November 2011

Talk Around the Bazaar

Zurich is to buy a majority share in the general, life and pensions operations of Banco Santander in Argentina and Brazil. This is part of a long term strategy in Latin America and follows the announcement that Zurich in June that they will open a reinsurance unit in Brazil. For further detail, please go to http://www.zurich.com/media/newsreleases/2011/2011-1005-01.htm

The ABI in England has published key facts about the U.K. insurance industry at http://www.abi.org.uk/Publications/ABI_Publications_UK_Insurance_Key_Facts_2011_2ed.aspx Looking through this, you will also see how the country fits into the global arena

For such a big guy, Aviva has been pretty quiet about itself when talking about global strategy. Sure, they hit the headlines in England a few years ago with a name change but that was because of the cost rather than the message. If you check their Heritage section (www.aviva.com/about-us/heritage/companies/hand-in-hand-fire-and-life) and read further, it is very interesting indeed and tells you how the U.K. insurance market gathered momentum. Strategy for Ireland and the Continent is well thought out. It looks like general insurance is back on the menu

Zurich is to buy a majority share in the general, life and pensions operations of Banco Santander in Argentina and Brazil. This is part of a long term strategy in Latin America and follows the announcement that Zurich in June that they will open a reinsurance unit in Brazil. For further detail, please go to http://www.zurich.com/media/newsreleases/2011/2011-1005-01.htm

The growth of insurance markets and the increase in levels of product sophistication in Central and Eastern Europe continue. Our fellow PIA member, XPrimm, has a wonderful archive of news and figures on their website. The following is just a sample and we encourage our readers to take a bit of time to delve further into these statistics, profiles and interviews beginning with www.xprimm.com/Overall-market-data-1,5.htm

According to International Insurance News, the Chinese insurance regulatory body (CIRC, www.circ.gov.cn/web/site45) is planning to allow foreign insurers to write compulsory motor insurance business. This item of news can be found in the following wide-ranging report: www.globalsurance.com/blog/chinese-insurers-to-face-tighter-debt-rules-foreign-competition-in-auto-market-437520.html

There are big changes in the reinsurance set up in Argentina. From the 1st September onwards, placing risks with non-registered reinsurers is forbidden: the use of local reinsurers is mandatory. The following is reported in Commercial Risk Europe www.commercialriskeurope.com/cre/897/88/Buyers-still-worried-about-limited-capacity-as-Argentina-launches-new-rules and more detail can be applied for at www.isn-inc.com

Staying with Commercial Risk Europe, it is interesting to read their report about Zurich opening their global programme database to brokers (see www.commercialriskeurope.com/cre/988/56/Zurich-opens-global-programme-database-as-rivals-frosty-on-industry-effort). This attempt to create a global standard may stumble initially but deserves support

How many of our readers knew that Turkey tops the list of G20 countries which have an increase in the rate of employment over the past three years? For those of you seeking opportunities in Turkey, the attached communication from the Prime Ministry’s Investment Support and Promotion Agency has some good leads, http://img.amarimsg.com/1108/03/01/September_October_2011_FDI_news_digest.pdf

“With its own bank notes, stamps and tax laws, Guernsey has an unusual relationship with the United Kingdom.” These are the opening lines of a recent Country Report: Guernsey by the International Custody & Fund Administration (ICFA, www.icfamagazine.com). A clear and concise article on how the growth of assets under management puts the island in third place on the financial stability index, behind Luxembourg and Malta can be accessed at www.guernseyfinance.com/files/Country%20Report%20-%20Guernsey.pdf

Just as the Commonwealth of Nations (www.commonwealth-of-nations.org) opens its twenty first conference in Perth, the Common Market for Central & Eastern Africa (COMESA, www.comesa.int), closes its fifteenth summit – in Malawi. The Commonwealth has embarked on a programme of assisting member countries in economic development through, for example, reform of the public sector, encouragement of the growth of the private sector, and promotion of trade and investment – through the setting up of a Commonwealth Business Council, the Commonwealth Private Investment Initiative, and the Trade and Investment Access Facility. COMESA’s vision is to “be a fully integrated, internationally competitive regional economic community with high standards of living for all its people ready to merge into an African Economic Community.” In both cases we see people involved with the big picture but we would like to see more of their laudable efforts being channelled into projects like microinsurance where the need as well as solutions have been identified. For more information on one such a solution, please go to the website of the Access to Insurance Initiative at www.access-to-insurance.org

Another such initiative is highlighted by the Lloyd’s Exposure Management team in the article www.lloyds.com/News-and-Insight/News-and-Features/Market-news/Industry-News-2011/Feeding-the-world

Lloyd’s hosted the launch of the U.K. Managing General Agents Association (MGAA, www.mgaa.co.uk). The goal of the MGAA is to provide a platform for agents to communicate with regulators and the insurance industry; it will also provide a focal point for the MGA sector to network and exchange ideas.

Did you know? Here are some interesting facts which could come in handy to know…

  • A cubic mile of fog is made up of less than a gallon of water
  • A full moon always arises at sunset and is nine times brighter than a half moon