Today we had the chance to sit down with Claimar CEO Guillermo Zamora to chat about his past experience, present situation and future challenges. He also shares his thoughts on the Marine Insurance sector.
Guillermo, tell us about your professional experience.
Hello, well, I am proud that my professional experience is very much related to what I do today at Claimar, comprising of experience from different companies and sectors.
I have done some IT repairs and IT technical work at university, which gives me knowledge and technical expertise in this field.
Later on, during my time living in London, I experienced life abroad, studying and working hard at the same time with people and cultures all around the world which was an enlightening experience.
As a practicing lawyer I have extensive experience in litigation and saw first hand the hindrances litigation brings with it.
In India, as an international trade consultant, I learned how to conduct market research, business agendas and also got acquainted with international sales of goods (and services).
Also as a Marine insurance broker in Aon for eight months I carried out most of the tasks a broker undertakes. More importantly, I understand what a broker is in any field and I understand all markets and businesses have brokers and how they add value.
During my time in Argentina I gained further experience as a Marine Claims handler at a reputed company.
Nonetheless, it is as an entrepreneur at Marlin Blue and Claimar where I have learnt the most. As far as I am concerned,, the best way to learn is teaching, and I am proud of having shared my knowledge with the Marlin Blue & Claimar teams because I learnt a lot in the process.
Describe your daily routine
Most weekdays I go to the gym before coming to the office, it feels really good to come to the office wide awake and ready!
Otherwise, checking my inbox and phone calls are on my daily to do list.
What I definitely enjoy the most and where I feel especially productive is during meetings, especially with customers. Standing up and showing what we have to offer to professionals all around the world is nice, we enjoy this aspect of work a lot and it is a great opportunity to show off Huelva!
What is the last thing you’ve learned on the job?
We all grow on a daily basis, either through experience or something more substantial.
The upside of management is that you have a more comprehensive perspective. However, maybe the downside is exactly the same at times!
These days I am learning to be more empathetic, appreciating colleagues and friends. Getting to know my colleagues has been a rewarding experience.
Otherwise, I have learnt how to arrest a vessel in some jurisdiction and be able to lift the veil of debtor companies worldwide.
What is your greatest professional achievement?
I would say carrying out claims worldwide in several jurisdictions with millions of euros at stake is quite positive.
Otherwise, Claimar´s team in Huelva, composed of several highly qualified and experienced people in the marine insurance industry, is a personal and professional achievement of great importance to me.
What's the biggest challenge for marine insurance claims?
Mitigating losses, and by the way, there is a lot of room for improvement! Daily we feel like water (money) is falling out of the fountain (insurance) which leads to a lack of control.
It is a lot of money, effort and resources which can be saved. Saving this money, mitigating these losses is good for the insurance industry and is beneficial for the transportation industry too, as we also improve efficiency.
Even for the environment as a society we could employ fewer resources than we actually do if we properly mitigated losses.
What are the main objectives for your company over the next three years?
We are “ahead of the pack” over competitors according to our global customers. The effort we make is felt in the market and our knowledge is widely acknowledged.
Nonetheless, our global footprint and our size is limited compared to competitors. We are set to increase it as well as maintain our quality in this process.
This is our main objective over the next three years.
In your view, what risks do you face as an organization?
We play fair and strictly within the rules. Our levels of compliance are excellent.
The aforementioned bears some bureaucratic paperwork which is overloading, this is a risk and further requirements in terms of compliance are on the rise.
What is your leadership philosophy?
I learned that in order to be a good leader you must act and possess the following skills and abilities: 1) to be a good person 2) to be a good professional and 3) take your team to the next level.
In all of my decisions as a leader I take into consideration all of the three aforementioned qualities.
What methods have you used to motivate your staff?
The main way to motivate my colleagues is just, as much as possible, not to do things that discourage them to become better people and professionals.
I must admit I have failed sometimes in motivating the team and this is something I have learned a lot from. Trying to improve on past mistakes is essential to creating a highly motivated and happy team.
What are some of the qualities that one needs to be an effective insurance claims handler?
Tell me something you believe, that almost nobody agrees with you on.
We, the people, tend to think your city or place is more difficult than others to do things. Example:
If you talk to people in Huelva, they will tell you Huelva is different because the market here is different to other places.
If you ask people in Mumbai they will tell you they work longer than people elsewhere.
When asking Londoners, they will tell you life in London is tougher than anywhere else in the world.
I believe all of these comparisons are wrong.
The market in Huelva is as difficult as elsewhere.
Work in Mumbai is as difficult as elsewhere.
Life in London is more or less as difficult as life anywhere else.