Having trouble viewing this newsletter? Read it online
Telephone +44 (0)1444 450 919 www.worldwiderisksolutions.com

Welcome to our Monthly Newsletter – April 2009

An Established and Successful Force in International Insurance.

Worldwide Risk Solutions is a U.K. based commercial organisation which has the sole objective of facilitating global business strategies and business development in the international insurance industry. For more information about us, please go to www.worldwiderisksolutions.com.

What Is Going On Out There?

The financial world continues to reel from fresh discoveries of how large corporations have been operating behind the scenes, how insurance companies get and keep key staff and provide value to shareholders. Solutions in dealing with the drop in investment income have focussed attention even more on underwriting profitability.  We have seen banks struggle with performance issues and questions are being asked about the role of regulators and the power of rating agencies. It is getting close to the old warnings in the world of supervision: if the watch dog is guarding us and keeping us on the right track, is he looking at everything he should be, is he doing it properly and who watches over him?

The insurance industry has always prided itself on the highest levels of honesty and integrity and it now has the opportunity to prove this. In the past we have insisted that governments should not try and run business and businesses should not try and run countries – and people agree with this. The current recession has many causes but one could be the lack of balanced interaction between the people who make and enforce the laws on business on the one hand and the people who actually do the business on the other. The working link between to two groups is the regulator/supervisory body and this is where the key to a healthy insurance industry must lie. Experienced businessmen who understand the ethics of insurance are plentiful and their familiarity with what makes the business world go round is ideal for helping the legislators prepare and maintain a level playing field for all participants.

As we say every month, whilst the thorny issues of today’s problems continue to raise our eyebrows, people still need insurance. Somewhere around the world there is a new development, an acquisition, a market entry, a new joint venture or source of information helping the insurance professional manage customers’ risks and exposures. We keep you abreast of these developments through our Talks Around the Bazaar.

We continue our Spotlight series and are pleased with our readers’ comments and input.  In the Spotlight series we will help you understand how different aspects of the insurance industry around the world operate, so that those of you who do business there can feel more “at home abroad.” Different does not need to mean difficult but knowledge of the needs and characteristics of specific geographic markets is an advantage to those who are active in the global economy. This helps avoid misunderstandings and unfulfilled expectations. Should you wish us to look at something important to you, please let us know. If you would like copies of any previous issues of WoRdS, we would be delighted to get these to you. If you would like to discuss your international strategies with us, please contact us. Details are below.



Spotlight – EUROPEAN UNION

Contrary to our plan to Spotlight Malta this month, we are going to look at the European Union. With more than half a billion citizens, it may be smaller than China or India, size-wise it may only be about half the size of the United States but it is the world’s biggest trader and therefore, one of the economic powerhouses of the world. There are 27 members and it has many bilateral agreements with other countries and trading blocks around the world. But how much do we really know about its creation, how it works, who runs it, how it interacts with national parliaments and what does it mean for the future of its citizens and everyone else on this planet?

We thought it would be worthwhile directing our readers to the website of the E.U. http://europa.eu/ from where you can choose your own language and rummage around and choose some of the many routes at your disposal such as http://europa.eu/abc/index_en.htm or Travel at http://europa.eu/abc/travel/doc/index_en.htm or Money at http://europa.eu/abc/travel/money/index_en.htm or what the E.U. does for Healthcare for its citizens at http://europa.eu/abc/travel/money/index_en.htm There are on-going discussions on enlargement in the West Balkans and this is well documented in http://www.eu2009.cz/en/news-and-documents/news/eu-presidency-statement-14119/ For information on what is being done to sustain growth and enterprise, job creation and greater prosperity, look at http://europa.eu/pol/enter/index_en.htm  and for an overview how the E.U. interacts with other countries and trading blocks, please see http://europa.eu/pol/enter/index_en.htm And there is lots more….

This may turn out to be an exercise in click and read and we think that for our readers to take a few minutes to do this, with a cuppa or a glass of something more substantial, it will prove very interesting, even thought-provoking and certainly very informative.

If you would like Worldwide Risk Solutions to conduct an economic, business and insurance survey of any international markets please contact us – Details below.

Worldwide Risk Solutions has access to a wide client base of internationally oriented organisations. Why not utilise this knowledge and experience? We can conduct a swift appraisal of your global activities or answer any questions you may have about international developments. Call +44 (0)1444 450 919 or send us an e-mail and we will respond immediately. And should you be passing through London, please let us know.

