Is Mexico on Your Investment Bucket List? Interview With Peter Weber

Mexico is on everybody’s lips right now, and not just because it is one of the trendiest places to go on holiday.  Companies across all sectors are clamouring to invest in Mexico, begging the questions why is Mexico the hottest country to invest in at the moment?  Earlier this month, Natalia Zaborovska caught up with Peter Weber from Proteccion Dinámica, Agente de Seguros y de Fianzas, our co-broker in Mexico to find out.

Zaborovska: Hi Peter, let’s kick-off by introducing you to our readers.  Please can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Weber: Of course.I was born in Mexico with German ancestry.  I have been working in the insurance industry for almost 25 years with the following Licenses: Big Risks with TIV over 100 Mio USD, Reinsurance and Hull, Credit Insurance, Crop – Livestock and Bonds. I currently work as a Professional Insurance Advisor and I head-up the international division at Protección Dinámica, Agente de Seguros y de Fianzas, S.A. de C.V. where I’m also a Partner. I’m proud to say I speak and write fluently in Spanish, English and German.

Zaborovska: So, what is Proteccion Dinámica, Agente de Seguros y de Fianzas and what is its focus?
Weber: Nowadays, our firm is considered one of the top 10 largest insurance agents in Mexico offering a personal service for all P&C Insurance as well as employee benefits.

It first started as a small family business that carried the name of its founder Erich Vogt but in 2001 changed its name to Protección Dinámica, Agente de Seguros y de Fianzas, S.A. de C.V. This year we’re celebrating our 68th anniversary, and, like GrECo, we are proud to still be a family-owned business. Currently, Elisabeth Vogt, the founder’s daughter, is our CEO and she is carrying on the values and know-how of the first generation. We even have members of the family’s third generation moving up through the ranks of the company.
In addition to supporting, advising and securing insurance for Mexican organisations at home, we advise and secure insurance for international companies with headquarters abroad who want to establish, or have already established a subsidiary in Mexico, and vice versa.

In January 2023 we became one of GrECo’s newest nova partners, and we are proud and grateful to start this new relationship.

Zaborovska: You’ve touched briefly on your role within the organisation.  Please can you tell us a bit more?
Weber: I am the International Director and I work diligently with my team of 12 in the international division. My role is to work closely with our international partners and in-house brokers and risk managers to tailor solutions for their specific needs, supporting them throughout the whole process. We distinguish ourselves by providing excellent customer service, which has secured us ongoing relationships with some clients for over + 60 years!  It has also meant, over the years, that we have been able to increase both personal and business lines.  We focus on always providing our clients with a wide range of integrated services which solve their problems, offer the best solutions, and the best cost-benefit without sacrificing quality.

Zaborovska: OK, and on to the burning question [no pun intended!] why is Mexico so hot right now?  What makes it a unique place for investors and insurance brokers?
Weber: Where to start?  There are so many reasons.  On the international scene and according to a new index from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Mexico is in the top 10 most visited countries in the world, with approximately 113 million visitors per year. In addition, with a population of almost 130 million it is among the 10 most populous countries in the world.  That, coupled with its rich cultural history due to its great diversity, favourable geography, and abundant natural resources, means it is one of the 15 largest economies globally and is second largest economy in Latin America.  It has solid macroeconomic institutions and is believed to be one of the best countries to trade with, offering some of the best investment opportunities. When you’ve got all that on your side, what’s not to love?

Zaborovska: What about the Mexican economy?  Hasn’t COVID-19 had a negative effect?
Weber: The Mexican economy grew 4.8% in 2021, after an 8.1% drop the previous year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Its recovery is slow but steady with a forecast to grow 2% in 2023. Mexico’s growth is supported by its willingness to trade, and a solid manufacturing export base connected to global value chains integrated with the United States.  

According to INEGI data, there are some specific economic sectors in Mexico that have helped the post-pandemic recovery: Tourism has had a big impact and the service sector is predicted to be the main economic driver during the first quarter of 2023. With regards to the industrial sector, after the recovery in 2021, the growth rate has stabilized, although for some sectors this has not been favourable. Mining, for example, is practically stagnant, and electricity and water suppliers have not yet recovered.  Manufacturing has already recovered to its pre-pandemic levels, but in 2022 its growth was more moderate, barely 5.5%. In the case of remittances, they have maintained constant growth in recent years and the Mexican economy received a record of 58,497 million dollars in remittances in 2022 – an increase of 13.4% compared to 2021. According to a report by the Bank of Mexico BANXICO remittances compete with automotive exports as the main source of foreign exchange for Mexico.

Zaborovska: Sounds positive.  Is there anything companies wanting to invest in Mexico should be aware of?
Weber: Definitely! Mexico has beautiful ecosystems and natural landscapes, but they come with high natural disaster risks. The threats of earthquakes, floods, droughts, and volcano eruptions are omnipresent, making it essential for any organisation in Mexico to have the right coverage and insurance policies in place, especially as climate change continues to exacerbate these issues further.

Zaborovska: Nearshoring is currently a popular strategy for businesses, how has it affected the business environment in Mexico?
Weber: The very nature of nearshoring – when a company transfers all or part of its operations to a nearby country that has a similar time zone, good cost-quality ratios, and cultural similarities – makes Mexico a prime location.  Currently Mexico is number one in Latin American nearshoring with real estate as the greatest participating sector.  It has an occupancy rate of 97%.

Zaborovska: Why is that?
Weber: Because Mexico is strategically positioned, a location that cannot be missed, even more so within the context in which it exists. Being neighbours with the United States of America, which is the largest exporter worldwide, means Mexico has great opportunities for better infrastructure and the use of existing fast and secure supply chains. However, real estate isn’t the only sector grasping nearshoring opportunities in Mexico with both hands.  Many different industries are snapping up the opportunities to nearshore here. The most prolific industry is automotive.  In January 2023 automotive companies announced that nearshoring investments in Mexico will amount to a total of circa US$2.5 billion (data from Datamétrica-Aporta).

Zaborovska: What’s the insurance market landscape like in Mexico?  Can you go into more detail for us?
Weber: It’s all go in Mexico! The country has positioned itself as one of the main leaders in the insurance business in Latin America, despite the global economic context. To ensure growth, there have been some changes in insurance regulations and laws in the last few years.  The purpose of which is to improve the service given and the accountability of all parties involved, as well as reducing risks and assuring the solvency of institutions to prevent the risk of bankruptcy. There have also been successful efforts to implement technology, create Insuretechs, and adapt to new customer demands, plus raise awareness of the benefits of having an insurance policy.

