Blog articles

Thursday, 09 March 2017

Unlike a listed company, which is owned by shareholders, a mutual company is made up of a community of members. This community of members guides the direction and governance of the entity, rather than shareholder interests. While this is the first time I have worked at a mutual organisation, I have not only been truly inspired by the leadership team and the staff at PPS, but also by our members and the business model itself.

In a mutual company, the members are essentially the 'shareholders' of the company. The members fundamentally own the company as they share in all the company's profits. The concept of mutuality is exactly that...

Thursday, 09 February 2017

It’s that time of year again, when so many of us make New Year’s resolutions that cover both personal and business areas of our lives where we vow to make changes for the better. This year, I would like to suggestion a resolution for all of us in the mutual and cooperative insurance sector to ensure we engage with millennials in the best possible way we can. To ensure that the millennial talent we already have working for our organizations really feel engaged and valued by their organization, even by the sector as a whole, and to give them an all-important sense of purpose. Also, we must resolve to do all that we can to make our...

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Just as our daily lives depend on electric grids or telecommunications, so too economic growth, job creation and prosperity rely upon a strong financial system.

Insurance is an important and growing part of the financial sector and it exists in virtually all developed and most developing countries. A resilient and well-regulated insurance industry contributes significantly to economic growth and efficient resource allocation through the transfer of risk and mobilization of financial assets.

As long ago as 2003, the IMF noted that insurance is a tool for enhancing the efficiency of financial systems through the reduction of...

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

A PwC survey of Generation Y raised an interesting question: are there any industries in which you would not wish to work solely because of their image? Coming out as the top industry that Gen Y do not wish to work for was the oil and gas industry. Second, was defence. Insurance was the third. Our industry has such a bad reputation among this generation, that only an industry that is considered to be killing the planet and one that is concerned with killing each other were viewed as worse to work in.

Our industry’s image among this generation, which will make up 50% of the global workforce by 2020, is something that should be...

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The cooperative and mutual insurance sector has long been associated with having a strong heritage but its continued success and growth also point to an outstanding capability to respond to changing market dynamics and emerging consumer needs. This capability will underpin our sector’s future development as it contends with new demographic trends, ongoing financial market instability, climate change, shifting consumer behaviours and digital disruption. It’s about rethinking the way we serve and create value for our members; it’s about reinventing ourselves through innovation and shaping external perceptions of our sector. It is about...

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

In the past, the business world has had a patchy relationship with social ideals. On the one hand, a handful of 18th century post-industrial revolution mill owners built housing and schools, while philanthropists used their personal wealth to establish charitable institutions, but conversely, an entire capitalist market has dominated the developed world, built around the Friedman doctrine that a firm’s sole “social” responsibility is to maximise shareholder returns.  Milton also noted, however, that this should be done “so long as it stays within the rules of the game”.

But the rules of the game have changed a great deal since...

Tuesday, 02 August 2016

The Latin American insurance market may be relatively young, but it is growing fast, and the cooperative/mutual insurance sector in many national markets is a significant contributor to that regional growth.

According to Sigma (Swiss Re), the total insurance industry in Latin America grew by 11.3% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the seven-year period 2007 to 2014, making it the fastest-growing region. At the other end of the spectrum, during the same period, the European market shrank by 0.3% CAGR and the North American market grew by just 0.7% CAGR.

The International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (...

Friday, 01 July 2016

Willis Re’s recently published Global Reinsurance and Risk Appetite Report 2016 is the most comprehensive survey into how insurers’ approach the subject of developing a formal risk appetite.

The report analyses responses received from over 240 insurers in nearly fifty countries to Willis Re’s annual Risk Appetite survey. Almost two-thirds of those companies surveyed have a formal risk appetite statement1, with a further 17% planning to develop one in the near future.

This finding doesn’t surprise us; recent years have seen an increasing level of regulatory pressure across the board in the insurance industry, with the...

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Two kinds of climate change happened in 2015. In March, global carbon dioxide levels reached a one-million year high, marking an all-time low in the history of environmental climate change. Then in December, nearly 200 governments signed the Paris Agreement which is committed to minimising global temperature rises, demonstrating an unprecedented forward shift in the political climate.

This latter political climate change is notable because it is absolutely necessary if we are to secure the earth’s future. It is also notable because it has been long overdue in some quarters. If it is now obvious that it is self-interest and greed...

Friday, 22 April 2016

To the uninitiated, Generation Y – primarily the children of the baby boomer generation – are presented to the world as the next generation who think and behave differently and who have a different set of values to their predecessors.   To some, they are to be revered for their acceptance of technology as merely an extension of themselves.  To others, they could be seen as the irritant ‘bright sparks’ who don’t actually have sufficient experience to tackle the problems they face, yet who still seem to manage to get to an annoyingly good solution, regardless. 

Recent observations and commentaries might go as far to suggest that, not...

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