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Telephone +44 (0)1444 450 919 www.worldwiderisksolutions.com
Welcome to our Monthly Newsletter – July 2008

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.

Since Our Last Newsletter

The first half of the year has passed and it has pretty much been business as usual. The gradual reduction in rates in most markets has been just as predicted; there have been some mergers announced and the mega-brokers continue to swap staff. What has been interesting to note has been an increase in broker performance surveys, especially in India and the United States.  Brokers have been under the microscope for quite a while as the discussion on transparency continues and in the U.K. the FSA has been formally requested to make broker remuneration full and automatic. Supervision of the Spanish financial markets will also concentrate on transparency.

The outcome of a survey of large American companies has highlighted one surprising score: of all the factors relating to brokers’ performance, international capabilities came out as the lowest rated. When you consider that more than half of the United States’ large corporations have overseas operations, one would think that if a broker did not have international capabilities it would not even be considered as a serious candidate. With the overseas part of many, nay, most U.S. corporations growing quicker than the parent’s domestic operations, international is a very important part of a corporation’s activities and the board cannot ignore the need for a broker to guide and advise them on foreign issues in the same way as for domestic issues. For some people, doing business internationally can cause concern because of the many difference in cultures and customs.

In our SPOTLIGHT series we will help you understand the way different markets 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. We have done articles on Takaful, Taxation, Cambodia and more; if you would like copies, please let us know. If you would like to discuss your international strategies with us, please contact us.

SRI LANKA INSURANCE MARKET

Prior to Nationalisation the Insurance sector comprised largely of several Foreign Companies: Sun Life Insurance Office Ltd, Royal Assurance, New India Assurance Co Ltd, and the Ocean Accident and Guarantee Corporation Ltd, were few of the many with Edward Lumley underwriting business for Lloyd’s of London. The primary entrants to Insurance business in Sri Lanka were the Agency Houses which managed the plantations and were acting as Agents of Overseas Insurers handling mainly their in-house plantation business. In the early part of the 20th century, Life Insurance companies too were established.

To read the complete report on the Sri Lanka Insurance Market,
please click here.

In preparing this Spotlight article we have received invaluable assistance from Delmege Insurance Brokers (Pvt), Ltd, Colombo (www.delmege.com) for which we are grateful.

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

In our next e-newsletter we will feature a Spotlight article on the Dominican Republic. With a lot of attention being focussed on its neighbours, this small country has developed virtually unnoticed. What has happened there will make interesting reading. In our next edition of WoRdS we will look at a bit of the history and what is going on there today.

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

  • Following the example tabled by some G8 countries and others, Japan is considering raising the retirement age – in this case to 70.  What might also help ease the greying population problem would be to make contributions to pensions more attractive to employees by allowing the pensions to be transferable. The number of Japanese pensioners looks like growing even more as companies start to offer their employees incentives to stay fitter (and older!)
  • Dubai is planning the launch of a compulsory health care system which will be funded by employers. Elsewhere in the U.A.E. another, voluntary, health care plan has been launched for employers and individuals
  • Since April this year eight foreign carriers have been granted an admitted reinsurer’s licence in Brazil. This could more than double by the end of the year. The process of reinsuring business out of the country is still complicated, however
  • The Middle East tops the list of regions where Axa is aiming to make an impact in local markets, bolstering its current operations as the level of insurance penetration continues its upward trend
  • A recent survey in Australia shows that people find that health insurance products are amongst the most difficult to differentiate because information is confusing. Choosing the right broker should help
  • In the Philippines the poorest level of the population is to be given health insurance free
  • Another large European insurer is looking to expand abroad. Mapfre and Axa have been consistent with their overseas expansion activities. Now Talanx from Germany is looking to invest outside its borders. It has already in a bidding process to buy two Turkish insurers in collaboration with CNP Assurances from Paris. Meanwhile Hannover Re, part of the Talanx group, has signed up with GIC Re to develop life business in India
  • There is talk again of foreign reinsurers getting easier access to the New York market.  That would be a useful precedent for some of the other 49 states 
  • The European Commission is asking for more input into its review of the block exemption to certain competition rules. Let’s hope they listen to what they are being told
  • Switzerland wil have a new regulatory authority when the FINMA comes into life in 2009. Not many changes are anticipated when this nationwide body takes over from a handful of commissions and authorities but there will be a standardised approach through out the country
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    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:

  • Brazil
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Dominican Republic
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Sri Lanka
  • United Kingdom
  • U.S.A.
  • Vietnam
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    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

    “The speed of response from far flung countries has helped us meet our deadlines”

    “We can always rely on Worldwide Risk Solutions to find the right person in the countries under review”

     

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    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.

    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.