Cooperative and mutual insurance leaders join the Insurance Development Forum Steering Committee

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

This week the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) welcomed the announcement by Stephen Catlin, Chair of the Insurance Development Forum (IDF) of the appointment of a number of leading insurance CEOs to serve on the Steering Committee of the IDF. This Committee was created to apply insurers’ risk expertise to the insurance-related challenges and opportunities presented by the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

The cooperative and mutual insurance sector represents almost a third of the total insurance sector – covering more than 1 billion lives – and therefore ICMIF is delighted that the leaders of two of its member organizations have been asked to join the Steering Committee: Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO, The Co-operators Group (Canada); and Jean-Louis Davet, CEO, MGEN (France).

They will join leaders from the UN, the World Bank Group, the Financial Stability Board and other international institutions including ICMIF in the work of the IDF. The IDF was established to support governments around the world against the rising threat of natural disasters and climate risks, to create a clearer understanding of risks, improving global resilience and increase re/insurance penetration globally.

Speaking on behalf of ICMIF, Shaun Tarbuck, CEO, said: “Having been involved in discussions about the formation of the IDF from the beginning I am delighted to see it finally launched. The insurance industry has needed a platform from which to influence global policymakers for some time now and I believe the IDF and the Steering Committee are uniquely placed to do this. In Kathy Bardswick and Jean-Louis Davet we have two excellent representatives for the mutual and cooperative sector on the Steering Committee that will help deliver the Post 2015 Agenda through this unique public private partnership.”

Tarbuck continued: “ICMIF is co-chairing one of the seven IDF working groups and will be looking to get ICMIF member organizations engaged in various working groups as well as the implementation group as these develop. We do indeed have a big task ahead but now we have the appropriate framework, governance and engagement from both business and civil society to get the job done.”

The appointments follow the recent High Level Meeting on Resilience convened with insurers by the UN Secretary General and the inaugural meetings of the IDF in Washington, DC, on 14 April 2016. Those meetings confirmed the IDF’s initial focus on confronting the challenge of climate risk and natural disasters, the protection gap and resilient development. The IDF is co-chaired with Joaquim Levy, CFO, the World Bank Group; and Helen Clark, Administrator, UN Development Program (UNDP).

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England and Chair of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), will join the IDF Steering Committee in his role as FSB Chair.

Leading insurance CEOs appointed to serve on the High Level Steering Committee include:

  • Kathy Bardswick, President & CEO, The Co-operators Group
  • Inga Beale, CEO, Lloyd’s of London
  • Albert Benchimol, President & CEO, AXIS Capital
  • Gregory Case, President & CEO, Aon Corporation
  • Jean-Louis Davet, CEO, MGEN
  • Denis Duverne Deputy, CEO, AXA
  • Daniel Glaser, President & CEO, Marsh & McLennan Companies
  • John Haley, CEO, Willis Towers Watson
  • Denis Kessler, Chairman & CEO, SCOR SE
  • Christian Mumenthaler, CEO Reinsurance, Swiss Re
  • Christopher Swift, Chairman & CEO, The Hartford
  • Maurice Tulloch, Chairman, Aviva Global Insurance
  • Nikolaus von Bomhard, Chairman, Munich Re

Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO, of ICMIF member The Co-operators (Canada) said: "The physical, economic, and social issues facing our world are increasingly complex, dangerous, and interdependent. As a result, long term sustainable solutions will only be possible when we find better ways to collaborate, working together to achieve a shared vision of a healthier, more equitable and safe planet. I am pleased to be a part of one such critically important collaboration."

Jean-Louis Davet, Directeur Général, Groupe MGEN (France) said: "As CEO of a social protection and health mutual insurance group, thinking ahead about the long-term sustainability and well-being of our communities is my main preoccupation. To have the opportunity to contribute to a global way ahead for the human community through IDF is an exciting extension of my mission. I am honoured to tackle this new challenge alongside such a circle of outstanding people!"

In addition, Rowan Douglas CBE, Willis Towers Watson, who conceived and drove the formation of the IDF, will serve as Chair of the IDF Implementation Committee, overseeing the delivery of programs and working groups.

“Insurers are experts at risk management. These CEOs will bring essential risk management experience to the table, using the same skillset they use to manage their business risk portfolios. This risk management expertise will enormously benefit governments since research has shown that a 1% increase in insurance penetration can reduce the disaster recovery burden on taxpayers by 22%. These insurance industry CEOs will commit their time and their staff’s risk expertise to help protect people and property from natural disasters. With their support the IDF can overcome its challenges to accomplish its goals,” IDF Insurance Chair Stephen Catlin said.

The priorities of the IDF are:

  • Building better understanding of natural disaster risk;
  • Recommending appropriate insurance regulation and legislation to promote access to insurance;
  • Promoting and designing public private partnerships and private sector initiatives that promote risk transfer; and
  • Supporting governments in managing risk and design-in resilience in natural and man-made infrastructure.

“This unique project with the leaders of the UN and the World Bank Group will be closely watched by all to see that we deliver on our promise to support society’s need for natural disaster risk awareness, risk management, resilience and insurance protection,” Catlin added.

Picture shows: Climate Action Summit, Washington, DC (5 May 2016)

Seated from left to right: Stephen Catlin, Executive Deputy Chairman, XL Catlin, and Chair IDF; Ségolène Royal, French Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy; Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations; Yong Kim, President, World Bank