I joined Generali 32 years ago. It was a freezing winter day in Munich. A few months later, the Berlin Wall would have fallen and changed the course of contemporary history. When I entered the building of “Deutscher Lloyd”, back then a company of our Group, I experienced a very warm welcome despite an outside temperature of minus 20 degrees.
After my Business Administration graduation from the University of Trieste, I strived to start an international career immediately. I’ve jumped into the corporate insurance business at the very first call. On short notice, I’ve been asked to go to Munich to start a trainee program. As I arrived from Trieste, I can’t forget the helping hand received by the Real Estate Department colleagues who supported me to find a room for the night.
Since then, my journey into Generali has been a rollercoaster of emotions and events. From trainee to underwriter and then Chief Industrial Fire underwriter in Germany. I then moved to Vienna where I was appointed Head of Corporate & Commercial for Austria & CEE and later Regional Manager at the Group Head office in Trieste, to then move to CEO of Generali Austria back in Vienna. Today I proudly hold the position of Austria, CEE & Russia Regional Officer and CEO of Generali CEE Holding in Prague.
Turning Generali Austria into a highly profitable company after a difficult period, it is one of the achievements I am most proud of. Profit and financial results are an essential part of our job. Still, we have always to prioritize our customer’s satisfaction showing real LifeTime partner behaviour at any stage of our careers in the Group.
When I was Head of the Corporate and Commercial in Austria, I had to establish a structure also for the CEE Region. We also focused on Italian companies with factories in Eastern Europe. I used to drive thousands of kilometres to reach the customers in the most remote corners of the Region. I remember an endless drive to Spišská Nová Ves, a tiny town in Slovakia, to meet the local factories managers.
Teamwork, risk attitude and a bit of “stomach feeling” are some of my personality traits. My commitment and knowledge of the Region was devoted to support the Generali expansions in Central and Eastern Europe. The transformation of Generali CEE Holding from a joint venture to a 100% Generali company has been one of the most strategic projects for the Group in the last years. I’m incredibly proud of this achievement and of the team that worked hard to finalize it. Today we can celebrate this journey that started in 2013. We are one of the most profitable units within the entire Generali Group.
As a CEO, it’s essential to have people in your team you can depend on and be transparent with. I’ve learned that looking for candidates who exhibit the correct attitude and real professionality can be more valuable then hiring a profile with a fashionable résumé. Over the years I have learned how important is listening your people, motivate and give voice to them. You are a better CEO when you have a better team. I have been working with hundreds of colleagues from different countries and with distinct personalities. I’ve always tried to support them on their careers path to establishing a solid and motivated team. I have hired some of them at young ages. Today I’m proud to witness how they hold managerial positions in the Group. To fulfil our customers needs and make their lives less risky and more comfortable, it is crucial working with people qualified, highly motivated, and with plenty of soft skills.
In the insurance market, as in Rugby, my favourite sport, competition and team spirit goes hand in hand. My career path in Generali is an example that following Group values pays off. After many years at Generali, I’m ready to continue writing my personal story with the same enthusiasm of the first day.