After 22 years within the Group, on 1st April 2021, Etienne Sciberras stepped into a new role as CEO of MAPFRE MSV Life, tasked with steering the company forward in highly challenging times, but from a position of strength and optimism.
In an interview with MaltaCEOs.mt, Mr Sciberras says that, over the course of his career within the organisation, he had the opportunity to assume various roles and responsibilities that shaped the course of his trajectory, leading up to this point.
He began within the Investments Unit, where he occupied the role of Senior Manager prior to moving to the Risk Management function in 2012, as Chief Risk Officer.
“Through these different responsibilities, I obtained a wider perspective of our business, our customers and the competitive and regulatory landscape within which we operate,” says the CEO.
Having taken the reins from David Curmi – who stepped down at the beginning of the year and is now Executive Chairman at Air Malta – Mr Sciberras says he had the opportunity to work closely with his predecessor over the years, who was at the helm of the company for more than two decades.
“David’s leadership was fundamental in the growth and the successes achieved by the company over the past years. Personally, I am looking forward to building on his legacy and ushering our company into a digital era where our clients can interact with us through their preferred channel of communication, in a seamless manner,” he explains.
“We will do this whilst continuing to deploy innovative products to the market which address our clients’ evolving financial needs throughout the different stages of their life.”
Since starting out in the industry, Mr Sciberras has witnessed the development of Malta’s insurance sector – where customers’ needs, preferences and service level expectations, the regulatory landscape as well as the level of competition have all changed considerably.
“However, what has not changed is the need to have a sound and well-developed insurance market to support the economic activity within the country,” says the CEO. “As a leader in the life insurance market in Malta, we need to remain customer centric, embrace change and drive innovation while maintaining a sound business model supported by adequate capital levels to ensure resilience in challenging market conditions.”
Speaking of the Group’s success within the local insurance market, where both MAPFRE Middlesea and MAPFRE MSV Life are market leaders in the respective non-life and life insurance sector, Mr Sciberras says the company will this year be celebrating 27 years since its formation.
“We are very proud that over this period, the company has grown from strength to strength while continuing to earn the lifelong trust of our policyholders. This success has been forged with our strategic partner, Bank of Valletta plc, through the bancassurance distribution model. Going forward, this relationship will continue to play a key role in our strategic vision.”
As a member of the Executive Committee, Mr Sciberras has contributed to the strategy setting process, execution and policy development of the Group over the years – a role which will take centre stage as the company’s CEO. Currently, work is underway on MAPFRE MSV Life’s Strategic Plan for 2022-2024.
“This plan will define our medium-term objectives but also shape our long-term vision. We are looking forward to this period with great optimism and excitement since this will coincide with the completion of our core Life Administration System implementation,” says Mr Sciberras, adding that the new system will provide customers the opportunity to interact with the company digitally.
“The ultimate objective of our digital transformation initiative is to provide a better customer experience. This, together with the continuous review of our operating processes and the enhancement of our product portfolio, will allow us to continue to sharpen our customer value proposition.”
The CEO’s recent appointment took place at a delicate time for the country, as it continues to ramp up its efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic while re-igniting a battered economy. Sharing his priorities for his first year in office, Mr Sciberras says that, for 2021, his top priority remains the health and safety of the company’s employees, clients and collaborators.
“Since the outbreak of the pandemic, a number of measures, in line with the health authorities’ guidance and additional initiatives recommended by our internal COVID-19 committee were implemented to safeguard the well-being of our stakeholders,” he asserts.
On the business side, his priority is to achieve the objectives set out in the 2019-2021 strategic plan, which focused on digital transformation. “In parallel to this, we have initiated the process leading us to the formulation of our 2022-2024 Strategic Plan. This plan will leverage on our new Life Administration System to deliver an enhanced customer experience and customer value proposition.”
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