INTERVIEW: Dr. Christopher LOHMANN CEO Gothaer Allgemeine AG and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gothaer Asigurari Reasigurari
Dr. Christopher Lohmann: Our business in Romania is developing well. We are in line with our business plan; the unit is achieving sound growth. Moreover, we have a clear strategic focus on corporate business and a very good reputation and access to brokers and the market. For the near future we expect Gothaer Asigurari Reasigurari to become profitable and to be able to earn the capital needed to develop the business further.
XPRIMM: What is the strategic role of Gothaer Asigurari Reasigurari in the Gothaer Group?
C.L.: GoRom is a very agile and young company which gives us the opportunity to gather experience in new ways of working and new ideas for products and services. This said, we also welcome the opportunity to test proven and successful products in the Romanian market. Along this line we intend to launch a new line of business later this year.
XPRIMM: How do you appreciate the Romanian insurance market compared to the other European markets that Gothaer is present on?
C.L.: In general, we are looking for stable markets with a reliable political and economic environment. The Romanian market has made considerable progress over the past years and offers opportunities for profitable growth, especially in the non-MTPL sector. Here we expect above market growth rates in the years to come.
XPRIMM: What are the Group`s plans for the Romanian subsidiary?
C.L.: We expect Gothaer Asigurari Reasigurari to reach profitability in the near future. As a general rule, all our subsidiaries are expected to earn the capital they need to develop their business further after an initial phase of financial support by the group.
XPRIMM: Are there any specific changing plans for Gothaer in Romania? Such as entering the MTPL market or other insurance segment?
C.L.: We have made good progress in Romania over the past years and are quite satisfied with the business segments we currently operate in. Nevertheless, we constantly aim to improve our portfolio. That's the reason why we will launch a new product this summer with strong support from our experts in Germany. As to MTPL, this indeed is a big market, but also a very challenging one. We have just started assessing this market, the prospects as well as the reliability of the framework and key requirements. Based on a detailed business case we will take a decision.
XPRIMM: Is Gothaer interested in entering other European markets in the near future?
C.L.: No, our main focus lies on our core business in Germany.
XPRIMM: What are the group`s main focuses and objectives for the following period?
C.L.: We aim for profitable growth in the markets we are active in. To achieve this, we are constantly developing our business model in all sectors. One important aspect in this context is digitization which continues to be a focus in the current year. In addition to a large number of initiatives in the product and service area and in advising customers, the Company is creating at Group level the conditions for success in the digital world. The spectrum ranges from the introduction of new structures and working methods to the restructuring of IT, the creation of new working environments all the way to further qualification and cultural change.