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Juan Manuel Merchan, General Manager of Seguros Equinoccial

ECUADOR - Finance

Juan Manuel Merchan

General Manager, Seguros Equinoccial


Juan Manuel Merchán has more than 21 years of experience in the insurance sector in several Latin American countries such as Colombia, Mexico, Chile and Ecuador. He has leaded important international and local general and life insurance companies such as Chubb, Swiss Re CorSo and CESCE from different leadership positions throughout his career. He is an Economist with a Master’s degree in Business Administration and specialization in Corporate Finance.

"Our company was totally renewed at the end of 2021, when Grupo Futuro merged both, Equivida and Seguros Equinoccial."
TBY talks to Juan Manuel Merchan, General Manager of Seguros Equinoccial, about the creation of the company, the state of the insurance sector in Ecuador, and mid-term strategy.
What changes did the merge bring to the company?

Our company was totally renewed at the end of 2021, when Grupo Futuro merged both, Equivida and Seguros Equinoccial. This was a huge change, not only for Equinoccial, but also for the insurance market, since we became the first and largest Ecuadorian insurance company and, probably the only multiline / multi-product company of the industry. The merger was legally completed at the end of 2021; during 2022, the year that I took over as CEO, strategic changes took place in the business model as well as in several areas like operations, marketing, IT and HR among others. We closed 2022 with excellent numbers in terms of technical profit, combined ratio, and market position. Obviously, this is an ongoing process that we need to continue working on; I am very confident that we will keep the same track over the coming years. The life market after the pandemic has brought good opportunities, especially in Accident and Health and Universal Life through different channels of distribution. This is something that Equinoccial did not have completely established, since it was a traditional P&C company. Nowadays, we are a multiline P&C and Life company with several products and channels. What I see for the insurance market in the near future is an important recovery after the pandemic; however, the industry as a whole should work on more penetration and awareness through innovation, new products, data analytics and alternative channels.

In Ecuador there are 30 players in the insurance sector. What is Equinoccial’s competitive advantage?

The Ecuadorian market is highly competitive. There are strong multinational and local brands that have done a great job over the past years, but I think that Equinoccial has certain advantages. One is that, as a multiline local company, we can offer almost all products through several channels of distribution with local autonomy that shortens response time improving customer experience. We have a whole value-added proposition to the market, with a nationwide approach. In addition, we have strong foundations, not only in Equinoccial, but also in Grupo Futuro in terms of integrity, customer centricity, excellence, sustainability as well as a better approach to the market, our business partners and all our stakeholders. We have the 12% of the market share, being the largest company in the insurance arena. To be the largest company is not a goal per se; our strategy now is focused on add value to the different stakeholders through the improvement in profitability. In the mid-term we expect to have 14-15% of the market, based on the success of our business model and our strategy face 2025. One of our main assets is our reputation and branding; fifty years in the market with a long history of success and, becoming one of the most reputable Ecuadorian firms in the insurance industry is something that we will take advantage of in the near future.

What strategies is Equinoccial implementing to achieve its mid-term goals?

I see Ecuador as a country of opportunities. Our mid- term directional goal is to achieve USD280 million in gross written premiums with a low 90’s combined ratio; we have all the capabilities, talent, and operational structure to achieve it. We need to guarantee our business value proposition to achieve more penetration in our target market. The insurance market has many opportunities for greater penetration, as well as innovation and digitalization to deliver value added to the country. This is something that Equinoccial will pursue for our customers and all our stakeholders.



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