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Welcome to our Monthly Newsletter – February 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?

Governments and business do not seem to be able to find agreement in the choice of words to describe the current financial situation. It is as if “telling the truth” were to mean admitting blame. What is clear is that a lot of trouble, disappointments and dismay were not foreseen and we have to live with the consequences and make something of them. Some large corporations are cutting expenses and it will probably hit the backroom employees rather than the higher paid “suits” who wander around giving orders. When comparing insurance to other industries, its professional bodies tend to think it always has to play catch up. But it is not just the quality of examinations or the range of activities promoted by institutions which makes the difference, it is the way organisations provide their staff with the right tools to do the job which really counts. That, and the understanding of the big picture, where each person fits in and the importance of their role in achieving the goal of making their firm more successful in the short and long term which spur commitment and the willingness to go the extra mile. There has been a conspicuous few falling on their swords, but, in the main, customers, brokers and carriers go back to work every day because risks and exposures need to be managed, minimised, avoided or transferred. Bankers should not pretend to be insurers and insurers should not pretend to be bankers and each needs to have its own industry specific regulators and supervisors who understand the tricks of the trade and can apply that understanding to looking at the future consequences of what is going on under their watch.

And so, while we are all affected differently by the financial crisis, people still need insurance. Also, as we say every month, there is an acquisition, a market entry, a new joint venture, something new locally, somewhere in the insurance world. We keep you abreast of these developments through our Talks Around the Bazaar.  

We continue our Spotlight series and thank those readers who have been in touch with suggestions and recommendations: we really appreciate your feedback on these articles and look forward to your comments.  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.  We have received very positive feedback on articles such as International Business Behaviour, Iraq 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. Details are below.


Spotlight – VALUATION

Around the world, companies have the same ultimate objective: accurate, supportable, professional guidance in effective use of capital and enhancement of asset values. Contrary to popular belief, Valuation is not auditing, or carrying out the role of business brokers, auctioneers, equipment dealers or real estate brokers. It is providing expertise in all classifications of tangible and intangible assets.

To read the complete report on Valuation, Please Click Here (PDF Report).

In preparing this SPOTLIGHT article we have received invaluable assistance from American Appraisal (UK) Ltd, London (www.american-appraisal.co.uk e-mail tprior@american-appraisal.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.

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

  • On the 1st March 2009 the U.K. environmental liability law will come into force in compliance with the E.U. directive 2004/35/EC. If anyone wondered about how many directives have been adopted, take a look at http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/score/docs/
    relateddocs/list-dir/im-directives_en.pdf
    and marvel
  • RSA has bought the remaining shares in Intouch Insurance Group, a Dutch based company with operations in the Czech Republic, Poland and Russia. The full announcement and an overview of what is going on with RSA can be found at www.rsagroup.com/rsa/pages/ir/
    pressreleases1?type=press&ref=487&view=true
  • It is all happening in Holland where FM Global is opening an office. If anyone ever doubted why Amsterdam is a good place to work, go to www.iamsterdam.com/en/visiting and then compare that to FM's reasons at www.fmglobal.com/press_release/
    2009/Amsterdam_020909.html
  • GAB Robins is selling all of its international subsidiaries, most of them to Cunningham Lindsey who now has an impressive global reach, see www.cunninghamlindsey.com/
    profile.asp?tab_id=565
  • The German financial regulator (BaFin) and the Singapore Monetary Authority have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate on banking and insurance issues. A quick look at their respective websites is worth it: www.bafin.de/ and www.mas.gov.sg/index.html
  • Another MoU seems to be in the make, between Canada and India. The two countries have not been specific but on the basis of their common values which include the rule of law and democracy, one can see Indian insurance companies seeking to expand into the Canadian market. To see what some of these common values are, go to http://canada.gc.ca/home.html and http://india.gov.in/govt.php 
  • For those who are keeping their finger on the pulse, Catlin's recent rights issue is an indication of confidence in the market with rate increases and improved underwriting conditions eagerly awaited. For more about this global specialty insurer and reinsurer go to www.catlin.com
  • Another successful underwriter with a syndicate at Lloyd's, Atrium, has just opened an office in Singapore to write business which needs a specialty approach but which might not make it to London. For more about Atrium, see www.atrium-uw.com
  • The Abu Dhabi Health Authority (HAAD) is to introduce a 50% co-payment for dental and pharmaceutical services in private sector facilities. For an overview of HAAD's strategy, see www.haad.ae/haad/tabid/62/Default.aspx
  • Whereas evidence of Motor Insurance in Europe used to be the Green Card, Arabian countries are introducing the Orange Card for motorists travelling in the region. This does not include a hands free mobile capability & as a visit to the following website will tell you http://zawya.com/Story.cfm/
  • Not much is known about insurance in Syria but Noor Takaful Insurance Company is becoming more active within the country and in the region as their website tells us www.noor-takaful.com/Default.aspx?pageId=28&mid=256
  • Even less is known about insurance in Azerbaijan but the Ministry of Finance sets out the rules at http://www.maliyye.gov.az/index_en.jsp?mod=empty
  • In Europe, the debate on the Block Exemption Regulation (BER) which currently allows subscription policies in the coinsurance market to operate smoothly, is warming up. The E.U. Commission has invited interested parties for their views and these can be seen at http://ec.europa.eu/competition/
    consultations/2008_insurance_ber/index.html
     
  • The Greek Parliament has decided to abolish Stamp Duty on certain life and property insurances from the 1st January 2009 and other classes from 1st January 2010. For more information on the Greek insurance market, click on www.isn-inc.com/countryinfo/greece.aspx  
  • During the past year, incidences of piracy on the high seas have escalated. The International Chamber of Commerce has drawn up a map showing what was reported to the ICC International Maritime Bureaus Piracy Reporting Centre in 2008 and this can be seen at this link
  • For a lighter touch in these dismal times, ISN can help us come up with a smile www.isn-inc.com/news/news.aspx?nid=893&cid=13
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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:

    • Australia
    • Canada
    • France
    • Germany
    • Hong Kong
    • Italy
    • Malta
    • Netherlands
    • Norway
    • Poland
    • Singapore
    • Spain
    • Switzerland
    • 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

    “When we turn to them for help, they are always able to do so”

    “Worldwide Risk Solutions are responsive and very helpful”

    * * * * * * * * * *

    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.