nationale Levensverzekering-Bank acquires the company for its social insurance portfolio. In 1971, Vesta merges with Victoria to become Victoria-Vesta.

1896 / Eerste Rotterdamsche (accident insurance)

In 1896, Eerste Rotterdamsche opens its doors with life, accident and disability insurances. From 1916, the company focuses solely on accident insurance. In 1928, the company is taken over by the Nationale Levensverzekering-Bank and continues operating under its own name until 1970.

1913 / Belgium

Start of life insurance business in Belgium through RVS, with offices in Antwerp and Brussels. Predecessors of NN operating in Belgium include L’Avenir (1895) and the Vaderlandsche (Patriotique, founded in 1906 (as Varia en Leven). Another was La Laborieuse Societe Anonyme, founded in 1927.

1932 / Bureau voor de Groepsverzekeringen (pension funds)

Cooperation between De Nederlanden van 1845 and de Nationale-Levensverzekering-Bank in order to offer collective pensions to companies and associations. (Now Corporate Clients)

1950 / Rebuilding

The Netherlands starts to rebuild after the Second World War, the so-called ‘wederopbouw.’ There is much work to be done, particularly in cities  destroyed by the war. Predecessors of NN help to finance the building of flats, factories, schools, shopping centres and housing estates.

1963 / Nationale-Nederlanden

Merger between the two biggest Dutch insurers; De Nederlanden van 1845 and the Nationale Levensverzekering-Bank. The financial strength of this merger is put to use in expanding foreign operations. The United States is one of the largest areas of expansion. In 1979, the Life Insurance Company of Georgia is acquired. Through this company, Nationale-Nederlanden expands into Asia in the 80s.

1960-1980 / More expansion

After Second World War foreign expansion strategy changed. Rather than working with local agents, the company increasingly starts to acquire foreign companies and open its own offices abroad. The first offices are opened in Canada, the US and Australia, where the company insures Dutch emigrants in their new homelands. Companies acquired in the US include, Peerless (1957), Security Life of Denver (1977) and Life Insurance Company of Georgia (1979).

1969 / Westland Utrecht Hypotheekbank (WUH)

The merger between the Westlandsche and the Utrechtsche Hypotheekbank into WUH heralds the end of a wave of mergers and acquisitions that commenced before the Second World War. At that time, there were over 70 mortgage lenders in the Netherlands and in 1969 almost all are grouped in WUH. The crisis in the 80s hits WUH hard and it is acquired by Nationale-Nederlanden in 1982.

1971 / Victoria-Vesta

Merger between Victoria and Vesta. The companies moved to Ede in the Netherlands and subsequently merge with RVS in 1993.

1978 / Spain

In 1978, Nationale-Nederlanden decides to build up a greenfield business in Spain, starting in Madrid and rolling out to other Spanish cities. Always under the Nationale-Nederlanden name. (Life and non-life)

1982 / Greece

With the takeover of Proodos Hellenic Insurance and Reinsurance in Athens, Nationale-Nederlanden acquires a foothold in Greece. Two years later, Nationale-Nederlanden opens its own office and starts to build up a new network with agents.

1986 / Japan

Activities commence in Japan, assisted by Asahi Mutual Life, which is appointed by the Japanese government to help Nationale-Nederlanden with the strict and complex application procedures. In 1982, Nationale-Nederlanden opens a ‘representative office’ in Shell’s office building. The petrol stations of Showa/Shell initially serve as a point of sale for indemnity insurances. In 1986, Nationale-Nederlanden acquires the necessary permits to become the first European insurer admitted to the Japanese market.

1991 / ING Group

Nationale-Nederlanden and NMB Postbank Group merged? to form ING Group. The new company holds strong positions in both the retail and corporate markets through a wide variety of distribution channels and backed by a strong balance sheet. ING strengthens its European banking activities and focuses on acquisitions in the insurance industry. After the acquisition of Barings in 1995, ING becomes increasingly well-known as a brand. The combination of banking, insurance and capital management is the result of close collaboration between the many companies making up ING.

1991 / Hungary

Nationale-Nederlanden Magyarorsági Biztosító Rt in 1991 als levensverzekeraar. Begonnen in een hotel in Boedapest, maar in 1994 werd een historisch pand geopend aan de Andrassystraat, waar ook ING Bank Hongarije naartoe verhuisde. In 1995 als ING Magyarorsági Biztosító Rt verdergegaan en werd binnen drie jaar marktleider op de Hongaarse markt.

1992 / Czech Republic

Nationale-Nederlanden receives a license to operate a business in the Czech Republic – then still known as Czechoslovakia. Nationale Nederlanden Životní Pojišťovna is the first to avail of a new law allowing foreign entrants into in the market. The company focuses on the life and pensions market with offices in Prague, Pilsen and Budweis. In 1996, the Nationale-Nederlanden building, known as Fred and Ginger, opens its doors.

1994 / Investment Management

Three years after the merger that created ING, the investment departments of the bank (Asset Management ING Bank) and the insurer (Securities and Loans Nationale-Nederlanden) merge into ING Asset Management. The asset manager handles loans and shares on behalf of the insurance company and investments for large institutional third-parties and funds.

1994 / Luxembourg

Via Belgium, the Vaderlandsche, ING Insurance got a foothold in Luxembourg.

1995 / Poland

Nationale-Nederlanden Polska officially commences selling life insurance in 1995, after receiving a licence from the Polish Finance Ministry in 1994. Initially distribution is handled through agents and offices in Warsaw and ING-owned Bank Slaski.

1996 / Slovakia

Nationale-Nederlanden receives  a license to start up an insurance business in Slovakia. Nationale-Nederlanden Poistóvna A.S sells individual life and pension insurances through a network of agents.

1997 / Romania

ING Insurance becomes the first foreign insurance company to sell life insurance in Romania under the  Nederlanden Asigurặ᷃ri de Viat ặ᷃ Romani ặ᷃ S.A.  brand.  This greenfield operation grows rapidly to employ 280 agents, working from six cities across the country.

2000 / Americas

With the acquisition of ReliaStar and Aetna, ING becomes one of the biggest life insurance companies in the US.

2002 / Opening head office

New ING head office in Amsterdam opens its doors. Designed  by Meyer en Van Schooten.

2006 / Bulgaria

Launch of ING Life Bulgaria, a greenfield operation  that operates through a network of agents in Bulgaria.

2008 / Financial turmoil

The global financial crisis forces ING Group to apply to the Dutch state for financial aid.  Partly as a result of this, the European Commission forces ING to split its banking and insurance businesses in 2009. ING Insurance starts preparing for a stand alone future from 2012 onwards.

2009 / Turkey

ING acquires Turkey’s fifth largest pension fund in December. Oyak Emeklilik sells individual pensions through a network of independent agents and through ING Bank Turkey.

2010 / ING Insurance

ING Insurance is the third largest life insurance company in the world and the global leader in retirement services. As of 1 January,  ING Insurance has its own Management Board.

2012 / NN Bank

NN Bank is founded to continue providing so-called banksparen activities –fiscally attractive pension savings – in 2013 it incorporated the activities of WestlandUtrecht Bank.

2013 / ING Insurance Europa and Japan

The ING Life activities in Japan become  part of the new insurance company, ING Insurance. A new name for the company is announced in October: NN.

2014 / NN Group

As of 1 March 2014, ING Insurance becomes NN Group.

Please click on the play icon to watch the NN Group corporate video.