Over 200 senior executives from the re/insurance sector gathered in Croke Park on the 25th of May for the European Insurance Forum (EIF2017). Running since 1999, it is a signature event in the reinsurance and captive management calendar. The conference’s reach was the biggest to-date with the addition of Insurance Ireland’s domestic membership: this included their participation on panel sessions, including Insurance Ireland’s President, and Deputy CEO and Finance Director of Allianz Worldwide Care, Frank Mee, who joined a global panel of thought leaders and experts to debate key issues facing the industry.
The conference under the banner, Change the game, had a mix of panel sessions, presentations and keynotes speakers, including the charismatic Denis Kessler, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of SCOR SE who engaged delegates with his overview, likening the forces that are shaping our industry to headwinds, tailwinds and crosswinds. His references included “re-fragmentation of the world after 30 years of globalisation”, “the rise of the 3 ps, patriotism, populism and protectionism”, “the expansion of the risk universe”, “the influx of capital” and how “capital movements shape always the destiny of an industry”, and “artificial intelligence will be a big disrupter in the future”.
Paul Mason, award winning British journalist, broadcaster and author, used WB Yeats to form his keynote, Things Fall Apart as he assessed the geopolitical landscape. He suggested the explanation for the withdrawal of consent in the western world is down to the absence of a coherent story of how things can get better for this generation and the next. We have entered an era of “regulatory fragmentation”: we are seeing a change from economic risk to political risk.
Brexit was a common thread across the conference with debate and discussion assessing its impact and opportunity. Helen Walsh, Executive Director, Cicero Group suggested “Brexit is giving the opportunity to the EU 27 to actually redesign the regulatory framework to prevent the supervisory fragmentation and supervisory gaps that is being talked about”. Garvan O’Neill, Director of Group Finance, Legal & General, UK said what is good in Ireland is “.. there is absolute clarity around what is expected in Ireland, it is written down..” versus in other competing jurisdictions where what is expected is based on an understanding.
Other topics covered included the low interest rate environment, the changing tax landscape, technology trends and the regulatory environment.
The conference was followed by a tour of the Croke Park museum, cocktail reception and gala dinner.
EIF2017’s gold sponsor was Scor.
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View a selection of EIF2017 photos