The Business Year

Carlos Arturo Vélez Mejí­a

COLOMBIA - Finance

Carlos Arturo Vélez Mejí­a

CEO, Nacional de Seguros

Bio

Carlos A. Vélez Mejía has a law degree and a master’s in international business management from the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. Before his current position as the General Manager of Nacional de Seguros in Colombia, he served in management roles at ING Pensiones y Cesantías and Porvenir. 

TBY talks to Carlos Vélez, CEO of Nacional de Seguros, about growth opportunities, differentiating from competitors, and insurance compliance. 

How has Nacional de Seguros taken advantage of growth opportunities linked to increased market interest in insurance products?

Last year was an opportunity to not only to strengthen the resources to meet market needs and clients demands, but also to show clients that our company is beside them. The company has seen sustained growth that has significantly impacted our clients. The key has been to gather and focus as a company on how to optimize our procedures and teams to the client’s advantage. We, therefore, honed our technological infrastructure and team.

Why do clients choose Nacional de Seguros and what differentiates the company?

Nacional is a specialized company that allows us to know our business well and focus on the opportunities and challenges in the market. The clients value this and understand that when a company sits down with them to look at their business one to one in detail it offers better alternatives to more standardized services offered in the market. This is how a specialized company gains market strength and proves itself to be specialized. We look at what the client needs, and what the difficulties are in constructing that final product. Based upon an assessment of the benefits for both parties Nacional constructs the final product and assist its clients.

How do you evaluate the current state of infrastructure in Colombia?

We do not focus exclusively on infrastructure although we are strong in this field, and have worked on significant projects in Colombia. We are also strong in oil and gas and services. We can see that Colombia is still in need of infrastructural development, and the government has made a significant investment in this, not only on the major 4G and 5G projects, but also on public work. As we continue to advance, we note the sheer value of these large investments, but also see the need for other developments. Large infrastructural developments also bring connections to other private contractors and we work intensively with them, delivering our services across the value chain. Infrastructure is of course the key motor of any economy worldwide.

What business plans is Nacional de Seguros pursuing?

We are considering the potential of large markets. The country is growing, as is the middle class which means potential development beyond infrastructure. Housing is a vital important sector offering notable opportunities. During this year it is very possible that we will begin to work more with this sector among others. 

What is the specific importance in Colombia of hiring insurance compliance products?

This is extremely important an each development project is accompanied by an insurance policy that guarantees the investor that the project will proceed as scheduled. Our company gives investors a vital sense of security in their commercial undertakings. The compliance policies are there to support national development and insurance companies have shown their value over recent years. That is why we are here. 

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