Against a backdrop of political violence in Ukraine, XL’s new Central and Eastern European lead talks to StrategicRISK about risk trends in the region

Amid weeks of political protests and violence in Ukraine, which have so far resulted in the ousting of president Viktor Yanukovych, risk managers in Austria and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) are being told to keep a watchful eye on political shifts in the region and further afield.

The warning comes from Eduard Billovits (pictured), XL Group’s new regional manager for Austria and CEE.

Billovits was promoted a fortnight ago, having previously worked as underwriting manager casualty, for Austria and CEE, and has a very challenging remit – to lead XL’s market-focused insurance activities in the region and increase the group’s presence in these markets.

No doubt, analysing the trends that could increase insurance activities will also fall under his remit, and when it comes to the CEE region he says keeping a tight grip on the fast-changing risk landscape, as well as political situations, will enable both insurers and risk managers to protect against complex risks.

“Political risks and changes to the legal environment as we are currently seeing in Ukraine should always be on the risk manager’s radar,” Billovits says. “These changes can have a great impact on supply chain management which is an area that is increasingly influencing risk management decisions.”

He adds: “CEE risks are becoming more complex. This is due to global co-operation, with more companies now operating internationally.  Additionally, client requirements for bespoke solutions are increasing and these solutions include warranty or contractual coverage.”

Billovits concludes that when it comes to managing complex risks, “the best solutions are found when risk managers and insurers work closely together”.