Why Insurance Demand Varies Across Countries?

Insight, Knowledge-Center

MDS is pleased to share Grupo Actuarial (specialized services in insurance and pensions) latest study on the topic “Why Insurance Demand Varies Across Countries?”

To read the study, click HERE.

More information on this and other studies, can be obtained in Group ACTUARIAL, www.actuarial.pt

16-strong Brazilian delegation visits London to strengthen ties and explore opportunities

Activities, Insight

A delegation of 16 Brazilian corporate clients of insurance broker MDS Brazil were invited to the UK this week to learn more about the Lloyd’s and London insurance markets.

The five day training program was hosted by MDS Group, the Iberian, Latin American and African insurance broker, Latin American reinsurance broking specialist Cooper Gay and international broker network BrokersLink.

The subjects covered included a wide range of current insurance issues including the evolving role of the Brazilian risk manager, emerging cyber risks, insurer expectations over the next five years and the latest reinsurance trends.  Delegates were also given a tour of the Lloyd’s building.

Leonardo Simas Baeta Neves, Risk and Insurance Manager at oil, energy, logistics and mining group, EBX, said: “While my company has been insuring it’s assets with the Lloyd’s and London markets for many years, I felt it was important to take this opportunity to learn more about the full capabilities of the markets first hand.”

Vanderlei Pires Moreira, Risk and Insurance Manager at WEG S.A., an electric engineering, power and automated technology business, added: “Attending the training program has certainly expanded my knowledge and will be of great benefit when developing future insurance programs.”

José Manuel Fonseca, President and Chief Executive Officer of MDS Group and Chairman of BrokersLink said: ”Brazil is the sixth largest economy in the world and its insurance market is seeing double digit growth each year.  We therefore felt it was important to connect some of our clients with the insurance experts in London in order to share knowledge.  After spending three days together our Brazilian colleagues certainly know a lot more about the Lloyd’s and London markets while the underwriters and brokers now have a far deeper insight into the specific requirements of companies trading in this vital Latin American region.”

Chris Butcher, CEO of Cooper Gay & Co Ltd, International Business said “Economic growth and development in Latin America has made it a key region for the Lloyd’s and London markets over the last decade, and Cooper Gay is proud to be one of the leading brokers in the area.

“That our business has been going from strength to strength in Latin America is certainly in part due to the success of our clients and partners in the region, such as MDS and BrokersLink.

“We have been delighted to host MDS this week. It is very much in our interests to assist with the education and development of the insurance and reinsurance professionals who will be the senior members of the businesses we work with a decade from now.”

MDS and their Brazilian corporate clients at the Llyod’s of London

FullCover #6 is available

Activities, Insight

The latest issue of FullCover, the MDS Group business magazine, is now available. This issue #6 presents compelling perspectives from insurance senior executives and visionary leaders who thrive in the industry with new ideas and strategies.

The lead article is a discussion with Mike McGavick, CEO of XL Group, along with an inside look at Zurich Latin America Antonio Cássio dos Santos, Chairman and CEO of General Insurance. The dossiers on Climate Change and the Angola Market will certainly raise interest among insurance executives and risk management professionals.

Click here to read the online edition of FullCover nr. 6.

Managing Multinational risks at the local level

Insight, Perspectives

This interview of José Manuel Dias da Fonseca was first published in

Hundreds of pages could be written about the various risks faced by multinational companies. One area of concern for all these organisations is how to ensure they promote their company culture and deploy established business processes in the various countries they operate while adjusting to the local market conditions and social landscape.

In their endeavour to expand into new regions, companies advocate a keen focus on staff and technology as critical assets, so many are investing heavily in both talent management and information technology to ensure they remain at the top of their game in their industry. As a result the associated risks for multinationals are both broad and increasingly complex.
There are significant business opportunities in emerging countries such as Brazil, India, China and Russia, as well as regions such as Africa and the Middle East. One of the main challenges organisations face lies in being able to match local business opportunities with the right skills and expertise in countries that often have a shortage of qualified workers. By the same token, companies need to adapt to local market conditions while keeping their identity and mode of operations, as well as making sure local employees are trained to acquire company knowledge covering corporate culture and values and products and services.

Communication across time zones
Businesses need to implement a better way for employees to communicate from various parts of the world and across different time zones. Besides the technology aspects and the local infrastructures, which could reveal critical issues in certain regions, language is also important. There is a need to strike a balance between using the local language and the global enterprise’s established culture and jargon which could, in some cases, override the country’s culture.

Companies will typically rely on a mix of expatriates and local employees to ensure they are operating within the company policy, adapting to the local market conditions and training the local staff accordingly.

Another important challenge faced by multinationals is security. Large business opportunities exist in politically unstable countries and as a result, these create serious security and business continuity concerns. It is an imperative for all organizations to alleviate these risks, protect expat employees and ensure business continuity should threat levels require these staff to be removed from the country in case of serious threats, such as the events we have witnessed in the Middle East over the past few years.

Social differences
Social inequality and unethical behavior are a rising concern for all multinationals. There are still major differences in employee benefits programmes across various countries and a real need for a strong and global company culture. Many companies aim to homogenise the benefits coverage provided to their employees around the world, but this remains a daunting task and requires a long-term implementation and often major adjustments to avoid action by unions.

Indeed these initiatives, as well intentioned as they sound, require effective communication with the workforce at the local level; otherwise, workers could interpret them as the first step of losing their employment. Ethical values are usually a challenge to sustain in companies operating in regions where corruption is embedded in the way business is conducted and so unfortunately is difficult to avoid.
As far as technology is concerned and in addition to the growing risks of cyber liability and data breach, multinationals are also facing local infrastructure difficulties in emerging countries.

As multinationals expand their horizon to follow the global business opportunities, they will need to analyze, map and mitigate their risks, acquire in-depth knowledge of the countries they operate in and enforce the core values of the company while balancing the need to respond to the nuances and culture of the individual territories in which they operate.

Click here to view the full article.