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MEXICO - Finance

Marc Martínez

CEO, Zurich Mexico

Bio

With extensive experience in the financial sector and a 22-year career at Grupo Zurich, Marc Martínez has held various positions in different countries in Asia, Europe, and Mexico. He currently serves as CEO of Zurich Mexico. He came to Mexico in 2018 to occupy the position of VP of commercial insurance and later as VP of clients and distribution. Among other roles, he has served as claims manager in Spain, claims manager in Europe, regional director of distribution in Eastern Europe, VP of distribution in Spain, and head of operations for Asia Pacific commercial insurance. He trained as an industrial engineer, with a Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) at IESE Business School.

"Zurich Group is a global enterprise with a footprint mainly in Europe and North America."
With the immense opportunity for insurance in Mexico in the coming years, Zurich is counting on growing its position further and expanding its presence in the region.
Why does Zurich consider Latin America a strategic region for growth?

Zurich Group is a global enterprise with a footprint mainly in Europe and North America. These two continents account for 70% of the business. We are also in Asia Pacific and Latin America. Asia Pacific accounts for 10%, and Latam around 14-15% of the total group revenue. Insurance penetration in Europe and North America are well above those of Latin America and Asia Pacific. Therefore, the growth opportunity lies in those two latter regions. As such, the Zurich Group visualizes Latin America as a growth leader for the next strategic cycle, which is the next three years. Zurich Group is already the third-largest insurer in Latin America. So, when we invest in a geography or a country, we want to be in the top five position. My mandate in Mexico is to bring the company to the next level, meaning that top-five ranking. If I can summarize the strategy for the next year, the word would be together. We will work together with our distribution channels; that is a vital strategic community for us. Agents and promoters are important for us. We also work together with our communities. Zurich Group wants to be perceived as a high-impact brand, not only on the insurance protection side with families and companies, but also with communities, and regarding such issues as climate change and the less protected communities. In Mexico, we have been working with the Red Cross for a decade and the Zurich Foundation for nine years now in preventing floods. We have a Flood Resilience Program in Tabasco, which is highly needed, and which we extended last year to San Luis Potosí. We are having an impact for around 40,000 people, and will continue investing in the vital flood resilience program.

What specific opportunities have you identified in the Mexican market to position Zurich as the number five insurance company?

If you look at the Mexican market as an economy, how many countries in the world have over 100 million inhabitants? There are 10, including India, China, Japan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, the US, Russia, and Mexico. Looking at those markets, for the majority of them the group is already among the top five. And if you look at the ones where we are not, the most attractive market is Mexico. Mexico is a large economy and a young country. In fact, the average age in this country is 33 years old. The insurance market has been growing consistently over the past 10 years. The market has also been well regulated since 2014, at the same level, with Solvency I and Solvency II, as the US and Europe. It is also a profitable market worth USD32 billion that is growing, well-regulated, and profitable. The cherry on top of the cake is that insurance penetration remains low. Only 30% of cars, 10% of the houses and apartments, and 7% of SMEs are insured, which is why Zurich Group is investing in Mexico’s long-term prospects. There are two large groups of business: retail (meaning persons and families) and enterprises (commercial). Currently, in Mexico, we are more weighted toward commercial with a 60% commercial and 40% retail split. In the next strategic cycle, we foresee the opposite; 60% retail and 40% commercial. That’s a major transformation. This would allow us to better diversify risk. We currently have considerable capacity deployed to certain large customers, which is why we would favor more granular risk. Therefore, the overarching strategy is to rank among the top five in the market within the next three to five years. We would like to invest organically in the business, by which we mean in retail, SME, and the middle market. At the same time, we intend also to invest selectively with large corporate customers, leveraging our international capabilities such as risk engineering and international programs.

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