Catlin targets growth in Europe
While there has been plenty of talk in Monte Carlo about the opportunities that exist in emerging markets, there is still room for growth in Europe. That is the view of Peter Schmidt, CEO of Catlin Re Switzerland.
“People are always talking about emerging markets as the future of the industry and I truly believe in that. Asia will grow, China’s potential is enormous but in Europe we still have great chances of increasing the penetration rate,” he said.
“Penetration is high but we can do much more.”
Schmidt believes the key for this growth may lie in raising the public profile of the industry, promoting understanding of what insurance is and why it matters.
“For me, one of the biggest opportunities at present is to increase the penetration and make this a marketing effort. As an industry we definitely need to explain better. We have to do a sales job in order to persuade the public that to some extent the world would not turn as it does today if it wasn’t for insurance. I think that’s a big opportunity.”
He added that simplified policy wording could be a step in the right direction.
Regarding challenges to the industry in his region, he cites the present unrest in the Ukraine as a significant concern.
“It could impact the European economy; what that would do to a slowly recovering market remains to be seen.”
Other threats include war in the Middle East, and cyber risk.
“These are all challenges we are facing as an industry going forward—we certainly won’t be bored,” he said.
He added that in a competitive market Catlin has been able to secure a foothold in a challenging and competitive Europe environment by emphasising client relationships and a service-focused approach.
The company has emphasised talent, significant industry experience and language skills when recruiting, and has adapted its approach to suit the different countries it operates in.
“We always try to bring expertise to the table,” Schmidt said. “Attracting talent with a knowledge of the markets has been a key factor.
“We are very proud to be where we are at this point in time. I have been positively surprised by the reception we’ve received in the market over the last four years and I’d like to thank our clients.”