When it comes to helping you reach your long-term business risk management goals, our risk information team are key.
Working closely with our risk underwriting team, they predict trade and credit risk in an increasingly unpredictable world. Our team of 30-plus includes three regional business risk managers and more than 25 credit analysts, who look after clients’ buyer risks across the UK and Ireland.
Four members of our international risk information team - Stuart Sworn (Senior Credit Analyst), Ashley Taylor (Credit Analyst), Agnieszka Niedzielska (Senior Credit Analyst) and Anca Maria Toporjinschi (Information and Grading Manager) - explain their work and responsibilities.
A critical business risk management role
Credit analysts are key to our organisation - they collect and analysis financial information to assess and monitor businesses and their creditworthiness. This ensures underwriting decisions are made based on accurate and recent information, so that credit risk can be as low as possible.
When asked to describe their typical day, the analysts laugh. “There’s no such thing,” explains Midlands-based Ashley. “Our job is incredibly varied and no single day is the same as the next.”
Although some credit analysts are office-based, many of the team are regularly on the road, meeting clients face-to-face. Although the number of in-person meetings have fallen in response to the COVID-19 crisis, our credit analysts would usually attend more than 100 meetings each year. We hope we can reach those numbers again when things are much safer for everyone. We find a personal approach can really help in the collation of specific risk management information that is tailored to your business.
Each credit analyst holds a portfolio of 200 to 250 companies, organised by sector.
All of our analysts have a wide range of skills and valuable expertise in credit risk management, but each member also oversees specific sectors that they have strong previous experience in. Stuart, for instance, worked in the oil and gas industry before joining the company. He is now responsible for evaluating a portfolio that includes energy companies.
It is important that every team member has a wealth of expertise and experience to support their decision making. As Stuart adds, deliberation to make a full and thorough assessment “is not an exact science”, so being well versed in every area is a vital skill.
This same valuable combination of expertise and experience helps the risk information team when they are faced with fresh scenarios.
One example of this is Brexit. Credit analysts now have to ascertain whether a business they are assessing could potentially be exposed to new risks, such as tariffs or disruption to supply chains, as a result of the UK’s departure from the European Union, and if this is factored into a strong credit management plan.
Thanks to our team of economists based in Paris, our analysts also have access to macroeconomic scenarios and the resulting reports (you can find some of them here).
Our credit analysts are unanimous in their belief that communication skills are essential in their role. “Communication is key,” says Anca Maria, “as there are many different personalities within the different organisations that we work with.”
Good communication skills are particularly important when the credit analysts share decisions that will have significant consequences for a business – valuable staff training helps with this.
According to Ashley, a hugely enjoyable part of the work is building a strong rapport with clients. Agnieszka agrees: “Supporting our clients is so rewarding, especially when we help to steer them away from working with risky partners. With a good working relationship, we can add value to the products and services delivered.”
By recruiting the best credit analysts, our market-leading information risk team continues to remain at the forefront of the industry. And as a customer, you benefit from this by receiving insights and support from knowledgeable and experienced analysts.
The team is fully aware of the huge level of responsibility involved in what they do. “As credit analysts, we know that our role has wider significance,” says Stuart. “The recommendations that we make can have big effects on our organisation, our clients’ businesses – and, ultimately, the economy.”
Our customers can be confident that as a key part of our Allianz Trade team, our skilled, professional, expert credit analysts, will help them minimise business management risk and maximise their ability to achieve their goals.