ALL BASES COVERED

Panama 2019 | FINANCE | INTERVIEW

Being a cooperative allows Seguros FEDPA to reach people in remote areas and in turn differentiate itself from the competition in a highly saturated market.

Amílcar Córdoba
BIOGRAPHY
Amílcar Córdoba is the General Manager of Seguros FEDPA, S.A. He has been President of the Panamanian Association of Insurance Companies (APADEA) for 15 years. He started in the cooperative movement since 1994, occupying several main positions on its boards of directors and as an engineer and lawyer. His professional experience includes financial analyst, human resources, consulting in cooperatives and businesses, banking development, investment, and insurance.

How has the operation progressed over the company's 25 years of history?

Seguros FEDPA is a 100% Panamanian company, and it is cooperatively owned. This is something that distinguishes us from other companies in the market. We have our origin in the cooperative movement, and 100% of our shareholders are Panamanian cooperatives, which is a unique feat in Panama.

Why is the cooperative movement important?

We have produced great results for the last 15 years. At present, we are ranked among the top insurance companies; we have a 2.5% market share. We have a leadership position together with the five-largest companies that sell car insurance in Panama. In addition, we have managed to develop collective life insurance, accident insurance, and automobile insurance.

How is your expansion model impacting your operations?

Our expansion model is one of our most important achievements. Undoubtedly, we have a strong nationwide presence. Seguros FEDPA either has a direct presence through branches or an indirect presence through agencies. As a matter of fact, we do not only focus on population centers. This allows us to reach many people who previously did not have access to insurance. At present, thanks to our management, we can sell insurance to the most remote places in the country. In terms of the number of insured people and the number of insured risks, we are one of the leading companies.

How does Seguros FEDPA innovate and strengthen its strategies to attract more clients?

Service matters a lot, since our product is intangible. In this sense, service quality has to spearhead the entire industry, and at Seguros FEDPA, we provide the best service. We sell a promise and we deliver accordingly.

What kind of international affiliations do you have?

As a company in the cooperative sector, we are affiliated with the International Federation of Cooperatives and Mutual Insurance Companies (ICMIF), which brings together the main insurance companies in the global cooperative sector. Furthermore, we have a wonderful relationship with other insurance companies in the American and European cooperative sectors. Our industry seeks to train people to achieve greater development in every country. We have a high level of cooperation with all the sister companies in Central America, the Caribbean, and South America.

How is FEDPA contributing through corporate social responsibility activities?

The cooperative movement is a socially responsible movement. One of the differences between cooperatives and the free market is that the cooperative movement has a social purpose. We focus on having a positive impact on Panama's provinces, societies, and communities by participating in all kinds of activities. We participate in charitable and cultural activities. In the last few years, we have focused on doing work that will leave a mark on the community and, moving forward, we will focus more on that.

What are the goals and ambitions of Seguros FEDPA for 2019 and 2020?

If we consider the developments that have taken place in 2019, such as the election, 2019 has been a bit tight compared to what we expected. However, we are still optimistic about the rest of the year. We feel that the economy will bounce back. By the end of the year the company's growth rate will be similar to 2018, which was close to 10%. Also, we expect growth will take off in 2020. Nonetheless, we hope to participate in the growth of the insurance sector, and we remain focused on our target markets in the middle and lower classes.