Almost three years after the COVID pandemic, Mexico boasts the second largest claims in history – second only to Hurricane Wilma – with 2.8 billion USD paid in medical and life coverages.  During this difficult time, insurance agents in Mexico became the most important channel for selling insurance policies and advising their clients correctly.

Zaborovska: Lastly, can you summarise in a nutshell what role your company plays in ensuring successful business in Mexico for anyone looking to invest here?
Weber: Mexico has a diverse market where there are multiple options for products, coverage, and costs; and as an insurance agent we have the important task of advising clients on how best to select and manage these. In Mexico we are aware of the importance of having good risk management, and many people are seeing the benefits of having insurance during difficult times, this allows us to visualize significant growth in the insurance sector.

Zaborovska: Thank you for your time Peter, we’re looking forward to working with you.
Weber: Thank you and likewise.  We look forward to nurturing a prosperous relationship with all of GrECo´s Partners around the world.

Natalia Zaborovska

Peter Weber

Proteccion Dinámica, Agente de Seguros y de Fianzas

Natalia Zaborovska

Natalia Zaborovska

Group Head of International

T +372 5824 3096

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Update on Insurance in Ukraine: Money Transfers Between Insurers and Reinsurers Possible Again

Overall insurance capacity on the local market remains rather low. Since beginning of this year, there is no more cover for SRCC, terrorism and sabotage available.

At the day of the outbreak of war in Ukraine, February 24th, 2022, the Ukrainian government introduced martial law in the country, which meant among other stipulations that money transfers were limited to a very small number of transactions. The intention behind this was to create the list of services and products for critical import need only and protect Ukrainian currency against speculation and depreciation. The international payments from Ukraine were stopped, which lead to the substantial decrease of the local insurance capacities.
Within 2022 the list of critical import was reviewed and expanded and now, the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has revised this policy by a decision of February 14th, 2023, to allow money transfers in the financial sector.
 Each local insurer has to apply anew for the authorization of premium and claim payment transfers; the insurer will then be listed as authorized company by NBU.
Authorization will be granted to insurers which did not violate the strict money transfer and special economic sanction regime valid since the beginning of the war. Insurance companies in Ukraine have to show in full transparency their ownership structure, solvency standards, capital adequacy and risk operations and they have to prove the good business reputation as a company and that of their owners and managers. Money transfer will be possible to non-resident reinsurers with a rating level not lower than “A3” (Moody’s), “A-” (Standard & Poor’s), “A-” (Fitch Ratings), “A-” (A.M. Best).
It cannot be said, however, that these new transfer possibilities lead to a renewed interest of “Western” insurers and reinsurers to offer capacity for Ukrainian risks. Existing reinsurance treaties will be honored and the support for local insurers will be given to a certain extent, but market opinions indicate that “Western” reinsurance markets will still be reluctant to engage themselves in Ukraine due to the open war situation.
Ukrainian insurance market data from 3rd Quarter 2022, the newest ones available, show a 21.4 % decline in Non-Life insurance and a 13.85 % decline in Life, leading to an overall premium volume in the first three quarters of last year of UAH 25 billion (EUR 625 million).
Overall insurance capacity on the local market remains rather low. Since beginning of this year, there is no more cover for SRCC, terrorism and sabotage available.
We shall keep you informed regularly on any new development on this market.

Andreas Krebs

Andreas Krebs

Head of Insurance Mediation Services

T +43 5 0404 229

Andreas Krebs

Tetyana Mieshkova

GrECo / MAI Ukraine

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Albanian Insurance Market Is a Relatively New and Emerging Market: Interview With Elnar Gashi

Jonathan Höh, Group Sales & Market Coordinator, spoke with Elnar Gashi, General Manager of GrECo Albania, about the state of Albanian insurance market.

How do the current political developments and economic conditions in Albania influence the insurance industry and clients’ risks?
The Albanian insurance market is a relatively new and emerging market. Despite that, it has been growing steadily over the years and has great potential for further growth in average terms of 10%.

Sure, the last political and economic development have influenced and led the market toward new challenges. The recent developments related to pandemics, earthquakes, war and energy crises, growing of FDI in the infrastructure and energy sector have increased the intention of the market in some other direction such as Health and Employee Benefits (EB), covering of CatNat losses and finding alternative renewable energy sources. So considering all these developments, there is a different approach and added interest from companies and businesses to buy EB products, Liabilities EAR /CAR and energy packages for diversified energy plants – PVP, HPP, and Wind Projects.  

What are the biggest risks foreign companies doing business in Albania need to consider?
Albania, as a candidate country for the EU, is trying to achieve European standards to be an easy country of doing business with. All sectors are open to foreign investors and there are no legal barriers to market entry. Recently Albania has made significant reforms to ease trade and encourage foreign direct investment, including in administrative procedures, customs, business registration, licensing, payment of taxes, e-services, and e-procurement.
Nevertheless, despite efforts in that direction, there are still major challenges and risks which need to be considered:

  • The judicial system is poor and weak
  • The official register of property titles is incomplete and poorly maintained. Multiple claims to the same property are common, and there are legislative and legal gaps regarding restitution and compensation.
  • Informal competition and corruption
  • Lack of proper infrastructure

What are the main facts of the insurance market in Albania?
The Albanian insurance market still is a small market and market-oriented on the motor mandatory product -DMTPL.
The Total Gross Premium volume of 179 MIL EUR is mainly focused in the non-life area- 92% and 8% Life.
Reinsurance almost does not exist in the Albanian market; it is represented by one local company with a restricted capacity and no rating.  MTPL still dominate the market with 68% of the premiums. The main carriers on the market are Austrian companies, Uniqa and VIG  who dominate more than 50% of the market.
There are in total 8 Non-Life and 3 Life Insurance companies.
As a new market with poor portfolio diversification, the competition is concentrated on MTPL
The main distribution channels for insurance products are direct sales from carriers, agents and brokers:

  • 55% direct sales
  • 35% agents 
  • 10% brokers

Recently there is an increased interest mostly from international businesses to cooperate with brokers.
Since the beginning of 2023, MAI Albania is operating under the new brand name as GrECo Albania – as the first and the only international broker in Albania.

Brokers account for about 10%of all corporate insurance sales in Albania. Is the share the same in life business?
As mentioned the Broker activity is relatively new in our market. Mostly foreign companies who have a previous culture of cooperation with brokers prefer to buy their insurance through broker service. For corporations and businesses ( for P&C ) the penetration of broker service is 10% and for the other line, this level is not the same. For life service, this level is around  2% and it is related to market orientation, while life in total is 8%.  GrECo Albania, as a broker focused on P&C, is in the range of 4-5%.

