Euler Hermes Group announces CEO leadership change

  • Wilfried Verstraete to step down as CEO on December 31st, 2020
  • Clarisse Kopff is appointed as the new CEO of Euler Hermes Group starting January 1st, 2021
  • Wilfried Verstraete remains as advisor to the CEO in 2021

PARIS/BRUSSELS, 1 OCTOBER 2020 – Euler Hermes Group, the worldwide leader in trade credit insurance, announces today that Wilfried Verstraete, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Management has decided to step down from his operational duties after twelve successful years in the role. Clarisse Kopff will succeed him as CEO and Chairperson of the Board of Management as of January 1st, 2021. The change is subject to regulatory approval.

Wilfried Verstraete joined Euler Hermes in 2009 where he steered the group through the global financial crisis. Under his leadership, he transformed the traditional, century-old credit insurer into a data-driven, customer-centric Fintech leader with market leading, real-time digital solutions for its clients. He will continue to serve Euler Hermes Group as an advisor to the new President. He will also retain board positions in Euler Hermes SA, Euler Hermes North America, Solunion and Euler Hermes Reinsurance AG.

Clarisse Kopff (47) is a graduate from ESCP and holds a postgraduate degree from Université Paris Dauphine and the German ‘Diplom-Kaufmann’. She is currently Chief Financial Officer of Allianz France. She began her career in debt origination at Lehman Brothers in London, then as an auditor with PricewaterhouseCoopers in Paris before joining Euler Hermes in 2001 as controller for the company’s French entity in Paris. From 2007, she served Euler Hermes in several positions of increasing responsibility and international scope: head of controlling for French and Mediterranean activities (2007-2011); head of Group controlling (2010 – 2012); head of accounting, controlling, actuarial services and investor relations (2012-2013); Group head of finance (July 2013). Recognized for her customer-centricity, she was promoted as Group Chief Financial Officer in 2014 where she was responsible for all Group finance functions, asset management, legal and compliance, M&A, tax and risk and capital management.

Clarisse Kopff, Chief Financial Officer, Allianz France and designated Euler Hermes Group CEO:

“I am very grateful for the prolific and eventful years I have spent with the teams at Allianz France. I joined the company at a key moment when the industry had to reinvent itself amidst a low interest environment. This challenge prompted us to invent new financial models, as well as accelerate our own digital transformation.

I am honored to accept this position as Euler Hermes Group CEO. I thank Wilfried Verstraete for his trust. The current crisis is far from over but with his ongoing support, I am prepared to lead the company and accompany our clients and partners through these difficult times. It is a great mission for leaders today to instill confidence in tomorrow. On more personal grounds, I am also looking forward to reconnecting with my former colleagues at Euler Hermes.”

Wilfried Verstraete, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Management of Euler Hermes Group:

"It has been a real privilege to serve my teams and our clients as the CEO of Euler Hermes. I am proud to have witnessed the high potential of our teams unleashed, which resulted in expanding our market leadership and raising the bar of unparalleled customer service. Yet, the strength of this company can only be as strong as the ties between our partners. Therefore, I want to thank our clients and partners for their unwavering trust in us throughout these years.

Clarisse proved her talent and competence throughout her 16 years at Euler Hermes, where she was instrumental in creating a truly integrated Group reinforced by its strong financial performance. I am confident that with her visionary leadership, backed by her experience at Allianz France, Clarisse will take Euler Hermes to the next level and continue setting the standard for customer experience in trade finance.”

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