Meet the team: Camelia Vladescu, Chief Financial Risks Underwriter
Camelia joined CertAsig 3 years ago, after 14 years of previous experience in the insurance industry. A graduate of the Romanian Academy of Economic Studies and she holds a Masters Degree in Finance and Insurance.
What financial risks do we insure?
We are covering a wide spectrum of financial risks. From classical contractual bonds, we are now able to offer customs bonds to our clients. We have also D&O liability, which would be the product we are planning to relaunch in the following period, in a better structure, with more competitive terms and conditions.
As all our partners, brokers and clients know, CertAsig is the market leader for bond insurance. We are in fact the ‘MARKET MAKER’ in Romania and more recently Bulgaria, as we were the first to bring bonds to the market, to promote the product to brokers, clients and even regulators.
Since underwriting our first bond policy in Romania in 2010, we have successfully come a very long way:
- 41.000 bond insurance policies underwritten in 2010 – 2016 and 15.300 bond insurance policies between January-September 2017
- 1.5 Billion € in total aggregate insured sum
- 1.545 client-companies
One of the key drivers to build the market for contractual bonds was the vision inspired by our shareholder the European bank for Reconstruction and Development, whose mission is the development of local economies and infrastructure.
Along with the belief in the importance and potential of this area, we benefited from the direct involvement and expertise of our reinsurers, big names such as, Swiss Re, Partner Re, Hannover Re and Lloyd’s. These close partners offered us not only solid, financial security, but also expert assistance with technical underwriting issues. This was invaluable in establishing and maintaining our leadership in bonds in Romania, Bulgaria and soon in the Czech market.
In contractual bonds, we have significant experience in Romania underwriting bonds for major construction companies working on large scale infrastructure projects, such as highways and national roads, ring roads infrastructure, major bridges, water treatment plants etc.
Among our clients we can count renowned companies like Astaldi, Aktor, Alstom, Delta ACM, Constructii SA, Maltauro, Pizzarotti, Constructii Erbasu and the list goes on and on.
In addition to brokers and clients, who know and trust us, we have also gained the trust and preference of the public institutions which typically are the infrastructure projects’ beneficiaries.
CertAsig is recognized and accepted by all the key public beneficiaries in Romania and Bulgaria as well.
We have successfully worked on projects with beneficiaries such as:
- C.N.A.I.R – Romanian National Company of road infrastructure management,
- C>F.R – Romanian National Railways Company,
- METROREX S.A.,
- Banca Nationala a Romaniei – National Bank of Romania,
- Compania Nationala de Investitii – Investment National Company,
- RAJA Constanta (the largest water and wastewater treatment regional operator in Romania),
- APA Nova and other local water operators (Aquatim, Apavil, Aquaserv, Appa CTTA),
- Major county councils (Dambovita, Craiova, Prahova etc.),
- The National Gas Transmission Company (TRANSGAZ S.A.),
- Organizatia Utilizatorilor de Apa pentru irigatii – Organization of irrigation water users,
- Inspectoratul General pentru situatii de urgenta – General Inspectorate for Emergency Situations,
- Military units
- Ministerul Fondurilor Europene/ European Funds Ministry.
The future of bonds: automation and geographic expansion
In recent years, the number of projects for which we quote and underwrite contractual bonds has gone up and there are many smaller projects as well, which we approach with the same commitment to excellence.
Therefore, in 2017 CertAsig launched an online platform for real-time price quotes, for bonds with sum insured below 100.000 RON, which enables brokers to customise and print out their clients’ policies. This translates into superior service for their clients and allows quick response to public tenders – so, ultimately, better and more profitable business for our broker partners and clients. We are looking continuously to improve our services from quality point of view but also, from speed of services point of view.
We are also expanding into new markets such as Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. In Bulgaria, we enjoyed a very promising start following the launch of our bonds products in 2016.
Our Bulgarian team has made remarkable steps to pioneer products which are totally new to this market, such as performance bonds, advance payment and maintenance bonds.
Custom bonds – new territory
These are a relatively new addition to the CertAsig portfolio, as we relaunched them early this year, following a new Customs Code in Romania in 2016.
The market for custom bonds is now similar to what it was for contractual bonds when we first started offering them in Romania. Custom Bonds are not so well known on the insurance market , except for the fact that any minor breach of compliance relating to custom duties can trigger a loss. Relying on our partnership with brokers, we are focus on developing, promoting Custom Bonds and we are pleased to highlight the fact that several training courses were organized this year and many others would come.
Claims profitability at bond underwriting
CertAsig has been underwriting bonds since 2009 and has paid some significant and large bond claims. The largest was 1.500.000 EUR.
Nevertheless, bonds underwriting is profitable for CertAsig which is critical for long-term sustainability of the portfolio, with underwriting profit being used to further strengthen reserves.
CertAsig’s bond underwriting department, one of the Underwriting Centers of Excellence, has a team of 14 people, specialising in bonds and other financial risks. CertAsig is a great “school” for young insurance specialists who seek to forge a career in commercial insurance. We have created a dynamic environment which brings out the best in our smart, hard-working colleagues, who are motivated to learn and grow professionally. We invest a lot of time and resources to enable a transfer of expertise from senior to more junior colleagues and we enable them to become seasoned professionals.
This is one of the things of which I am most proud of: we are a well synchronized team, and we have found the way to all pull in the same direction, towards the same goals: CREATING VALUE TOGETHER FOR OUR CLIENTS AND BROKERS.