After the pandemic crisis, corporations have been more sensible in their HR approach, we have an increased interest in them to complete efficient EB programs (Life, Health and Accidents). Especially more sensible in that direction have been international clients, and we have provided them with different EB packages and Health packages combined with Life or PA.

Actually, for existing EB clients and prospective ones, we are offering facilitation of EB plans by using effective online platforms such as MELP or Lifeworks. We are at the beginning and hope very soon this platform can help us to increase our EB portfolio and facilitate and to add benefits for our clients.

Please describe your incoming business servicing capabilities?
As the first international broker licensed in Albania, we have been providing our brokering service for life and non-life business and reinsurance activity.

What is important to be mentioned is that at first our business was related and based on our network requirements with a composition of more than 95% as a network client. Now, this structure is completely different with 40% Network and 60% local clients. Since 2008, as the first and the only internationally licensed broker in Albania,  we have been providing our broker service for both International and domestic clients, mostly focused on P&C (construction, energy, oil industry, aviation and telecommunication).

Recently considering the last efforts and interest of the market for diversification of energy sources we are focused on the Photovoltaic energy sector. Thanks to the support of GrECo Energy, Power & Mining Practice, we are concluding placement for the first two biggest PVP in Albania – 150 MW and 50MW ( EAR /CAR EL GL S&T DSU ). In coming years, we expect the demands for such projects and other projects in infrastructure to be higher.

How many years of experience does your team have in international client servicing?  Can you tell us about your most complicated case when dealing with international clients?
As the first and the only international broker in Albania, we have been providing our service to international companies who have been operating in Albania for 15 years.
Our international team has a long experience in insurance and reinsurance – more than 20 years, our international team speaks Albanian, English and Italian. 
One of the most complicated cases that we have been dealing with is an Oil Industry case including B. Petroleum Albania. We have been providing our service in cooperation with JLT  for this Canadian Drilling Company for more than 10 years until they changed management 4 years ago. We have been providing a full energy package for them ( PD/BI, GL, EL, OEE ). The most complicated case was 8 years ago when one of the wells blew up and created serious damage and we were involved to assist with claim procedures. It was not an easy claim, it was a very complex claim and a mixed claim between GL and OEE.

Where do you focus on when advising clients and what special expertise have you developed?
The strongest points we have been focused on to advise clients are our long-term experience and professionalism as the first international insurance broker, as well as our knowledge of local and access to international markets. Combined with our approach to consulting clients rather than selling products and our dedicated assistance in claims, we provide market-leading risk and insurance advisory in Albania.

Jonathan Höh

Group Sales & Market Coordination

T +43 664 962 39 20

Elnar Gashi

Elnar Gashi

General Manager GrECo Albania

T +355 684046206

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End of International Coverage for Russia / Belarus / Ukraine?

End of International Coverage for Russia / Belarus / Ukraine?

In the negotiations taking place on contract renewal, it has turned out that the international insurance industry is no longer willing to agree on coverage for Russia and Belarus, and the options for coverage in Ukraine are also very limited.

Since it began, the Russian aggression against Ukraine has led to numerous economic changes, the scope of which still cannot be fully assessed. Keywords such as energy crisis, inflation, stagflation or even recession dominate international reporting, lectures and discussions. The insurance industry’s core business was affected by the consequences of the war from the start. In the beginning, there was the withdrawal of “Western” reinsurers from the Russian market, followed by the self-isolation of the Russian insurance market and the interruption of cross-border payment flows due to the declaration of martial law in Ukraine.

Both markets – Belarus plays a subordinate role here given the low level of international trade and investments – were thus isolated, but insurance cover was still available locally, albeit with significantly reduced capacities, especially in Ukraine. It was therefore reassuring that international insurance programs were honoured during their remaining contract period in 2022 and coverage was provided for all three states involved in the war via the Financial Interest Clause of the master contract.

Territorial exclusion is an issue during insurance contract renewal

In the negotiations taking place on contract renewal, it has turned out that the international insurance industry is no longer willing to agree on coverage for Russia and Belarus, and the options for coverage in Ukraine are also very limited. It is, of course, the first time in decades that a war involving a major power is taking place that is being opposed and indirectly fought by other major powers, and this is probably the reason why insurers have not only focused on the exclusions of coverage briefly described below in connection with war and the imposition of sanctions but introduce a territorial exclusion for Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. This attitude is unique and must therefore be examined critically at this point. The exclusion clause, as also acknowledged by reinsurers, represents the last link in a three-part exclusion chain, a simple solution that avoids any discussion concerning a risk located in one of the countries.

Traditional: the War Exclusion Clause

Let us now take a closer look at this three-part set of exclusions.

The traditional precaution of the insurer against having to pay claims which would by frequency and amount destroy any insurance portfolio and might lead to a serious threat to the continued existence of the insurance company is the war exclusion anchored in the General Conditions, above all for property and liability insurance, although differently defined. In fire insurance (including business interruption!), the clause says that “damage caused by the direct or indirect effect of acts of war … including all acts of violence by states …” as well as “all military or official measures connected with the acts mentioned …” are not covered.

According to a newer definition, liability insurance does not provide insurance cover “for damage caused by acts of violence by states or against states and their bodies, acts of violence by political and terrorist organizations, …”. Both definitions are therefore very broad and general and will be checked by the insurer in the event of a claim in Ukraine and, if necessary, applied to decline payment of a claim. However, the burden of proof lies with the insurer – despite the contrary, contestable definition in property insurance that can sometimes be found. In any case, the insurer is protected against claims for war damage.

Sanctions prohibit insurance in certain areas

After the war broke out, the EU as well as the US and UK, responded with economic sanctions against Russia, specially designated Russian citizens and entities. The eight packages of sanctions of the EU now in existence are related to export and import restrictions for precisely named goods recorded in lists. Compliance with the sanctions is binding for legal and natural persons within the EU, disregarding them or circumventing the EU is a punishable offence. It follows that no insurance cover can be granted for sanctioned persons, organizations and goods, including their production, trade with them and transport.

In recent years – long before the war in Ukraine – insurers have therefore formulated sanctions clauses that exclude coverage for activities and goods subject to sanctions. The insurers’ exposure is thus further reduced since some sectors and products are now subject to sanctions for Russia. However, it must also be emphasized that the EU has expressly stated that there must be no product sanctions for food, sanitary articles, medicines and other products of humanitarian need. Although sanctions intend to affect the Russian economy, they should not contribute to punishing innocent citizens. It is therefore expected in the dialogue between insurance customers and insurers that the sanction clause will be checked for its specific applicability in individual cases when the insurance contract is concluded or in the case of a claim.

