The International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) has announced that Rob Wesseling, President and CEO, Co-operators (Canada) will be the Federation’s new Chair for a four-year term.
The announcement was made during the Federation’s General Meeting on Wednesday 26 October which took place during the ICMIF Centenary Conference in Rome, hosted by ICMIF member Gruppo Unipol.
Speaking about his new role as Chair of ICMIF, Rob said: “I’m delighted to take on this role at what is an important time in our sector. Through our work at ICMIF we’ve demonstrated that the cooperative and mutual insurance sector is critical to building a better future. Together, we’re actively working towards a resilient, sustainable, and equitable future and I believe that, by working towards ambitious and aggressive targets in areas such as disaster risk reduction, sustainable development, and responsible investing, we will have a catalytic impact on the global insurance industry and, eventually, the economy as a whole.”
Rob takes up his new role at ICMIF at a time of considerable opportunity and challenge for the global mutual and cooperative insurance market. The latest research from ICMIF sees the sector rebounding strongly from a 2020 that marked only the second year of negative growth for the mutual market (-0.4%) since the financial crash in 2007, with forecasts for 2021’s figures pointing to the strongest growth the sector has experienced in ten years. The global mutual and cooperative insurance sector has grown by 39.0% since 2007, exceeding the total worldwide insurance market growth (27.1%) by 11.9 percentage points, and has seen the share it holds of the total insurance market increase from 24.0% to 26.3%*.
This performance is mirrored across the ICMIF membership where, last year, over 70% of ICMIF members outperformed their local market’s annual growth. Today, ICMIF members represent USD 250 billion in premium income and over USD 2 trillion in held assets. ICMIF’s membership, comprising 197 organisations across 60 countries, serves over 350 million members/policyholders and employs over 226 thousand people
Shaun Tarbuck, ICMIF CEO, says: “I am delighted that Rob has accepted the position of ICMIF Chair, and I am looking forward to working closely with him over the next four years. This is a very exciting time for the Federation and its members. Under the leadership of our retiring Chair Hilde Vernaillen, we have transformed ICMIF into an organisation focused on helping our member companies achieve their strategic goals and sustainably grow in their local markets. We are very grateful to Hilde for her great support and commitment to ICMIF and its members over the last four years.
“Focusing on the key areas of mutuality, sustainability and business transformation, ICMIF’s networking and business intelligence activities leverage the knowledge, competencies and experience of its global network of 197 member-owned and purpose-led insurance companies across 60 countries. Through its influence work, ICMIF represents the interests of global mutual/cooperative sector – accounting for approximately 26% of the global insurance market – to key stakeholders around the themes of resilience, disaster risk reduction, sustainable development and responsible investing. Under Rob’s leadership we look forward to continuing this work and further growing our sector’s market share,” Tarbuck concluded.
On Tuesday 25 October, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the ICMIF Foundation launched the Insurance Innovation Challenge Fund. The signing ceremony for the Challenge Awards took place with Rob Wesseling and Ulrika Modéer, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) at the ICMIF Centenary Conference in Rome (Italy) on Tuesday 25 October.
The Fund, initially funded with USD 600,000, will enable mutual insurance initiatives to strengthen financial resilience of people with low income. Mutual and cooperative insurers will have to compete for technical and financial resources to develop and distribute innovative and affordable insurance products specifically serving the needs of most vulnerable households.
* Provisional figures from ICMIF Global Mutual Market Share 2022
Co-operators is a leading Canadian financial services cooperative, offering multi-line insurance and investment products, services, and personalized advice to help Canadians build their financial strength and security. The company has more than CAD 61.5 billion in assets under administration. Co-operators has been providing trusted guidance to Canadians for the past 76 years. The organszation is well known for its community involvement and its commitment to sustainability. Achieving carbon neutral equivalency in 2020, the organization is committed to net-zero emissions in its operations and investments by 2040, and 2050, respectively. Co-operators is also ranked as a Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizen in Canada. For more information, please visit: www.cooperators.ca.