It’s hard to remember a time when insurance was the slow running tributary of the financial services industry and reinsurance was an even quieter backwater. In today’s world, where society and the global economy are beset by all kinds of uncertainty, risk transfer has taken on a new importance on the world stage.
The industry’s central role as an absorber for the shock effects of climate change or the havoc wreaked by terrorists is almost taken for granted. Its contribution to understanding and mitigating such risks is starting to be appreciated.
Meanwhile, with economies still faltering in the developed world, insurance capital that protects investments in industry and commerce through core property-casualty covers is more crucial than ever.
In their specialist risk laboratories, underwriters and brokers are operating at the cutting edge of technological advances, designing protections against the unwanted aspects of developments in cyber space and other emerging risks, like nanotechnology.
All the time, the problems experienced by banks for the last five years serve to underscore the resilience maintained by the insurance industry. That’s not only as underwriters but also as investors.
Many insurers and reinsurers are even helping fill the gaps left by banks, increasingly making direct investment in infrastructure for example, or providing alternative investment opportunities through insurance linked securities.
It is a testament to the ability of today’s top rank of insurance executives that the insurance industry sustains these important roles while at the same allocating massive resources to complying with ever changing demands from supervisors. The sheer weight and complexity of regulation is extraordinary, adding cost and uncertainty to businesses operating in an environment that is already so challenging.
The opinion editorials contained in CEO Risk Forum 2013 add a personal perspective to these big industry issues: I hope you enjoy reading them as much I have.
CEO Risk Forum Editor
CEO RISK FORUM ARTICLES:
In regulation, ’tis a gift to be simple
There’s a danger that multi-layered, over-lapping regulation of the insurance industry will create more problems than it solves, says XL CEO Mike McGavick
Why Tria must be extended
The US economy needs the certainty provided by the TRIA terrorism insurance programme, says Evan Greenberg, chairman and CEO of Ace
Market Dynamics: The vandals and the handles - FREE TO VIEW
Aspen CEO Chris O’Kane believes that ILS investors could have a damping effect on underwriting cycle volatility
Navigating the new world of risk
The magnitude, complexity and speed of risk is increasing exponentially – and most companies are woefully unprepared to deal with it, says Greg Case, president and CEO of Aon
Climate Change: Call to action on CO2
Whatever the causes, climate change is real and our industry must factor in important underwriting safeguards, says Tad Montross, CEO of Gen Re
Broker Evolution: Surviving the shifting sands of risk
The complexity and volatility of today’s risk environment creates opportunities for those prepared to adapt and innovate. Standing still is no longer a viable strategy, says Dominic Casserley, Willis CEO
Swiss Re’s story: connecting generations
Risk has evolved in the 150 years since Swiss Re opened for business, but reinsurers’ value to society is unchanged. By Michel Liès, CEO of Swiss Re
Convergence: Reinsurance at the crossroads
Insurers are looking for new ways to achieve profitable growth in a difficult environment and alternative capital can help, says Alex Moczarski, chief executive of Guy Carpenter
European Mutuals: Mutual benefits
Mutual insurers have stepped up their game over the past few years, says Bertrand Wollner, CEO of Signal Iduna Re
What’s next for cat modelling?
Ming Lee, CEO of AIR Worldwide, believes a transformation is underway in how companies think about and manage risk