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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...

Monday, 31 October 2011

A.M. Best, one of the ICMIF Supporting Members, has been named Best Global Rating Agency at the Reactions Global Awards 2011 event on September 27 in New York City. Matthew Mosher, Senior Vice President of Ratings accepted the award. This is the third consecutive year that A.M. Best has captured the Reactions Best Global Rating Agency award.

Commenting on the award Mr Mosher said, “Winning this award again is a tribute to our hard working analytical teams in Oldwick, London and Hong Kong. We will continue to serve the worldwide (re)insurance marketplace as a source of reliable ratings and information”.

The awards are the...

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Financial services communications expert Lucian Camp will speak at the ICMIF Biennial Conference taking place in Manchester, UK, this month. Lucian will be the guest speaker in a session on “Tomorrow’s Cooperative and Mutual Leaders”. The session will focus on future trends in customer behaviours and expectations; the image of tomorrow’s cooperative/mutual insurers; new leadership definitions and corporate responsibility. The session will also feature a panel of young managers from ICMIF members.

Lucian has spent over 30 years in creative agencies, initially as a copywriter and then subsequently as a creative director and then...

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The ICMIF LARG (Latin American Reinsurance Group) event and the ICMIF Development Network Seminar event have both recently taken place in Cartegena, Columbia. The events took place from September 18-22 and this was the first time that the two events have taken place one after the other. The events were hosted by La Equidad Seguros, one of the Colombian members of ICMIF.

The two events brought together over 80 delegates from 22 member companies and 18 countries. This was a unique opportunity for microinsurance providers from across the globe to share their experiences and build new cooperation. The week began with the LARG Meeting...

Friday, 14 October 2011

The Co-operative News is the oldest cooperative newspaper in the world and this September they celebrated 140 years of continuous publication. The newspaper is produced by The Co-operative Press Limited, which is based in Manchester, UK. The Press is a secondary federal cooperative society owned by other cooperative societies and sympathetic organisations.

During the anniversary celebrations in Manchester, UK, The Co-operative Press also launched the new online Global News Hub which is a collection of articles, features and opinion submitted by cooperatives and cooperators from around the world. The aim is to share stories and...

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

SSQ Financial Group, a Canadian member of ICMIF, announced on September 26 that they have reached an agreement to acquire AXA Life Insurance. This agreement has been made with the support of their majority shareholder, Fonds de solidarité FTQ (FSTQ). SSQ is a mutually owned insurance and investment firm based in Quebec.

AXA Life Insurance is based in Montreal and offers a full range of individual insurance and specialized group insurance products; they also have offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Dartmouth. The acquired company will be known as SSQ, Insurance Company Inc. and it will operate as an entity of SSQ Financial...