Territorial exclusion reduces the value of the International program

These two clauses, which are justified and allow an examination of the individual case and represent at least some protection of the insured if a claim is not due to war or in connection with sanctions, are now accompanied by territorial exclusion as a third clause. Its application means that the insurer no longer has to deal in any way with risks, contracts or claims in any of the countries concerned. It is therefore an a priori refusal of cover, which has only seldom been seen in this form up to now. It has not even been applied to the famous “rogue states”.

Insurance lawyers will object here that there is no obligation to contract in industrial insurance and that the insurance company can refuse to assume a risk at any time. The legal provisions on the increase in risk even suggest that an insurer does not have to assume a risk that it considers to be high. This is correct, but for reasons of fairness alone, an insurer who is willing to insure known risks worldwide as part of an international insurance program should not start excluding individual countries. If such an example catches on, it’s not far to the erosion of the insurance program, when other countries that are problematic for whatever reason, like China, Iran and whoever, are put on the exclusion list.

Another often-heard argument for this exclusion is compliance: it is not appropriate to continue to support the Russian economy and this also applies to insurance and reinsurance. As with other measures, however, the one who ultimately suffers is not the warring state of Russia, but the policyholder who has gone to the countries of Eastern Europe with his activities. He is now told that he can insure his risks locally, which is a very weak alternative given the limited capacities in Russia or the scarcity of insurance sums in Ukraine. Comparable to accepting a high degree of underinsurance.

Individual solutions required

Nevertheless, we are confident that in individual cases it will be possible to obtain coverage in the country of the master treaty when it comes to risks with a humanitarian context, when the risk locations are not directly in war-affected areas of Ukraine, when the volume of insurance in one of the states concerned is small compared to the rest of the world, when transports between third countries involving one of the three states have to be insured, etc. It is worthwhile to negotiate with the insurance industry on an individual basis, at least to arrive at a compromise solution, such as coverage with a review clause in the event of a clear escalation of the war.

Andreas Krebs

Andreas Krebs

Head of Insurance Mediation Services

T +43 5 0404 229

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Insurance from Copacabana to Ponta da Piedade

Insurance From Copacabana to Ponta da Piedade

José Manuel Fonseca, CEO of GrECo nova partner MDS Group, talks to GrECo nova Network Coordinator Jonathan Höh about the special features and differences of the two largest MDS insurance markets: Portugal and Brazil.

The two countries have many things in common, such as language and their dynamic growth, but on closer inspection, they could not be more different. Jonathan Höh and José Manuel Fonseca take a closer look at the insurance markets of Portugal and Brazil.

MDS is the market leader in Portugal with almost 300 employees in 9 local offices and in Brazil among the top 3 insurance brokers, with more than 500 employees in 12 locations.

HÖH: José Manuel, tell us something about the insurance markets in Portugal and Brazil.

Fonseca: Let’s start with Portugal. Here, the insurance market is highly developed – in terms of population – at just under 5%, but of course much smaller than the Brazilian insurance market. However, Portugal is currently experiencing a growth spurt due to the events of the last few years. For example, the pandemic has led to an increased demand for health & benefits solutions. We are experiencing an upward trend, especially in health and accident insurance, which is expected to continue. In addition, Covid-19 and the global natural disasters have unfortunately led to a massive hardening of the market in Portugal as well. In property and business interruption insurance, liability insurance, but also in financial lines such as D&O and cyber, capacities are tumbling and premiums are rising, in some cases massively. In summary, the Portuguese insurance market is characterised by stronger demand for personal insurance, especially health insurance, and despite the tough market environment, also for cyber and D&O insurance. In addition, there is significant growth in retail and insurance related to e-commerce platforms, B2B2C as well as online sales.

The Brazilian insurance market is also developing well. The main drivers here are agriculture, livestock, health and technology, with the latter gaining tremendously in importance due to the exponential increase in teleworking. We expect this trend to translate into increased demand for cyber insurance in Brazil as well. Agricultural insurance has also seen the largest growth in recent years, with a 30% increase. Other booming areas, partly due to the pandemic, are surety and credit insurance.

Brazil is also attractive to foreign investors but is considered a high-risk country in terms of stability, corruption, bureaucracy and currency fluctuations. Therefore, hedging political risk is important.

HÖH: Let’s go into a little more detail. Where do you see the main differences?

Fonseca: In Portugal, an EU member, most insurance regulations are similar to those in other EU countries. After all, they are based on EU regulations and directives. For example, motor vehicle liability insurance has been compulsory for forty years, and the scope of coverage is at the European level. Brazil also has compulsory third party motor insurance, but at such a low level that it does not provide sufficient minimum protection. This means that international corporations are well advised – especially when travelling on business with rented cars – to purchase the so-called “non-ownership clause” as a protective cover in their global liability programmes to guarantee a minimum level of protection.

Brazil, unlike Portugal, is a broker market. This means that in Brazil it is mandatory to purchase insurance through an insurance broker. Another key difference that is relevant for large international companies, concerns the reinsurance capacity. In Brazil, reinsurance is highly regulated. Many companies have to reinsure through the largest Brazilian reinsurer IRB, Instituto de Resseguros do Brasil, while in Portugal risks can be freely placed on the international reinsurance market. 

HÖH: What distinguishes the MDS Group as a partner for the industry?

MDS was founded in Portugal over 35 years ago. From the beginning, we have strived to build a global company that challenges standards, sets trends, modernises processes and expands business areas and portfolios. With our presence in seven countries – Portugal, Brazil, Spain, Angola, Mozambique, Malta and Switzerland – MDS is a strong partner for the industry and an independent leader in several markets, with Portugal and Brazil being our two largest markets.

Since 2017, we have also been Lloyd’s broker, incidentally the only one from a Portuguese-speaking country.
We will continue to focus on digital transformation as one of our strategic priorities, investing in technology, software development and teams of experts.

For example, we have developed an app that allows our clients to access their insurance portfolio easily and quickly via mobile phone. To meet the need for efficient processes, we are also using digital tools to manage most administrative tasks, enabling both our clients and our teams to invest freed-up time resources in high-quality activities.
About José Manuel Fonseca
Jose Manuel Fonseca has led the MDS Group for 20 years, growing the company from a small broker to a giant in the Portuguese-speaking region. He has 35 years of experience in the risk and insurance industry. Fonseca is also chairman and founder of Brokerslink and a former vice-president of FERMA (The Federation of European Risk Management Associations) and a board member of CIAB (The US Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers). In 2018, he was awarded the “The Broker Leader of the Year” award by FERMA.

