Video transcription: Experts' views - Nathalie Broutèle
Experts' views - Nathalie Broutèle, Managing Director of Natixis Assurances, a subsidiary of Natixis and Groupe BPCE
What is Natixis Assurances’ business?
We’ve been around for 25 years and, in that time we have developed expertise in three areas: individual and group life assurance policies, retirement savings plans, insurance, and property insurance (car and home). More recently, we’ve also developed a complete range of loan protection insurance policies, which of course makes a lot of sense since we are both a bank and an insurance company.
What value-add does Natixis Assurances offer?
Well, what makes us special is that we are both a bank and an insurer, so we serve the BPCE network, in particular the Banque Populaire network. Our value-add is that we are able to provide them with simple and easily understandable products. This is important because the Banque Populaire customer account managers are not insurance experts. So that’s our know-how and what we expect ourselves to be able to provide for them. We also know how to work behind the scenes in relation to a distributor’s strong, well-established brand name - Banque Populaire is a particularly good example of this. Another key skill is our ability to adapt to several different brands since we also serve other networks, such as Crédit Maritime, which is part of the Groupe BPCE.
What’s your view of the future for the insurance industry?
Well, the first important challenge I can see will be the new reserves regulations, Solvency II, that come into effect in France in 2014 and which will apply to all companies operating in the insurance sector in Europe. They will set new standards for us: as we create new products, we will have to take into account the level of risk they represent for the company in question, and of course for policy holders, and also their consumption of shareholders’ equity. So, we’re going to have to adapt to this new approach, in terms of our business and our products. We’ve been preparing for this for almost five years now - it’s been a real company-wide effort. Because of that, I think that we’re ahead of the game, something that will not be the case for everyone in the industry because this is a real revolution. In the future, I think we will see a reduction in the number of companies operating in our sector.
A second major trend that affects more than just the insurance industry but which is significant in our sector, is the move towards new modes of consumption of our products, in particular the emergence of new technologies and the Internet. I’m not one of those who think that industries, or rather “pure players”, have a future. On the contrary, I think that the companies that make it through these changes in distribution are those that succeed in combining several elements: strong physical networks, the Internet, of course, in terms of access, and the telephone. The most important, however, will be companies’ ability to adapt their offers to each distribution channel. The combination of their offer and the skill with which provide client service through each distribution channel will be crucial.
Copyright Natixis 2012