"We initially set our sights on 5 markets: Poland, Romania, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine. Then we passed on Ukraine and Russia, due to the unstable political environment, and also on Turkey, where prices in MTPL are still absurdly low", said Jurgen MEISCH, CFO of the Koln based group. Still, the GOTHAER officials think that Bulgaria is an interesting market, but they are not currently looking to acquire a local company, like they did in Romania.
GOTHAER is one of the investors who decided to expand in the CEE relatively late compared to other international groups like ALLIANZ, GENERALI, VIG or UNIQA. However, this allowed them to learn from others' miss happenings. "We do not want repeat their mistakes (...) but we will probably make some of our own", MEISCH said. The investments of other groups in countries like Romania or Poland targeted market share, which very often came with large exposure on the MTPL business, low premiums and the never ending price-wars.
With more than EUR 4.1 billion in premiums in 2012, GOTHAER is one of the most important insurance groups in Germany. Nevertheless, the company is targeting EUR 4.6 billion in premiums in 2016.