About MDS Group
MDS was founded in Portugal over 35 years ago. With an active presence in seven countries – Portugal, Brazil, Spain, Angola, Mozambique, Malta and Switzerland – MDS is a strong player in the European brokerage landscape and an independent leader in several markets. The company employs 900 people who manage a premium volume of 650 million EUR and generate a turnover of 80 million EUR.

This article is a part of our latest Spotlight publication focusing on supply chain issues. Read the publication and learn more about how you can protect your business from changes and unpredictable supply chain disruptions.

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Jonathan Höh

Network Coordinatoron

T +43 5 04 04 396

José Manuel Fonseca


War in Ukraine – impact on insurance

In the event of war, insurance contracts generally continue to run until their natural expiry date, but coverage must be considered to be very limited, as losses directly or indirectly related to war events are excluded in almost all lines of business.

The war in Ukraine, which has been raging since February 24th, and the response of the Western world in the form of economic sanctions against Russia have so far had a drastic impact on the insurance industry. Insurance brokers who deal with risks located in Ukraine and Russia and whose clients include Russian legal entities or natural persons are therefore obliged to deal with these effects.

Insurance of risks in Ukraine

According to the insurance definition, the entire territory of Ukraine is to be classified as a war zone, and strict sanctions also apply to the territories of Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk.

In the event of war, insurance contracts generally continue to run until their natural expiry date, but coverage must be considered to be very limited, as losses directly or indirectly related to war events are excluded in almost all lines of business. A grey area also arises in the case of losses that remain still covered, as obligations as a prerequisite for payment by the insurer cannot possibly be met. This will have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Insurance companies outside Ukraine are not prepared to renew insurance contracts or write new business in view of the war situation and the associated imponderables for contract performance. Insurance companies based in Ukraine are currently operating in emergency mode and can only provide a very limited service. It must therefore be assumed that there will be great difficulties in providing proper insurance cover in Ukraine.

Insurance of risks in Russia

Russia itself is not a war zone, existing coverages and contracts are therefore in principle fully valid. However, Russia is affected by sanctions imposed by the UN, the EU, the USA and Great Britain, which include a ban on insurance services for certain persons, companies and entities as well as certain goods and productions (sectoral sanctions). These sanctions must be complied with by all citizens of the respective issuing states or communities of states under personal threat of punishment.

While it cannot be the task of the insurance broker to advise his clients on the sanctions associated with the delivery of goods or financial transactions, it is part of his service commitment to provide information on possibilities for insuring risks, insofar as these are legally permissible in the light of the sanctions, and to take appropriate measures to obtain insurance cover.

In addition to the sanctions briefly mentioned here, all Western insurers and reinsurers have now decided not to offer any new capacity to Russian insurers. The Russian Federation reacted to this at the beginning of this week and, for its part, has banned Russian insurers from cooperating with foreign partners – i.e. insurers and insurance brokers – from “unfriendly countries”, including all EU members, until the end of this year. Thus, Russia is isolated from the international insurance market. The major international insurance brokers have subsequently withdrawn from Russia, and insurers with subsidiaries in Russia will most likely follow.

If the interests of EU-domiciled clients in Russia now require insurance cover, the only recommended course of action is for the respective company representatives to contact a Russian insurance broker on site, who can then obtain the required cover. This is because from an EU perspective, insurance brokers, as well as other companies, are not allowed to contact most Russian insurers because they are on the sanctions list as described above. On the other hand, the Russian insurance market consists of several professional insurers, which are now backed by the Russian state reinsurance company, so that common insurance coverage seems to be available. However, it should be borne in mind that insurance is only possible in rubles, lower sums insured than those needed could only be obtained and the financial strength of these insurers will also suffer in the future as a result of the sanctions.

It is currently still being examined whether capacities for Austrian interests in Ukraine and Russia are available from Austrian or Western insurers within the concept of balance sheet protection (so-called FINC clause); expectations must be classified, however, as rather limited for the time being.

Insurance of Russian interests within the European Union, the UK and the US

The sanction regime outlined above also requires the verification of Russian interests in Western states. The media have already reported confiscations of the property of oligarchs on the Mediterranean or in Great Britain. In this sense, the provision of insurance in the EU, the United Kingdom and the United States to sanctioned persons or entities is also prohibited. If sanctioned persons are found in an existing portfolio, the insurance broker must also withdraw from these persons or entities and terminate the business relationship, preferably in consultation with the insurance companies concerned. In case of doubt, institutions such as the Chambers of Commerce or the Ministry dealing with the sanction regime provide information on whether a person or company or entity is subject to sanctions. However, it is expected that a preliminary check will be made by the broker using the published sanctions lists.


Although the scope of economic ties with Belarus may be significantly smaller than that of relations with Russia, it can be assumed that, on the one hand, the sanctions will increasingly be applied to this country as well and, on the other hand, the Western insurance industry will completely withdraw from cooperation with local insurers.

Please note that all information is based on the current state of developments in this military conflict and changes may occur at any time.

Related Insights

Andreas Krebs

Andreas Krebs

Head of Insurance Mediation Services

T +43 5 0404 229

Current status of sanctions against Russia and certain Ukrainian territories

EU sanctions prohibit any direct or indirect economic interactions (prohibition of payment and provision of services) with listed persons, as well as with all companies in which a listed legal entity or natural person has an ownership interest of 50% or more.

This is an overview of the current status of EU measures, with more focus on sanctions relevant to the financial sector/insurance (mediation) services. The summary includes the sanctions imposed in 2014 against Russia and Crimea, which are still in effect, and the sanctions most recently imposed in February of 2022 which are again in addition to the sanctions in place and targeted towards Russia and the occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

For more detailed information on particular clients, corporate entities or private individuals you can contact Nathan Pinhasov from GrECo Group Legal,, or Andreas Krebs from GrECo Group Insurance Mediation Services,

Sanctions against private individuals

IEU sanctions prohibit any direct or indirect economic interactions (prohibition of payment and provision of services) with listed persons, as well as with all companies in which a listed legal entity or natural person has an ownership interest of 50% or more.

In addition, this applies to companies controlled directly or indirectly by sanctioned persons or to those where these persons may exercise a dominant influence.

