The path of an actuary to the HDI Group – Hüseyin Celikel

HDI Group ,
The market for actuaries is highly competitive in Germany. The HDI Group is therefore looking for international reinforcements. And the Group recruited Hüseyin Celikel from the Bosporus to the banks of the River Leine in Hannover.
Hüseyin Celikel

“I find every competition absolutely breath-taking,” said Hüseyin Celikel. “This is because there are always special conditions.”

For example, the endurance athlete has swum through the Dardanelles, a narrow, natural straight in the Mediterranean. In some places, the waves in the six-kilometre straight were so high that he was inhaling water rather than air. Breathtaking – in the true sense of the word.

Passion for extremes

Hüseyin Celikel runs the half-marathon, rides for endless kilometres on his bicycle and loves jumping into cold water. He has already crossed the Bosporus and swum eight kilometres from the Greek island of Kastellorizo to Kaş in Turkey. And a few months ago, he took another leap into the unknown. Since February, the 36-year-old actuary has been working at HDI Global SE in risk management. This puts him among the first recruits that the HDI Group has been searching for internationally in order to fill these positions.

“In Germany, it’s very difficult to attract seasoned actuaries as employees, especially in non-life insurance,” reported Astrid Pohlmann, Head of “Employer Branding & Sourcing” at Human Resources of German HDI Service AG. She continued by saying that there was some tough competition in this marketplace. Very often, the profile of the applicants simply did not match the requirements of HDI.

“It’s a very, very huge step for us to move to a new country.”


Tip from a friend

That’s why the Group makes full use of its international network in this area. Astrid Pohlmann’s team is now extending its reach through contacts they have with foreign companies of HDI International AG. The search profile encompasses candidates with stellar specialist qualifications and knowledge of English. “This kind of new, very promising recruiting channel for actuaries was created quickly and informally,” she reported.

Hüseyin Celikel received the tip from a friend working at Turkish insurer HDI Sigorta. He had already been able to gain an impression of the corporate culture – after all, he was working as a consultant for the company. “I’m very happy that everything worked out okay with the job,” he confirmed. “As far as I’m concerned, the stable capital structure and the internationality of the company are important.” He had already decided on Germany owing to the political, economic and social structure of the country. “It’s important to me to live in a country governed by the rule of law and where you can live your dreams.”


International spirit at HDI Group

Shortly before the coronavirus lockdown, Hüseyin and his wife, Eda Celikel, moved to the banks of the River Leine with their three-year-old son. Although they didn’t understand a word of German, everything went very smoothly – thanks to the relocation service which the company commissions in cases like this. Bureaucratic procedures, paperwork, flat-hunting and childcare are just some of the areas where the young family received lots of support.

Now they are both learning German every day. “I really like learning the language. It seems to me that it’s based on a lot of mathematical principles,” commented Hüseyin Celikel. His new team now frequently speaks English – but meetings are still held in German. The new
colleague needs to learn German quickly. “We can’t use smoke signals to communicate with each other for ever,” remarked Hüseyin Celikel with a wink. His boss is very clear about the benefits: “A very popular colleague has enriched our team and we’re big fans of the international spirit,” commented Thomas Schmidt, Head of Risk Management at HDI Global.

Meanwhile, Hüseyin Celikel is about to take another leap, and this time it’s once again about sport. His aim is to swim the English Channel, 32 kilometres of sea separating France and Great Britain.

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