"Gray Insurance Brokers? This cliché is outdated at ARTUS!"

Interview with Daniel Heinzler, COO of ARTUS AG

Daniel Heinzler, COO of ARTUS AG
Daniel Heinzler, COO of ARTUS AG

When Daniel Heinzler made the transition from management consulting to the industrial insurance market, he too initially had the prejudice of the gray insurance broker in mind – only to discard it right away. Because ARTUS GROUP primarily sees itself as a close advisor to its clients, often resulting in years of collaboration. Daniel Heinzler spoke with Wirtschaftsforum about brand current topics in the industry and the significant overlaps with strategy consulting.

Economic Forum: Mr. Heinzler, to meet the requirements of your predominantly medium-sized customers, ARTUS GROUP does not just act as a classic insurance broker, but also as a close advisor. At what points can you provide support exactly?

Daniel Heinzler: Far from the cliché of the grey insurance broker who wants to sell mass policies, we have little to do. Instead, we first engage in extensive dialogue with our customers to explore and understand the potential risks of their day-to-day business in detail. This could be risks from possible fire damage, but also cyber attacks or misconduct by an executive. Based on the exposure of the respective company identified in this process, we then develop comprehensive risk mitigation strategies to best control the actual dangers, or ensure sufficient coverage of the remaining risks through a sustainable insurance solution, whose wording is completely tailored to the individual needs of our particular customer. From these solutions then often arises a very long collaboration, in which we continuously evaluate with the customer any changes that may have occurred – for example, whether new buildings have arisen which now need to be adequately insured, or whether the business has moved into new growth markets in emerging countries, where we now have to deal with completely different regional regulations and challenges.

Headquarters of ARTUS AG in Baden-Baden
Headquarters of ARTUS AG in Baden-Baden

Economic Forum: In this regard, the ARTUS GROUP sees itself as a mid-sized business partner for mid-sized businesses – do the responsible individuals at their clients know their risks and requirements better than an external consultant?

Daniel Heinzler: A question I initially asked myself as well. Before my time at the ARTUS GROUP, I was active in management consulting for ten years and found the daily challenges in this industry very exciting. The crucial factors are comprehensive expertise and years of experience, during which one continues to mature. This allowed me to gain the clients' trust and convey to them that I truly understand them and their problems. An external, broader perspective might not be as deep as that of employed experts, but it is more comprehensive. When I then found my way to being an industrial insurance broker, I initially also had the image of grey-suited individuals in mind – only to discard it very quickly. Because at its core, we at the ARTUS GROUP practice an enhancement of classic management consulting, as the collaboration with the client is even closer and more long-term. Moreover, the stakes in our context are significantly higher: If a management consulting service proves fruitless and the hoped-for return on investment does not materialize, the invested money is just gone. However, a cyberattack or a burning factory hall can question the existence of the entire company in an instant. And this is where we, as insurance brokers, come into play, as we stand by our clients when it comes to preserving the existence of their companies. This closeness is what makes the insurance industry so exciting for me.

Artus company headquarters interior
The similarities between the advisory-intensive industrial insurance business and management consulting are great, says Daniel Heinzler
Artus headquarters interior
Often, a long-term collaboration develops between the ARTUS GROUP and its customers

Economic Forum: What perspectives are currently emerging for the industrial insurance market - as well as for young talents in the industry?

Daniel Heinzler: Our market is very competitive and is currently experiencing a strong wave of consolidation, as many private equity players also expect high profits. As a result, unfortunately, many respected market companions have disappeared from the surface. Since the risks are also becoming increasingly complex, it is becoming more difficult for smaller brokers to survive in the market. The ARTUS GROUP acts as one of the last family-owned medium-sized companies without external capital in the industry: We will remain absolutely true to this entrepreneurial self-image and, together with our managing directors and all employees, continue to stand by our customers as the reliable partner who speaks their language and always acts at eye level. A positioning that is also interesting for young talents who want to gain a lot of experience quickly and take on responsibility: Because our industry is definitely much more attractive than I myself thought just a few years ago!