In the fourth of our profiles of Wilmington leaders, we meet Susana Pérez, Managing Director, Inese and her rise to success with Inese.
If there’s anything you need to know about the Spanish insurance market, you won’t find anyone better qualified to tell you than Susana Pérez, Managing Director of Wilmington’s flagship insurance business in Spain. In 1988, after completing a law degree at one of Spain’s top universities, she started what was to become a single-company career with Inese, then a family-owned business in Madrid; grasping the opportunity, she advanced rapidly to become Director of Training and Studies.
In 2001, Inese was acquired by Reed Business Information, with Susana being appointed to the advisory board and subsequently becoming Inese’s Managing Director in 2007. Under her leadership, the company has moved from strength to strength, and it joined Wilmington’s Risk & Compliance division in 2013.
Inese provides training, information, communication and global marketing solutions for the insurance industry in Spanish-speaking countries. Refusing to conform to the industry’s reputation for being dry and dull, Susana has driven the company to embrace the digital revolution in its own operations, and pushes the boundaries with unrelenting persistence at Inese’s many industry events, including the highly successful Semana del Seguro (Insurance Week) conference.
“I have been part of every Semana del Seguro since its inception in 1993”, she says. “Today, it attracts delegates from around the Spanish-speaking world. Last year there were nearly 4,000 registered visitors and more than 300 speakers.”
Sometimes, it’s hard for people to accept the degree of change that Inese is facing; Pérez’ responses include an “innovation competition” for her staff, frequent in-house training on the use and benefits of new tools and resources, plus regular initiatives to ‘retire’ products and services that are no longer relevant. “If we focus only on introducing new offerings”, she says, “we are at risk of confusing our customers. Moving them away from familiar but outdated products, and supporting the transition to new, digital alternatives is essential.”
Alongside with growing business in Spain, Susana finds time to progress another of her key strategic tasks – expanding Inese’s business into Latin America. “It’s vital”, she says, “that Inese is ready to help insurers in these Spanish-speaking countries to accelerate digital transformation and to expand market reach.”
Susana accepts that the next decade will probably see even faster rates of change in the insurance sector than Inese has experienced in the past ten years. But it’s clear that, under her leadership, Inese is ready for the challenge.
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