"At ELEMENT, I have the opportunity to critically think about what’s best for the industry, what people need in terms of protection and come up with the best strategies to make this a reality."
At ELEMENT, we are committed to making insurance 100% digital with our holistic combination of modern technology and a smart approach to data. Our “Eye on ELEMENT” series dives into the amazing people dedicated to making this a reality. We aim to explore what they do, their passion and what drives them to succeed,
In this edition, our guest is José Neves who is a Solutions Manager in our International business team.
Hello José! How would you summarize what you do at ELEMENT?
Our team is responsible for driving the international expansion at ELEMENT – this means that we deal with various partners that want to come to Germany and set operations from any corner of the world. We also support partners that want to passport from Germany to any other EU member state. Being in a commercial role, my daily tasks include identifying partner's needs, coming up with innovative solutions that make sense for their businesses and challenging their own models.
Is there anything that attracted you to working at ELEMENT?
I have been passionate about insurance for some time. I had the opportunity to do my master thesis on innovation in the insurance industry, and I was amazed about how much change the industry required. That has been my focus – understanding the main pain points, what’s underdeveloped and bring new fresh ideas to the table that have impact!
At ELEMENT, I found people with the same passion. It is amazing how many people want to build the future of insurance in this company, and I am lucky to share my thoughts and ideas with such avid challengers!
How does your current job compare with the previous jobs you’ve had?
When I started working at PwC, I had little clue of what I wanted to do. I basically wanted a fast-track career in consulting, as many of my friends did. Then, I worked with insurance companies and understood that the industry was lacking behind in terms of innovation and digitalization. I saw an opportunity there, and I started looking for companies who were challenging the insurance status quo – ELEMENT was there waving at me.
At ELEMENT, my job is much different from what I was doing before. I used to sit in front of my computer and crunch numbers on Excel for managers to digest and pitch around. At ELEMENT, I have the opportunity to critically think about what’s best for the industry, what people need in terms of protection and come up with the best strategies to make this a reality. I am still learning my way around it, but I believe in one year I have been able to learn much more than I ever could in my former roles.
ELEMENT is committed to a culture that is inclusive and diverse, how has your experience been since joining?
At ELEMENT, opinions are voiced, and concerns are taken care of. I believe the upper management is doing a great job in understanding people’s pain points and looking into ways to better our work-life balance and hybrid home-office. In a company, where 30+ nationalities work together, I would say that people understand the background differences and respect each other.
Tell us what traits make you succeed in your role as a solutions Manager at ELEMENT
One thing I learn at ELEMENT is that it is very important to manage uncertainty. Coming from a consulting background, where structures are rigid and collaborators follow the plan thoroughly, at ELEMENT things are not always the same as partner requests come in many forms. Being prepared for the unexpected, anticipating problems and proactively communicating issues have been the most challenging factors in my past months at ELEMENT. I am grateful for being part of such a ‘rollercoaster’ experience.
Looking into the future, what do you want to accomplish at ELEMENT.
My mom always told me: “choose a place where you feel challenged. If you are just sitting there with no real struggle, it is not for you”. At ELEMENT, I feel challenged all the time – managing partners’ last-minute desires or persuading internal stakeholders to follow my ideas – it is a hard but fun job. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t have the strength to get out of bed, I must say!
Looking into the future, I hope I can continue growing and challenging the status quo at ELEMENT. This means bringing in more partners and GWP (#Tim)
As always, we would like to thank José for taking his time to answer questions and give us the scoop on his personal/professional life. José's continued hard work at ELEMENT has been significant in helping us shape the future of insurance.
We are always looking for talented people to join our team and grow with us. Head on over to our careers page to check out what new positions we are hiring for.
This interview was conducted by