GrECo Health & Benefits bolsters its senior team

Preslava Gencheva joins GrECo

Preslava Gencheva joins Adam Riley to further build the Health & Benefits business across the Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe (CESEE) region.

With its continued success, GrECo has appointed Preslava Gencheva as Deputy Group Practice Leader, Health & Benefits, in a newly created group leadership role. This role further reinforces Adam’s Health & Benefits strategy to become the leading risk management adviser and employer of choice throughout the CESEE region. Closely working with Adam, Preslava will support him in building, developing and the day-to-day running of GrECo’s specialist Health & Benefits business across its 17 CESEE countries.
 
Preslava joins from Karoll Financial Group where, for 14 years, she held several roles, more latterly Commercial Director. In a client-facing role, she successfully developed sales and marketing strategies, efficiencies for sales and operational processes, and managed sales across their 70 offices and 200 colleagues.

Adam Riley, GrECo Specialty, Health & Benefits commented: “We warmly welcome Preslava to GrECo and are delighted she has joined us at this very important juncture in our growth. Preslava is highly regarded and well-respected in our profession, bringing significant experience, insights, and a fresh outlook to GrECo Health & Benefits. We continue to attract high-calibre individuals and top talent, and the appointment of Preslava truly reflects how, as an independent family-run risk specialist business. GrECo is renowned for its people, reliability, stability, and independence.
 
She will play a key part in our growth strategy as the leading Health & Benefits consultancy across CESEE, which further enhances our value proposition for clients, partners, and carriers. I am looking forward to working with Preslava to continue the success of our Health & Benefits business across the CESEE region, and personally wish her every success in this new group leadership role.
 
So, Preslava, welcome to GrECo! Why did you decide to join our company?
When Adam and I started talking, I already knew of GrECo, and seen the business become the leading specialist insurance broker & consultant across the CESEE region. I had also heard in the market about the refreshing new strategy Adam had created since he joined in July last year, as well as the new direction and journey the GrECo Health & Benefits business is headed and knew this was the natural next step in my career!
 
The creation of this new role to help Adam run, build, and develop GrECo´s growing Health & Benefits business is so important as it reflects the demands of clients and employers across countries in which they operate.
 
What do you feel employers are looking for from a H&B partner?
Employers are looking for a specialist consultancy who understands their business, their employee requirements and above all else is seen as their true partner to provide sustainable long-term H&B solutions. Having talked with many HR and Benefit professionals, it is clear Health & Benefits is no longer just about insurance solutions, it is now about developing & providing appropriate risk management solutions for employers, which are both relevant and sustainable for their multinational and multigenerational workforce, now and able to evolve in the future.
 
Employers are expecting much more from their broker – more sophistication, wider knowledge, and are looking for their Health & Benefits adviser to provide appropriate and tailored solutions and delivering true thought-leadership. This is where GrECo Health & Benefits really adds tremendous value!
 
Tell us about the Preslava, outside of work.
I am married, with one son. Healthy living has become more and more important and plays a key part in my family life. For me this is to care for my physical and mental state and, as a family, we practice this through taking part in active sports including snowboarding, paddling, mountain tracking and tennis, and taking care of my mind by reading good books and meditation!

Thanks, Preslava. A final word from you?
Joining GrECo in their next phase of strategic growth is hugely exciting and provides an amazing opportunity to help build and run their Health & Benefits business. I look forward to working with Adam and being part of his team and its future strategy to become the leading Health & Benefits risk management adviser and employer of choice across the CESEE region, further enhancing the value proposition for clients, partners, and carriers!

Adam Riley, Cert PFS 

Group Practice Leader Health & Benefits

T +44 (0) 7507 788 144

Related Insights

Gediminas Dauksa to further develop the Transportation & Logistics practice

Gediminas Dauksa GrECo

GrECo Specialty has appointed a new Group Practice Leader for its Transportation and Logistics Specialty.

Gediminas Dauksa will work with all GrECo Group countries to combine and expand the expertise we currently have in the Group. He will lead new projects and engage individually with countries and various teams to grow our presence in this vital industry sector.

