An innovative computer-assisted training tool
We invite you to discover IMS, an innovative dimension in insurance training. Insurance Management Simulation (IMS) is a state-of-the-art computer-based simulation of a real world insurance marketplace created by Swiss Re. IMS is offered for both the property & casualty and life & health insurance business.
IMS participants learn the the comprehensive decision-making process involved in operating an insurance company. They learn by doing, a technique acknowledged as one of the most effective learning methods. Swiss Re’s sophisticated computer simulation provides the opportunity for the participants being part of a company’s senior management team. IMS training focuses on an insurance company environment rather than a general business company. It enables an insurance marketplace created by other competing teams in the simulation. Through IMS a participant can:
- View all major aspects of running an insurance company
- Grasp the fundamentals of drafting and executing a business strategy
- Improve skills in analyzing and interpreting insurance financial statements
- Understand how management decisions affect financial results
- Predict consequences of core management decisions
- Strengthen teamwork skills as a member of an IMS management team
IMS bridges knowledge gaps
IMS responds effectively to fill an individual’s knowledge gap. The current trend towards insurance specialization makes it difficult for certain staff to participate in strategic decisions or know and understand the nature of corporate business plans. In IMS training, specialists assume management roles, encouraging them to see the “big picture.”
IMS complements broader training courses
In addition, IMS can be integrated as part of an insurance training program where specific lectures on management, financial statement analysis, and insurance operations complement the IMS training.
IMS allows participants to work with others
From time to time Swiss Re invites selected clients to nominate a representative to attend an IMS course. Your representative will participate in IMS along with participants from other companies in the industry. Learning through IMS occurs simultaneously with developing associations with industry peers.
Given the versatility of IMS, a wide variety of target groups may be defined depending upon the training scope of the IMS course. However, generally, participants hold mid-level positions in insurance companies. On occasion a company will nominate new members of the board of directors to attend an IMS course to give them a quick tutorage in insurance companies operations.
Participants should be interested in
- Gaining a comprehensive overview of insurance management processes
- Strengthening their knowledge of the effects of strategic and operational decisions on financial statements
- Learning in a teamwork environment
Profile of a participant
Participants who benefit most from IMS training generally have
- An interest in learning about other areas of an insurance company
- A readiness to participate in teamwork activities
- At least three years’ experience insurance roles such as underwriting, claims, accounting, actuarial, investment or marketing
A good command of English
Within the team, each team member assumes a corporate role. Ideally, the role chosen will differ from normal daily activities to achieve a better understanding of different areas within a company. Then, as a member of the executive team they manage the simulation company.
Through IMS, participants try to optimize the market position and build shareholder value for a fictitious insurance enterprise within the current economic market and competitive environment. Three to five competing insurance companies interact in the same market. The management team for each company develops and executes a corporate strategy and a business plan, and manages their “own” company for several years. Each participant assumes a function within the executive management of the company (CEO, CFO or SVP of underwriting, finance, marketing, administration or communication). Some activities are conducted in general sessions (the Board Room) where all companies come together, but the individual company does the majority of its work in a breakout room (the company headquarters). Although IMS allows up to 10 yearly simulations, the fundamental concepts can be grasped in fewer rounds. Also, adding related topics presented by Swiss Re associates or invited lecturers enriches the course. Consequently, several course designs are possible. The typical IMS course is a three-day format, however, two, four or five day agendas are possible.
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3|
|Introduction to IMS||Develop logo/slogan||Simulation of years 5 and 6|
|Organize the company||Launch a new product||Prepare board presentation game master review board presentation|
|Develop mission & strategy||Reinsurance negotiation||Course wrap up|
|Simulation of year 1||Simulation of year 3|
|Introduction to Reinsurance||Logo/slogan contest|
Simulation of year 2
Simulation of year 4
Decisions facing the management team
Each year (i.e. simulation round), the team makes decisions based on the current economic and regulatory environment. At the end of each year, companies receive a set of financial statements, showing the application of their decisions in a simulated market. Decisions encompass all major aspects of an insurance operation. The decisions for all companies are then entered into the IMS simulation software. Decisions of one company affect the market position of other companies.
IMS in a nutshell
Mega Insurance Group was hit by a monopoly lawsuit and is required to split the company into equal companies. You have been hired as part of the management team to manage one of the companies. Your management contract term is five years beginning today, January 1, Year 2021. At the end of the contract your team will be required to report to the Board of Directors.
Initially, all companies are identical. Your team must manage the company and make the insurance and financial management decisions based on the team’s management experience, the previous year’s experience, facts from competitor’s experience and economic and insurance industry forecasts. The results for the company depends on a combination of each team’s skills and the market conditions.
A set of facts is given to each company reflected on an income statement and balance sheet. Information is provided including the corporate structure, employee base, office locations, distribution channels, reinsurance programs and core product lines. The market price of the company’s stock and its market share of each product line are affected by the company’s decisions and those of its competitors.
After the results for the final year are known, the management team prepares a presentation to the Board of Directors disclosing the company strategy and showing the financial progress of the company during the term of their management.
Although there is competition among the companies, there is not necessarily a winner. The IMS experience reinforces to the participants that there is more than one way to achieve company goals.
Simulation game master
Swiss Re provides an IMS Game Master to run the simulation. In addition to moderating the IMS course and running the simulation program, the Game Master acts as the company advisor, chair of the board of directors, the insurance commissioner, and tax authority. Also, the Game Master sets the market conditions and passes regulations from time to time to regulate market conduct and solvency standards. In other words the Game Master is there to assist the companies and to make the simulation challenging and a true learning experience.
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