Merkur doesn’t aspire to be the biggest player on the markets where it operates, but it does always want to be an innovator, with new ideas and products. Alongside tradition and experience, it also successfully transfers and implements original services and products, while taking the specifics of the local market into consideration
We set our ambitions and goals pretty high. Merkur this year decided to fortify its corporate governance, continue strengthening its market position, and provide its clients with high-quality products and services – announces Marko Stojanović, new president of the executive board of insurance company Merkur osiguranje in Serbia.
How would you assess the previous 15 years that your company has been operating in Serbia? Have those been more than successful years?
Merkur is the oldest insurance company in Austria, which next year commemorates its 225th anniversary. That is a tradition worthy of respect, because we insure the individual person and the values that mean the most to them: life and health! The focus has been on the individual and their needs for more than two centuries.
We strive to have our own niche and recognisability in the life insurance sector. All processes are today being digitalised, financial institutions are transforming themselves, and we want to be part of those changes. The organisation has rebranded and rejuvenated itself, and we are particularly proud of our new logo “Srećko” [Slavic form of the Latin name Felix, meaning happy or lucky], whose spirit permeates our organisation on a daily basis.
You presented a new product this year: Green- Life. Could you tell us more about it?
We launched GreenLife in March 2022 and are very proud of it. It is a new type of product, a so-called unitlinked product that is linked to units of investment funds, in this case three funds specifically, which follow the cycle and risk appetite for investing during life’s dynamics. It has an implied life insurance component, as well as supplementary insurance for surgical interventions and the like.
We are proud to highlight the fact that it’s a unique product on the market. The “Green” in the name indicates that it invests exclusively in “green funds”, i.e., funds aligned with ESG and sustainable business standards.
We strive to have our own niche and recognisability in the life insurance sector. All processes are today being digitalised, financial institutions are transforming themselves, and we want to be part of those changes.
Awareness of ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) initiatives is extremely high around the world, to some extent also in our country, and we are currently striving to be the first company to provide the market with a product that unifies long-term investment, life insurance and supplemental insurance.
In parallel with that, we’ve also implemented an E2E solution with which we’re endeavouring to end our use of paper, as we are an environmentally-friendly and cost-conscious company. Alongside direct contacts with private clients, I believe this can also be an additional opportunity for the HR services of major organisations, which also have an awareness of ESG regulations.
You were recently appointed executive board president. What were your initial plans and ambitions in taking on this important position?
A rotation of positions occurred in the administration, so the previous president, Tijana Ristić, was appointed as a member of the executive board for finance and the regulatory framework, while I was appointed president of the executive board with a focus on sales and links with business partners and market associates. I think an excellent balance was created, both at the top and within our teams, while synergy and new energy could be felt from the day I first arrived at Merkur osiguranje.
I advocate for the utilising of organisational knowledge and experience, but also for it to be refined with more modern and innovative solutions. We call that #onemerkur and I’m very proud that this spirit is felt not only with us, but also throughout our entire group. Given that we will have several anniversaries next year, I expect us to show more significant changes and results by then.