January 2013

Spotlight – In international business, almost every market around the world does things in a different way. This often leads to misunderstandings and unfulfilled expectations. However, different does not need to mean difficult and knowledge of the needs and characteristics of specific geographic markets is an advantage to those who are active in the global economy. These articles help you understand different aspects of the insurance industry around the world, enabling those who do business there to feel more “at home, abroad.”

Readers know that in our Talk around the Bazaar section, we glean information from many sources around the globe. On occasion it is a third world newspaper, other times it is a leading international publication: it does not matter to us as long as the news is worth passing on. Our goal is to facilitate global business strategies and business development in the international insurance industry and recently we read some excellent studies which dovetail into this very nicely. A report has recently been published on how intermediaries see how they have landed up where they are, what are the challenges ahead and how to ride the wave of opportunity. The Commercial Risk Europe Risk Distribution Report 2012 explains that brokers are looking forward to 2013 with optimism. We like that “half full” approach and many of the articles exude confidence. Each of the chapters in this report goes to the heart of the matter, none more than Chapter Seven “The Networks – demand is on the rise” and we are very pleased indeed, that we have been given permission to provide a link to this document at http://www.commercialriskeurope.com/uploads/files/special-reports/CRE-Risk-Distribution-Report-2012.pdf and any comments can be directed to Hugo Foster at hfoster@commercialriskeurope.com

In the January 2012 edition of WORDSTM we introduced a different Spotlight article and we would like to continue the tradition of our WORDSTM Personality of the Year For 2013 it is Robert Benmosche, President and CEO of American International Inc since August 2009. Before that he held senior positions at MetLife, PaineWebber and is currently a director of Credit Suisse. Four years ago, AIG was on the verge of bankruptcy and only a bailout of more than US$180 billion pulled the group back from the brink. Several heavy hitters had a go at saving the organisation and turning it around. Having lost its name, many of its flagship operations, many key staff and (almost) its reputation, there was almost nowhere for the group to go. With panache and patience Mr Benmosche slowly started to move the giant away from the precipice.

A lot has been said and written about the transformation of the sickly skeleton to the streamlined ex-champion which resembles a phoenix and we have selected an interview with CNBC for our readers to enjoy: http://www.cnbc.com/id/49710845 This provides the insight into the individual and the strength of character which has earned Robert Benmosche the distinction of becoming the WORDSTM Personality of the Year