Florina VIZINTEANU, President of the Board, BCR Asigurari de Viata VIG
The company that I represent today and that I have built starting December 2005 was planned to be a bancassurance company. Due to the experience we had, I and my team, in direct sales forces, we have also developed in parallel a direct sales force, which helped us a lot, functioning as an incubator of ideas.
Asigurari de Viata VIG has managed, in a year of crisis, to achieve a
double-digit growth. Is bancassurance distribution part of the recipe
Florina VIZINTEANU: The
company that I represent today and that I have built starting December
2005 was planned to be a bancassurance company. Due to the experience we
had, I and my team, in direct sales forces, we have also developed in
parallel a direct sales force, which helped us a lot, functioning as an
incubator of ideas.
The evolutions you have seen in 2009, when we
increased by 60% and we rised to the second place in the market, at only
three years after launching, and in 2010, with an increase of 21-22%,
came organically. When you build a life insurance company on a direct
sales force structure, the investment is very high. The more you invest,
the quicklier the results come (as number of concluded policies), but
return on investment and going in the black come after a few good years.
In a bancassurance company, the investment is made in training and IT.
The start may be a little more difficult but, once it has started, it is
a mechanism hard to stop, because we are talking about a sales force
that exists from the beginning. You just have to select the people to
start with and keep on improving the team; to create a state of
motivation and desire to work, and then to train them and bring them to
the point where they would naturally sell the insurance product, too.
From my point of view, there is no surprise, what happened is normal,
considering we are set as a bancassurance company.
In bancassurance, it is about a very performant back-office in terms of
technology, but it is also very much about people, about building a
certain type of relationship that would motivate the bank employees. How
big is the effort towards human resources?
It is an essential and... substantial effort. In this partnership, the
insurer comes from outside and gets involved in all that represents the
daily activity of bank employees. They must sell a product that is not
the bank's, they have to interact with consultants, trainers, advisor
who come from outside, and then the interpersonal relationship is very
important. And the life insurance company must make every necessary
effort to build this relationship.
It is also very important that
this relationship is a quality one, from the top management to the
smallest seller. If the relationship is good at the top, but the base is
not properly built, the response of the sales force will not be the
wanted one. If the relationship is good in its basic structure, but at
the top there is not the necessary involvement, again it does not work.
The insurer must have a good relationship with the bank, on the retail
line, from the highest responsible for retail, to that seller from the
smallest agency, in the smallest town in the country. Otherwise, the
system does not work.
the bancassurance products designed taking into account the
particularities of ERSTE Bank clients, your bancassurance partner?
The ERSTE Bank thinking at group level represents an advantage for us.
BCR, part of ERSTE Bank, basically followed the same strategy regarding
the client, an extremely well-defined strategy.
Firstly, we started
from the segmentation of bank customers. BCR's clients are currently
divided in three essential segments: first, mass-market, the large mass
of customers, people who have come to be bank customers because they had
access to credit, or have a basic salary card. To them, we offer
traditional products, linked to credit.
Then comes the mass affluent
customer, a customer who is also using other banking products. Here we
come with dedicated products, unit-linked type, with current premius
policies, products for children and, of course, credit type products.
Finally, we have our private-banking clients, who are highly
sophisticated customers. The main product we offer to them is the
index-linked product, an investment product, with single premium.
from a point of view, the life insurance company that is in such a
partnership with a bank already has access to a customer brought in a
community, that of customers used to interact frequently with the bank.
the future, however, it is very important for us to be innovative, to
prepare for future generations of customers. Do not forget that in a few
years, the group of clients in their most productive period of maturity
will be made up of today's teenagers and children. These customers will
be highly educated, at least compared with current mature generations.
We are forced to burn stages, to evolve rapidly, we do not have time to
go step by step through the periods of accumulation that other countries
have passed through. Without creativity, in the social environment in
which we develop today, we can not operate. Young generations of today
are evolving more quickly, and we must constantly adapt.
XPRIMM: So, if we repeat this discussion 5 years from now...
a large part of the novelties which now seem spectacular will have the
"perfume" of grandma's stories... That is why we must be very open to
new and also very open to the idea of community.
Editor: Daniela GHETU
| Published on 23.06.2011