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Thursday, June 20, 2024
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Inspiring with Great Ideas | Martin Vogl

Martin Vogl

Founder and CEO

Martin Vogl, Founder and CEO of YOUPLUS, is a strategizing guru because of his ability to outline and develop an idea for a future business model. He does so by onboarding and integrating others, and their creativity with the passion for contributing to this idea until a consistent and holistic strategy and concept is developed. In this planning process, Martin looks beyond daily business and encourages others to be brave and entrepreneurial. The environment he creates is highly inspiring for other teams and the entire organization.

Martin aspires to inspire people, ensuring that they can jointly build – with their ideas and creativity – superior businesses in comparison to competitors as experienced start-ups vs. incumbents. “Creativity of people beats economies of scale. I learned in management consulting at one of the globally leading consulting and auditing companies, that success is credited in 13% to the brightness of an idea and 87% to the correct implementation of the concept. In the end it is about the people.”, he says. 

“Afterwards, as CEO of AXA’s banking business in Germany, I applied this key to success and saw how true this recipe is. Since then, I have applied it, succeeding and sometimes failing as well. But I stand up, ask others and myself that we can do better, and then try harder until we succeed. Together!”.

The steadfast leader guides his employees with the best training, motivation, and job security in the volatile market. Martin encourages all of his employees to realize their ideas in daily business, but also when it comes to personal development. Thus, he encourages people to undertake development on and off the job – inside and outside the company and industry. But most importantly, he creates an environment where people can (without fear) realize their ideas; confessing that they make mistakes and failing is a part of the journey in always becoming better. Crucial to him and his teams is the learning curve, not avoiding mistakes.

Building A Brand

YOUPLUS Holding is a Swiss-based insurance group founded by entrepreneurs who have built on their long experience in the insurance business with impressive track records. Over the past five years, YOUPLUS has entered several new European countries and has become one of the fastest growing insurance companies in Europe.

The ownership structure of YouPlus Holding guarantees the greatest possible independence with the highest possible solidity. For example, Hannover Rück SE, as the third largest reinsurance company in the world, is one of the owners with a 15% share.

YOUPLUS accompanies clients as a partner in the field of insurance and pensions on client’s way to a carefree future.

Across Europe, our end clients have different options to protect themselves against unforeseen risks in life and save money for their retirement. These options mostly depend on the income and wealth of each individual person, but above all it depends on the social security system the country offers to its inhabitants. The YOUPLUS offer is based on a European, digital and very flexible life and savings solution platform. For every market YOUPLUS therefore tailors – based on that platform – solutions that bring highest value for the clients in each country. For example, in Central and Eastern Europe the social security system lacks sufficient critical illness, disability and death protection; that is why YOUPLUS offers exactly this kind of solutions in these markets. In Switzerland, in contrast, clients are well protected against unforeseen risks, but need additional and tax optimized savings for retirement.

Hence, YOUPLUS has built, together with its broad network of financial institutions, a wide range of choices on its platform. This existing network includes leading European private banks, asset managers, family offices, tax advisors, and lawyers.

YOUPLUS is – unlike other or even most financial service companies – not a headquarter-centristic or a top-down steered company. They see themselves more as a network of teams with consistently shared crystal-clear targets (profitability/growth) and priorities where:

  1. local business requirements should always be considered and met with priority, quickly and proactively,
  2. local teams with their corresponding business culture are welcome and even encouraged to develop,
  3. YOUPLUS is an international company with essential European roots.

And: YOUPLUS is a DESIGN company. “When we created YOUPLUS, we thought intensively about our guiding vision, our set-up, operating model and IT etc. Because we knew from our previous C-level positions, how essential it is to bring together the two dimensions of success: a superiore, stable organization in financial services on one side; and a new ideas, a new mindset and new technology on the other side.”, explains Martin. “Hence, we consider YOUPLUS as a third axis company, as we are combining success recipes from incumbents and starts-ups.”

YOUPLUS’s key to success is titled “people driven, and technology empowered.” This means creating a top-class IT landscape where entrepreneurs and creative people can realize their ideas and business dreams without being mostly dominated by non-entrepreneurial business tasks. “Once that has been established, we are open for outside ideas from other companies (inside and outside of the financial service sector and both from  start-ups or incumbents) and apply our “best partner concept” so our open-minded culture enables other partners to participate in our network of ideas, concepts, processes and solutions. We aim at constantly expanding and leveraging this platform,” erlaborates Martin. 

Future Growth & Plans

It is essential to mention, that the financial service industry has faced significant external challenges for years. This includes considerable movements in interest rates, high volatility in capital markets, inflation, covid shocks, and geopolitical tensions, which have led to growing uncertainty among all stakeholders, especially clients and partners. At the same time, the regulation has significantly strengthened in trying to cover these visible risks and crisis scenarios. Additionally, new technologies, players, and solutions challenge the status-quo of financial service processes, market answers, and client needs and service levels.

“Now you could say that this is a perfect storm, and it is hugely difficult to navigate through these times. But with right level of resilience, great teams, and brave culture this changing environment enables new companies like YOUPLUS to bring higher value at lower costs, with decreased  complexity and at a faster speed to clients and partners,” adds Martin. “We see these times as absolutely challenging – but we think we can create opportunities in this environment by offering new solutions with higher value.”

To bring the company to the next level, Martin and his team also use external ideas: YOUPLUS acquired, for example, a stake in an AI company and jointly developed new ways to improve a customer journey. “This constant search for new inputs brings enough creativity and ideas into the company’s pipeline to improve. It helps a lot! Fourteen acquisitions within the last ten years helped us to stay open-minded and constantly getting input from new companies, people, and cultures. And that’s the key to improving – always bring new input and keep people curious. Steve Jobs was right!”, summarizes Martin.

For the days to come, Martin wants to constantly challenge YOUPLUS and the local teams to look for new solutions and perspectives on the business. He firmly believes that a people-driven, technology-empowered and open-minded culture is the ultimate key to success. But to stay hungry, modest, open, and brave is the daily hard work of the entire management. “On this path, we need to go on merging talents from outside the industry with traditional financial services career paths. Therefore, we work to establish a YOUPLUS innovation network that facilitates these challenging inspiration processes on all levels of the organization. That’s a target for 2023/2024,”, he adds.

" When we created YOUPLUS, we thought intensively about our guiding vision, our set-up, operating model and IT etc. Because we knew from our previous C-level positions, how essential it is to bring together the two dimensions of success: a superiore, stable organization in financial services on one side; and a new ideas, a new mindset and new technology on the other side. "

Martin Vogl

Founder and CEO

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