In an interview with Delano, Strasser talked about the key issues the industry is facing and explains his ambitions for his chairmanship.
Margaret Ferns: In your view, what are the key challenges for the Luxembourg insurance sector?
Christian Strasser: My mandate begins with a major challenge for our sector, which impacts all of European local markets: the implementation of the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD), which is the insurance sector equivalent of Mifid II. We also have to deal with the usual ongoing subjects, such as the regulatory changes of the markets where Aca members operate; the digital transition and the growth of sustainable finance etc.
MF: How will Aca assist its members in facing these challenges?
CS: As a professional association, our main task, and added value, is to bring experts together around the table to discuss common issues. The goal is to try to find common views and solutions, as well as to build a strong basis to initiate constructive conversation with the local authorities in order to promote the insurance sector’s points of view as efficiently as possible.
MF: What are your ambitions for Aca during your term in office?
CS: One of the key challenges for our association has been to build a constructive consensus amongst our very diverse membership. Aca represents a large and very competitive industry made up of various players and, therefore, various interests. We represent life insurance, non-life, reinsurance, local and international players. Some of our members operate only locally, others in more than 30 countries. Some have a workforce of ten people, while others have several hundreds of employees. Thus, Aca has to produce unity within diversity. Human relationships in this process are, of course, key. This is why Aca has been working on building fair governance to make sure that every voice can be expressed and is properly taken into account.
Background: What is the IDD?
“The Insurance Distribution Directive enters into force in early 2018 (23 February). It is a recast of the existing Insurance Mediation Directive and is designed to ensure a level playing field across all participants selling insurance products. As such, its scope is broader than just the traditional insurance industry and it applies to all distributors of insurance products. In addition to insurance brokers / financial advisors and the direct salesforces of insurance companies this also includes distributors for whom the insurance is only an ancillary service such as car rental firms and airlines (with certain limited exemptions).” Source: Deloitte.com