Blog articles

Friday, 20 December 2013

It’s that time of year again when we reflect on the previous year and on what we delivered and then look forward to the new year and on what we are going to deliver. At ICMIF we have an annual staff meeting in December to review the highs and lows of the year. Last year was, without doubt, our best yet; with the highlight being the Cape Town conference. We had record numbers attending the event and we received the highest ever feedback scores from delegates. However, we are professional enough as a team to be able to honestly review our performance and know there are some areas we can improve on as we look forward to the 2015 Conference...

Friday, 13 December 2013

For us at PPS the ICMIF conference that was held in Cape Town, South Africa from 6-8 November 2013 was the culmination of a process that started in 2011 when we started communicating more intensively and directly about the benefits of being a member of a mutual, and sharing the profits of such an enterprise. When I wrote the article that appears in the current issue of Voice magazine (Voice 77 November 2013) we were in the final stages of planning the conference, but from the time that the event started with the joint ICA/ICMIF dinner, it was clear that a platform had been created in South Africa that will still benefit us for years to...

Friday, 06 December 2013

Yesterday we lost a global icon; arguably the most influential leader of the last century and certainly the most inspirational. Nelson Mandela was to me a truly amazing and inspirational man, a man who fought to change his world against the toughest odds. Those of you who joined us for the ICMIF Conference in Cape Town would have heard Francois Pienaar talk about the affect Madiba, Mandela’s Xhosa clan name, had on his life and continues to have as he strives to keep alive Mandela’s ideal of ‘one rainbow nation’ through the pursuit of education for all. Francois was without doubt one of the most inspirational ICMIF conference speakers we...

Friday, 29 November 2013

Data visualization is nothing new; Florence Nightingale, the great British social reformer and founder of modern nursing, who also happened to be a statistician, used what we would today recognize as a pie chart in 1858 to highlight the fate of hospitalized solders during the Crimean war. This diagram of the causes of mortality in the army in the East was published in “Notes on Matters Affecting the Health, Efficiency, and Hospital Administration of the British Army” and sent to Queen Victoria in 1858.

It is a very graphical call to arms on the subject of hospital hygiene, and is the genesis of the modern profession of nursing that...

Thursday, 21 November 2013

As I flew back from our ICMIF conference in Cape Town last week to a quiet if cold United Kingdom, our friends and colleagues from ICMIF’s Philippines member organization CARD MBA were returning back from Cape Town – almost literally – straight into the eye of the storm.

The quite exceptional typhoon Haiyan (the Filipinos call it typhoon Yolanda) has exacted a terrible toll on a country which in recent years has already suffered grievously from other typhoons. CARD’s chief executive Aris Alip tells me that his organization estimates that 160,000 of its members have been severely affected by the latest catastrophe. He and his...

Monday, 11 November 2013

Our 2013 Conference has finished, and those delegates who were still in Cape Town over the weekend would have been relaxing on Saturday, with trips to, among other places, the Cape of Good Hope.

I’m full of good hope for the time ahead for ICMIF, after what I feel has been a very positive three days here.  ICMIF’s cooperative and mutual members have been outperforming the market in recent years, and there was a strong sense at the conference that, with the right strategies in place, our organizations can do even better.  I see no reason why, when we next come together in Minneapolis in October 2015, we won’t see the mutual market...

Friday, 08 November 2013

One clear thought struck me as I sat listening to the presentations today, the second day of our conference here in Cape Town:  the can-do way in which ICMIF’s members deal with the business challenges and opportunities they face,  in a world where standing still is never a possibility.

Geoff Parkinson told a riveting story to start off the day. Thirty years ago, he said, his firm Sunderland Marine, a specialist marine insurer, had done 100% of its business in Britain.  Since then, it has transformed itself into a global mutual, with 85% of its business now coming  from the rest of the world.  Operating in fifty countries can be...

Thursday, 07 November 2013

ICMIF’s first ever world conference on African soil has opened. And how! We’ve come to the end of our first day’s business and now, taking a break in my hotel room, I am looking back on what I feel was an exceptionally stimulating day.

We were enormously privileged to have Francois Pienaar with us, to get us off to a very inspiring start. Francois was the captain of the South African rugby team which (against all the predictions) won the first post-apartheid world cup competition to be staged in South Africa in 1995. The rugby victory was much more than a sporting achievement, however, representing the first time that the whole...

Tuesday, 05 November 2013

Yesterday the Board of ICMIF met around a board room table in Cape Town to take stock of how the Federation is progressing, and what our strategy should be for the future.

It was my task as ICMIF’s CEO to provide a detailed report to the Board of the past twelve months. And the good news, both for me and for ICMIF as a whole, is that I was able to report that ICMIF members collectively are the fastest growing part of the global insurance market. Collectively the global insurance market has grown by 11% between 2011 and 2007. Mutual and cooperative insurers outperformed the market to an astonishing extent, returning growth of 26%....

Tuesday, 05 November 2013

After months of preparation, finally the ICMIF World Conference is almost upon us. The ICMIF team is already here in Cape Town and we are looking forward to welcoming our delegates in a few days. Right now though the hotel and conference centre are buzzing with delegates for the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) Conference which is taking place just before our own event. This is the first time ever that both ICMIF and the ICA are holding their global Conferences in Africa and we are delighted to play our part in bringing the cooperative and mutual sector to South Africa. We are also pleased that the arrangement allows some ICMIF...

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