Int'l Insurance Consortium to Invest 7 mln GEL in Development of IC Group

An investment agreement was signed between the International Insurance Consortium (Netherlands) and IC Group according to which up to 7 million GEL will be invested in the Georgian Insurance Company, the Georgian side to hold 51 percent of shares and the Dutch 49 percent.

The investment is aimed at the growth and development of the company, increase of job opportunities and updated operation form on the local market in the near future.

Founded in 2005, IC Group quickly managed to become one of the most significant players on the Georgian insurance market despite the existing competitive environment. Following the acquisition of ‘People Insurance’ in May 2009, IC Group became one of the leaders in Georgian health insurance.

Being a member of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (France, Georgia) Business Association and Georgian Insurance Association, the company is actively involved in the development of legislative regulations.

IC Group regularly arranges trainings for its staff and sponsors their participation in international workshops, as well as financing Masters Programs for postgraduates. The company currently boasts more than 100 highly qualified employees. It is also a socially responsible company that respects traditions and business ethics, with "Keep the promise" its main credo.

The International Insurance Consortium (IIC) has valuable knowledge and expertise in all areas related to insurance and social security. IIC is currently involved in projects across eight countries. It is represented in four countries by: IIC Netherlands, IIC Slovenia, IIC Ukraine and IIC Georgia. Its core activities include consulting and providing investments in order to support local companies and organizations in their strategic approaches and risk management decisions.

The Consortium focuses on partnership with insurance companies operating in South-East and East Europe and the Black Sea region and provides long term investments, thus creating the basis for stable development of the companies and their benefiting from the existing networks and potential, as well from investor knowledge and expertise.

The agreement between the International Insurance Consortium and IC group was signed at the Hotel Biltmore, Tbilisi, by Tengiz Mezurnishvili, Director of IC Group, and Jakob Westerlaken, Founder and Director of IIC. GEORGIA TODAY spoke to Mr. Westerlaken regarding the recent investment initiative.

What led to your decision to invest in Georgia and IC Group?

We always look at different markets and different countries for investment. For us it’s always very important to see the potential. It’s also crucial to have the support of local parties, meaning the government and the laws have to be good. It’s important to have an understanding of what’s happening on the market. We saw the need for products and that the market was growing and, most importantly, that people understand the need for insurance. IC Group is a company with a combination of transparency and a great team with strong product knowledge and experience. From day one we had good chemistry. At IIC we have extensive experience in risk management and we also consult in health management and sales methodologies, but our main drive is investment.

What are the benefits of the recent investment for both parties?

I’ve been in insurance all my life. In Europe at the moment we have all kinds of insurance, from risk management onwards, and it’s really difficult to operate and build something new. I would like to build a system with good client satisfaction. What I believe is extremely important here in Georgia is that people understand that insurance is not something invented for no reason. We know how to make things better and easier. We should increase that awareness. The second thing where the market can benefit is in social security, personal savings and health. We work in a lot of countries on health insurance and almost every country has the same issue: how much will the state pay and how much will the individual pay? If you, as an individual, don’t know what the state pays and what you have to pay, it’s an issue and this discussion with the state needs to be held. This is something that needs to be addressed and discussed, because health is something that people have the right to know about: what is there, what needs to be done, and how we can make it payable but also secure. This is what we do.

What do you think needs to be changed on the Georgian insurance market?

The first thing that needs to be changed is customer awareness. I think the insurance market here has not yet developed a system of explaining to the customer why they should choose a certain type of insurance. There’s nothing to help a customer to really make a choice. You must be able to buy an insurance policy whenever and wherever you want. This is simple, and this is truly where I believe we can bring new methodologies and new services to the market.

How do you see the future of IC Group?

I want the insurance company to sell its customers products that they understand and need, so they feel satisfied knowing that if they have a claim, they will be happy with how we handle it. That is the service element we’re going to focus on for the future.

Nino Gugunishvili

10 November 2016 19:42