Radisav Osmajlić, Director Of Willis Towers Watson Srbija:

Risk As An Opportunity For Profit

“It is most important to achieve an optimal ratio between risk taken and level of insurance premium”

Willis Towers WatsonWillis Towers Watson, a leading global consulting company in the field of human resources, insurance brokerage and the creation of solutions that help clients convert risks into growth generators, employs over 40,000 people in 140 countries worldwide and generates revenues exceeding $8 billion. In this interview, director Radisav Osmajlić explains that the higher the level of risk that investors are willing to take correlates directly with the possibility of achieving higher returns.

– Our philosophy is not to view risks only from the perspective how to minimise their downside, but also in terms of utilising their upside potential, with which we provide our clients with the opportunity to generate additional profits. The best example is a situation in which our client decides to share the portion of a particular risk with an insurer, which in positive scenario can result in an increased level of profit due to reduced insurance premium costs, but with limited exposure on negative side. Compared to some Western European countries, Serbia has average exposure to the risks of natural disasters, business risk is slightly higher in terms of the political and economic risks expressed through the credit rating, but risk is lower in terms of terrorism. When we create value proposal for a client, all the specificities of a particular market certainly need to be taken into consideration, as well as the client’s risk appetite.

The most common benefits for employees in Serbia are voluntary health insurance, accident insurance, life insurance and voluntary pension funds

To what extend does the management of risk and the optimisation of benefits vary from country to country or, to be precise, how does Serbia compare to developed Western states in this area?

– Alongside material risk, the management of risk in the domain of human resources is also important. The strategies of companies regarding the attracting and retaining of talent must be harmonised with their business strategy, market specificities and the needs of certain generational groups of employees. Our consultants help clients provide their employees with market competitive financial conditions and other benefits related to their individual positions, offering advice in defining KPIs and achievement related levels of remuneration. Compared to Western Europe, companies operating in Serbia provide lower levels of benefits in terms of insurance sums and limits of coverage, but growth trends are noticeable in several industries. A good example is domestic IT companies, which tend to provide their employees with voluntary health insurance with higher limits and wider coverage. Talent in this sector cannot be attracted and retained with just a high level of earnings, rather employers must also consider other motivational factors.

When it comes to your operations in Serbia, are you focused on specific areas in particular, considering that the market is relatively small and insufficiently developed?

– The activities of our business in Serbia are currently limited to insurance brokerage, as this is a domain regulated by the law on insurance. A growing trend in the use of brokerage services is noticeable, not only among multinational companies, but rather also among those that are domestically owned. Our most soughtafter services are in project insurance, where familiarity with specific risks and insurance products is essential, while the fastest growing segment is consulting services in the area of voluntary health insurance.