NN Hellas finds opportunities in Greece, despite economic difficulties

Business confidence and investment has been undermined by political, social and economic instability, along with deteriorating liquidity conditions. World Finance found out how NN Hellas has weathered the storm

Greek parliament. Despite the country's economic woes, NN Hellas has been able to succeed
Greek parliament. Despite the country's economic woes, NN Hellas has been able to succeed 

Economic growth in Greece has remained weak in 2015. In addition to this, the recent capital controls imposed by the Greek Government have not only intensified the worries of customers, but of companies too, resulting in a major shift in consumer habits.

Essential structural changes and a stable economic environment are required so that the Greek economy can jump-start again, leading to the return of business confidence and the recovery of investments – something that is far easier said than done.

The political and financial developments that have occurred over the last few years have significantly shrunk the disposable income of the Greek citizens, forcing many to reevaluate their priorities, with many seeing insurance as surplus to requirements.

In fact, there has been a considerable rise in contract cancellations across all areas of the Greek insurance market. Despite the less than favourable conditions, NN Hellas has managed not only to hold its ground in such difficult times, but managed to significantly increase both its market share and its customer base by offering innovative solutions and improved services.

Solvency II will mean the end of traditional guaranteed pension products, as we have known them so far

Environmental changes
Another major challenge for the coming years is the introduction of new EU control regulations (Solvency II). In response, NN Hellas has been working tirelessly, so that the implementation of the new rules does not impact its business or its customers.

“Just to provide you with an example; Solvency II will mean the end of traditional guaranteed pension products, as we have known them so far”, explained CEO of NN Hellas, Luis Miguel Gomez. “This new regulatory environment will have a significant impact on all aspects of our business, from new product development to operations and risk management.

“It also creates opportunities, as customers increasingly focus on profitable investments to cover their future income, as well as reliable long-term sustainable health products to cover the insufficient benefits provided by the public system.”

NN Hellas clearly sees a challenge as an opportunity to be capitalised on. That is why it is working hard on developing and launching a new direct channel, which will give it the chance to offer its customers an alternative means of accessing its innovative products and services.

The outlet will help the insurer to reach a larger portion of the market and offer new and existing customers greater choice in how they communicate with their insurance provider.

“At the same time we have developed with Piraeus Bank, our strategic partner, a new state of the art range of savings and insurance products, combining guarantees, flexibility and high potential upside for our common customers”, said Gomez. “To carry out all these initiatives, we have been creating a permanent flow of new jobs, of which we are very proud, given the dramatically high unemployment rate in the country.

“Simultaneously, our tied agents base is also growing nicely, fulfilling our aspiration of attracting top talent from the market and maintaining our position as one of the best places to work in Greece.”

Product diversification
NN Hellas has taken massive strides towards enriching its long-term investment product line. Its latest addition is an innovative regular premium programme that combines three key features: capital guarantee, flexibility in premium payment, and profit potential through exposure to financial markets. Clients have already demonstrated exceptional interest in this new offering, both through the insurer’s tied agents and the branches of Piraeus Bank.

Looking forward, the insurer plans to capitalise on this newly built infrastructure and grow its family of CPPI-based products. After assessing market trends, Gomez is convinced that combining return potential with hard guarantees will reap rewards for the company, and its customers.

NN Hellas has been operating in Greece for more than 35 years and it has made significant contributions to the country’s GDP in many ways, be it via tax and social insurance contributions, or the creation of thousands of job opportunities throughout its business. A big part of the insurer’s success has been its ability to stay true to its roots and always put the client first.

“Our mission for the future is simple”, said Gomez. “We are here to help our customers secure their financial futures. We are clear, we care, we commit. We will continue developing innovative and transparent products and services and we are introducing new distribution channels so that we can be where our customers want us to be.”

And by putting this at the forefront of their business, NN Hellas has a strategy that will ensure a positive future for itself, along with assisting Greece to return to its economic prosperity.