A leading international healthcare group, Bupa invests its profits to provide more and better healthcare and fulfil the Company’s purpose, “Longer, Healthier, Happier Lives”. The business offers personal and company-financed health insurance and medical subscription products, runs hospitals, provides workplace health services, home healthcare, health assessments and chronic disease management services. It is also a major international provider of nursing and residential care for elderly people.
Bupa began operations in 1947 in the UK when 17 provident associations joined together to form Bupa with the purpose of “preventing, relieving and curing sickness and ill health of every kind”. Their history goes back even earlier in Australia where the business was founded in the 1930s to provide a solution to people who could not afford doctors’ fees.
Bupa has grown significantly and is equivalent in scale to a FTSE100 organisation, employing more than 86,000 people in 2016 and with 2016 revenues of £11bn and profit before taxation of £700m. With over 16 million customers across 190 countries, it operates principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, Poland, New Zealand and the USA, as well as Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, India, China and across Latin America.
Bupa has no equity shareholders and, as such, pays no dividends. Bupa reinvests its profits back into its business for the benefit of its customers. The term ‘provident’ is only linked to the business because it relates to the amalgamation of 17 ‘provident clubs’ when Bupa was founded as a company limited by guarantee in 1947.
Instead of shareholders, Bupa has Association Members – with responsibility for holding the Board to account for the management of the business and monitoring the standards of corporate governance.