Tell us something about your career path?
I have been a logistics insurance broker for nearly two decades. I had the privilege of launching risk management programs for automotive logistics, project cargoes, very thief attractive commodities, and niche markets like oversized cargoes during that time. I also focused on managing and preventing claims. Logistics insurance, for me, is being the first when it comes to innovations, as every case needs a unique approach. It’s being the last to call a day because you never know when you will get the next challenging cargo. It’s about chasing premiums and profits equally and respecting the risk because a simple freight is never simple enough.
 
What are your plans as the new Group Practice Leader Transportation & Logistics at GrECo?
I believe that the GrECo Group provides knowledge from the center of excellence to all group employees, allowing the development of stronger client relationships across the region by developing specialties and practices on the group level. The Transportation and Logistics practice will aim to grow business in the logistics industry. We will achieve that by developing specialty know-how across the GrECo offices, identifying new business opportunities, and aligning the group resources to realize these goals best.

Who is Gediminas Dauksa in private?
When I’m not trying to figure out puzzles of logistics insurance, you can find me sailing. The moment when you leave the harbor, turn off the engine, raise the sail and feel the movement of the boat powered only by nature is magical. Nothing beats a good game of chess during the winter when the sea is harsh. Besides that, I am a long-time supporter of FC Arsenal and McLaren F1 teams.

Gediminas Dauksa

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Pillar of Our Strategy Is Specialisation – Interview With Georg Winter

Georg Winter Interview

Georg Winter, who has been a member of the executive board of GrECo International Holding AG for almost 10 years, has been appointed CEO this year. In the following interview, Winter offers some insights into his vision for GrECo. Interview was originally published in Lockton Global Partners Magazine.

How did you come across the insurance industry?

Winter: After I had concluded my Master in Industrial Engineering I gained a few years’ experience in the industry. In 2004 I started as a risk engineer for a major global insurance broker. In more than five years I had the chance to survey many production facilities, learning about operational risk management as well understanding the key elements and risks of various industries.
 
When I look back at the beginning of my career, I am very happy now that I started as a risk engineer. Because “risk” is the topic that is getting more and more important in the insurance industry. Managing them requires much more than traditional methods of risk management.

GrECo has made a great development in the last years and on top acquired MAI, another major broker in CEE, last year. How will you move on together?

Winter: I already had the chance to meet many MAI colleagues in different countries within the last months, they are great people. I think that our two cultures are quite similar, it is a good fit. So, building on two strong and similar cultures means that we are getting even stronger – Stronger Together!
 
Regarding our knowledge and experience we also complement each other. MAI has a long history and strong capabilities in servicing international clients as well as an excellent Health & Benefits team. GrECo on the other hand is also strong with local clients and focusses on dedicated industries –our specialty approach.


As CEO you are responsible for the future course of GrECo. What are your plans in these uncertain times?

Winter: It is indeed a difficult and challenging situation that raises many most pressing questions. We need to discuss them, their impact on the transformation of the risk landscape as well as possible solution scenarios. It is based on our vision to detect the impact of these changes at an early stage and introduce risk management solutions that boost our clients’ resilience.
 
Another pillar of our strategy is specialisation. We need to speak the language of our clients in order to look into the risks and challenges of them in more detail. This is the only way to provide them with progressive and tailored solutions for their sustainable future.
 
Speaking of sustainability, this is also a major topic for our future as well for our client base. It is my profound belief that we need to change our way of doing business in order to leave behind a livable earth to the next generation.
 


How do you attract people of this next generation to work for GrECo?

Winter: I think that GrECo is a great place for great people. We have the right size and as a family company everybody has the chance to work entrepreneurial and bring in ideas. We also developed a sophisticated internal learning & development programme within the GrECo Academy in the last two years. We know that lifelong learning is a major factor for this generation.
 
We are working on many more projects to increase our employee proposition, from hybrid working to employee wellbeing offers as well as diversity & inclusion, environmental performance and social commitment. All this together will build the strong employer brand GrECo.


