Around 400 policymakers, regulators and insurers from over 40 different countries around the world gathered in Luxembourg on 27 May 2015 for Insurance Europe’s 7th International Insurance Conference. The theme of this year’s conference was the "globalisation of the insurance industry".
With Professor Karel Van Hulle as moderator, the world’s top insurers, regulators and supervisors discussed several important topics, including:
- The opportunities and challenges that the insurance industry faces from globalisation.
- Addressing the global insurance protection gap.
- Future-gazing about how the insurance industry can make the most of smart technology.
- The challenges of international regulation, its enforcement, coherence and effectiveness.
In the presence of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg, Insurance Europe president Sergio Balbinot opened the conference. He outlined the global and — also regional — regulatory developments which are shaping and impacting the insurance industry. "Insurance is more relevant than ever before. However, our current regulatory environment makes it hard to tell whether insurance is perceived by policymakers as part of the problem, or as part of the solution," he stressed. A copy of his speech can be found here.
Luxembourg finance minister, HE Pierre Gramegna, discussed the importance of insurers in Europe in general and in Luxembourg in particular. He also pointed out the importance of the European insurance industry as long-term investors.
Governor Dirk Kempthorne, chair of the Global Federation of Insurance Associations (GFIA), was the next to speak. He warned about the need for society to address the growing pension crisis, and the role that the insurance industry could play in tackling those challenges.
The conference then heard from European Commission vice-president Jyrki Katainen, who spoke about the need for increased investment in Europe and outlined how insurers could become more involved in that process.
The first panel discussion of the day included Henri de Castries, CEO and Chairman of Axa, Inga Beale, CEO of Lloyd's of London and Felix Hufeld, chair of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors.
During the discussion Mr de Castries pointed out the difficulty that supervisors would have in specifying what constitutes as non-traditional insurance and non-insurance activities (NTNI). Ms Beale outlined the negative effects of governments restricting access to their insurance markets through protectionist behaviour, and Mr Hufeld warned about the risks of overdoing conduct regulation in the insurance sector.
The conference then heard from Burkhard Balz MEP, who stressed the need for policymakers to recognise the difference between insurers and banks when designing regulation.
This was followed by a video address from the Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, Jonathan Hill, who acknowledged the important role that insurers play in stimulating growth in the economy.
After lunch several breakout sessions were held, which included:
- Addressing the global insurance protection gap with Anna Maria D’Hulster of the Geneva Association and Kai-Uwe Schanz of Dr. Schanz, Alms & Company AG and John Tan of Asia Capital Re.
- Bringing pensions to life with Nathalie Berger, head of the insurance and pensions unit at the European Commission and Xavier Larnaudie-Eiffel of CNP Assurances.
- Investing in infrastructure with Laurent Clamagirand of Axa, Wim Vermeir of Ageas and Cormac Murphy of the EIB.
- Adapting to extreme events with Jean-Jacques Henchoz and David N. Bresch of Swiss Re & Karen Clark of Karen Clark & Co.
- The use of smart technology for insurance, with Insurance Europe’s vice-president Torbjörn Magnusson and Aldo Monteforte of The Floow and Lionel Paillet of tech company Nest Labs.
Following the breakout sessions, there was a regulatory strategy panel, comprising of Dr Manuela Zweimueller, head of department regulations at the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA), Christina Urias, managing director of International Insurance Regulatory Affairs for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and Nathalie Berger, head of the insurance and pensions unit at the European Commission.
The day was then closed by Insurance Europe’s president, Sergio Balbinot.
Videos from the conference are also available on Insurance Europe's YouTube channel.
You can pre-register for the 8th International Insurance Conference on 25 May 2016 in Dublin by emailing [email protected] If you are interested in sponsoring this event, please contact David Bishop on +32 2 894 30 73.