RISKbitz goes to Monte Carlo Day 2: A Guide to Rendez-Vous speak and more, and more

RISKbitz goes to Monte Carlo Day 2: A Guide to Rendez-Vous speak and more, and more

The Monte Carlo Rendezvous attracts delegates from all over the known world, and inevitably there are language barriers to be overcome.

Many delegates speak English, the language of business, though some delegates have difficulties with the basics of the English language and struggle to be understood, such as Sir Nobby Johnston and his chum Sir Dudley Duddleston.

To aid delegates from non-English speaking territories such as eastern Europe, the southern states of the US, and Essex, RISKbitz provides this handy guide to common phrases heard at the Rendezvous:

• “Would you like a large one?” – I am a reinsurance broker

• “Make mine a large one” – I am a reinsurer

• “God it’s been years” – You look ancient

• “Looking good, mate” – You’re still standing then?

• “How is the wife?” – Saw you with your pretty PA earlier

• “Can you recommend a good doctor?” – I may have overindulged a little

• “I require an immediate liver transplant” – This is my third Rendez-Vous in a row

• “Whose party is this?” – There are so many parties and I’m too drunk to care whose it is

• “Where is the press conference?”  – I am a very junior journalist at my first Rendez-Vous

• “I’m having an early night” – I am a recovering alcoholic

• “My wife simply doesn’t understand me/sexless marriage/here on my own/I’m very rich/I’ve never done this before/our little secret/I’m sure it is in your job description/do you fancy a club/I have a suite of rooms/let’s talk paid loss retros” – Do you fancy a quick one?

• “So just what is all this ‘reinsurance’ thingy?” – I am the chairman of a reinsurance company

• “Can I just ask about your claims reserving policy?” – I am an insurance analyst

• “I’ll meet you in the lobby of the Loews tomorrow morning at 10am” – I will never see you again

• “I am afraid there is a problem with your Gold card” – Your company has just been downgraded, acquired, become insolvent, or is in protracted negotiations over a merger, which have been complicated by an offer from an unwanted buyer, and at the same time, is in discussions over an acquisition by a major insurance group.

De Baucher Re to provide wrist action

De Baucher Re is adopting a coloured wristband segregation method to ensure that everyone attends the right parties and enjoys the full range of hospitality on offer throughout the RVS. On the right wrist, the highest rated band, a deep red, is for reinsurers who will have access to all parties and all events – and we mean all events. Insurers will wear green bands, and brokers will have yellow bands.

Analysts will wear blue bands and are banned from most parties, while IT providers will wear purple and are to be avoided at all cost. Wives and girlfriends, together with reinsurance journalists, will wear black bands and are banned from all parties.

Once in the party, a separate system will take over involving the left wrist. 

 Red band – wine but no beer
 Gold band – beer but no wine
 Blue band – no dips
 Blue and white band – no skinny dips
 Green band – no canapes with seafood
 Yellow band – no photos
 Purple – no ‘models’
 Black band – do not resuscitate

Rating agency spells out what you already know

There are signs of possible glimmers of light at the end of the underwriting tunnel for the global reinsurance markets after centuries of soft markets, pitiful investment returns, biblical catastrophe activity, and less than zero investor interest, AB Waite & Sea has reported in its annual renewal outlook.

“Reinsurance bosses can put away their pills and cancel that trip to the Dignitas euthanasia clinic,” ratings agency analyst Bob Notches laughed as he launched the special report on the reinsurance industry in the Salon Gonaeds suite at the Hotel Crummeau.

To the sound of journalists putting away their notebooks, Notches said the general consensus after the June and July renewals was that pricing for US catastrophe business would soon be soaring by 1% to 1.5%.

Catastrophe losses have been estimated as high as $600trn for the first half of 2011, which have gnawed into last January’s capital position, Notches smiled. Added pressure is coming from the widespread panic and confusion created by cat model revisions. The new models revised property PMLs up by 4,500%.

“Companies are praying to their gods for an improvement in property-cat pricing at the January 2012 renewal,” Notches grinned. “Some are even hoping this potential hardening will spread to other lines, even casualty. I mean, really!”
Notches’ report said that a millennium of soft market conditions and depressed valuations means that the industry is unlikely to ever see another merger, acquisition or start-up – unless the cycle turns.

But AB Waite & Sea has revised its ratings for the reinsurance sector up from “terminal” to “unstable” because it believes recent catastrophe losses have created sufficient momentum for reinsurance rates to solidify to what it described as firm-ish.

“Following the worst goddam quarter for natural catastrophes since they were real bad a while back, reinsurers are warning brokers and cedants that they had better watch out because they are seriously considering not reducing their rates very much further in the near to middle term,” Notches giggled, as reporters checked to see if their watches were still working.

Capacity is ample at the moment but sentiment is in short supply, Notches said. “Reinsurers are keenly aware of the effect a major event or three could have on their balance sheets, it’s just that no-one else cares,” Notches joked.

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