Committed To Supporting Businesses Through Crisis
How businessman Laurent Charlier, Managing Director at Cléma Risk Solutions, is #ChangingTheNatureOfWork
Please tell us a little about yourself and your company’s story
My name is Laurent, and I have been living and working in Hong Kong for almost 7 years, after spending 12 years in Eastern Europe (Romania). I have been working in the insurance industry for over 20 years, including for several big names of the insurance world. In July 2019, I decided to join a smaller company, Cléma Risk Solutions, to start and grow their business in Hong Kong.
Cléma Risk Solutions is an insurance intermediary, providing insurance solutions for small to medium sized companies implemented in Asia. We are a French company, with 30+ associates operating in Asia, including Hong Kong, Singapore and Shanghai. “Clé” is French for “key”; we pride ourselves in unlocking the complexities of insurance for our clients, making things as easy as possible for them. We provide all types of insurance; professional indemnity, product liability, cargo, directors and officers, cyber insurance, employee benefits and many more. Our clients are in different domains of industry such as food and beverages, Internet of Things, financial institution, trading companies, schools, fitness clubs… the list goes on!
What actions do you take to incorporate sustainability into your business?
Living a sustainable lifestyle is very important to me personally, so it is inevitable that I have also chosen to incorporate this into my company’s business in Hong Kong. First and foremost, I have chosen a coworking space that places sustainability as a priority. I feel Banyan Workspace‘s policies and programmes complement the changes we have made at home, where we do our best to reduce our waste as a family, banning single-use plastics as much as we can and doing out best to fix things rather than buying new.
What are some of the more challenging aspects of your business?
Cléma Risk Solutions is a small company with 30 employees over 3 offices. The Hong Kong office is even smaller and newer, as we have just opened in July 2019. This brings its challenges to be sure, but it also allows us to prioritise delivering complete customer satisfaction. We always strive for 100% happy clients.
Which business leader do you most admire and why?
I would like to highlight not one particular business leader that I admire but rather all the entrepreneurs I have met during my past 20 years. From the entrepreneur who came to Romania with nothing and built a whole furniture or textile factory to the entrepreneur who built a whole fitness chain club all over Europe, they all have my admiration. It takes an enormous amount of energy, passion and grit to build you own business.
In your opinion, what makes Hong Kong a great place to live and work?
Hong Kong is an amazing, fascinating city and I like so many things about it that it would be difficult to name them all. I like the mix between the city and the nature, I like the sea and the mountains behind the glass, steel and concrete of the buildings, I like the business-oriented mindset, I like the international lifestyle.
My biggest concern about Hong Kong is the amount of waste that I see here. It is one of the richest countries in the world, and yet local authorities do not seem to care about the issue of food, plastic or construction waste. It would be so easy to organise the right collection of waste and ban the use of single-use plastic items. It drives me crazy that most sustainable initiatives seem to be left to individuals, non-profits or private companies instead of being driven by our government.
Can you share one of your favourite quotes? Why does it resonate with you?
I don’t really have a favourite quote. It is too difficult to select only one! What resonates with and inspires me are life stories of sport players such as Muhammad Ali the boxer, Michael Jordan, Andre Agassi, politicians like Nelson Mandela or entrepreneurs such as Phil Knight the founder of Nike, Marc Simoncini of Meetic and many more.
What help or support are you looking for and how can our network get in touch with you?
I would prefer to say, how can I help or support others? If you or your business would like a consultation to answer any questions in respect of their existing insurance programme, to see if there are any gaps in your coverage or if the coverage you have is sufficient, you can call, Whatsapp or WeChat any time on (+852) 5508 8017.