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Welcome to our Monthly Newsletter – May 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 last few months have seen some dramatic developments in the financial services industry with insurance companies having to take a good look at they way they are run, how they are regulated, how they direct more focus on underwriting for profit and shoring up technical reserves. Some broking firms have had to alter certain financial arrangements as well. The potential of Solvency II in clearing out the chaff from the corn, the E.U. Commission’s hints that some of the old, well-tried and tested rules for competing on level playing fields may be allowed to continue with minimum adjustments and other developments around the globe, all give rise to optimism – albeit cautious.

Then we read that in the United States, property/casualty profits fell by 96.2% last year. Furthermore, insurer growth worldwide is expected to slow down for the next few years. The insurance world is going through a period of change and this is good for a healthy and responsive market. In various regions, such as the Middle East, we are seeing notable developments like the continued growth in the number of takaful operators and the size of their portfolios.  China and India are tightening their belts. Bermuda and London are raising their profile (even higher) and New York’s insurance regulator is to exchange information on regulatory activities with one of China’s two special administrative regions: Macau. Exciting stuff.

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 not only those readers who have been in touch with suggestions and recommendations; we also thank the article writers who kindly devote their time to bringing their expertise and market knowledge into our arena.  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, Valuation 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 – MALTA

Malta, the George Cross island, is a growing financial services centre with a flourishing captive insurance market. As part of the European Union, Malta has a huge market at its backdoor.

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

In preparing this SPOTLIGHT article we have received invaluable assistance from the Malta Financial Services Authority in Attard (MFSA, www.mfsa.com.mt), e-mail communicationsl@mfsa.com.mt) for which we are extremely 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.

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

  • One of Taiwan's top three carriers, Shin Kong Life has received a licence to form a joint venture with an airline company on the mainland. This is a major development for them and you can find out more about this company at www.skl.com.tw/en1033/belief.htm
  • The Syrian government has given the industry a shot in the arm by extending the classes of business which are mandatory. These will have to be taken out mainly by industrial entities and factories. Further detail is expected which will identify the classes of business envisaged but the following pages from the Syrian Insurance Company provide information about the current situation www.syrian-insurance.com/new/en/index.php?cat=det&id=24
  • Mitsui Sumitomo is to open a branch in Slovakia which will act as a hub for its central and eastern European operations. Like their western counterparts, they see many opportunities in the region. Last month Mitsui Sumitomo received approval to start operations in Qatar. For more information about MS Insurance, go to www.msilm.com  and for more on the banking activities, look at www.smbc.co.jp/global
  • The European Parliament has voted to adopt the framework directive entitled Solvency II. This incorporates far reaching proposals and Wikipedia gives a good overview of what this entails at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solvency_II, the English FSA has some good comments under www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/About/What/
    and the Press Room at FERMA gives its cautious welcome in www.ferma.eu
  • Talking about F's the Financial Times has just released a Report on Risk Management and this is worth a read: www.ft.com/reports/risk-management-april2009
  • There is a chunky report on the Budapest Protocol, Consultation Paper 38 issued by the Committee of European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Supervisors (CEIOPS) on cross border activity and it can be found at www.ceiops.eu/media/files/consultations/
  • There is a chance that all listed companies in India will have to take out D&O insurance. At least, that is the plan voiced by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). There is a mine of information at www.sebi.gov.in
  • Aviva is to buy ING's non-state pension fund business and holding company in Russia. Aviva seems to have an affinity with certain CEE countries and in Poland they are still widely respected under the good old name Commercial Union. Go to Insurope's website for a study of CU in Poland at www.insurope.com/Countries/lc-Poland.asp and  www.aviva.com/avivaworld/index.asp?pageid=149 for the CU/Aviva version
  • Lloyd's has opened an office in Brazil. The office in Rio de Janeiro will enable syndicates and managing agents to offer reinsurance within the country. The Ministry of Finance tells us more about the general market on www.susep.gov.br/menuingles/about_bim.asp#about 
  • There has been a lot of discussion in England on a new Flood Forecasting Centre. Expectations were well worded in press releases from the Met Office www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/
    and it was opened late in April and reported in www.sourceuk.net/article/13/13122/
  • Also in the U.K., GAB Robins has completed the transaction leading to management taking over the business. This represents a final stage of changes in the strategy of the U.S. organisation with many other worldwide territorial operations being taken over by Cunningham Lindsey. For more, see www.gabrobins.com/News.aspx?id=3734&fid=382
  • For the lucky people amongst our readership, rugby plays an important role and this year a long awaited event takes place: a Lions Tour. For those who are not aware of what this phenomenon is, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_and_Irish_Lions for a good explanation of who and what then go to www.lionsrugby.com/home.php for information on the British and Irish Lions rugby tour to South Africa in just more than a month's time. To see what the Springboks think about this, try http://www.sarugby.net/tournaments.asp?cat=sarugby/springboks&id=1000
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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
    • Denmark
    • France
    • Germany
    • Hong Kong
    • Italy
    • Malta
    • Netherlands
    • Poland
    • Romania
    • Singapore
    • Spain
    • Switzerland
    • United Kingdom
    • U.S.A.

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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

    “We are very happy that they are part of our team”

    “Worldwide Risk Solutions continue too provide valuable contacts to serve our needs”

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

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


    Skype Name: georgeworsley

    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.