The list of persons against whom financial actions apply was extended several times by Executive Order 2022/260 (listing 21 natural persons, two banks and one company) and Executive Order 2022/261 (listing 335 Duma deputies) of 23. February 2022, as well as on February 25 with Decree 2022/332, against 99 additional natural persons, including No. 670 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as well as No. 699 Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The following activities are examples of EU’s prohibition on payment and provision of services:

  • Transfers of funds
  • Sale of goods
  • Provision of services
  • Management of assets
  • Provision of other economic resources, e.g.: Cash, checks, monetary claims, Deposits with financial institutions, Publicly and privately traded securities and debt instruments including: Stocks and shares, Interest, dividends, or other income, Loans, guarantees, Bank guarantees, Documents containing indicia of participation in funds, etc.

Sanctions against Legal Entities

In addition to natural persons, selected legal entities have also been sanctioned by the EU. These sanctions – analogous to the sanctions for natural persons – prohibit direct or indirect economic interaction in the form of a prohibition on payment and provision of services (see non exhaustive list above). The assets of the listed legal entities in the EU will be frozen.

  • Several Russian banks are excluded from the international payment system SWIFT. All those already sanctioned in the past are affected by said SWIFT exclusion. Further financial institutions and banks could be excluded from SWIFT.
  • Ban on transactions with and freezing of the Russian Central Bank’s assets within the EU and G7 countries, no more transactions possible within the EU.
  • European airspace ban on Russian aircraft.
  • Media companies such as Sputnik, Russia Today and their subsidiaries are restricted in their activities in the EU.
  • Sanctions against Belarus: EU import ban on Belarusian products such as minerals fuels, tobacco, wood, cement, iron and steel, and personal sanctions.

Sectoral Sanctions

  • Military goods embargo: The direct/indirect export, supply, sale of military equipment and other defense material to Russia is prohibited. Also prohibited are technical assistance and brokering services, as well as financing the supply.
  • Export ban for dual use goods: Prohibited direct/indirect supply/export/sale of listed dual use items (Annex I of Dual Use Regulation 2022/328), irrespective of their civilian or military use, with or without origin in the Union. Dual use goods are designed or suitable for both civilian and military purposes.
  • Prohibition of payment, provision of services and direct/indirect supply/export/sale of goods and technology different from listed dual use items: General electronics, computers/electronic assemblies, telecommunications and information security, sensors and lasers, navigation and avionics, marine and aeronautical, and space and propulsion equipment therefor with technical performance capabilities different from listed dual use items.
  • Export ban on certain oil equipment goods: The indirect/direct supply/export/sale of goods and technology, whether originating in the Union or not, which can be used for oil refining, directly or indirectly to or for use in Russia shall be prohibited. The prohibition also applies to technical assistance, brokering services, and financing or financial assistance related thereto, whether directly or indirectly.
  • Export ban on aircraft and spacecraft, parts thereof, and technical and financial assistance and (re)insurance related thereto.
  • Extensive Restrictions of the EU capital market: For instance, the exclusion of certain Russian banks and military and oil industry companies from EU capital market.

In addition to the previous prohibitions on buying, selling, brokering, providing investment services or ancillary services, directly or indirectly, transferable securities and money market instruments with a maturity of more than 30 days from Russian banks listed in Annex III to Regulation 833/2014 (SBER Bank, VTB Bank, VEB Bank, GAZPROM Bank, ROSSELKHOZ Bank), on or after 12 April 2022, also applicable to Alfa Bank, Bank Otkritie, Bank Rossiya and Promsvyazbank), as well as for Russian companies in the military and oil industries (Almaz-Antey Kamaz Sea Trading Port, Novorossiysk Rostec, Russian Railways, JSC PO Sevmash Sovcomflot and United Shipbuilding Corporation).

Regional Sanctions in Ukraine

Sanctions in relation to Crimea and Sevastopol
Import ban on goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol effective from June 2014: the EU prohibits the import of all goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol and financing and insurance/reinsurance related to them.

As of December 20, 2014, further prohibition applies on export of certain goods and technology listed in Regulation 692/2014 Annex II to natural or legal persons, entities or bodies in Crimea or Sevastopol or for use therein. Similarly, the sale, supply, transfer of these goods and related direct or indirect technical assistance, brokering services, financing are prohibited.

Sanctions against the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and in response to the deployment of Russian forces to the regions

Further questions?
The CC Credit Team will be happy to answer any specific questions you may have about your trade credit insurance contract. Please contact us directly.

  • Ban on Import: The import of goods originating in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions not controlled by the Ukrainian government is prohibited as of February 24, 2022. It is also prohibited to provide, directly or indirectly, financing or financial assistance, as well as insurance and reinsurance, for the import of these goods. The prohibition does not apply to goods originating in these territories, if the goods are provided to and have been inspected by the Ukrainian authorities and a certificate of origin has been issued by the Ukrainian government.
  • Ban on new investments: Prohibited from acquiring real estate, facilities, securities of a participating nature, or shares in the foregoing, or expanding existing investments thereof. Prohibited from providing financing to entities, establishing joint ventures with entities, and providing investment services thereto in the non-Government-controlled Donetsk and Luhansk Oblasts.
  • Export ban on goods in the fields of transport, telecommunications, energy, prospecting, exploration and extraction of oil, gas and mineral resources
  • Prohibition on provision of technical assistance or intermediary services, construction or engineering services for infrastructure: The competent national authorities (in Austria: BMEIA) may, by way of derogation from the above prohibitions on new investment, export of goods and provision of technical and financial assistance, make exceptions for humanitarian reasons or to ensure the security of existing infrastructure.
  • Tourism activities: Prohibition on providing services directly related to tourism activities in the occupied Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

Please note that this information has been compiled based on the sanction regime valid from week 09, 2022, and that there may be amendments at any time when the crisis worsens. We will keep you updated on further developments.

Related Insights

Andreas Krebs

Andreas Krebs

Head of Insurance Mediation Services

T +43 5 0404 229

Insurance Market Update Central Eastern Europe (CEE)

Europe coming together – also in insurance

Like in other economic areas, differences between the Eastern European countries and the rest of Europe are also disappearing in insurance. CEE states have travelled a long way after the fall of the Iron Curtain: they started at a very low point of insurance volume, but insurance penetration has steadily been growing, “Western” insurance practices and legislations have been introduced very fast. Today the CEE insurance market consists of both subsidiaries of international groups and strong local companies.