Who is Georg Winter in private?

Winter: I am happily married and live in Vienna, a wonderful city in the heart of Europe. As often as possible I try to do sports such as swimming, hiking and skiing (as Austrian this is kind of a must). During my studies I even worked as a voluntary fire fighter!
 
I am also interested in private life in innovative ideas and projects that transform our world, i.e. sustainability on all levels. I think that each private individual can do his or her part to improve our world. When I find some time you can also find me in the kitchen with a cooking apron preparing fine Viennese pastries.

Georg Winter

CEO

T +43 664 962 39 06

GrECo Advent Calendar 2022

To celebrate holidays, we asked our colleagues all around Europe to share their favourite holidays traditions and hopes for the next year! We were overwhelmed by the positive response, so instead of keeping the campaign only our social media accounts, we decided to compile and share some of them on our website.

What is the Christmas tradition in your country?


Elisabeth Ringhofer (Austria)
I am an absolute Christmas fan, love official, as well as unofficial customs in general and we, have already made one or two traditions for and with our children in the family. Maybe not so well known in Vienna, but in our village, the age-old custom in the new year is the visit of the “Pudlmutter” on the evening of January 5th, which has become a nice annual tradition. The Pudelmutter is an old stooped female, with her head covered by a headscarf. On the night of 5 to 6 January, the Pudelmutter goes from house to house and visits many waiting children. She walks silently, lets nuts, sweets, apples etc. “puddeln” (= roll) on the floor and disappears again immediately afterwards. According to custom, she brings blessings into the house and drives away evil winter spirits.

Burgerland Team Christmas party and Christmas uniforms!

Luiza Jurkiewicz-Wójcik (Poland)
In our house, there is a tradition to sing Christmas carols after Christmas Eve dinner. I play the piano or the flute, and our guests sing the songs. I also have additional instruments prepared for them – bells, a triangle, and rattles so that they can co-create carols with me. There is a lot of joy and fun while playing and singing together.


Markus Pichler (Austria)
Every year, when the worst of the Christmas stress is over and all the family members have been visited, my wife, my two daughters and I always take an hour on 26.12.22 in the evening, light the candles on the Christmas tree, dim the lights, sit together in front of the brightly lit tree and passionately (falsely) sing all kinds of Christmas carols. This has been our personal Christmas tradition for almost 10 years.

David Makhatadze (Georgia)

We are not celebrating Christmas on 25th of December, but on 7th of January as an orthodox country. The most important is a person called Mekvle – person who will be the first guest in the new year. We “believe” Mekvle can bring a good or bad luck to the family. Some families have chosen their Mekvle in prior and some are just waiting who will come the first. And yes – we had a “snowman” instead of Santa Claus, who was arriving from the hills of Georgia and bringing gifts to kids

Claudia Deiser (Austria)
Our Christmas party is always legendary and lasts until the early hours of the morning

Roberta Tomaševičiūtė (Lithuania)
My family has a tradition of decorating a live tree before Christmas when we visit our parents, roasting a duck or a turkey, chatting about the past year and sharing plans and ideas for the upcoming year, exchanging gifts and playing fun games.

Roberta Tomaševičiūtė shared how her home looks like during Christmas

Zoltán Mezős (Hungary)
A famous special food tradition is the ’Szaloncukor’ which is a special Christmas Candies use to decorate Christmas trees. This delicacy, which comes with different candy fillings, is covered in high-quality handmade chocolate and wrapped in colourful foil, it is a real local Hungarian tradition.

Jasmina Milković Bidovec (Slovenia)
Christmas in Slovenia is a lovely holiday spent with family and friends. Usually, on Christmas Eve the family gathers for Christmas dinner, and people of faith go to the midnight mass. The following morning comes to the Christmas breakfast and the opening of presents.

