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Gustavo Cantú Durán Chairman & CEO Seguros Monterrey New York Life

MEXICO - Finance

Gustavo Cantú Durán

Chairman & CEO , Seguros Monterrey New York Life

Bio

Gustavo Cantú Durán is Chairman & CEO of Seguros Monterrey New York Life (SMNYL). Prior to joining the company in 2014, he worked in different roles for Nextel México (now AT&T) for over 15 years, where his last position was COO. Before that, he participated in different international law firms and editorial boards and was a member of the board of directors of the Nextel Foundation. He has imparted lectures at both public and private universities and published various writing assignments.

"This company was founded 82 years ago, and New York Life was founded 177 years ago."
TBY talks to Gustavo Cantú Durán, Chairman & CEO of Seguros Monterrey New York Life, about investment, a long history of activity, and Mexico’s insurance penetration levels.
How did Seguros Monterrey New York Life become one of the most financially stable insurance companies in Latin America?

The first thing to consider is Seguros Monterrey is part of New York Life. This creates a different environment regarding how we think about our purchases, because our main goal is to maintain the financial stability of the company and fulfill all our promises. We are conservative in how we invest our reserves, and we aim to take a long-term approach. We do this by pairing our products well to the currency in which the product is issued, which means we do not take FX risks in terms of our policy holders. In addition, Seguros Monterrey has strict policies and procedures regarding how we handle our investments and reserves. We have the highest credit rating in Latin America for any insurance company. Second is how we handle business. We are careful with our expenses, how we pay our commissions, and how we interact with the sales force. We are excellent at managing and keeping operational costs at a reasonable level. This company was founded 82 years ago, and New York Life was founded 177 years ago. In this time, we have seen everything; we know how volatile the market can be and plan for that in mind.

What is Seguros Monterrey doing regarding product innovation, and how do you reckon with Mexico’s low insurance penetration?

We must understand what a low insurance penetration means. We should look at the penetration in terms of the population segments that require this protection or that want it as an alternative to the public insurance system. Some points of penetration are much higher than what we would expect, which makes for a competitive insurance landscape. The insurance business is competitive but there is still a long way to go. This challenges us to create products that reach parts of the population that require better insurance. They must be viable, usable products and something that provides real value to the customer.

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