In recent years, major developments have occurred in the insurance and reinsurance world. Fundamental changes are taking place gradually. Walls that historically separated insurance companies from financial houses, from intermediaries and consultants, are being dismantled, and major players have executed strategic repositioning plans in order to alleviate their exposure to risk, to become more efficient and to be perceived to satisfy the needs of their customers.
Smaller companies are struggling due to limited expertise, financial strength, lack of negotiating muscle and market access. Larger companies must expand at ever-faster rates in order to keep pace with ever-increasing costs and in order to satisfy the rapidly-growing ranks of financial regulators, analysts and credit rating watchdogs. Companies are viewing distribution and supply chains, and also customers, as potential business partners. Mergers and acquisitions are occurring even outside traditional operating arenas.
However, navigating in this dynamic business climate is not easy and proper long term solutions are not straightforward. Many outcomes are mismatched and poorly resourced. As organizations get bigger, problems multiply. The chances of failure are high and costs are reaching astronomical levels. Specialization is difficult and expensive for all and the provision of a vast and extensive range of services and expertise across the board is not practical. Independent technical advice is not easily available.
Insurance companies need to gain access to bigger markets and to extend products and services while limiting their exposure to risks. Effective business solutions are more complex, need to be more creative, and more global. This is often beyond the scope of in-house resources and existing relationships. The reinsurance companies cannot afford to wait for the insurers to come to them to extend their business. Capacity is limited. They also have to identify markets, carry out the needed research and analysis, and offer more creative solutions and support to a greater range of risks. The reinsurers must find ways to get closer to markets, to big players, and large networks.
Banks and other finance houses are also looking at the insurance sector, and the organizations therein to obtain access to markets, products and service expansion. We have seen the growth of alternative risk financing, of banc assurance and of banks setting up both life and non-life insurance subsidiaries in various countries. Resources and expertise are very limited and stretched here again.
More than ever, large corporate and public groups need to share risks and work in partnership with the risk-carriers and their administrators. They need assistance in such difficult and complex areas.
The successful modern business approach is independent risk management with more sophisticated advisory services of risk assessment, market and business evaluation, creatively engineered solutions, out-sourced administration, and access to new markets.
Today, all the players in this market and industry require intensive expertise in all fields and branches of insurance and reinsurance. They require extensive and world-wide expertise across all types of locations and scenarios. They require creative expertise to identify issues and opportunities, and to design innovative and integrated solutions. They require cross-border lateral thinking. They require professional and operational expertise to set up solutions in-house or externally, and ensure that they work. They require an extensive and sophisticated bank of relationships, contacts and distribution options to develop business and solutions at the highest levels across the global network. They require quality communication skills to ensure that operations are kept tight, that controls are in place and that no opportunities are lost.