Eva Špinková (Czech Republic)
Before the first Sunday of Advent, Christmas decorations are made, such as an Advent wreath, candlesticks, etc. During December, Christmas sweets are baked, traditional types include gingerbread, linzer, and vanilla rolls. Our mothers used to compete to see who could make more different types of sweets and the standard numbers were over 10. On Christmas Eve morning we decorate the Christmas tree with the kids, husband prepares lunch and dinner. In the afternoon we go for a walk, every year we go to Vyšehrad castle to get the Bethlehem light for the lamps and then use that to light the candle for Christmas dinner. After dinner, we go for a short walk (usually we meet the neighbours) to give Santa time to bring presents under the tree.

Nartsislav Nikolov (Bulgaria)
As a family holiday, Christmas (Christmas Eve) in Bulgaria is traditionally celebrated in a narrower or wider family circle, as the table has always had a symbolic meaning in Christianity in our lands – for Christmas, it should be lean and include only dishes and products that the earth has given us as a gift. In addition to lean dishes, there should be a candle on the table, as well as a bag of yellow coins / a symbol of gold coins and fertility in the house/. The meal is lit with incense by the oldest man in the house, saying a prayer. At midnight on Christmas Eve, carolers come in to bring the good news and say a blessing to the owners and their homes. Local dishes (traditionally pork) are eaten on Christmas Day. The glorious church on the second day after Lent invites the priests to extol the blessed bread of the Mother of God. That is why the gathering is called the Feast of the First Lady.

What is your favourite holidays memory?


Ipek Uztan (Turkey)
One of my best memory goes back to my childhood, when I was living in Germany at that time, we used to go to the ‘’Christkindlmarkt’’every year and we were able to experience that atmosphere.
The most thing I am grateful for is being healthy, and being together with family and friends. I’m always looking forward to the future with hope.

Deak Simona (Romania)
My favorite memory is caroling, especially on Christmas Eve.

Bogdan Santovac (Czech Republic)
Since I am originally come from Northern part of Serbia where I spent half of my life, in a city,
and also in a village during the school breaks, I would like to emphasize some of the traditions from
that period. On Christmas Eve there is a tradition that all the kids from the neighbourhood meet together and go from house to house and recite traditional Christmas songs. After that, the neighbours give us some
candies, chocolate, fruits and sometimes even a small amount of money. It is also worth noting that
Serbs are celebrating Orthodox Christmas on the 7th of January (by Julian Calendar).

Iwona Balcerek-Majchrzak (Poland)
Each member of our family prepares their own Christmas card.
We write down on it what we wish for ourselves on the occasion of Christmas, for the next new year. On this day, we hang the prepared cards together on the Christmas tree. With the intention that wishes come true in the wonderful new year that will come to us!

Thomas Kadeřábek (Czech Republic)
Smell of pine needles and smell of the preparation of carp.

Hristo Kalchev (Bulgaria)
Love spending time with the family at the table – I follow the tradition of eating pork and drinking wine. My favorite tradition is watching the kids open their presents and spending time with them. This year I’m thankful that I’m healthy and still alive.

Lora Filipova (Bulgaria) shared a snapshot of the Christmas feast in her home!

Özlen Işıldak (Turkey)
When the Turkey office was established in 2013, we were sitting in the lobby of a hotel on New Year’s Eve organizing the policies of the customers. Everyone was having fun around us and celebrating the new year, but we were so focused on our work that I remember an old woman came up to me and said why are you working on New Year’s Eve. The most thing I’m grateful for is working together with such a great team. Also to be healthy and be together with my family.

Inga Bobińska (Poland)
Hare’s pâté. Nothing reminds me of Christmas more than the taste of that pâté. A pâté from my childhood, Christmas spent in a small Polish town, the late 1970s, 24th December, my small, childish world covered in white down, snow crunching underfoot, frost pinching my nose, window panes painted by the frost, a Christmas tree smelling of needles (it was still growing in the forest in the morning), a stove bursting with heat, pots of boiling delicacies. And in the pantry, on the shelves bending under the weight of delicacies, a freshly baked pâté. Pâté made from a hare hunted by my beloved grandfather.

