Francesco Masci, Chairman of Executve Board of DDOR osiguranje: Traditionally dedicated effort, passion and commitment

Continuation of structural reforms, implementation and development in the capital market are critical factors, which can elevate people’s living standard

All segments of businesses could be affected by high energy prices and inflation. We talked with Francesco Masci, Chairman of the Executive Board of DDOR osiguranje, about the business environment, underrepresented insurance in Serbia, the development of agriculture and DDOR’s part in it.

Francesco Masci, Chairman of the Executive Board of DDOR osiguranje/ Promo DDOR

You were appointed Chairman of the Executive Board of DDOR Osiguranje a few months ago. Were you familiar with the business environment in which DDOR had been operating in Serbia before your appointment? Do you think that anything changed, especially in the insurance sector, since your appointment?

International experience makes it easier to get acquainted with a new environment. Being a member of DDOR’s Supervisory Board for over one year prior to taking over the position of CEO gave me the opportunity to get to know the company well. Also, I found the dynamics of the business environment both very similar to those in the developing markets, yet specific to Serbia. That being said, DDOR’s recognition in the market and our staff’s expertise is something that is complemented by being part of one of the top Italian and European insurance market stakeholders – Unipol Group. This symbiotic relationship enables a competitive advantage that facilitates development.

“Our focus will be on staying competitive and providing the top service to our clients”

The risk is to observe structurally high energy prices, uncomfortably high inflation and a macro slowdown. Governments will play a pivotal role in trying to cushion the impact on the economy, whilst central banks have a delicate task to stamp out inflation without causing recession and avoiding the spectre of stagflation. We are once again navigating uncharted waters in uncertain times, and it is very difficult to foresee how the situation will eventually unfold, as well as its outcome. The insurance industry is exposed to such a potential setback in the economy – all segments of businesses could be affected, due to the increase in the cost of claims and all the discretionary ones which will suffer from the decrease in the purchasing power.

DDOR was declared the most successful company in the service sector in Vojvodina in 2021. Do you think that you will be able to maintain that reputation and how can the company advance even further?

DDOR is a successful financial institution and ranks third in the Serbian insurance market, where it is deeply rooted and has been traditionally fostering dedicated effort, passion and commitment to supporting the community and clients. The client recognition and loyalty shown to DDOR and communities in some parts of Vojvodina have resulted in the company being given this notable award by the Chamber of Commerce. This award also brings with it the responsibility to continue to provide top-level service to clients and be a responsible part of the community.

The moment of truth in insurance is the moment of assessing and paying the claim. In this segment, DDOR has been maintaining its good reputation, not only at present but for decades and generations of clients. Furthermore, by carefully listening and understanding the changing habits of clients, we are making adjustments to the growing need for digitalization of processes, omnichannel availability of services and integration of insurance products and services with partners. In this way, we, as well as our Group, are creating new ways of providing an even better service in the future.

Our focus will be on staying competitive and providing the top service to our clients while ensuring profitability for our shareholders. Market recognition and position are a consequence of such an approach.

Insurance in Serbia is still underrepresented, especially among individuals and small businesses. What can DDOR osiguranje do to increase the number of people and companies being insured?

Serbia has significant growth potential because insurance is underrepresented. This is a weakness, but it can also be seen as a great opportunity. Continuation of structural reforms, implementation and development in the capital market are critical factors, which can elevate people’s living standards while supporting a growing appetite for non-mandatory insurance coverage. We also need investments aimed at creating new jobs and increasing salaries through the formation and growth of companies, as this will pave the way for both growth of private consumption and the establishment of an advanced welfare system, with enough financial resources dedicated to pensions, health care system, and education. Full support to start-up companies and the most creative entrepreneurs must be ensured, in order to boost the country’s competitiveness.

DDOR osiguranje is part of the large Unipol Group, Europe’s leading insurance company”

DDOR osiguranje is part of the large Unipol Group, Europe’s leading insurance company. Our Group employs a number of talented people, with high technological and technical know-how, which has facilitated the company’s position in the market. DDOR possesses the same qualities. I found here dedicated and talented employees who care about the company and the community in which they work. DDOR is one of the leading insurance companies in Serbia, has excellent experience and knowledge of the local market and will continue to ambitiously provide top-level service and information to all.

The Serbian government has joined the initiative of promoting insurance in agriculture. How will this business segment develop and what part will DDOR play in it?

DDOR is geographically rooted in the north, which is historically the region with the most intensive agricultural production, food processing and related industries, so our strategic position will not change and we will continue to support agricultural producers, as well as all other participants in this industry with insurance services, even though the level of insured land plots in Serbia is only 15% and 18%in Vojvodina. There is significant room for improvement considering the government’s efforts and state subsidies that amount to 75% of the premium in some parts of Serbia with the biggest damages caused by severe weather conditions which are the consequence of climate change.

Promo DDOR

We are also committed to protecting the environment and fighting climate change, which has a tremendous impact by causing adverse and natural catastrophes. As insurers, we have always protected our customers from these risks and we’re currently learning that traditional analyses have become obsolete. Therefore, we need to develop new and more sophisticated predictive models which can define new probability scenarios, allowing us to anticipate certain risks and trends. We’ve also introduced the DDOR TERRA platform, developed with a regional leader in smart agriculture – BioSense Institute – whereby our clients can manage their insurance policies via their smartphones. The market responded really well to the platform and we are already preparing new features that will boost the protection of agriculture production.

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