BULGARIA INTRODUCE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE WORLD INSURERS
Krassimir Stankov, Manager of Marsh insurance brokerage company, to the BANKER weeklyMr. Stankov, Marsh brokerage company has been operating on the Bulgarian market for three years now. Is your business successful?- The American Marsh company has been a world leader in the field of consulting, risk management, insurance and reinsurance bokerage for 15 years. The company has been serving its international customers in Bulgaria since 1993. Among its clients are the first large direct investors - Solvay, Shell, McDonald's, Xerox, etc. In fact, we did not begin from zero three years ago. The office in Vienna served Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, and Macedonia. Then three local companies were established - in Bulgaria, Croatia, and Slovenia. The Marsh company in Bulgaria is also responsible for the territory of Macedonia. There we serve a few interesting international and local customers, including the Macedonian Maktel telecom. We have wonderful relations with their insurers. For the three years of our collaboration, we've increased five times our revenues as well as the number of experts working for Marsh in Bulgaria. We are seventeen people now. Our revenues amount to BGN2MN and come from commissions and fees. We manage about BGN20MN worth premiums on the Bulgarian insurance market, which is a good figure even for an insurance company. We serve about 160 customers, half of them foreigners, and the other half - Bulgarians. Today, the standard insurance conditions need to be more and more adapted to the work of the concrete customer. We have to go beyond the limits of traditional brokerage and to develop a set of consulting skills in the management and evaluation of risk for corporate clients. We think we are able to introduce new skills in this aspect in the Bulgarian market, mainly through the experience acquired in international programs of our multinational customers. We want to achieve maximum balance between reliable protection of the main business and optimisation of the insurance management. We feel like we are obliged but also privileged to introduce the advanced achievements of the world insurance in the Bulgarian market.Do your Bulgarian customers realise the need of brokerage services?- International customers consider these services a fact. They turn to us even for insurances that don't result from international programs - insurance of staff, responsibilities, vehicles. Bulgarian customers are not even used to this concept and this scheme seems quite strange to them. However, in the moment they get a service, they realise the advantage of being assisted by professionals who consult them about the market, the products, the liquidation of the damages. This allows customers to dedicate their efforts to their own business.Which types of insurance provide you with the biggest premium income to be managed?- Property insurance and production breaks. We are a force to be reckoned with on the market of personnel insurance, group risks, etc. I think that car insurance can still be developed to some extent. Its relative share can grow from 18% to 28-30 per cent.What are the company plans for the near future?- Right now we are investing in the establishment of a specialised unit that will serve damages. We'll offer additional services to our customers, full assistance, contacts with road police, prosecutors' office, and other authorities.We intend to build six regional offices, while for the timebeing we have two. One of them is in Sevlievo, because of the concentration of interests - American Standard and related customers. The other office is in Dobritch end it is established mainly to offer agricultural insurance. This regional structure will be built within three years in the biggest economic centres where money is concentrated. At this moment we do not intend to develop large-scale business, but to work mainly with individual customers. This does not exclude schemes in which, through one contact point, we can reach a great number of clients.