Sandra Šuštar (Slovenia)
Every year, we celebrate Christmas in a close family circle, where we prepare Christmas dinner, play board games and take a family photo next to the decorated Christmas tree.

Edit Deákné Németh (Hungary)
When I was a child, we had a ceramic bell at home. My parents rang the bell from the closed room saying if it was possible to go because Jesus had already been there – in Hungary it is Jesus who brings the gifts for Christmas. Unfortunately, this bell broke a few years ago, but my kids surprised me with a new bell.

Our team in the Tirol office brought the Christmas spirit!

Görkem Güresin (Turkey)
One of my favourite Christmas memory was our trip with my wife to Salzburg. The atmosphere, lighting, gifts, smiling people, happiness, connection, food and classical music was unforgettable. Since then, we always remember and celebrate those memories to enrich our traditional family gathering for new year’s eve.

Andrej Hribar (Slovenia)
My Christmas tradition is to go to Viševnik at sunset on Christmas Eve. (Viševnik is a 2050 m high mountain in Slovenia. Also, Andrej’s last name includes the Slovene word for “hill”: “hrib”)

What are you grateful for this Christmas?

 
Sas Silviu (Romania)
One of my best memory goes back to my childhood, when I was living in Germany at that time, we used to go to the ‘’Christkindlmarkt’’every year and we were able to experience that atmosphere.
The most thing I am grateful for is being healthy, and being together with family and friends. I’m always looking forward to the future with hope.

Viktor Markov (Bulgaria)
I’m thankful for a lot of things that year, but I’m really glad that I’ve done a lot because of the good health and the possibility to work hard.

Kovács Norbert (Hungary)
I am going to be a father which is the best thing ever. Can not wait to unite with my son against my wife.My time will come!

Popek Karel (Czech Republic)
Slow down and enjoy the family atmosphere, enjoy all the good food and spend time with family and friends.

Petya Ivanova (Bulgaria)
I am most grateful for the people around me, and when everyone is healthy and together, it is the greatest gift.

Jagiełło Izabela (Poland)
I’m thankful for the little things in our lives, such as the sunshine on our faces, the goals we achieve each day and the opportunities we get from others.

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GrECo Croatia Launches Affinity Hearing Aid Solution

GrECo Croatia Launches Affinity Hearing Aid Solution

In co-operation with Bontech, the largest Croatian distributor and manufacturer of hearing aids and hearing protection products, GrECo Croatia launched new Affinity solution that protects hearing aids purchased at Bontech outlets.

Buying a hearing aid is often a significant investment for many customers. Accidental damages, malfunctions or even thefts are not uncommon. We are happy to announce that together with our partner Bontech, the largest Croatian distributor and manufacturer of hearing aids and hearing protection products, we have launched a hearing aid insurance that protects hearing aids purchased at their outlets. Our insurance solution covers extended warranty, accidental damage, theft and robbery and providing Bontech`s customers peace of mind and worry-free usage.
 
With headquarters in Split and 29 branches throughout Croatia, Bontech is a regional leader continuously investing in people and technology and provides state-of-the-art solutions that effectively facilitate communication in society. Bontech was the first in the world to introduce the Connectivity set, a one-stop-shop solution which connected the hearing aids to the most advanced smartphone, and the TV set, where the sound from these devices is played directly into the hearing aids utilizing them as wireless headsets. Bontech is also the leading address for all diabetic products and was the first to introduce advanced digital solutions for diabetes monitoring.

Bontech logo

Alma Ribanovic

Group Practice Leader Affinity

T +43 664 962 40 17

GrECo Christmas Charity

For many years we have been refraining from giving Christmas presents to our clients and partners and instead are supporting projects within our GrECo Foundation.

The GrECo Foundation supports socially disadvantaged children and young people in various learning projects, such as supplying study materials, afternoon care, workshops and excursions in 17 countries.

The team of GrECo wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Licht ins Dunkel

Licht ins Dunkel is a nationwide traditional Christmas charity in Austria that helps children and young people in need. We have supported these activities for many years.

