Pushing the boundries

The Dutch have always wanted to have a global footprint. It’s a small country but there are lots of large multinationals here. I believe the risk management profession in the Netherlands is very mature already. There are about 140 risk and insurance managers in the Netherlands. And within the Amsterdam University there is a dedicated enterprise risk management (ERM) qualifi cation. That shows just how seriously risk management is taken in the Netherlands.

The number one concern in the whole of Europe now is the economic slowdown. The trouble is that various governments have virtually exhausted their means to further stimulate recovery. So where’s the growth going to come from? That’s the main concern.

One problem that I expect to worsen in the future is business interruption in supply chains. Just look at how all those companies were affected in 2011, because
of what happened in Japan and Thailand. Another issue is that businesses are increasingly conducting work internationally, and looking at my own industry for
example, insurance regulatory laws don’t take that into consideration. More and more regulation is decided at a local level, in places like Latin America, Asia
Pacific and the Middle East.

I think this understanding is at the heart of what Zurich offers to international companies. Zurich is in over 180 countries and we’re growing that footprint, especially in the emerging markets. We try to serve our customers locally. Zurich’s Multinational Insurance Application is the most comprehensive database available for managing complex regulatory risks around the world. We are offering our large customers access to this, as well as brokers.

We can help customers with risk assessment to identify where the critical parts of the supply chain are for which they need to find alternatives. The alternative
might not be insurance; it might be another supplier or something like that. It’s about pushing the boundaries of traditional insurance.