It’s that time of year again when we reflect on the previous year and on what we delivered and then look forward to the new year and on what we are going to deliver. At ICMIF we have an annual staff meeting in December to review the highs and lows of the year. Last year was, without doubt, our best yet; with the highlight being the Cape Town conference. We had record numbers attending the event and we received the highest ever feedback scores from delegates. However, we are professional enough as a team to be able to honestly review our performance and know there are some areas we can improve on as we look forward to the 2015 Conference in Minneapolis, so you can expect even more from us then.
At the end of each ICMIF Conference I daringly ask the audience for their opinion on the Federation’s performance over the last year, a tradition I started in 2005. With interactive voting there is no place to hide if the result is bad as it shows immediately on the screen. Thankfully, yet again we saw an increase in members’ views of our services with 83% (2011 – 80%) saying we were very good or excellent. The most pleasing part for me and my team was that the number voting excellent had increased significantly from 32% two years ago to 46%.
When we review 2013 we can see that we did more for members during the year than in previous years. In terms of meetings and events we ran eight events plus eight training courses. These 16 events attracted 867 delegates, our previous highest annual figure was 595 delegates. The events continue to achieve very high feedback scores, which is why the number of attendees is increasing. From a publications and research viewpoint we produced 31 different documents in the year and once the translated versions are taken into account this rises to over 78 reports shared with members. This was the strategy for 2013 and we achieved our goal and members have told me that they appreciate the increased output of publications.
So for 2014 the aim is to consolidate the increase in reports and publications and we have scheduled 43 unique member documents with a number of these being translated into French, Spanish and/or Japanese depending on relevance geographically. The number of events will be slightly less but the major focus this year will be the Meeting of Reinsurance Officials (MORO) conference in Miami, 9-11 June, for our reinsurance group. The Leaders Forums will continue to build in importance as more and more members are added to these unique thought leadership groups. We will look to add new and relevant Leaders Forums with agriculture being a possible new forum for 2014. There will also be a brand new ICMIF website launched in the new year so look out for that.
In December of last year our new Chair, Anders Sundström visited the ICMIF offices and we reviewed the strategy for 2014 from his perspective. He is very much focused on increasing the influence of ICMIF at a global level and feels that in order to do this we need to attract some new large mutuals to the membership to add more credibility to ICMIF. We will also spend time looking at capital raising options from the City of London, with the abundance of available capital in the City we need to get the City focused on mutuals as a home for that capital, but on our terms.
Lastly, we will be introducing a new strategic business plan for 2015-18, the first draft of which needs to be completed by the end of March. Members have seen ICMIF’s new strategic focus is on Networking, Knowledge and Influence. As we move towards these three pillars we need, internally, to focus our organization structure to deliver on these services. So early next year we will undertake a transitional organizational change internally which will greatly assist in delivering the new strategy.
In summary 2014, will be an exciting year for ICMIF and its members, there is much to do and much to achieve and I am sure you will have similar challenges in your businesses. So I hope you enjoyed a peaceful and happy festive season, I hope you were able to spend time with your loved ones and I hope to see you in the new year, somewhere in the world.