Whereas at the beginning there was only motor insurance and industrial insurance in the focus, the population can by now afford better insurance for their property as well as life insurance. Only liability insurance remains behind, as the jurisdiction is still not at the high level of protecting the interests of claimants like in the rest of Europe.
For this reason, the change in underwriting behaviour we are currently facing is somehow smoother on the CEE markets, but the general strategy of international groups and business exchange with reinsurance will lead to similar situations like in other highly developed markets.
For the most recent developments on the CEE insurance markets we have picked Poland, Czech Republic and Russia as a model for other markets.


In 2020 the Polish insurance market achieved a premium volume of 20.7 bn PZN (4.6 bn EUR) in Life insurance and 40.7 bn PZN (9 bn EUR) in Non-Life. Insurance penetration stands at 3.7 %, thus reflecting the country’s overall picture as one of the well-advanced economies among the Eastern countries. There is a typical consolidation tendency on the insurance market, as shown by the recent sales between international groups: Nationale Nederlanden bought MetLife, Allianz took over Aviva and Uniqa purchased Axa. Despite these changes, most European insurance groups are active in Poland, contributing largely to the capacity of the market along with major Polish insurer PZU. For overall market figures

For many years, Poland has been a rather low-premium market due to high competition and relatively good results in most lines of business. This has changed by now in industrial insurance, where international standards and practices are more and more adopted. So, we have seen the same tendencies like in Western Europe at the last renewal and are expecting them for the renewal(s) to come:

  • more underwriting information required in order to support a policy of selective underwriting, but still no withdrawal from certain branches or occupations;
  • increase of deductibles;
  • price increase in PDBI and Cyber of 10 % – 20 %, and of 20 % – 30 % in D&O, thus more moderate than in other countries.
  • CAR insurance is well developing due to the booming construction industry in the country, but bad loss experience in civil engineering for roads, hydrotechnical plants and tunnelling is leading to a reduction of market capacity, available only at higher price.

One of the great changes the Polish economy will have to face is the transformation from coal as the country’s most important energy source, to other, “green”, sources. Although this will take some time, opportunities for innovation of both the technical bases and insurance solutions will positively influence the insurance market.
Still, one of the main concerns of the insurers is to obtain higher market shares, which leads on the one hand to product innovation and product enrichment in life insurance and to a wild price war on the other.

Czech Republic

The Non-life insurance premium of this traditional industrial nation amounted in 2020 to 94.7 bn CZK (3.6 bn EUR) and the Life insurance premium reached 46.5 bn CZK (1.8 bn EUR). This results in a good average insurance penetration of 3.2 %. Market shares of the insurers working in the country remain stable. After the integration of former state-owned market leader Ceska pojistovna into Generali a short time ago, the market is dominated by the big European insurance groups. Generali will also reach out to integrate their company in neighbouring Slovakia into Generali CZ, thus again creating one market for both countries.
The insurance market has gone well through the Covid-19 pandemic, as the peril was excluded from all wordings except travel insurance. It seems that the market will become interesting for MGAs working with the capacity of German and British insurers. The year 2020 was relatively good for the insurance market with the same claims experience like in the previous year.

  • The general underwriting policy remains unchanged except for some insurance lines like D&O, cyber and similar financial lines, where local carriers follow the approach of the international markets, reducing the capacities and increasing the price by 10 – 20 %.
  • In industrial insurance, pricing remains stable and is rather competitive.
  • There is also a strong tendency to increase prices in motor insurance for all clients with a long-term loss ratio above 60 %. There is a high stability in the scope of coverage provided, with no signs of restrictions.

Related Insights

Andreas Krebs

Andreas Krebs

Head of Insurance Mediation Services

T +43 5 0404 229

In the jungle of insurance taxes

An overview of taxes, levies and other charges for policyholders in CEE countries.

The possibility of companies not receiving payment for their products sold or services performed always exists. Poor payment discipline, insolvency procedures, political risks, risks and prevention measures we faced in relation to COVID-19 pandemic are the ones which can jeopardize company’s financial security. In most jurisdictions around the world insurance premiums are subject to indirect taxation, such as VAT, Goods and Services Tax or a specific tax, such as insurance premium tax (IPT), stamp duty or other levies. Over the past few years and in line with a global trend of governments’ positions to take profit from bigger market turnovers, a growing number of countries have introduced or increased insurance premium tax and parafiscal charges.

In most of Eastern Europe, but definitely within the European Union member countries, insurance services are generally exempt from VAT, and most EU Member States have introduced a tax or levy on insurance premiums. The variety of taxes on insurance premiums can be a burden for insurers writing global multi-jurisdictional programmes, as they need to understand which taxes apply in countries where risks are located. Insurers often need to administer and pay taxes in those countries, and historically there has not always been a high level of compliance when it comes to “foreign” insurance taxes. Non-compliance is still an issue, and application of local taxes should be agreed with the insurer considering the size of each risk.

  • One of the major issues for the correct calculation of taxes in international programmes and for the tax payment in the state where the tax is due, lies in the principle applied by individual tax legislation. Most of these tax laws stipulate that the insurance tax is due in the country where the (property) risk is located, the company activity is deployed or where vehicles are registered (principle of risk location).
  • Some countries, like Germany, add to this basic principle the stipulation that the tax is due in their country, if the policyholder is a national citizen or company (principle of policyholder). The obvious conflict between the two principles may be solved by superseding EU regulation or by a double-taxation agreement. Each case must be examined individually.
  • The third principle that applies at least in EU countries is that insurance of international transports and credit risks is exempted from taxation. There are other special rules for the insurance of diplomats or travel insurances, but this would lead to far in this general survey.

With these considerations in mind, brokers are becoming more concerned about their obligation of correct advice giving in respect of foreign insurance taxes. Although in most cases the insurer will transfer the tax amount to the respective tax office abroad, the policyholder remains liable for the correct tax payment and is held directly responsible by the state that does not receive the tax in accordance with their legislation. It is the duty of the broker to check at least the correct tax calculation by the insurer.

Insurance Premium Taxes in Eastern Europe

In Eastern Europe, IPT is still in its early stages and the amounts collected remain relatively low, when compared to Western European standards. Among the territories that joined the EU in 2004, multiple countries have not yet introduced a Western European IPT regime. This is the case in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania but also in the Czech Republic. Bulgaria is an example of low insurance premium taxation. Slovenia and Slovakia, in turn, have IPT rates closer to those applied in Western Europe and with a limited number of exemptions.

Hungary has introduced a so called IPT regime, but in fact it is based on an insurance levy to be paid directly by the insurer in accordance with the size and structure of his portfolio, following a sliding scale model. This means that the insurer must not put insurance tax on his premium invoice. Of course, he is allowed to consider the levy among his costs in the premium calculation.

