Blog articles

Friday, 13 February 2015

There are two ways of measuring success that I believe cooperative and mutual enterprises (CMEs) need to be paying attention to, and they’re quite different.

Firstly, success as a business. This is comparatively easy to measure as many of the standard business metrics, particularly in insurance, are also relevant to CMEs and can be applied with ease.

Secondly, success as a mutual or a cooperative. This is not so easy and the task of establishing the metrics for measuring this is very much a work in progress. Having developed the World Cooperative Monitor around business metrics, the International Cooperative Alliance is now...

Monday, 26 January 2015

Research released towards the end of last year by Benenden Health shows that almost half of people do not consider themselves to be community spirited and only 37 per cent understand what a mutual organization is.

Consumer society and a desire for material goods have driven society to become more selfish over the past 20 years according to new research. Additionally, the British public places the government at the top of the list in holding primary responsibility for taking care of others, this being placed above their own friends and family.

21 per cent of a sample of the British public who were surveyed stated that taking...

Monday, 01 December 2014

The 23 September 2014 will be permanently etched in my memory and hopefully the history of ICMIF.  On a personal level it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, a “bucket list” moment, speaking at the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference in New York with the world’s civil and political influencers present.  On an ICMIF level it marked the acceptance of our business model as significantly relevant among the world’s elite.

The number of members, friends and business contacts who either heard my speech or knew about it was truly remarkable. The congratulatory messages and comments point to the fact that this has changed people’...

Tuesday, 02 September 2014

It’s easy to speculate that the rating agencies might not give a mutual (or cooperative) insurer the credit they deserve in the rating process; that an agency may appear more familiar or comfortable with listed shareholder (stock) companies and that a shareholder company capital structure and profit mentality will drive better ratings.  Is that really the case?

Deeper understanding of rating agency methodology suggests that the ratings outcome should not be inherently negatively influenced by a mutual structure.  Indeed among the world’s highest rated private sector insurers are the giant mutuals State Farm from the US and Japan’s...

Monday, 18 August 2014

ICMIF is now finalising a new international partnership with UNICEF to harness the expertise of the cooperative and mutual insurance industry to help the world’s children. In this the fourth and final blog on influence from July meetings I will explain why this is vital. 

How did this come about and why? At the last ICMIF Board meeting, Lindsay Sinclair, CEO, NFU Mutual, UK suggested that ICMIF look for a global charitable partner that all ICMIF members could get behind and raise funds towards.  He actually suggested UNICEF.  A few months later I was introduced to Chris Brown from UNICEF at a disaster risk reduction (DRR) meeting...

Friday, 08 August 2014

The title of this week’s blog comes from some of the terms used in a recent discussion document published by the Vatican. The document was one of the outcomes of a meeting of world leaders from business, civil society, politics and religion that was called by the Pope himself, titled The Global Common Good: Towards a more Inclusive Economy. The meeting took place at the Vatican on 11-12 July, 2014. 

So why is this meeting and the subsequent discussion document significant I hear you ask?  Well, firstly, the Pope rarely gets involved in business and economic issues, so the fact that he has now chosen to do so, is noteworthy in...

Friday, 01 August 2014

Influencing sustainable finance at a global level

In the second of my series of blogs on influence I will talk about sustainable finance, its global importance and its importance for our sector.  So what is sustainable finance? Well, we all know the effect that raging capitalism and the insatiable drive to maximise profits have had on our global economy over the last few years.  Whilst the capital markets are being blamed for the crisis nobody is saying that the capital model is broken, it just needs to be refined and tweaked and made fit for purpose for the 21st century.  We need a more responsible capital model or as the global...

Thursday, 24 July 2014

ICMIF has most definitely arrived in the eyes of the global community.  Last week saw not one but four major milestones for our sector and for ICMIF’s recently increased focus on external relations. We saw recognition of our sector by the B20/G20 communities, the UN, UNICEF, and finally by none other than the Pope. There is so much good news from the last week that I hardly know where to start to share our updates with you. These are, however, all groundbreaking so I have decided to do a series of blogs on each key relationship, starting with the G20/B20.

Firstly, let me explain why the G20/B20 relationship is crucial to ICMIF...

Friday, 18 July 2014

Building on the success of our highly acclaimed Advanced Management Course, ICMIF is currently undertaking a survey of the leadership development needs of our member organizations. This will enable us to better align our professional development offerings with the needs of our members. This review has been brought about by questions from members along the lines of “Why should we use ICMIF to develop our people?” or “What can ICMIF provide that I can’t get from a recognized business school?”

Whilst expectations of what a business organization should be are evolving, with much more importance placed on customer relationships and more...

Friday, 04 July 2014

Last month I presented the keynote address of the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF), Meeting of Reinsurance Officials (MORO), in Miami. The theme of the presentation, “The Current State of the Reinsurance Market”, focused on the impact of the influx of capital into the reinsurance business and the various company models that have emerged as a result of this dynamic.

Download the MORO 2014 keynote presentation: Current State of Reinsurance Market

Until recently the inflow of capital has been mostly utilized for property cat reinsurance coverage, encompassing:

Catastrophe bonds...

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