SOS Kinderdorf

SOS Kinderdorf

GrECo Foundation supports SOS-Kinderdorf/Rat auf Draht.  This project is very close to the heart of the GrECo Foundation. In difficult times, it is above all children and young people who need support and a sympathetic ear for problems. We are happy to contribute again this year.

ART GrECo Scholarship

For the 3rd time, the GrECo Foundation is happy to fund scholarships for talented students, an initiative by our colleagues from Poland.

Education and the promotion of extraordinary talents will be the key to the future of employment markets. Thus, we focus all our projects on supporting children and youngsters in their learning process.

Ö3 Wundertüte

Ö3 Wundertüte

We have donated used company mobile phones in the “Ö3 wonder bag” and thus disposed of them in an environmentally friendly manner and following the law.

The money from device recycling goes to the emergency aid funds of Licht-ins-Dunkel and Caritas, thus helping families in need in Austria. In addition, thanks to this support, permanent jobs are created for people with fewer job opportunities.

Support for Ukraine

The GrECo Foundation has provided emergency assistance to all those colleagues who wanted to leave Ukraine. Many of our colleagues from GrECo markets bordering Ukraine were helping to organize accommodation and the provision of necessities.

Colleagues from GrECo Holding are (still) in an ongoing exchange with the Ukrainian colleagues and are supporting the coordination of the measures.

Support for Ukraine

Breakfast at the Caritas Gruft for homeless people in Vienna

Our IT-colleagues had an early start on this cold December morning to prepare and serve breakfast to around 80 homeless people who seek shelter in Vienna’s Gruft that is run by the Caritas in Austria. The GrECo Foundation served freshly baked Croissants and provided several winter care packages for the upcoming months.

Reverse Advent Calendar

Every year, our colleagues donate generously towards our Christmas project. This year we are collecting health and beauty products for the women and children at Haus Immanuel in Vienna.

Gabriele Andratschke

Head of Group Human Resources

T +43 664 962 39 18

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HORIZON Risk Thought Platform

We have created Horizon, firstly as a print publication and now as a platform for sharing the latest insights about ongoing transformations. Our risk specialists will continue to provide their expertise and knowledge to shine a light on the challenges of the future.

The complexity of today´s risk environment is changing at an accelerating pace, making risk management even more challenging. We address these challenges by highlighting underlying systemic transformations and their implications for future risk and insurance management in various sectors. We are proud to announce the launch of HORIZON – “Risk Thought » Fast Forward”, our platform for sharing the newest insights regarding these risks.
 
The platform is based on our vision to detect the impact of 4 significant areas of risk changes early and introduce risk management solutions that boost our clients’ resilience. We created Horizon initially as a print publication and now as a platform for sharing the latest insights about ongoing transformations out of a belief that knowing our risks is the first way to mitigate them.
 
On the platform, you can read about ecological, technological, social and geopolitical transformations shaping the future. Our risk specialists will continue to provide their expertise and knowledge. Together with thought leading guest authors and clients we will shine a light on future challenges.

Visit our new HORIZON – “Risk Thought » Fast Forward” platform

Explore HORIZON – “Risk Thought » Fast Forward”

Geopolitics Shapes the World to Come

Our multipolar world and its myriad of geopolitical forces presents us and our clients with a vast, multidimensional array of risks. As bleak as this may sound, geopolitics and its impact on energy also offers a number of opportunities.

Read More …

Webinar: Insuring Risks in Ukraine and Russia

Webinar 'Update - Insuring risks in Ukraine and Russia' will provide an update on the current territorial exclusions in international programs, in Ukraine and Russia.

During the upcoming GrECo Webinar ‘Update – Insuring risks in Ukraine and Russia’ we will provide an update on the current territorial exclusions in international programs, the local market situation & capacities in Ukraine and Russia.

The invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops is still horrifying in the world, with far-reaching consequences for the entire economy and the insurance markets. During our upcoming webinar via Microsoft Live Events on December 1st, we will provide an update on the current discussion on territorial exclusions in international programs, the local market situation & capacities in Ukraine and Russia and considerations when placing risks in both countries.


Speakers:

  • Andreas Krebs, Head of Insurance Mediation Services and Risk & Insurance Technique GrECo International Holding
  • Natalia Zaborovska, Group Head of International GrECo International Holding
  • Tetyana Mieshkova, General Manager MAI Ukraine
  • Andrey Panov, General Manager GrECo Russia

Register for our webinar!

Thursday, 1st of December 2022,
14:00 – 15:00 (CEST – Vienna time)

Click now and register by sending an email!

After registration, you will receive an Outlook invitation, including the link for confirmation. Feel free to also forward this invitation to colleagues of yours that might be interested.

Jonathan Höh

Group Sales & Market Coordination

T +43 664 962 39 20

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Building the GrECo Health & Benefits Business: A Catch-up With Adam Riley

In July of this year, Adam was recruited in a newly created executive leadership role, to run, build and develop GrECo’s specialist Health & Benefits business across its 17 countries.

It is widely recognised that GrECo has seen continued success across its specialist businesses and has built its reputation across the Central, Eastern and Southern European (CESEE) region by providing market-leading risk and insurance solutions to clients. As part of its next phase of strategic growth, GrECo laid down a clear marker this year: it is going to invest in building its Health & Benefits business, which reflects the demands of clients and employers across its markets.

As a business which attracts high-calibre individuals and top talent, it is renowned for its people, reliability, stability, and independence.

If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together” – an African Proverb, Adam Riley’s favourite phrase to use with his team. In July of this year, Adam was recruited in a newly created executive leadership role, to run, build and develop GrECo’s specialist Health & Benefits business across its 17 countries. Adam’s appointment has enabled GrECo to relaunch its Health & Benefits offering across the CESEE region, and of course the wider international markets. 

We caught up with him to find out about his 2030 vision for GrECo´s Health & Benefits business.

Hi Adam, how have the last four-months been for you and what have you been focusing on since starting at GrECo?
The past four months have been both refreshing and rewarding. Meeting with a huge number of people from across our business, I have witnessed first-hand the close-knit and people culture for which GrECo is known. The depth of capabilities from across the group is inspiring as is the integrity and spirit of our dedicated teams.

The most important focus for me has been to refresh, restructure, and relaunch our group-wide Health & Benefits strategy and direction for the business, giving it a fresh outlook to reflect the next phase of our strategic growth! 

So, what would you say employers are looking for when employing a risk and insurance management provider?
The market is changing, employers are demanding more sophisticated solutions and much more from their specialist advisers. 

Employers are looking to work with a specialist consultancy that understands their business, and employee requirements and, above all else, is seen as their true partner to provide sustainable long-term Health & Benefits solutions.

You’ve been working on a newly developed Health & Benefits strategy. Can you give us a snapshot of what the future holds for GrECo as a result?
At GrECo Group, we don’t just look at the “now”, we also look at how our business will evolve over the next few years. Our new Health & Benefits strategy focuses on a clearly defined roadmap outlining our “2030 vision” for the business.
 
You will see that we have changed our name from “employee benefits”, to Health & Benefits. This better reflects the new direction in which we are headed. Coupled with the risk management services and solutions we will be offering our clients, and the future of our business, this reflects and incorporates a fresh approach.
 
Put simply, we will become the leading Health & Benefits risk management adviser and employer of choice across the CESEE region, further enhancing the value proposition for clients, partners, and carriers!
 
Some might say that’s a bold statement but looking at results in the last few months alone, and your projects for the next 12 months, it is clear the new Health & Benefits business at GrECo, under your direction, is shaping up to do just that!  What’s GrECo’s current position in Health & Benefits, and how do you see it developing by 2030?
By revenue and premium, the GrECo Health & Benefits business is already a top-five broker in 10 of its 17 countries, with the remaining seven countries not far behind. Part of the “2030 Health & Benefits vision” is to double our revenue through both organic growth and selective M&A activity. 


