Euler Hermes Group announces leadership change

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Euler Hermes Group, the worldwide leader in trade credit insurance, announces today that Wilfried Verstraete, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Management, has decided to step down from his operational duties after twelve successful years in the role. Clarisse Kopff will succeed him as CEO and Chairperson of the Board of Management as of January 1, 2021. The change is subject to regulatory approval.

Wilfried Verstraete joined Euler Hermes in 2009 where he steered the group through the global financial crisis. Under his leadership, he transformed the traditional, century-old credit insurer into a data-driven, customer-centric fintech leader with market leading, real-time digital solutions for its clients. He will continue to serve Euler Hermes Group as an adviser to the new CEO in 2021. He will also retain board positions in Euler Hermes SA, Euler Hermes North America, Solunion and Euler Hermes Reinsurance AG.

Clarisse Kopff (47) is a graduate from ESCP and holds a postgraduate degree from Université Paris Dauphine and the German Diplom Kaufmann. She is currently Chief Financial Officer of Allianz France. She began her career in debt origination at Lehman Brothers in London, then as an auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Paris before joining Euler Hermes in 2001 as controller for the company’s French entity in Paris. From 2007, she served Euler Hermes in several positions of increasing responsibility and international scope: head of controlling for French and Mediterranean activities (2007-2011); head of Group controlling (2010 – 2012); head of accounting, controlling, actuarial services and investor relations (2012-2013). Recognized for her customer-centricity, she was promoted as Group Chief Financial Officer in 2014 where she was responsible for all Group finance functions, asset management, legal and compliance, M&A, tax and risk and capital management. 

Allianz Euler Hermes CEO Wilfried Verstraete
Wilfried Verstraete
Allianz Euler Hermes CEO Clarisse Kopff
Clarisse Kopff

"I am very grateful for the prolific and eventful years I have spent with the teams at Allianz France. I joined the company at a key moment when the industry had to reinvent itself amidst a low interest environment. This challenge prompted us to invent new financial models, as well as accelerate our own digital transformation.

"I am honored to accept this position as Euler Hermes Group CEO. I thank Wilfried Verstraete for his trust. The current crisis is far from over but with his ongoing support, I am prepared to lead the company and accompany our clients and partners through these difficult times. It is a great mission for leaders today to instill confidence in tomorrow. On more personal grounds, I am also looking forward to reconnecting with my former colleagues at Euler Hermes," said Clarisse Kopff, Chief Financial Officer, Allianz France.  

"It has been a real privilege to serve my teams and our clients as the CEO of Euler Hermes. I am proud to have witnessed the high potential of our teams unleashed, which resulted in expanding our market leadership and raising the bar of unparalleled customer service. Yet, the strength of this company can only be as strong as the ties between our partners. Therefore, I want to thank our clients and partners for their unwavering trust in us throughout these years. Clarisse proved her talent and competence throughout her 16 years at Euler Hermes, where she was instrumental in creating a truly integrated Group reinforced by its strong financial performance. I am confident that with her visionary leadership, backed by her experience at Allianz France, Clarisse will take Euler Hermes to the next level and continue setting the standard for customer experience in trade finance," said Wilfried Verstraete, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Management of Euler Hermes Group.

About Euler Hermes

Euler Hermes is the global leader in trade credit insurance and a recognized specialist in the areas of surety, collections, structured trade credit and political risk. Our proprietary intelligence network analyses daily changes in corporate solvency representing 92 percent of global GDP. We give companies the confidence to trade, and be paid. We compensate your company in the event of a bad debt, but more importantly, we help you avoid bad debt in the first place. Whenever we provide trade credit insurance or other finance solutions, our priority is predictive protection. But, when the unexpected arrives, our AA credit rating means we have the resources, backed by Allianz to provide compensation to maintain your business. Headquartered in Paris, Euler Hermes is present in 50+ countries with 5,800 employees. In 2019, our consolidated turnover was 2.9 billion euros and insured global business transactions represented 950 billion euros in exposure.

The Allianz Group is one of the world's leading insurers and asset managers with more than 100 million retail and corporate customers in more than 70 countries. Allianz customers benefit from a broad range of personal and corporate insurance services, ranging from property, life and health insurance to assistance services to credit insurance and global business insurance. Allianz is one of the world’s largest investors, managing 766 billion euros on behalf of its insurance customers. Furthermore, our asset managers PIMCO and Allianz Global Investors manage 1.7 trillion euros of third-party assets. Thanks to our systematic integration of ecological and social criteria in our business processes and investment decisions, we hold the leading position for insurers in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In 2019, over 147,000 employees achieved total revenues of 142 billion euros and an operating profit of 11.9 billion euros for the group.

These assessments are, as always, subject to the disclaimer provided below.

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Jefferson A. Correa
Euler Hermes Group
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Euler Hermes Group announces leadership change

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