Marc Lauer (Foyer Group): Regulatory and Digital Challenges Influence the Insurance Sector
“Our customers are increasingly looking for ESG-friendly offerings, such as insurance that promotes green initiatives or investment products based on more sustainable funds,” says Marc Lauer, CEO of Foyer Group about the evolution of his clients' needs. Interview.
Can you describe your company in a few words?
Foyer is a financial group that was created 100 years ago, in 1922. We have become a key player in Luxembourg, thanks to our family shareholding but also to the work of our 800 employees in three countries and our 625 insurance agents in Luxembourg. We serve a local and international clientele of individuals, self-employed people and companies. We offer them insurance, benefit protection insurance and wealth management solutions, to help them prepare for their future with peace of mind, and to protect their loved ones or their businesses. In each of our business lines, we make it a point of honor to offer a high level of excellence to our customers and partners, via our agents, through our advisors or our digital tools. Finally, although it is a century-old, Foyer is above all a forward-looking company which has retained its entrepreneurial and innovative spirit.
What regulatory challenges is the insurance industry facing?
In this context, I would not hesitate to talk about over-regulation. The legal constraints are indeed becoming increasingly difficult to bear for small and medium-sized companies such as those operating in Luxembourg. European initiatives are multiple and range from a reform of Solvency II to the implementation of ESG criteria and rules. Each of these regulations has a public interest rationale, but the combination of these and the desire to regulate everything down to the last detail creates a very heavy administrative burden with limited benefits for policyholders and insured people. For the international competitiveness of the sector, it is therefore of crucial importance that Luxembourg remains, as in the past, a favorable location for insurance, in a European Single Market that must remain strong but with sound and pragmatic regulation of the sector.
Which Insurance trends do you identify and how are you adapting to them?
I think that the major challenges for insurance in the future are digitalization, the climate crisis and the aging population. Each of these challenges produces risks and questions to which we insurers must find answers. As already mentioned, digitalization is well underway at Foyer, being at the heart of our strategy and developments. This digitalization, coupled with the effects of the health crisis, has also led to the need for new skills and the emergence of new habits among our employees. Thus, the search for and retention of talent has naturally found its place at the heart of our strategy. As for the climate crisis, Foyer alone, nor any insurer, will be able to solve it, but we can adapt our products and offer solutions in consultation with all the stakeholders involved: Insurers, government and reinsurers. Finally, the aging of the population can be seen as a challenge, but also as an opportunity to develop new services and products for this very specific clientele.