The FINANCIAL — Bank Republic (BR), Société Générale Group, one of the leading banks in Georgia and International Insurance Company Imedi L signed a strategic partnership agreement. With this initiative, companies are starting a new page of partnership.
According to the agreement, the life of any borrower who takes out credit from the bank, will be insured, while in the case of mortgage crediting – in addition to life insurance, the subject of the mortgage will be insured as well.
“Bank Republic and Imedi L will jointly run bank-insurance activities using state-of-the-art technologies and at a quality level attractive to consumers. All loan facilities disbursed by the bank will include an insurance policy for the life of the borrower in case of a collateral-fee loan and an insurance policy for the life of the borrower and for the subject of collateral in case of a collateralized loan,” said Aleksandre Lortkipanidze, Director of Imedi L.
In his words, Imedi L offers European high standard products to its customers. The company created special products for BR. Customers will be insured directly at the bank. “We have become more customer-oriented.”
Bank Republic and Imedi L cooperation accounts for more than 3 years already, but with the new Partnership Agreement, the companies’ cooperation will move to a new level.
A signing ceremony was held on November 12, at Bank Republic Head Office.
“It’s a very important event, which happened after the war. We are going to sign the contract on strategic cooperation. Jointly we can offer better conditions to our customers,” noted Gilbert Hie, Chief Executive Officer of Bank Republic, Société Générale Group.
As he stated, Imedi L has been ensuring BR cars, assets, goods and its personnel for a long time already. “Based on this contract we can offer high quality products to our customers, and service will be more comfortable and cheaper. We were holding negotiations for three months on this issue ending in long-term cooperation.”
According to Hie, world banks choose the best insurance companies as their partners. Société Générale owns a certain share of Europe insurance banks. Bank Republic wants to be the main partner of Imedi L and vice versa.
The Strategic Cooperation Agreement between Imedi L and Bank Republic was supported by Société Générale Group and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) – which owns equity stakes both in the Bank and in the insurance company.
In 2007 the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) – became one of the main shareholders of Imedi L International and since owns 34% of company shares.
“The combination of crediting activities between bank and insurance is a common and well established European practice and Bank Republic, while introducing modern international banking practices in Georgia, took this additional step to improve the quality of its services for customers country-wide,” said Hie.
Bank Republic, Société Générale Group, is one of the most successful financial institutions, thus being in the leading position in the corporate and retail banking market of the country. Bank Republic is the 3rd largest bank in the Georgian banking system according to its total assets volume and the fourth by total deposit portfolio. The Bank owns an 8.6% market share in deposits and 7.6% in loans.
On 29 September, 2006 Bank Republic entered into agreement with Société Générale Group and EBRD on purchasing 60% and 10% of shares of BR respectively.
Société Générale is one of the largest financial services groups in the euro-zone. The Group employs 151,000 people worldwide in 82 countries, in three key businesses: Retail Banking & Financial Services: Société Générale serves 27 million individual customers worldwide.
Insurance Company Imedi L International Ltd was established in 1995. From September 1998 the company’s main shareholder has been ESG Re, We are the company with the largest charter capital in Georgia – of almost USD 2,000,000. This money is in cash in a number of banks in Georgia.
From November 2004 the company became Joint Stock.
From 2006 the main change began in the shareholders and managing structure.
In February 2007, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) bought 34 % shares of Imedi L.
51 % Meta LLC
34 % EBRD
15 % Imedi Holding LTD
Imedi L International operates all over the country as a fully licensed insurance company and offers a wide range of insurance services. The company has 9 regional branches in Georgia.
For now almost 300,000 individuals and more than 2,000 corporate clients utilize various insurance services of Imedi L International. Gross income for 2008 year (9 months) amounts to GEL 34,442,000.
“Our products are quite convenient, comfortable and cheap. We cooperate with other Georgian banks, but we do not have such close relations as we have with Bank Republic,” Nika Chikhladze, Director of Business Development Imedi L, told The FINANCIAL.
According to Chikhladze, insurance can be done online. The customer does not need to go to the insurance company from the bank. They will be provided with insurance service at the branch. There will not be a general increase on insurance products. The price compared to medical products has only increased a little.
“In 2008 we insured approximately 250-300 thousand people and even more corporate customers. Compared to 2007 our income has been increased by 40-50% and in the medical part it is quite a bit more.”
Imedi L claims its financial strength, reliable foreign re-insurers, high class management system and professionalism of employees is the guarantee to provide safe future for our customers. Imedi L International is always ready to provide “Stability in a Changing World”.
Renowned Georgian jazz singer Maia Baratasvhili is making her performance debut in London on November 26, 2008. Bank republic, Societe Generale Group, is a great supporter and contributor in respect to classical music and jazz. Being a famous and beloved jazz singer of Georgia, BR is willing to support Baratishvili in her further development and prospects and this time to sponsor her debut in London.
This is a joint event initiated and organized by the British-Georgian Chamber of Commerce and the British-Georgian Society with sponsorship from bmi.
The concert will take place at Pushkin House (5a Bloomsbury square, London), where Baratashvili will perform with her jazz trio – George Rakviashvili (Acoustic piano), George Samsonadze (Bass), and George Manjgaladze (Drums).
Written By Sopho Kheladze