Mapfre adopts start-up mentality for building international business
Mapfre Global Risks, the unit of global insurance firm Mapfre that specialises in providing insurance solutions for multinationals, is planning to grow internationally through a mixture of setting-up new units and building upon existing branches.
Speaking to Intelligent Insurer at the Airmic Conference 2017, executives at Mapfre Global Risks explained how it is “following the customer” when it comes to building upon its newer operations.
“The scope is anywhere that is not Spain or LatAm,” said Chris Smith, chief regions and markets officer. “The challenge is to take the existing capabilities and adapt them to fit international markets.”
Mapfre Global Risks suggested it is uniquely positioned from the capital backing it has from its larger operations in Spain and Latin America, along with a “start-up mentality” within the smaller operations.
In the last four years, Mapfre’s London operations have grown quickly, explained Greg Harris, UK director.
Setting up branches in the US, Dubai and Singapore was also said to be on the agenda, although a timeframe was not given.
What Smith believes differentiates Mapfre from the other insurers in the markets it is expanding into is that its offering is more customer-focussed than product-focussed.
He explained: “Mapfre will have a relationship with very large customers in a sector and offer a bespoke package for each. If you’ve got a specific exposure that we don’t have a product for, if we know your business well enough, we can take that leap of faith.”
While Mapfre covers most lines in Spain where the market is quite saturated, the company is hoping to expand in other countries by building the same capabilities but step-by-step.
Smith continued: “We will be taking the capability we have in Madrid, very soon we will be announcing we will be opening aviation in London. How we are going to do that in a crowded market that is losing money? Well we’ve already got the expertise in Madrid. We’re in no rush and will choose our moment.”
A further announcement is expected to be made soon regarding the planned aviation lines in London.
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