Latest News

Friday, 25 November 2011

During the recent Biennial Conference the ICMIF General Assembly voted in a new Board of Directors for the next four years until 2015. The General Assembly also voted to increase the maximum number of Board members from 18 to 24 members. Thirteen of the existing Board are continuing to serve including John Balmforth as Chair. Anders Sundström has been appointed Vice-Chair replacing Jacques Forest of P&V.

The first new Board member is Denis Berthiaume. Denis is Senior Vice-President and General Manager, Wealth Management and Life and Health Insurance, of Desjardins Group, and President and Chief Operating Officer of Desjardins...

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Karel Van Hulle, Head of the Insurance & Pensions Unit, European Commission Directorate-General for Internal Market & Services was one of the key speakers at the recent ICMIF Biennial Conference and spoke on the topic of solvency and capital requirements for cooperatives/mutuals. Karel has, for the last several years, overseen the Solvency II project on behalf of the European Commission’s insurance and pension unit.

In his opening remarks Karel commented that “the world is facing one of the most difficult financial crises and it’s not easy to see how we are going to resolve it but what we see every day when we open the...

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Co-operatives and mutuals “do good by doing the right thing” said Dennis Deters of Canadian cooperative insurer The Co-operators during his presentation at the recent ICMIF Conference in Manchester, UK.

Dennis talked about how cooperative and mutual insurers can and should do good for people, both their members and the local communities, by “doing the right thing”. Dennis gave a presentation to the Conference on “Values based strategies and decision making” and used many examples from The Co-operators long history to demonstrate how they continue to lead the way in Canada in this field.

Dennis told delegates how he was...

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

During the recent launch of the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives 2012 (IYC 2012), the worldwide co-operative movement also launched a new development fund – the Global Development Co-operative (GDC) - to help provide much needed finance to cooperatives in developing countries.

The Global Development Co-operative (GDC) aims to raise USD 50m to provide access to low cost loans for capital and infrastructure projects. The fund will seek to identify and engage with investors with an interest in both international development and extending the reach and benefits of the cooperative model.

The ICA organised a...

Friday, 18 November 2011

During ICMIF’s recent Biennial Conference the Chief Executive of NTUC Income (Singapore), Mr Tan Suee Chieh, spoke on the topic of branding and described the new “Orange Revolution” that has just been launched within his organisation and which will continue until the end of 2015.

The “Orange Revolution” will focus on “doing things differently” to improve branding and to change the way the public view NTUC Income. To do this and to differentiate themselves as an organisation NTUC have come up with the concept of The (NTUC Income) House – with the concept that their business and philosophy is built on a foundation of excellence with...

Thursday, 17 November 2011

The official launch of the 2012 International Year of Co-operatives (IYC 2012) took place at the United Nations headquarters in New York on October, 31. The event was attended by more than 150 CEOs and Presidents from some of the world’s largest cooperatives from all sectors including insurance, banking, credit, housing and agriculture. They gathered to discuss and debate how to create conditions that will ignite the growth of cooperative enterprise during this special year and for years to come under the theme of “Co-operative Enterprises Build a Better World.”

Dame Pauline Green, President of the International Co-operative...

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Invesco has issued the latest Economic Outlook by Dr John Greenwood which provides a forecast for the fourth quarter of 2011. Some of the key topics in the report by Dr Greenwood include:

US Update: Following protracted negotiations between the Obama administration and the Congress over the raising of the US Treasury debt ceiling, and the downgrading by S&P of US Treasury debt in early August, investors faced a series of weak macro-economic data releases. Treasury bond yields fell in the face of deteriorating global economic data and falling equity markets. Dr Greenwood’s report illustrates that the illusion of a strong...

Monday, 14 November 2011

Earlier this year ICMIF reported that two of its members, Benenden Healthcare Society and Engage Mutual Assurance, both leading UK mutual organisations, had announced a plan to work together to deliver and develop the ‘Benenden Health Cash Plan’.

Now, the two organisations have teamed up once more to launch their second major product together. The new product is the Benenden Over 50s Life Cover plan which is brought to Benenden Healthcare members by the Friendly Healthcare Organisation Limited (FHOL) - a subsidiary of Benenden Healthcare Society Limited. The plan is provided by Engage Mutual, who also currently provide Benenden...

Friday, 04 November 2011

ICMIF recently held its Biennial Conference in Manchester, UK, and feedback on the event confirms that it was a huge success. The event took place over the course of three days, from October 26 to 28, with the theme of “It’s our time”. The Conference was attended by over 250 delegates from 86 member organisations coming from 38 countries.

The event was originally planned to take place in Japan but events earlier this year unfortunately necessitated ICMIF relocating the conference from the city of Tokyo to Manchester. Naturally the sympathies of ICMIF and all member organisations remain with our cooperative colleagues in Japan....

Wednesday, 02 November 2011

The Italian government has given Italian insurers some relief from the pressures of the eurozone sovereign debt crisis by easing the rules for the recognition of the full effect of falling government bond prices.

Insurance groups in Italy such as ICMIF member Unipol could benefit from this change as it means that they do not have to take a capital charge for all of the unrealised losses on eurozone government bonds.

The change in the rules took place early in October this year as part of an amendment to the government’s austerity measures and they followed a sharp decline in the prices of Italian Treasuries. The amendment...