Roberto Flores Rangel

General Director, ACE Seguros

It is a myth that the Mexican insurance sector is underdeveloped. I started working in this sector 30 years ago, and have always heard the same complaints. In terms of GDP, the Mexican insurance sector represents less than 2% of the total. It has been like that for the last 25 years. So, yes, there is a huge opportunity and ACE sees that. In the near future we will grow our presence. We are looking for opportunities, and we are ready to invest. We believe that the life business holds a lot of opportunity for an insurance company. We began in this sector in Mexico City and we are moving into Puebla, Monterrey, and Guadalajara. We are going to start using agents as well as increase our own sales force. We already have 50 agents and are looking at long-term undertakings focused on savings, education, and pensions projects. Mexico is a very competitive market for insurance. All of the big players are present. There are also some large Mexican firms as well as new international firms in the market. This means that we have to remain competitive. In my eyes, insurance companies have two assets. One is our balance sheet. Fortunately for us, ACE has a very strong balance sheet. Our other strength is people.

Xavier de Bellefon

Executive President, AXA Seguros Mexico

One of the bigger changes we were able to make was to build a very solid brand, which allowed us to create a price premium. Four years ago, 0% of Mexicans knew us, and now 85% do. It was one of the fastest-growing brands in Mexico, in a category that is not exactly the most popular. We are pleased with that, and it shows that the company's level of attention is very high. Insurance in Mexico, as in many other countries, faces the challenge of building customer trust. The way we are trying to tackle this is to offer innovative products as proof of our reliability. For example, we offer life insurance dedicated to diabetics. We have launched other innovative services including 24-hour medical support, available on the phone or on location. A preconception we tried to change is that SMEs have small problems; this is not true. In fact, 75% of SMEs are faced with large problems that could bankrupt their company. If a company is short on money, then they start to lose customers. This applies not only SMEs, but also to the people related to the company, workers, and their spouses. Therefore, AXA Seguros Mexico has been offering a down payment of at least 50% of a company's claims; if it has a problem, we offer the necessary cash in less than a week, which allows the company to continue operations.

Fernando Solís Soberón

General Director, Seguros Banorte

We have very informal markets, very small firms, a very young population, and low-income levels. That is why, structurally, the demand for insurance is less than in other countries. But that is an opportunity. A lot of families are going to be formed in the years to come. They will have mortgages, cars, and children, and the demand for health insurance is going to grow. We think that the country is going to keep growing. If we transform the structure of the economy by passing some other structural reforms, I am very optimistic about this government. If that happens it will raise the income of many families and also raise the gross distribution that will transform the labor market to where we will have more formal markets. That is why I am very positive with respect to the insurance sector in Mexico. It has been growing faster than GDP and I think that the opportunity is huge. This is the way that many firms abroad see things. This is a very strategic market that most of the important firms in the world are pinpointing. After Brazil, Mexico is the largest market, followed by Argentina. The differences are huge but I think Mexico is going down the path of very rapid expansion.