Four insurers merge to form second-largest in SE Europe
The new insurer, which employs 1,400 people, is the result of the the merger of Slovenia's second largest insurance group's insurance arms Zavarovalnica Maribor, Zavarovalnica Tilia, Velebit osiguranje and Velebit životno osiguranje.
It was entered in the register of companies on Wednesday and has a five-strong management. Apart from chairman Kastelic, who was until now the boss of Zavarovalnica Maribor, the board consists of Primož Močivnik, Rok Moljk, Robert Ciglarič and Boris Medica.
According to Kastelic, the merger was a difficult process, but the last of the teething problems have been resolved and the insurer "has become stronger, as four cultures, four know-hows and two markets have been merged".
"We are becoming a mini multinational with two different approaches," he added, explaining that the insurer will work to retain its strong position on the Slovenian market, "while the starting point in Croatia is different - we want to prove that we're creating a new story and we have great ambition".
The insurer, which has almost EUR 350m in total collected premiums, will present its 2017 financial plan in the coming months. The foundation for the plan is the sum of all premiums of all four insurers.
"Our vision is foremost healthy and stable growth," Kastelic moreover stressed.
In Croatia, where the insurer has become the strongest player with the merger, Velebit osiguranje and Velebit životno osiguranje had been limited in their further development by their size and capital.
According to the new boss, the insurer now plans on making a huge step forward, but due to the demanding market, Zavarovalnica Sava does not expect shot-term success. The biggest potential is in business insurance, Kastelic added.
He moreover said that a potential expansion to new markets will be subject to an agreement between the insurer and its owners, which are present on all markets of the former Yugoslavia save Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Nothing will change for the clients of the four merged insurers, he also pointed out.