Cambiaso Risso landed in Germany
The Genoese broker signed its first agreements and aims at growing in the German market, while its joint-venture Core Assurance CR Marine opened a new office in New York
Genoa – A few months after the take-over of the Genoese insurance brokerage company by the French group Siaci Saint Honoré – “we are very satisfied about this French partnership as it allows us to enter new markets”, ensured Marco Risso – Cambiaso Risso speeded up its international growth plans focusing on Germany and opening the New York Core Assurance CR Marine office, a joint-venture with the American group Core Assurance.
Chairman Marco Risso and Managing Director Mauro Iguera explained to Ship2Shore why they decided to enter the German market, adding that they did so at the most favourable time: “First of all, the role of KG in the German shipping sector is giving way to a more traditional model based on the role of historical shipowner families, therefore more similar to the Italian and Greek scenarios”, Iguera pointed out.
These developments affected also the maritime insurance sector: “German shipowners were used to insure their risks abroad, but they did it only through German brokers. Consequently, the only way to enter the market was through local brokers, but we always avoided it as we prefer direct and possibly long-term relations with customers-shipowners”, Managing Director Cambiaso Risso explained.
However, also this scenario has changed as several leading German brokers within the segment faced difficulties, therefore the Genoese company immediately tried to seize this opportunity: “Our first approaches had a definitely positive outcome. We signed several agreements, and we are currently visiting many German shipowners to present our offer”, revealed Risso. This activity will be coordinated directly from the company’s headquarters in Genoa: “At present we do not need to open an office in Germany. In fact, similarly we do not hold an operational office in Greece, where we insure 3,000 ships, with a 15% marker share”.
However, the company’s office in Oslo will provide great support as it “manages all our activities in Northern Europe. In fact, German shipowners often refer to Norway also as concerns the insurance sector. In the past, they purchased coverages in Norway through German brokers, and now they are gradually starting to do it through us”, Cambiaso Chairman Risso added.
Greece, “were growth and market penetration potential is still huge”, Norway, “were we already enjoy a good positioning”, and Germany, “still an unexplored market for us”, are the main European development areas for Risso, besides the Italian market: “The Italian shipping sector recently faced a series of challenges. Fortunately there are still many important and sound groups with which we have strong business relations”.
Obviously, the Group is not focusing only on Europe as it has long been active worldwide, and it controls the Far East market through its office in Singapore. “Growth opportunities are many, especially following the transaction with Siaci Saint Honoré”, Iguera assured. “Our French partners boast a consolidated structure in China, with 600 employees, though they are not active in the marine sector. We could use this network to approach prospective customers in the People’s Republic”.
Meanwhile, Cambiaso Risso is already active in the US thanks to the joint-venture Core Assurance CR Marine established with the American broker Core Assurance, “headquartered in Norfolk, but with a new office recently opened in New York”.
As concerns maritime insurances, the American market is divided into two segments: the brown water segment, including insurance products for dredgers, pontoons, river platforms serving the construction industry, units for aquaculture, “and which is controlled by our partners”, and the blue water segment related to coverages for ocean ships “in which we are trying to grow. Figures are far from those recorded in Greece, but we aim at entering the potential market”.
Despite all these projects, according to Risso the situation “in the past years remained difficult. Our strength lies in our presence in several markets, thus being able to address a wider range of customers”.
Therefore, Cambiaso Risso aims at “an organic growth involving all its branches, and possibly integrated with take-overs of small and medium-sized brokerage companies with portfolios, as well as with professionals”.
“We want to grow and hire in Genoa since it is still an expertise centre in the maritime insurance and shipping services sector”, Risso concluded.