Executive vacancies

Date Posted
Job TitleSVP, Retail Products (Motor Insurance) RUSSIA
LocationMoscow, Russia

Reports to:  Chief Executive Officer

The Company

We are working on behalf of a top 10 General Insurance company in Russia. It is an independently, American-styled company with an international management team and it operates in Non-Life, Life and Pensions.

Historically, it has been one of the fastest growing insurance companies in Russia, moving from a top 20 to a top 10 company in under five years. This has been achieved on the back of aggressive distribution expansion, as well as through the acquisition of a leading St Petersburg company. In 2009, as with many industries, the insurance market in Russia declined (-8%) and our client, like its competitors, had to slow down the pace of distribution expansion and focus more closely on its own infrastructure and the management of costs. 2010 saw a modest return to growth followed by a 25% growth surge in the first half of 2011. During 2011 20% growth is expected and thereafter 15% pa into the foreseeable future.

A key focus for future success will be the re-alignment of the company to a more customer focussed segmented structure, split between retail and commercial insurance customers. Retail accounts for approximately 70% of all clients’ insurance premiums and is sold via a number of distribution sources including its own built and managed agent network (2,500 agents, 40 locations), retail brokers, direct insurance, banks, car dealer groups and other third party sources.

Approximately 80% of the Retail portfolio is motor insurance, however, non-motor retail products are particularly attractive in Russia and as such expansion into the non-motor segments of the market is a key strategic goal.

Our client is looking for an individual who can develop and build a retail product structure, underpinned by appropriate pricing, processes and procedures, that will help it build dominant positions in the most advantageous Retail customer and distributor segments, within a business model that is cost effective and differentiating from its competitors.

The new role holder will develop and further build the work achieved by the incumbent VP, who is returning to the UK after three years in the role, for family reasons.

The Position


Reporting into the CEO who is a British National, this exciting and highly visible role will focus on developing the Retail Product portfolio so that our client increases its penetration and profitability from the most dynamic and profitable Retail business segments in the most cost effective and sustainable manner. This will specifically include: 

  • Pricing, including the application of advanced pricing techniques that are currently being developed in-house but are prevalent in the West. This includes the specialist pricing and support for a direct insurance company, which is currently the market leader in Russia.

(It should be noted that a UK citizen who was previously Head of Pricing for Direct Line in the UK, heads up the motor pricing team)

  • Building and maintenance of reference manuals for both underwriting and pricing
  • New product development or enhancement to existing products
  • Development of product tools that assist cross-selling new products to existing customers
  • Building relationships and managing partnerships with major manufacturers or distributors e.g. Motor Brands and Banks
  • General control over underwriting processes and activity
  • Terms and Conditions
  • Ensuring that our client meets all product related regulatory issues
  • Reserving in conjunction with the actuaries (currently located in the Finance Department)
  • Claims processes (there is a separate claims department, but the department follows the conditions set down by the product teams)
  • Commission management
  • Repair flows to motor dealers
  • Loss ratio and Combined Ratio management


The ultimate goal is to grow faster than the market with a combined ratio that delivers a COR of below 100% over the longer run.

The Person


It is anticipated that the candidate will have had the following experience: 

  • Senior managerial experience in General Insurance (15+ work experience)
  • Top line GWP responsibility (indicating a direct link to sales)
  • Product development and management including pricing, particularly in Motor (it is not essential that the person has worked in non-motor retail products but it is essential that they have a deep understanding of Motor)
  • P&L responsibility, although it may not be at a companywide level e.g. it could be for a particular product group or geographical region
  • Developed insurance market experience but with an understanding of how to develop business in an under penetrated or unsophisticated market
  • It is not essential that the candidate has Russian language or experience although it would be an advantage

Key competencies


Drive:                            A determination to succeed

Self-starter:                   Able to operate without daily management                                                                                

Change Management:    Evidence of transformation management from one business model or structure to another

People Management:     Must be able to manage large diverse groups of people over a wide geographic area

Strategy & Planning:      Ability to build, articulate and implement long term business strategy and plan

Financial acumen:          Ability to work with and understand financial business model (the ability to build such models is not required)

Organisation:                 Ability to manage a wide range of diverse action plans simultaneously

Hands-on                      Ability to make things happen


Contact Emaildebbie@harlingmenzies.com

London office

Tel: +44 (0)207 917 1711

Hong Kong office

Tel: +852 2297 2883


Email: peter@harlingmenzies.com