Thierry Mestach, Chief Network Officer at Generali Employee Benefits, on the GEB Network: current trends & future opportunities
Over the last months, the Generali Group has made a number of strategic changes in order to optimise its geographical footprint, increase its operational efficiency and improve capital allocation. All of this translates into positive changes for the Network in terms of establishing new partnerships and reinforcing those existing.
So we’ve read the official business and compliance information in the press releases, but why are these changes being made? And what does the future hold for the GEB Network?
“First and foremost, we’re committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability and strength of the Network,” says Thierry. “Changes such as the buying and selling of subsidiaries are commonplace across all businesses. The only slightly unusual aspect in this instance is that a number seem to have come at once.
“We manage over 120 local partners but we’re obviously not doing the same level of business with all. Some are at different stages of maturity to others in terms of business levels, service and other capabilities.
“In some cases, these sales result in our existing partners becoming parts of bigger entities and our relationship often doesn’t end there. We might continue to partner with the acquiring company as an independent local insurer as opposed to a Generali subsidiary. This can strengthen our position and improve the overall services and capabilities offering for our clients.
“For example, we recently sold our subsidiary in Panama to an insurer with a much stronger regional presence in Central America with whom we will now partner in Panama and Costa Rica, namely Assa Seguros.
“People work with us because we’re a leading organisation. Maintaining this is key. 60% of our Network is made up of independent companies –often leaders in their local markets – whilst 40% of the Network remain Generali subsidiaries.
“The Network Management function, which is still a very recent set up, will help ensure service standards and proactive support across all our local partners from both a technical and holistic perspective. We’re committed to looking for partners that have a strong willingness to work with the Network because of the value proposition that we can bring to them.
And what of the new Employee Benefits branch in Luxembourg? Why this move?
“The launch of the new branch demonstrates Generali Group’s commitment to the employee benefits business in a loud and clear way. We see big opportunities to help meet and exceed the changing needs of multinational corporations. We’re committed to continue to lead in this space, investing in integrated solutions tailored to the complex needs of today’s employers and employees.
“This is the first time that a Network has become an insurance and a reinsurance company. We’re now regulated as an insurance company in Luxembourg.
“The benefits to our Network partners will be characterised by a closer working relationship and an opportunity to develop new tools, services and products on a local, global and cross-border basis.
“In short, we’re expanding our capabilities to service clients.”