10 October 2016, photo: Agr SRL
At the end of September Philipp Gmür gave his first speech in Italy as the new Group CEO of Helvetia. The occasion was a gathering of the “Bancassurance Leaders Club”, and the primary topic of the meeting was strategic questions surrounding cooperation between insurance companies and banks, along with a general exchange of ideas and experiences. A key focus of the event in Rome was the topic of bank insurance – particularly in relation to regional banks. Representatives of both industries agreed that the offering of insurance products and services makes a considerable contribution to boosting profits in the service business. A further positive side-effect is the strengthening of relationships with regional customers.
In his speech Philipp Gmür highlighted the collaboration between Helvetia and the Raiffeisen Group in Switzerland. Since 1999 Raiffeisen has been supplementing its banking services with exclusive pension and insurance products from Helvetia. With around 300 local banks involved, this collaboration represents an outstanding example for the Swiss bank insurance market, Gmür claimed. “In order to ensure successful cooperation in a low-interest environment too and in times of digitisation, we need to develop innovative solutions”, he explained. “The digital revolution is presenting us with new opportunities for shared business models.” There must be an ongoing dialogue to check where there are docking points for insurance topics and vice versa, he went on to say.
Helvetia and Raiffeisen are currently working on various issues: Are there possibilities for customer interaction relating to insurance within the framework of e-banking? Where are there shared ecosystems? How can both companies optimally apply their relevant expertise in topics such as smart home or smart living to the benefit of customers? What form would a factual exchange take in relation to analytics and smart data?
Alongside Philipp Gmür, other renowned representatives of the insurance and banking industry also spoke, including the president of the Association of Italian Banks (ABI), Dottore Antonio Patuelli, and a representative of the Italian insurance overseer (Ivass), Professor Riccardo Cesari.
The Bancassurance Leaders Club (BLC) was set up at the beginning of 2016 on the initiative of Helvetia Italy. Twice each year representatives of Helvetia and its banking partners gather along with other leading figures in the industry. The aim of the meeting is to discuss strategic questions, analyse trends and exchange experiences. The BLC met for the first time in March 2016 for a workshop in Milan.