New Riskonet partner in Bulgaria
8 January 2021
From early 2021, Riskonet will also enjoy a presence in Bulgaria, when Georgi Aleksov becomes the network’s latest partner. Georgi is convinced that the move will be a win-win-win situation: for Riskonet, for him, and most importantly, for clients and prospects operating in the Balkan region.
Georgi Aleksov has an impressive pedigree in the areas of engineering, sales and risk management. He started his career back in 1990, working as a regional sales manager for Balkancar, a Bulgarian forklift truck manufacturer. He then spent several years in the insurance business. In 2002 he joined Marsh, a global risk consultancy and insurance broker. He worked for Marsh for about 16 years as a risk-engineer consultant, serving Bulgaria, Macedonia, Albania and the wider Balkan region. He then spent two years working for OQQSA. Official, Quantity & Quality Survey Agency, where his main area of expertise was property-risk consulting and loss adjustment.
After working for several months on a freelance basis, in mid-2020 Georgi decided to take the plunge and start up his own risk-consultancy company. He plans to launch the company in the beginning of 2021. He’s currently focusing on preparatory activities, including commissioning a website, producing the necessary publications and doing some marketing. He has clear plans on the direction he wants his company to take. After concentrating on establishing himself and his services among local clients in Bulgaria, his intention is to expand internationally.
An important part of Georgi’s international expansion strategy was his decision to become a Riskonet partner. The move to join the Riskonet network, he insists, was a logical progression. “I have great respect for the Riskonet management and I want to expand so that I can share knowledge and experiences internationally, as well as locally here in the Bulgarian market.
Georgi feels that partnering with Riskonet and extending Riskonet’s presence to the Bulgarian region offers significant advantages all-round. For example, his extensive experience working for an international organisation like Marsh, in different risk areas and several different countries, will be a very useful asset to Riskonet in the region. Furthermore, he has FERMA (Federation of European Risk Management Associations) Rimap (Risk-Management Professional) Certification. This will be a distinct advantage, he insists, because it means that Riskonet will be seen by clients and prospects as true risk professionals.
Offer world-class services
As for how the partnership will benefit himself and his new company, Georgi points out that Bulgaria is a relatively small market, which can make it a challenge to acquire big clients. “However, I’m convinced that my affiliation with Riskonet will change this situation. What’s more, being a Riskonet partner will enhance the reputation and image of my business. This will be a very important way of convincing clients and prospects that I really am able to provide the type of services that I want to offer them.”
Many large international companies have, or would like to have, a presence in Bulgaria, explains Georgi. However, their risk-management activities are often carried out centrally, typically at their headquarters in their home countries. “I am ideally placed here to provide the kind of local risk-management knowledge that would help these companies get a stronger foothold in the Bulgarian and wider Balkan region markets.”
Pass on the benefits
Georgi also feels that being a Riskonet partner will offer opportunities for his current and prospective clients in Bulgaria. “Riskonet has many connections and is involved in different types of activities, some of which correspond with my clients’ various lines of business. As a Riskonet partner I will be able to pass on the benefits of this expertise and experience to my own clients.”
The importance of risk management
According to Georgi, Bulgarian clients need to understand that risk-management is a very useful tool in the successful management of the company itself. Companies in the region are now starting to apply it, he concedes, but it is taking longer than it should for them to appreciate just how important it is. “It costs money, it costs time and it calls for the engagement of senior management. Over 90 per cent of companies here employ less than 10 people and many managers do not see the importance of risk management,” he says. To help address this situation, in 2015 Georgi co-founded BRIMA, the Bulgarian Risk Management Association, which is committed to promoting best risk-management practices. That same year, BRIMA became a member of FERMA.
Better financial results
And to illustrate just how key a role risk management can play for a company, Georgi uses the example set by some large international companies. “When they apply best risk-management practises they get better financial results. The figures themselves, along with cost-benefit analyses, are the best demonstrable proof that I use to show clients the positive effect that risk management has.”
In conclusion, Georgi stresses how important he finds it to be his own boss. “I have worked for employers for many years and I am now looking forward to channelling my experience and expertise into my own business. And, in this context, I’m confident that being a Riskonet partner will be mutually beneficial all round.”