Zurich Financial Services has come unscathed through the financial turmoil of the past six months.
The company steered clear of US sub-prime mortgages and the collateralised debt obligations that have left other financial companies with multi-billion-dollar write-downs.
Zurich, which employs 1,160 people at two centres in Birmingham, yesterday reported that its global investment returns rose by seven per cent last year to $10.1 billion (£5.15 billion).
"Despite challenging markets in the second half of the year, net capital gains continued to be strong and decreased only slightly in dollar terms," said Zurich's chief executive James Schiro.
"These robust results continue to reflect the group's disciplined approach to managing its assets relative to its liabilities on a risk-adjusted basis.
"The group continued to have no material exposure to US sub-prime debt or CDOs in its investment portfolio and incurred only a few asset rating downgrades and impairments since the end of September."
This left Zurich in a position to raise its dividend by 36 per cent to 15 Swiss francs, covered more than three times by last year's earnings, and authorise a $2 billion (£1.02 billion) share buy-back for this year, double that in 2007.
Net income was 22 per cent ahead at $5.6 billion (£2.9 billion), delivering a return on equity of 21 per cent.
Zurich's business operating profit of $6.6 billion (£3.4 billion), was 10 per cent higher.
Gross written general insurance premiums and policy fees were up four per cent at $35.7 billion (£18.2 billion). Claims and costs absorbed 95.6 per cent of that total.
In life assurance, global new business was up 35 per cent at $729 million (£372 million), with a new business margin of 24.7 per cent of the equivalent in annual premiums.
Zurich is expected to publish details of its UK results next week.