On 9th October, Chris Smith, MAPFRE’s Chief Global Brokers Officer, presented at the 11th Annual Insurance Distribution Forum about ‘Global Brokers: A real-life journey with MAPFRE’. The event, with attendees from around the world, was going to be in Lisbon, but like many others it went virtual.
Chris has worked for MAPFRE for over seven years. He is based in London, where he is responsible for developing the Global Broker channel across MAPFRE, for all lines of business and all geographies, a newly created role he took on almost two years ago. Chris was previously the Chief Regions and Markets Officer for MAPFRE Global Risks, also with global responsibilities.
Although the main theme of this two-day conference was about how to enhance insurance product distribution in a digital age, Chris was asked to bring a different angle to the event and speak about his experiences of managing the Global Brokers distribution channel.
MAPFRE and the impact of Covid-19
Before presenting about the Global Brokers, Chris gave the audience an overview of MAPFRE and our strategic focus from 1st September, which reflects the impact of Covid-19 on our business, including clients, distribution channels, digital networks, digital business, and social business. The latter being embedded in the DNA of MAPFRE employees for over 85 years.
He presented the example of how MAPFRE, led from the top by our Chairman Antonio Huertas, mobilised over 200mil euro and significant resources to protect the health of our employees, collaborators, and clients in all countries where we operate, as well as providing healthcare support in nearly 30 countries worldwide, mostly in LatAm, though Fundación MAPFRE.
Why Global Brokers matter
Chris went on to speak about the Global Broker distribution channel. This is a very important and growing area for MAPFRE, representing about 12.5% of all globally written premiums (over 3bn euro), spread across all our geographies and including all our business lines.
The Global Brokers are Aon, Marsh, Willis Towers Watson, Gallagher, Lockton, Hyperion (Howdens), and some other emerging brokers that are taking up the slack created by Marsh’s acquisition of JLT, and Aon’s expected takeover of Willis Towers Watson (WTW) in 2021.
These brokers are already an important source of income for MAPFRE, but they also represent a significant opportunity for further growth. For instance, the biggest broker for us is AON, but less than 1% of the company’s GWP currently comes to MAPFRE.
In addition, the Global Broker channel is expected to grow by more than 25% in the next three years and, as such, it clearly cannot be ignored.
MAPFRE Open Innovation
Before wrapping up, Chris made it clear to the audience that the digital side of the business and innovation are also seen as vital parts of MAPFRE’s strategy and future success. This is why in 2018 we created MAPFRE Open Innovation, our strategic focus for forward-thinking transformation that creates a positive impact for our customers, our business, and society.
Chris is currently working on some major projects with AON and WTW, more news of this will follow in the next few months. Building trust with them and others, however, takes time, and so Chris’ journey is certainly not over yet. However, the rewards are potentially significant, so if you are in a position to support him along the way, do drop him a line.