The Creation of Value through a Specialized Distribution Network*
Within the value creation chain of an insurance company the role of sales networks is fundamental, as creating shareholder value is strictly linked with creating customer value.As sales networks are the main point of contact with customers, choosing the best possible distribution structure is vital. Selling channels have become a distinctive feature of insurers, together with their products and services. Financial institutions must consider consumers' preferences with regard to distribution channels in order to reach as many consumers as possible.This article describes the distribution approach of the Generali Group in the Italian market, focusing on the strategies implemented by the parent company and Generali Vita. Both companies use networks of highly specialized tied agents, with a widespread distribution on the territory. For their role within the value creation process, sales forces can be considered a strategic asset. Consequently, the costs sustained for their development and loyalty turn out to be investments as they increase their value. The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance (2003) 28, 495–501. doi:10.1111/1468-0440.00239
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