The same levy principle applies in Romania or Poland, where insurers have to pay direct contributions to the state for various reasons but are not allowed to charge the policyholders directly. They will be hidden, however, in the overall premium calculation.

Looking at the non-EU countries in Eastern Europe, almost no IPT regimes can be observed. Serbia imposes a 5% insurance tax payable by the insured on all non-lifelines except health, accident and credit. In Ukraine, a levy calculated on gross written premiums (GWP) has to be paid by locally admitted insurers and reinsurers (excluding any inward reinsurance acceptances and without deduction of outward reinsurance remittances) and other contributions to funds have to be paid by insurers for almost all non-life lines.

In Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan multiple levies on all non-life classes including inward reinsurance apply. In Azerbaijan the supervisory levy is collected on all classes of insurance.

In view of the various terms used for describing insurance taxes, levies, contributions, stamp duties etc., we recommend differentiating between:

  • Insurance taxes = always paid separately by the policyholder and shown clearly in the premium invoice
  • Additional taxes = also paid by the policyholder, apply to some lines of business only; e.g. fire brigade tax for policies insuring fire risks, motor insurance tax in connection with Motor TPL insurance
  • Levies and similar contributions to the state or to funds (also called parafiscal charges) = paid by the insurer and being part of his overall expenses

Increasing international discussions

While taxation, including insurance taxation, remains a largely sovereign matter, a number of prominent tax issues are increasingly being discussed at international or EU level. In recent years, for instance, policymakers have been seeking ways to ensure that companies pay their fair share of tax and avoid profit shifting to reduce their tax bills. Due to the cross-border nature of tax evasion and avoidance, this effort requires international cooperation. This development also touches the area of insurance premium tax and levies.

There are discussions on EU level to have insurance taxes replaced by ordinary VAT. This would mean that indirect insurance taxation becomes common use throughout the Union and associated partners, but the implementation will still take some time, as it is not considered to be a major issue to be solved.

Ensuring Compliance for GrECo clients

Giving advice on correct insurance taxation to clients is an integrated part of our service delivery. All GrECo employees have access to information material in this respect from international sources, selected local information and internal news. Under its compliance policy, the GrECo Group is continuously monitoring all developments in taxation in GrECo markets and offers evaluation of complex insurance taxation cases where a more thorough study of legal texts and practice is needed.

Related Insights

Andreas Krebs

Andreas Krebs

Head of Insurance Mediation Services

T +43 5 0404 229

We think and live internationally

The demands on risk and insurance management are naturally complex. This is especially true in the management of international groups of companies.

The opening up of the East and a few years later the accession to the EU have boosted the Austrian economy.

GrECo also recognised the opportunities at that time and started on the path towards internationalisation more than 30 years ago. An independent department was established in Vienna, the “Central Account Management”, or CAM for short, which manages all the insurance interests of globally active groups of companies.

The CAM team focuses exclusively on this client segment. It is also responsible for the so-called incoming business, i.e. investments by foreign companies in Austria. The account team also manages the own international network GrECo nova, which acts in the interest of the clients.

Local and international know-how

As with purely national insurance solutions, international programmes also begin with an intensive examination of the risk. This is the basis for the risk financing strategy, from which the insurance principles are derived.

Specialised knowledge is required for the correct design of insurance programmes. It is important to know local regulations and special features. GrECo is in constant exchange with international partners and accesses databases to take all current trends and country specifics into account when designing contracts. This makes consultancy challenging, not least because the circumstances are developing dynamically.

Monitoring & Controlling

Central monitoring and guidance are an essential element of GrECo’s service for international clients. In this context, claims management plays an important role. Of course, our experts are also available worldwide to advise clients on site if necessary.

In addition to providing top service on global insurance programmes, the CAM team also handles regular reporting, often using its own GrECo Online Services. The decisive added value comes from quality control and analysis of the data. In addition to an accurate overview of costs, we also create a basis for decision-making. We develop all digital solutions in-house, which allows us to respond quickly and individually to our clients’ needs.

GrECo nova – surprisingly individual

GrECo nova has been working with the majority of its international partners for a very long time. This is a great advantage, as trusting relationships have been built up from this. We and our partners share the independence and identity of owner-managed companies. Moreover, many of our partners are market leaders in their home countries.

The cross-national and cross-organisational cooperation is tried and tested and based on internationally recognised service standards that regulate all aspects in a binding manner. This creates clear structures. Contractual agreements allow for enforcement where necessary. In practice, the advantages of independent selection of the local service team are even more extensive. The right broker partner is selected by the CAM team according to regionality or sector know-how and not hired via an anonymous international desk.

Turnstile Placing Hub

GrECo nova also makes mutual use of the partners’ specialised knowledge and direct access to international experts in various industries or insurance sectors, so that cooperation is lived in the sense of “best of all worlds”.

This also applies to access to capacities. Via Placing Hubs, we access all relevant international players in the insurance and reinsurance market. This allows us to individually configure the best solution in each case.

The CAM team is not only professionally active around the world, but also thinks, feels and lives internationally. This can be seen, among other things, in the universally shaped leisure time behaviour of many team members. One colleague, for example, is a passionate mountaineer and tackles the 6000-metre peaks of this world. Another colleague is a table football player with international tournament experience. In general, the team is a good mix of long-standing GrECo employees, including real GrECo veterans, and young talents, some of whom completed their apprenticeship at GrECo and were then able to develop further.

Communication skills in demand

Communication has a prominent position in the CAM team. This, of course, concerns – very obviously – language. Among the team members, there are many language talents who speak several languages at once, including Chinese. But even more than language skills, the experts need communication skills, especially when it comes to the tension between central decision-making and local implementation. In addition, in international business it is essential to understand the special features of local markets and to design an optimally adapted solution.

Flexibility, of course!

The activities of our clients on different continents require intensive travel. The experience of the last few months shows that there are unfortunately limits to the exchange via virtual channels, especially when it comes to risk consulting or claims management.

But it is not only activities that can be planned, such as risk surveys, that are carried out with élan by the CAM team. By their very nature, international groups of companies are much more frequently involved in M&A activities. It can happen that an insurance due diligence has to be prepared at very short notice, often within a few days, and/or a planned deal has to be provided with a suitable transaction insurance (warranty & indemnity).

Roland Litzinger is pleased: “I am proud of the achievements of our team of around 30 experts. We can confidently claim that our bundled competence, combined with extensive experience, is outstanding.”

Related Insights

Roland Litzinger

Head of International Business GrECo Austria

T +43 664 210 50 13