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.”
Georg Winter offers some insights into his vision for GrECo. Interview was originally published in Lockton Global Partners Magazine.
Ante Banovac shares his thoughts about future risks facing the insurance industry and the state of the insurance market in Serbia, Slovenia and Croatia
How bad was drought this year in your region and how much insurance would help to protect against losses?
Such a big drought leads to many negative consequences in many industries, especially in agriculture, energy, logistics, and forestry.
Head of International Business GrECo Austria
T +43 664 210 50 13