Over 350 insurers, policymakers and regulators gathered in Malta on 12 June 2014 for Insurance Europe's 6th International Insurance Conference, which focussed on the significant challenges facing the insurance industry.
The world’s top insurers, regulators and supervisors tackled issues such as the low interest rate environment; the “tsunami” of insurance regulation; increased longevity and retirement provision; and keeping pace with technology.
Insurance Europe President, Sergio Balbinot, outlined the regulatory challenges faced by the industry in his opening speech highlighting that “the more than 130 regulatory initiatives can create undesirable effects, such as unintended consequences, additional costs and administrative burden, not to mention overlaps and contradictions among national, regional and international regulatory requirements.”
Maltese Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, discussed the importance of insurers in Malta and how his country continues to be at the forefront as a financial services and insurance regulation system in Europe. (Maltese News at 13:20)
In his keynote speech, Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for the internal market and services, outlined the importance of the European insurance industry as a long-term investor. He said that regulators have a duty to facilitate this role and that the European Commission wants to revive sustainable securitisation markets in Europe.
Burkhard Balz, Member of the European Parliament, shared his views on the development of a European and global regulatory environment for insurers, emphasising the need for international convergence in the regulatory provisions and the supervisor practice.
The first panel discussion of the day featured EIOPA's Gabriel Bernardino, Jean-Jacques Henchoz of Swiss Re and Fernando Solís Soberón of the Grupo Financiero Banorte. They debated the most likely issues to affect the insurance industry in the coming decade.
New this year were the interactive break-out sessions to complement the plenary activities:
- Laurent Clamagirand, Group chief investment & ALM officer Axa, discussed how to improve insurer's investment environment,
- Robert Tremblay, Director research, Insurance Bureau of Canada, explained how to integrate future climate data into modeling,
- Jacques Amselem, CEO Allianz Telematics, explained how telematics in cars can be used to fight fraud and customisation,
- Torbjörn Magnusson, Vice-president of Insurance Europe, discussed how the insurance industry is responding to technological change, and,
- Nick Sherry, Senior advisor Citi Australia, discussed pensions issues and demographic challenges.
In his keynote speech Svein Andresen, secretary general of the Financial Stability Board, focused on the efforts by the FSB to reduce systemic risk in the insurance industry. He was followed by Peter Braumüller, chairman of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, who discussed in his keynote speech the global insurance trends that have and will affect the IAIS work for the years to come.
The final conference’s panel debate on international standards came just as the field testing of the basic capital requirement draws to a close. Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine, Makoto Okubo of Nippon Life, Klaus Wiedner of the European Commission's insurance & pensions unit and Allianz' Thomas Wilson, discussed the effect new standards will have on the world’s insurers.
The conference #InsConf14 was also tweeted live throughout the day via @InsuranceEurope, including photos, video links, comments of attendees and much more. The conference video footage is available via Insurance Europe's YouTube channel.