Mon | 17.10.2016
Meet Adriana Grecu, CEO Aon Romania, the local subsidiary of Aon plc (NYSE:AON) and one of the leading insurance brokers in Romania.
1. Dear Adriana, please introduce yourself shortly to our members.
I joined Aon 4 years ago, after 15 years experienced into the insurance brokerage field. I started very young, as junior broker, in 1997 and I practically grew with the market. It has been a very dynamic period, when I worked and I learnt a lot. I attended to many trainings and courses during my career but, I still consider that school without consistent practice is not enough. I feel I had very relevant practice during those years, when I faced various situations not only in insurance, but also in business administration, people management and personal development. I chose Aon because I expected to find a proper environment when I could continue to grow professionally and as person, too. I didn’t aim than, to become CEO of Aon Romania 3 years later, but it happened and what other challenge may develop me more than this one?!
2. It seems that Romania moves closer to getting emerging market status on FTSE index. What main economic opportunities can you foresee?
I always was a positive person and also an enthusiastic one but, I’m striving very hard to keep myself in such mood in Romanian economic and political environment. The financial indicators show a lot of potential and this is happening since I started to work in this field. During the years, especially after 2008, the reality has beaten the theory. I’m referring directly to the insurance market which is more mature and developed than 10 years ago but, in the same time, the insurance penetration degree is lower than then. Theoretically, this means a lot of opportunities for us, practically, they are very few and we fight hard for each one with competition, market conditions and people's mentality. Generally speaking, infrastructure constructions and health and benefits are actually our major opportunities and they will remain the same for the next 2 years.
3. Speaking about opportunities: so far, was 2016 a good year for your business?What are AON’s plans for 2017, in all directions (insurance, reinsurance, risk management and employee benefits)?
We can say that 2016 has been a good year for us, despite the external factors mentioned above, but also internal changes which our organization, at regional level, is passing through. About the externals, most of them are beyond our control and we must adept and mitigate somehow, but the internals are expected to improve our operational flow and business results, as well.
Our plans are including all directions you mentioned and the strategy is to increase the cross-sell and up-sell approach, to develop and to diversify the consultancy activity, to create new reinsurance schemes and to identify new differentiators, as it is our Best Employer Study, launched 3 years ago and continued successfully every year. We’ll take advantage also of new infrastructure projects and development of the Employees Benefits market, two very strong areas of expertise that we have. We aim also to keep a professional approach based on high human values, like integrity and professional conscience.
4. You have more than 15 years of experience in the brokerage insurance industry. How did the Romanian market grow up in all this period and what’s next?
The insurance market grow or better said moved in direct trend with the economy, having boom period and recession period and then retaking the ascendant curve, but much more shy than before 2008. We faced a lot of changings in legislation, supervisory structure, new players which entered, some others exited and unfortunately, we experienced also cases of the insurance companies in insolvency. We may say that our market got some maturity but, looking to real mature markets like UK or Netherlands, we feel disappointed and figure out how much is still to be done.
I feel the customers are not mature enough either and this is easy to be demonstrated, as long as we look at the figures and we notice that more than 50% of the market is motor insurance (including compulsory third party liability). What’s next I can foresee more or less and it is not very optimistic but, what I hope and what I consider the society needs it’s that each of us, market players and insurance consumers as well, to be responsible, to understand the meaning of insurance protection and risk management, beyond the profit margin or hunting of the cheapest product, to be prepared when a peril occurs and to react accordingly. These are directions which we should fit as soon as possible.
5. Please share with us more details regarding AON Global Risk Management Survey 2015. There are some interesting findings there: how do they fit into the local landscape?
They fit easily into the local landscape because the survey compiled from responses from over 1,400 risk management professionals in 60 countries and almost all the CEE countries have been included. So, risks likeReputation damage, can result from a number of factors also in Romania and Regulatory/ legislative change, as well. Failure to attract and retain talent is a big challenge for HR industry nowadays and Cyber risks are already very well known for the corporate stakeholders of the local business environment. Aon is specialized in such studies and offers consultancy accordingly, in Romania or anywhere in the world.
6. How do you comment the evolution of the Romanian MTPL insurance market in 2016?
I wouldn’t comment too much this, because there was already a lot said and written on this topic. We have a balanced portfolio and MTPL is not so relevant for us but, of course, if our clients are affected because of price instability, we are affected too and if the carriers are impacted by the loss ratio and decrease the commissions, we are impacted, as well. So, we just try to do the best we can as consultants of our clients, providing complete information about the market and trying to get very good insurance conditions.
7. In the end, please a thought for NRCC members.
I admire very much your association and its members because they are very active and create the opportunity to develop and maintain a real business network, with formal, but also informal meetings, very inspired venues and not only in Bucharest, but also in Timisoara, Cluj, etc. Personally, I’m not very present in such occasions for the time being but, I hope to become more active, next year. We are very pleased of our partnership and I hope to have beautiful and productive common activities from now on, too.