Partners in growth
Jeff Moghrabi, Chubb’s Division President, Continental Europe, talks about opportunities for growth in the region and how Cornerstone brokers fit in to the overall strategy of the business.
With the market experiencing disruption, how is Continental Europe performing and what are your expectations for the future?
The first half of the year has shown that the market remains very competitive, but continental Europe is really various markets that behave differently. The challenging lines are property and marine across the continent, while other lines are showing varied opportunities by segment and country.
Even in this challenging market environment, we want to grow between 4% and 6% over a three- to five-year period – and in some territories a little bit higher. We are a growth company and there’s plenty of opportunity. Risk abounds and it’s not going away – whether that is because of geopolitical events, technological or social issues. The question is how to align our knowledge by segment with the potential profitability margins and the needs of our brokers and insureds.
With that kind of growth in your sights, where do you see the best opportunities?
Cyber remains a very important area where we and our competitors have double-digit growth. We have been building our teams in-country and regionally, and they are guided by our Global practice. Together, we are focused on understanding the regulatory evolutions as well as the technical environment to assist our brokers and customers with a full-service proposition alongside the risk transfer.
Terrorism remains a key topic in terms of protection of both people and assets. Coverage around our property and accident and health is becoming an important part of our offering to the market. Those two areas have double-digit growth and we think there’s still a gap in terms of coverage. The risk is no longer confined to so-called high risk countries, major events can occur in any city in the world.
As companies continue to expand internationally, demand for various surety products to protect the balance sheet is high, so that’s another area in which we continue to see growth.
Environmental liability is also promising. Although it’s been around for a while, there is still a big need for environmental insurance with high single-digit growth. We’ve been proposing insurance services in this area for quite a number of years. Europe will lead the way in terms of setting the standard for environmental responsibility in the years to come.
How does the Cornerstone group fit into the picture?
Growth is roughly double that of the rest of our intermediaries. That’s across a broad number of products and segments. In continental European markets, where growth for commercial players is flat, I see our growth with Cornerstone brokers being high single-digit. They’re working very specifically on the given segments and are very focused on providing value to their customers over the long term, which fits well with our approach of industry practices and offerings in specialty lines.
Cornerstone brokers are clearly an important part of Chubb’s growth strategy. Do you have any plans to enhance the relationship with them in continental Europe?
We’ve been spending time with our Cornerstone partners to understand their strategy in terms of both customer services and products offering to see where we add value. One of my key aspirations with Cornerstone in continental Europe is to go beyond what I call a transactional relationship. That means spending more time understanding the risks faced by their customers and supplying appropriate solutions and service delivery. For me, that’s what will distinguish the better brokers and insurance companies. This approach should not only give value and quality to the customers but also mean sustainable growth for both the Cornerstone brokers and Chubb.
What sort of risks are Cornerstone brokers highlighting?
They’re saying that they work in a competitive environment and their major concerns are quality and the speed of delivery of what we promise. That applies to everything from the quotation phase to the delivery of our contract, as well as our reactivity in terms of claims management. So, we’re working internally to have people dedicated to the Cornerstone brokers who understand their customers and can respond quickly.