The Monte Carlo Mood

Each year for the last 53 years, the global property and casualty industry’s key players have met in September in Monte Carlo to kick off the annual renewal round. This year was no exception, with Swiss Re making a strong showing. Attention at the event was of course centred on the global financial crisis and the challenges it has created.

As part of its programme at Monte Carlo, Swiss Re hosted a discussion about the more far-reaching consequences of the crisis.

Entitled “A crisis: what’s the use, what’s the purpose?”, the spirited discussion featured Swiss Re’s Head of Client Markets Michel M. Liès, the company’s Chief Risk Officer Raj Singh and Financial Times writer Gillian Tett in a spirited discussion.

Mr Liès looked at the impact on the global re/insurance industry, and highlighted the need to quickly re-focus from pre-crisis to post-crisis priorities as a means to future-proofing the business.

Ms Tett discussed the challenge of re-building credibility in the financial sector, studying the three root problems at the base of the credit crisis and what must be done in each case for companies to regain credit and creditability.

Mr Singh discussed the impact on risk management and regulation, including the deficiencies the crisis brought to light, and the lessons learned. He urged the insurance industry to make its voice heard to avoid inappropriate regulatory reactions and to secure incentives for sound risk and capital management.

About the coming renewals, Swiss Re’s CEO Stefan Lippe pointed out, “Our top priority is to deploy capacity and innovative solutions for the benefit of our clients and shareholders. Conditions in the reinsurance market have been improving throughout 2009. In a difficult market environment, we have demonstrated that Swiss Re’s client franchise is powerful and that we deliver value to our clients.”

September 2009

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