The lack of a labour force is a myth, says Swiss Re managing director

Talented people are the most important assets for Swiss Re.

Nima Motazed, managing director of Swiss Re in Bratislava Nima Motazed, managing director of Swiss Re in Bratislava (Source: Courtesy of Swiss Re in Bratislava)

The insurance and reinsurance group Swiss Re began in Bratislava 13 years ago with 10 administrative employees in asset management. Now it employs some 1,500 people, making it the second largest location in the Swiss Re world focusing on services with higher added value. They co-design products and services for the company’s customers around the globe, provide support as well as analytical services and participate in developing the most innovative solutions.

The Slovak Spectator spoke with Nima Motazed, managing director of Swiss Re in Bratislava, about challenges the re/insurance market faces globally as well as locally, new technologies changing the re/insurance business and how the Bratislava team participates in this development.

The Slovak Spectator (TSS): Swiss Re opened its Bratislava centre in 2006. Why did the company pick the Slovak capital back then and how has the choice paid off so far?

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Nima Motazed (NM): We operate worldwide in more than 70 locations with important markets in countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Slovakia, positioned in central Europe, is very strategic and offers access to educated and talented people. In addition, Slovakia is on the EU white list regarding personal data protection, which is also a very important requisition in our business area. Finally, thanks to the good airport infrastructure, it is easily accessible. More than a decade ago, these factors resulted in the decision to begin our operation in Slovakia. We started with 10 people who took care of the administrative tasks in asset management. Very quickly we understood that this market has a much larger potential. As we operate within our regional and global processes, we see that teams in our location are taking more and more global or regional responsibilities. During the past 13 years, we have grown into the second largest location in the Swiss Re world, with more than a tenth of the total group population. I guess we could say it paid off.

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TSS: What operations and activities did Swiss Re launch in Bratislava? How has the company’s portfolio changed over the years?

NM: We focus on services with higher added value. I believe that the entire development of Swiss Re in Slovakia ‘happened’ because we not only delivered but also positively surprised people. So today, businesses still have confidence in our branch supplying high quality services. We started with asset management, later on we added technical accounting and business services for EMEA. Our finance hub with a strong global leadership at our branch started to support global teams. And these days, our HR is not only recruiting talents globally for our offices in Europe, but they are also overseeing some western European markets. IT has a strong representation as well. We are experiencing a growing number of highly skilled IT colleagues, data scientists and robotics experts. Our company is known for our main line of business and that is reinsurance and insurance, but without these roles we could not deliver our expertise.

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