In our next Spotlight article we will be looking at Malta, the George Cross island with a flourishing captive insurance market. As part of the European Union, Malta has a huge market at its backdoor. We will see how the Maltese manage this giant. For more information about any of the items discussed in the current or previous issues of WoRdS, please see our Contact Details:

George Worsley, Director
Worldwide Risk Solutions
Telephone +44 (0)1444 450 919
Mobile: +44 (0)7968 191 511
E-mail info@worldwiderisksolutions.com

Talk Around the Bazaar

  • As many of our readers are aware, there are quite a few CEO Forums consisting of leaders of select worldwide organisations. Insurance has one, too, and in Europe it goes under the name of the Pan €uropean Insurance Forum. They have recently issued a timely review of the Regulatory Consequences of Financial Crisis, a good read at www.axa.com/lib/axa/uploads/PEIF/AXA_PEIF_Booklet_20090224.pdf
  • There is another one being held in Hong Kong – too late to enter but the Asia Review magazine has an outline of what is being discussed on www.asiainsurancereview.com/
    pages/conference_details.asp?id=116
     
  • Not to be outdone, The Geneva Association helps research the growing importance of worldwide insurance activities in all sectors of the economy. They have excellent Publications and Newsletters. For more go to www.genevaassociation.org/Publications/
    Newsletters.aspx
       
  • The OECD has also put its thoughts together with a paper on the Strategic Response to the Financial Crisis and can be accessed at www.oecd.org/
  • China is also beefing up the regulator’s powers. The CIRC will be able to rely on a new law from the 1st October 2009 preventing insurers from “undertaking risky operations.”  Details of this legislation have yet to be posted on the website www.circ.gov.cn/web/site45/
  • In the U.K. there are proposals from the Law Commission on the role of intermediaries. Out-Law has an first-rate overview at www.out-law.com/page-9886
  • The National Flood Insurance Program in the United States has been extended until the end of September this year. For more information on this and other developments in America, the PIA has tons to read at this link
  • As a handful of foreign companies are preparing to exit the Taiwan insurance market, large carriers from the mainland are planning their entrance. Further comment can be found at the ForexPros website www.forexpros.com/
  • In Japan, one answer to deal with drop in demand and a greying population is for major carriers to merge. Sompo and NikkonKoa, ranking three and five respectively, are looking for economies of scale. Reuters has more on www.reuters.com/article/mergersNews/...
  • Lloyd’s had a solid 2008, as their website will tell you that in spite of a very costly year, a good profit was made. Start at the following and see what else you may wish to read www.lloyds.com/News_Centre/Features_from_Lloyds/...
  • What you may find interesting is the story of a nose: www.lloyds.com/News_Centre/Features_from_Lloyds/
    News_and_features_2009/...
     
  • While London still provides the bulk of Lloyd’s capacity, it is being further extended with Argenta opening up a unit in Singapore. Business Insurance has the details at www.businessinsurance.com/cgi-bin/news.pl?newsId=15788 see also www.argentaplc.com
  • The serious bush fires which recently swept through Victoria have underlined the fact the fact that the weather is accounting for a larger proportion of claims in Australia. KMPG has a useful interview at www.kpmg.com.au/Default.aspx?
    TabID=214&KPMGArticleItemID=3582
  • The big question looming in the near future for many of Europe’s greying population is: How Safe is my Pension? The European Commission has anticipated this and has issued a paper to be found at http://ec.europa.eu/news/employment/090309_1_en.htm
  • The E.U. Commission looks like continuing the Block Exemption Regulation (BER) which currently allows subscription policies in the coinsurance market to operate smoothly. However, it may alter some of the rules and if so, it will provide guidance on how insurers may cooperate on policy conditions. There is an overview of all of the issues in a document produced last year which is very clear http://ec.europa.eu/competition/
    sectors/financial_services/insurance.html
  • Our gourmet readers all know that Belgium has more sorts of beer than days in the year. The same applies to France on the cheese front. Now the U.K. is boasting more cheeses than European public holidays and it is worth drooling over www.nealsyarddairy.co.uk/cheeses.html
  • * * * * * * * * * *

    We are currently discussing projects in the following markets and are regularly being asked to attend the annual conferences and meetings of the major networks:

    • Australia
    • Bulgaria
    • Canada
    • France
    • Germany
    • Italy
    • Malta
    • Netherlands
    • Poland
    • Romania
    • Russia
    • Singapore
    • Spain
    • Switzerland
    • United Kingdom
    • U.S.A.

    * * * * * * * * * *

    We continue to work with a growing number of networks to improve and expand their international capabilities.  If you have not already spoken to us about expanding your international markets, now might be the right time for us to conduct a feasibility study. For more information, please see the contact details below.

    What Clients Say

    “We are pleased to rely on their swift responses”

    “Worldwide Risk Solutions continue to help us find answers to key questions”

    * * * * * * * * * *

    CONTACT US

    BY POST
    Worldwide Risk Solutions LLP
    20 Blunts Wood Road
    Haywards Heath
    West Sussex
    RH16 1NB, England

    BY TELEPHONE
    Telephone: +44 (0)1444 450 919
    Mobile: +44 (0)7968 191 511

    BY E-MAIL
    info@worldwiderisksolutions.com

    BY SKYPE
    Skype Name: georgeworsley

    Disclaimer
    Information appearing in WoRdS is checked for technical accuracy but is not intended to provide a basis of knowledge upon which advice can be given. Worldwide Risk Solutions accepts no responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the material included in this newsletter.