Selected 2012

Emilios Markou

  • Current company Hellas Direct
  • Country Greece
  • Industry Consumer

Hellas Direct is Greece’s first direct-to-consumer online car insurance company, founded in 2011 by Emilios Markou and Alexis Pantazis. By cutting out commissions and adopting the latest web technology, Hellas Direct offers safe drivers policies at a 15-35% discount to comparable coverage options and superior customer service.

Emilios and Alexis share corporate and personal backgrounds. They met at Goldman Sachs in London, and bonded over their Greek Cypriot heritage and passion for entrepreneurship. Emilios graduated from Manchester University and earned a Masters in Actuarial Sciences and Finance from the London Business School. He went on to work for Goldman Sachs, and Barclays, heading its European insurance structuring team. Alexis followed a similar trajectory, studying at Cambridge, followed by 12 years at Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and BCG. He completed an MBA from Wharton and became an executive director at Goldman. Since 2006, the two have been angel investors and have funded numerous start-ups.

Emilios and Alexis realized that the car insurance industry was set up to service the broker, and that an online direct-to-consumer insurer could positively disrupt and survive a recessionary market. Both left their jobs in 2009 to found Hellas Direct. The company launched in 2012 and began marketing in mid-September.

Hellas Direct specializes in online car insurance, offering both basic legally-mandated insurance and tailored coverage products. With its scientific approach to risk and its user-friendly interface, the company offers fast and easy quotes; clear choices with transparent pricing; and competitively priced policies for safe drivers.

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