Insurance CFO Risk Forum Foreword

Insurance CFO Risk Forum Foreword

Today’s insurance chief financial officer is no longer a member of the C-suite’s supporting cast but plays a leading part in the overall management of the group. As in other sectors of commerce, the role was already evolving but in the wake of the financial crisis the CFO has taken on wider, more dynamic, and strategic responsibilities.

I know this after speaking to CFOs at some of the industry’s leading companies for the launch issue of CFO Risk Forum magazine. Coming after editing several editions of CEO Risk Forum and its partner publication CRO Risk Forum, taking a look into the world of CFOs seemed like a natural progression.

But it is quite a revelation to discover just how influential CFOs have become in their organisations – and the challenges they face.

Reactions CFO Risk Forum reveals how CFOs are helping manage their businesses through a difficult pricing environment, historically high catastrophe levels, new regulatory regimes, such as Solvency II, low interest rates and equity markets that are currently valuing manycompanies at steep discounts to book value, for example.

As XL Group CFO Peter Porrino says: “The time when a CFO could spend his or her days focused on spreadsheets and hard financial metrics and ratios is long gone. He or she now looks at their role in a much broader way.”

Over time, the CFO has increasingly taken on a strategic advisory role, advising and even challenging the CEO on how the financial performance of the business can be improved. In addition, risk management has become a bigger part of the CFO’s day-today responsibilities.

Discussing the expanding and increasingly complex role of the CFO across asset management and corporate finance, Hannover Re CFO Roland Vogel says that even the larger reinsurance transactions end up on his desk so as to ensure that there is no conflict with the various solvency, governance or accounting regimes.

Oliver Bäte, CFO at Allianz SE, believes CFOs are adjusting and adapting to the ‘new normal’ environment. But it’s no easy job, as this collection of opinion editorials and interviews reveals. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed putting them together.

Garry Booth, CFO RIsk Forum Editor 

Articles from the CFO Risk Forum will be published every Tuesday and Thursday from October 18 and November 8. Click on the names below to view the articles.

Oliver Bäte, chairman of the CFO Forum and CFO at Allianz SE  
Peter Porrino, executive vice president and CFO at XL Group
Neil Drabsch, CFO at QBE   
John Fitzpatrick, secretary general at Geneva Association
Roland Vogel, CFO at Hannover Re
Luke Savage, director of finance at Lloyd’s 
Hermann Pohlchristoph, reinsurance CFO at Munich Re 
Tricia Guinn and Graham Fulcher, Towers Watson  
Benjamin Meuli, CFO at Catlin
Dr Frank Ellenbürger, head of insurance at KPMG Europe
Tim Harris, group CFO at Torus   
George Quinn, CFO at Swiss Re  
Ken Curtis, CFO at Chaucer Group  

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November 2017

 

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