Blog articles

Tuesday, 02 August 2016

The Latin American insurance market may be relatively young, but it is growing fast, and the cooperative/mutual insurance sector in many national markets is a significant contributor to that regional growth.

According to Sigma (Swiss Re), the total insurance industry in Latin America grew by 11.3% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) during the seven-year period 2007 to 2014, making it the fastest-growing region. At the other end of the spectrum, during the same period, the European market shrank by 0.3% CAGR and the North American market grew by just 0.7% CAGR.

The International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (...

Friday, 01 July 2016

Willis Re’s recently published Global Reinsurance and Risk Appetite Report 2016 is the most comprehensive survey into how insurers’ approach the subject of developing a formal risk appetite.

The report analyses responses received from over 240 insurers in nearly fifty countries to Willis Re’s annual Risk Appetite survey. Almost two-thirds of those companies surveyed have a formal risk appetite statement1, with a further 17% planning to develop one in the near future.

This finding doesn’t surprise us; recent years have seen an increasing level of regulatory pressure across the board in the insurance industry, with the...

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Two kinds of climate change happened in 2015. In March, global carbon dioxide levels reached a one-million year high, marking an all-time low in the history of environmental climate change. Then in December, nearly 200 governments signed the Paris Agreement which is committed to minimising global temperature rises, demonstrating an unprecedented forward shift in the political climate.

This latter political climate change is notable because it is absolutely necessary if we are to secure the earth’s future. It is also notable because it has been long overdue in some quarters. If it is now obvious that it is self-interest and greed...

Friday, 22 April 2016

To the uninitiated, Generation Y – primarily the children of the baby boomer generation – are presented to the world as the next generation who think and behave differently and who have a different set of values to their predecessors.   To some, they are to be revered for their acceptance of technology as merely an extension of themselves.  To others, they could be seen as the irritant ‘bright sparks’ who don’t actually have sufficient experience to tackle the problems they face, yet who still seem to manage to get to an annoyingly good solution, regardless. 

Recent observations and commentaries might go as far to suggest that, not...

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

The ICMIF Intelligence Committee (IC) will be meeting again in a few weeks at P&V’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.  We will be kindly hosted by IC member Philippe de Ridder, Strategic Planning & Intelligence Manager, and P&V Group CEO Hilde Vernaillen, known to many of you already as an ICMIF Board member and President of the Association of Mutual Insurers and Insurance Cooperatives in Europe (AMICE).

The IC meetings are always invigorating for me because they give me a chance to engage with peers from around the world who bring the considerable ingenuity and passion of their mutual and cooperative insurance...

Friday, 18 March 2016

Many years ago, when there was no such thing as Generation Y, X or even Z a father gave his son some advice as he was about to leave the family home: “The time has come for you to leave home and my advice to you is to remember three things: use cooperative banks, visit cooperative shops and put your trust in mutual insurance companies.” Life was simple then, the son trusted his father’s advice and the family tradition of using mutual and cooperative businesses was carried on to the next generation easily. Upon the father’s recommendations, the mutual values that were so important to the family were passed on from one generation to the...

Monday, 07 March 2016

Is your business successfully engaging with the global economy’s new powerhouse?

I am referring, of course, to the growing phenomenon that is Generation Y – those born between 1980-2000 – who now control an estimated USD 200 billion of direct purchasing power. Generation Y, also known as Gen Y, has become the largest demographic group in history and is now dominating workforces in most continents.

But according to delegates attending the ICMIF Biennial Conference 2015 in Minneapolis (USA) many ICMIF member organizations say they feel unprepared for engaging with this “tech-savvy”, fast-paced and often cynical market....

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

When it comes to leadership, the business model and objectives of a company play an important role in determining the most appropriate leadership style for the organization. For example, leadership in a mutual company is inherently different to that of a company with shareholders and thus requires a unique approach.  

In the shareholder model, the company has shareholders who make a conscious decision to buy or sell shares in the company. If the company is successful the share price goes up. However, if things go badly, or the shareholders do not like what is being done by the company, the shareholders have the option to simply...

Thursday, 04 February 2016

I was recently asked to write this blog on behalf of ICMIF’s Intelligence Committee (IC) and pleased to take up the challenge. I was delighted to have been elected as Chair of the Committee last November and also to now have this opportunity to tell ICMIF members about the great work that the IC does. When thinking about the blog, however, I did wonder about how many ICMIF members know that ICMIF has an Intelligence Committee, why we meet, what we discuss and then what happens with that information?

The goal of the IC is ultimately to help ICMIF members advance their thinking by identifying important trends and areas for IC members...

Friday, 22 January 2016

China, one of the largest and the fastest growing of the insurance markets, grew by 188% in the last seven years, by catering mostly for the needs of its middle class and High Net Worth (HNW) individuals. But what about the needs of the county’s billion-plus other citizens? Well, following my recent trip to Beijing I have returned with good news….

In February 2015 the Chinese Government passed a new law allowing the set-up of mutual insurers.  It is great news for the global mutual sector that the fourth largest insurance market is now permitting mutuals to be established. I was visiting China to speak at a one day training seminar...

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