Having defined the framework of RIO Completion last year, it was put into practice during the last renewals. What are your observations of the change? (process changes, qualitative change, benefits, “hiccups”)
Right from the beginning, when the RIO Completion idea was first put forward by Allianz, Swiss Re was very supportive. We thought, for a global insurance Group like Allianz, it made great sense to focus on transferring insurance risk that really matters and increase efficiencies by bundling local placements. In other words, we regarded this as the natural next strategic step of centralizing reinsurance purchasing. And what impressed me most was the creation of an incentive system to ensure the Allianz OEs locally continue to enjoy the same or better services from reinsurers and brokers. As a result we knew the requirements to our local teams would change, as they were now asked to provide services without obtaining business locally.
To ensure a smooth transition, we did 3 things
1. RIO Completion was made a top priority at Swiss Re. We began by engaging our cross-functional teams around the world and also our senior management, including our CEO, Christian Mumenthaler –he was involved right from the beginning. They were all given regular updates on RIO Completion and the pricing of the QS.
2. To ensure local service delivery, we adjusted our cross-functional team set up in the regions and worked on enhancing our communication. For example Amer Ahmed and Christian Mumenthaler took time out to talk to the Allianz and Swiss Re teams, which was really helpful.
3. We also appointed a coordinator in Munich for the benchmarking process that involved 125 people at Swiss Re, to secure the timely delivery of our quotes.
I have to say I was positively surprised to see how smooth the process was, we did not record any major hiccups.
You are the Client Executive for Allianz Group at Swiss Re. How did this process change your work with the Allianz OEs?
RIO Completion is different to all centralisations we have seen so far, with Allianz adding a strategic dimension to it. It provoked a number of strategic questions:
1. The first one is around the needs of the Allianz OEs and the weight put on services. In your performance evaluation three criteria were identified: price, responsiveness and services. I was not surprised to see price and responsiveness weighted high but the relatively low weighting of services did surprise me. Some Allianz OEs did not assign any weight to services. How should we interpret this data points?
2. The second one, somewhat related to the first, is about our engagement with the Allianz OEs. As you may know we are committed to following up, in a disciplined way, on all actions that result from the many interactions of our teams with the Allianz Group. We do this via completion of discussion notes after the meeting. It's clear from these that we have regular and intense interactions with some Allianz OEs, whilst with others we don't. So, are we engaged enough with all the Allianz OEs and are we listening enough to their needs?
3. Lastly, RIO Completion accelerated the 'growth' question. Where can we support the growth targets of the Allianz OEs? Where can both Allianz and Swiss Re benefit from working more closely together? What complementary capabilities do we have and can we mobilise them to win business? These will be the most important questions to answer in the future and your feedback and input is the key to a successful cooperation. We are currently looking at the data and feedback received so far and will derive actions from it. The focus during 2014 will be where we can team up to deliver competitive value propositions
What went well, where is improvement needed?
As mentioned above the transition was very smooth. From Swiss Re's point of view there were no major hiccups during the implementation of RIO Completion. So it went well but what we have to better understand is the value Allianz attaches to the services Swiss Re provides and the needs and aspirations of the Allianz OEs. The more granular the feedback of the Allianz OEs the better we will become at tailoring our offering and finding powerful value propositions. This is fundamental to the successful strategic reinsurance partnership of our two Groups.
Was there a specific experience, a defining moment in these renewals with regard to the new setup?
That's easy, but can I choose two defining moments?
1. Your Reinsurance Workshop in September at Gut Ising, and
2. when we signed the QS!
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