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Juan David Escobar Franco

COLOMBIA - Finance

Juan David Escobar Franco

President, Seguros SURA

Bio

Juan David Escobar Franco studied systems engineering at Eafit University, with a specialization in electronic business from the Tecnológico de Monterrey, where he also completed a master’s degree in administration. He also has a master’s in actuarial science from Georgia State University and in digital transformation from the University of Virginia.

"2022 was a year of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and a challenge for the industry."
Seguros SURA has achieved pre-COVID-19 levels of profitability. The firm is now working to help small businesses export, while promoting its own brand of ESG.
How was 2022 and what are your expectations for the insurance sector over 2023?

2022 was a year of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and a challenge for the industry. It was a good year in terms of results for the company, as there was an improvement in technical performance, despite our challenges. In 2022, SURA Colombia widely surpassed the numbers observed for that year. We were able to recover capital, and there was an increase of added economic value for the company. One of our goals was to regain pre-COVID profitability, which we achieved. And now for 2023 we will continue to work on our strategic development through five-year-goals. As a company, we follow a goal based on five pillars, namely the development of human talent, the development of market-solution segments and channels, the transformation of our operational model to provide a faster and more efficient response to our clients, and environmental management, which includes ESG principles in the operational model. All of these connect with each other, and together they provide an action framework for the year, with the creation, development, and monetization of markets, segments, solutions, and new channels as one of our priorities.

What advantages does SURA offer to companies?

The purpose of Empresas SURA is to prepare small and medium size companies from Colombia to face the challenges that today’s economy brings, and to satisfy their market needs. This program has six central concepts of strategic development for companies. The first is related to human talent. There is also a market-focused concept concerning how to take into account the market trends to satisfy consumer needs. All of our strategic pillars prepare the client to move through the path of ESG principles and inform the commitment and development of the company in the future, which brings us to the legal aspect, meaning how to comply with these demands. The last aspect is digital transformation, which is extremely important for operational and logistic models. An environmental concept is relevant as well because it is something that must be complied with. Those ideas are available to clients. In 2023, we want to take 200 companies in the country that have never exported and turn them into regular exporters. Many companies try to export, but they fail and face financial damages. Through the Empresas SURA program, we perform a diagnosis and assessment on their competitiveness, and prepare them for exports with lower risk.

What is the extent of the company’s commitment to social responsibility and sustainability, and how does it reflect in your operations and initiatives?

Corporate governance is a regular practice for us, and in our directive meetings in Colombia, most people are independent members. From a social point of view, we work on many things. First, a declaration of the commitment to inclusion and diversity. We are working with prioritized population groups and people with disabilities. We have created programs for them, as well as alliances, and we are incorporating employees with disabilities into our company. From a social point of view, we are working on health projects with the most vulnerable communities. We have created health well-being centers because we believe that, by improving people’s access to health, we improve their quality of life, which is our most important work. Another example is the Uraba region, in the northern part of Antioquia. This project has allowed us to develop population indicators from a health perspective and to formalize employment. We have worked with different communities to understand their needs and enable better communication. We develop methodologies for understanding the population’s needs. The last important element is the foundation, which plays an important role both nationally and internationally. SURA is present in nine countries. This foundation allows us to reach more communities because of the trust it has built.

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