Blog articles

Friday, 08 August 2014

The title of this week’s blog comes from some of the terms used in a recent discussion document published by the Vatican. The document was one of the outcomes of a meeting of world leaders from business, civil society, politics and religion that was called by the Pope himself, titled The Global Common Good: Towards a more Inclusive Economy. The meeting took place at the Vatican on 11-12 July, 2014. 

So why is this meeting and the subsequent discussion document significant I hear you ask?  Well, firstly, the Pope rarely gets involved in business and economic issues, so the fact that he has now chosen to do so, is noteworthy in...

Friday, 01 August 2014

Influencing sustainable finance at a global level

In the second of my series of blogs on influence I will talk about sustainable finance, its global importance and its importance for our sector.  So what is sustainable finance? Well, we all know the effect that raging capitalism and the insatiable drive to maximise profits have had on our global economy over the last few years.  Whilst the capital markets are being blamed for the crisis nobody is saying that the capital model is broken, it just needs to be refined and tweaked and made fit for purpose for the 21st century.  We need a more responsible capital model or as the global...

Thursday, 24 July 2014

ICMIF has most definitely arrived in the eyes of the global community.  Last week saw not one but four major milestones for our sector and for ICMIF’s recently increased focus on external relations. We saw recognition of our sector by the B20/G20 communities, the UN, UNICEF, and finally by none other than the Pope. There is so much good news from the last week that I hardly know where to start to share our updates with you. These are, however, all groundbreaking so I have decided to do a series of blogs on each key relationship, starting with the G20/B20.

Firstly, let me explain why the G20/B20 relationship is crucial to ICMIF...

Friday, 18 July 2014

Building on the success of our highly acclaimed Advanced Management Course, ICMIF is currently undertaking a survey of the leadership development needs of our member organizations. This will enable us to better align our professional development offerings with the needs of our members. This review has been brought about by questions from members along the lines of “Why should we use ICMIF to develop our people?” or “What can ICMIF provide that I can’t get from a recognized business school?”

Whilst expectations of what a business organization should be are evolving, with much more importance placed on customer relationships and more...

Friday, 04 July 2014

Last month I presented the keynote address of the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF), Meeting of Reinsurance Officials (MORO), in Miami. The theme of the presentation, “The Current State of the Reinsurance Market”, focused on the impact of the influx of capital into the reinsurance business and the various company models that have emerged as a result of this dynamic.

Download the MORO 2014 keynote presentation: Current State of Reinsurance Market

Until recently the inflow of capital has been mostly utilized for property cat reinsurance coverage, encompassing:

Catastrophe bonds...
Friday, 20 June 2014

There is considerable excitement about ILS. It is likely to be a market transforming concept and may well bring additional strength and security to the mutual sector. It does not come without dangers and it is important to be aware of these and to take steps to avoid them.

ILS products have as their hallmark a freedom from solvency concerns. The risk of counter party insolvency and inability to perform under a contract is removed by security being provided. The automatic collateralised payment that occurs on the happening of a trigger event is not, however, a guarantee that ILS products are free from litigation risk.


Friday, 06 June 2014

“For me, strategic success is about staff recognising that this is a great place to work.”

This was one of my favourite comments made by the Chief Executive of an ICMIF member during a series of interviews conducted last year with a total of 34 CEOs from ICMIF member organizations (see the outcome of these interviews in ICMIF’s Chief Executive InSights: perspectives on leadership in the fastest growing insurance sector report)

I particularly liked it because while it may not be the most obvious way to describe strategic success, it accurately reflected the overall attitude of our CEO interviewees towards staff satisfaction,...

Friday, 23 May 2014

A common refrain is that insurance is not banking and doesn’t deserve to be treated in the same way. I am sure that many in the industry would agree with this statement, however, this is also the age of LIBOR, miss-selling and mistrust in all things financial, so separation is not that simple in fact it’s complicated. Not only do we have bank and insurance combinations but also there are mono-line and multi-line insurers. Moreover, there are distinctions in how businesses can raise capital and what their relationship is to their customers (policyholders). For all of the above reasons and many more besides, the context of good regulation...

Friday, 09 May 2014

In our post-global financial crisis world, greater capital adequacy has become the new rallying cry for regulators of financial institutions everywhere. Financial cooperatives have found themselves caught up in and, in some cases, caught out by this development. Unlike commercial companies, cooperatives cannot easily raise large amounts of fresh capital that qualifies as such in the eyes of the regulators, because paid-up capital contributed by members may be withdrawn once members decide to disassociate themselves from the cooperative. Without permanence and loss absorption ability, such funds cannot be counted as core capital.


Friday, 25 April 2014

uring the last month I have spoken to the Chief Executives of many ICMIF organizations and also a number of other financial services leaders and the key topic of conversation is invariably regulation. Or, should I say, the potential tsunami of regulation that appears to be coming our way. Many of these industry leaders view the situation as one of over-regulation, which is not only a burdensome cost, but also a drain on human resources. From the regulation industry side it seems to be a situation of carte-blanche to regulate everything that is slightly risky. The two sides are becoming more and more polarized.

When The Economist...