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Friday, 10 May 2013

One of the few welcome fallouts of the banking crisis is that mutuals are coming back in fashion, says Alan Goddard, Managing Director of Cornish Mutual, one of ICMIF’s UK members. Alan has very kindly agreed to share his recent blog, originally written for members of Cornish Mutual, with ICMIF members as a guest blog.

The global economic crisis shook the very foundations of the nation’s trust in its economic structures and while the banking and financial sector drew the lion’s share of scrutiny and criticism, the shockwaves have opened a wider debate about the way business in the UK operates.

Respected think tank ResPublica...

Friday, 26 April 2013

Should you need to find a cooperative or mutual reinsurer in Tokyo between the hours of 7-9pm on the last Sunday in January then you need look no further than a small Korean barbecue restaurant close to Shinjuku station. For the last six years this has been the chosen meeting place for the start of ICMIF’s annual two day reinsurance visit to Tokyo.

ICMIF has facilitated this visit to Japan since 2000 with the purpose of enabling a number of reinsurance providers (all ICMIF members) to meet with our Japanese cooperative members and discuss the April 1 reinsurance renewals. This year was no exception and a group of 11 delegates from...

Friday, 12 April 2013

Once upon a time, an eighteen-year-old bought her very first insurance policy to cover her student accommodation at an insurance broker’s office in Manchester, England. She was offered one product, from one insurance company, at one premium. Her only source of information about possible alternatives was the broker… not that she was expected to ask for any, of course. I was that student and, while I admit it’s quite some time since I was eighteen, it is striking how very different the insurance-buying process is today, compared to then, particularly with the ever increasing use of “online” channels. The latest issue of my InSights reports...

Friday, 22 March 2013

If I was to advise a newly qualified graduate today which profession they should enter it would be insurance regulation. Regulators around the world must be recruiting like fury as they build up their regulatory teams for the ever increasing amount of regulation that is being placed on the insurance industry. So it seems like a ”booming” and therefore safe industry for a new graduate to enter! Great for the graduate – but what about the industry?

Measuring the success of regulators

Now, I am not anti-regulation, far from it in fact; insurance regulation provides vital checks and balances in an industry that is cash rich. The...

Friday, 15 March 2013

It gives us great pleasure to announce that registration for the 2013 ICMIF Biennial Conference and General Assembly in Cape Town, South Africa, is now open. This will be the first ICMIF Conference to be held in Africa and we are very excited about bringing the cooperative and mutual insurance world to Cape Town; as are our wonderful hosts PPS. A dedicated ICMIF Biennial Conference website has been launched and the Conference brochure is also available for download from the website.

Two of the predominant themes in the global business world today are leadership and innovation and this is where all organisations are constantly...

Friday, 08 March 2013

One of the many delights and privileges of my role as CEO of ICMIF is hearing about all the wonderful events and initiatives that come from our cooperative and mutual members around the world.

The International Year of Cooperatives gave rise to many fabulous events, one of which was the first ever International Conference of Economic Solidarity in Paraguay organised by ICMIF member Aseguradora Tajy. The Conference was timed to be a celebration of both the International Year and Aseguradora Tajy’s 15th anniversary.

The event attracted high profile delegates and speakers from Paraguayan financial and cooperative organisations...

Thursday, 21 February 2013

In my role as the project manager for the Global Mutual Market Share report and other financial market reports published by ICMIF’s Shared Intelligence department, my research revolves around analysing the financial statements and reporting accounts of over 3,000 mutual and cooperative insurers from around the world. While this may sound like an arduous and time-consuming task (especially when annual reports can be in up to 10 different languages!), it is in fact very rewarding when I learn about the value that my research provides to both our members and to the sector as a whole.

Statistical analysis of the mutual and cooperative...

Friday, 08 February 2013

Why? Why? Why? When I am not being ICMIF’s Senior Vice President, Communications it is also my privilege to be mother to a ten year old Dan and a six year old Charlotte. I am therefore more than accustomed to answering questions starting with ‘Why…?’, ‘Why can’t I…?’, ‘Why do people…?’ and ‘Why won’t he…?’ You get the picture? As I’m sure you can imagine, incessant questioning at home can be draining after a long day at work. However, taking the time to answer those big questions is rewarding and it is no different in the context of an organisation. As any good psychologist will tell you, the true ‘why’ underpinning a business, a project...

Friday, 01 February 2013

It’s February already and the first month of 2013 will soon be a distant memory! For many of us the New Year brings with it a renewed vigour and commitment to achieve our goals and to strive to keep New Years Resolutions; maybe we resolve to be a better person, to live a healthier life style, to give up bad habits or to learn something new.

I would suggest another New Years Resolution for 2013. How about “Resolving to make the most of your ICMIF membership”?

Why do we choose to become members of clubs, groups or associations? In general it’s because we want to connect with people who have a common bond with us; people who...

Friday, 25 January 2013

The New Year gives all of us the opportunity to look back at the previous year and celebrate the successes and to set goals and targets for the coming year. I find January a very cathartic month for this very reason but it’s the setting out of the plan for the New Year and motivating staff to achieve that plan that is the most exciting for me.

The Financial Times (FT) ran a feature at the beginning of the month titled ‘Business leaders focus on their staff’ based on an annual survey which lists the main challenges facing CEOs in 2013. The top four challenges were human capital; operational excellence; innovation and customer...

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