Building a more robust and sustainable proposition, incorporating a mix of traditional insurance-led solutions with Wellbeing, data insights, and online and digital offerings is core to the future of the GrECo Health & Benefits business.

On the topic of M&A, what’s currently happening in the CESEE market? 
The markets in our region are changing, we are seeing more consolidation of Health & Benefits businesses than ever before. With this, opportunities for the GrECo Health & Benefits business are emerging – as a group, we are very selective on M&A activity: culture, people and synergy are core to what we look for when looking at potential acquisitions.

Adam, you’re also working on integrating the MAI CEE Health & Benefits business into the GrECo structure. How’s the acquisition been received? 

Very well! The acquisition of MAI CEE was seen by the market as hugely positive, with many synergies brought by both businesses, as well as bringing great new talent to our team. Our Health & Benefits business has expanded to over 120 specialist people. 

It also strengthened several of our countries where there were established GrECo and MAI CEE offices and furthered GrECo’s reach across the CESEE region with new operations in Albania and Georgia. Our business in Georgia officially changed its name to GrECo in early November.

The pandemic brought many issues into sharp focus for employers but one of the most prevalent was ESG – particularly the social elements; how is the Health & Benefits business incorporating ESG? 

Addressing ESG factors can help employers manage their environmental and social footprint and determine their business risks and opportunities. The “social” element links directly to Health & Benefits. When looking more widely at the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, good health & well-being is one of the 17 goals – the GrECo Health & Benefits team is already part of this conversation with clients. 

With the geopolitical and global economic backdrop currently being faced by us all, we have never experienced this level of uncertainty before! When will the next pandemic hit? The next war? Global recession? Energy crisis…? It is now about how the Health & Benefits programme can function and be sustainable for when the next challenge arrives.

The new world order is bringing many existing workplace trends to the fore, accelerating the adoption of flexible/agile working as well as raising concerns around the mental health of employees.  

Adam Riley, Cert PFS 

Group Practice Leader Health & Benefits

T +44 (0) 7507 788 144

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GrECo Affinity Group Practice Gets a New Tech Unit

With GAS supporting GrECo´s Affinity practice, GrECo is well-positioned to provide new and improved technological solutions that can be easily scaled and integrated into various distribution channels.

As of September 2022, GrECo Affinity Group Practice will be supported by an extended hand – a new tech unit GrECo Affinity Solutions (GAS) that will provide the technological support for the future growth of GrECo´s Affinity business.

GAS, previously known as MAI Technologies, was, as a part of MAI CEE, taken over by GrECo in May 2022.

GAS brings more than 15 years of experience as a third-party administrator and system solutions developer. So far, GAS has a reputable track record in the embedded insurance sector, with more than 320,000 managed insurance policies and 10,000 handled claims.

Enhanced benefits for our partners and their customers

With GAS supporting GrECo´s Affinity practice, GrECo is well-positioned to provide new and improved technological solutions that can be easily scaled and integrated into various distribution channels.

For clients offering embedded insurance to their customers, the whole process will be more convenient and comfortable. GAS will enhance digital and platform expertise, allowing our digital solutions to be more effective and to come with great speed to the end user.

Csaba Barsony, GAS General Manager, points out: “Having 15 years of experience in Affinity development and administration, we are happy to join the GrECo Affinity team and strengthen their client offering with our digital solutions. We strongly believe that the customer experience we will offer to our Affinity partners will provide them with a competitive advantage that can be a true market differentiator in these volatile times.”

Alma Ribanović, GrECo Affinity Group Practice Leader, adds: “Having GrECo Affinity Solutions under our umbrella will allow us competitive speed to market. We will be able to provide technological solutions and expertise to our partners both in the online and offline world. With GAS, we are bringing Affinity developments in our company and on our markets to the next level”.

Alma Ribanovic

Group Practice Leader Affinity

T +43 664 962 40 17

Csaba Barsony

GAS General Manager

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