Analysis of Dutch insurers’ Solvency and Financial Condition Reports

In May 2017, the first Solvency and Financial Condition Reports (SFCRs) were published for year-end 2016. This report by Milliman consultants provides a summary of key solvency information related to various life and non-life insurance entities in the Netherlands based on their SFCRs. The report also focuses on the largest consolidated insurance groups.

Investigating inclusive insurance demand in Ethiopia

One important barrier to insurance markets that are more inclusive is the necessity to better understand the needs of low-income and other un-served and underserved populations. This study provides data and information regarding critical inputs to key microinsurance product development opportunities and requirements in Ethiopia. By examining the risks that low-income people face, how they manage them, and identifying gaps, the market can gain valuable inputs into product design, including benefits to offer, better distribution approaches, and marketing and communications strategies.

The authors of the study are MicroInsurance Centre’s Katie Biese and Michael J. McCord, World Bank Group’s Craig Thorburn, EA Consultants’ Katherine Baez (EA Consultants), and Eamon Kelly.

Milliman’s Adam Schenck makes the public speaking rounds

Milliman’s Adam Schenck has been making the public speaking rounds. In this video Schenck, who is Managing Director, Portfolio Management at Milliman FRM, is interviewed by ETF Trends’ Tom Lydon about risk management strategies that can be built in to Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs).

Schenck also spoke at the Global Financial Leadership Conference in November as part of a panel on the global market outlook and opportunities for the coming year. Led by CNBC’s Ron Insana, Schenck was joined by Societe Generale Chairman Lorenzo Bini Smaghi and Virtu Financial founder Vincent Viola.

Global Financial Leadership Conference. Image credit: Steven Kovich Photography.

Recent developments in conduct risk management

For a number of years now, legislators from around the globe have poured huge energy and resources into assisting with the development, and in some cases complete reworking, of their prudential regulatory regimes. Local regulatory authorities have been similarly active in the implementation of these changes. Finally, the dust is starting to settle on this latest wave of change, with the likes of Solvency II for insurers now in place in Europe, and the Own Risk and Solvency Assessment (ORSA), in its various guises, firmly recognised globally as a key cornerstone of best practice when it comes to sound solvency management.

Now attention is slowly but surely starting to turn to conduct, the second key function of regulatory authorities, and legislators have become active again. Recent years have seen conduct risk push its way ever higher up the agenda. What do we mean by conduct risk though? The International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) has succinctly described it as ‘the risk to customers, insurers, the insurance sector or the insurance market that arises from insurers and/or intermediaries conducting their business in a way that does not ensure fair treatment of customers.’ The chair of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) has stated that ‘the scale of misconduct in some financial institutions has risen to a level that has the potential to create systemic risks.’ Such observations have served to further place conduct risk management in the spotlight, not just in the insurance industry but across the whole spectrum of financial services firms.

So what has been happening in this space? At a global level, the IAIS and the FSB have both been active. The IAIS has, through its Insurance Core Principles (ICPs), set out a number of key conduct requirements, namely suitability of persons (ICP5), corporate governance (ICP7), risk management and internal controls (ICP8) and conduct of business (ICP19). The FSB, charged with developing and promulgating global financial policies designed to minimise the likelihood of another financial crisis, has published a number of reports on measures to tackle misconduct in financial services. In May last year, it published a report setting out the next steps in its work to consider the role that governance frameworks have to play in reducing misconduct. It listed the following five themes as key elements of conduct risk management:

1. Clearly defined corporate strategy and risk appetite with relevant controls.
2. Appropriate expertise, stature, responsibility, independence, prudence, transparency and oversight on the part of board members and control functions.
3. Corporate culture.
4. Effective control environment.
5. Appropriate people management and incentives.

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ERM best practices and considerations for Asian insurers

A strong risk management function within an insurance company allows threats to be managed and opportunities to be captured across every unit and level of the enterprise. Taking a holistic approach to risk enables organisations to optimally prioritise responses and allocate resources to manage risk exposures. It can also help identify significant risks that may have been overlooked through traditional compliance risk management practices.

Developing a risk management framework is an ongoing process that involves strategy and objective setting, risk identification, risk assessment, risk monitoring and risk incidence procedures. A well-defined framework addresses such items as the interaction of the executive risk management committee with the staff who are identifying risks, the criteria for measuring the likelihood and severity of risks and the design of questionnaires, workshops and other methods of identifying risks. With such a risk management programme in place, a company can improve the quality of internal and external customer service, protect its financial and human capital resources and safeguard the organisation’s reputation.

In this report, Milliman’s Shoaib Hussain, Pingni Eng, and Jessica Pang examine risk management best practices from their discussions with participants, global regulatory developments, and global Milliman perspectives. The authors also discuss key challenges and areas of focus for the development and evolution of risk management in Asia.

Brief study of UK health insurers’ first SFCRs

Solvency and Financial Condition Reports (SFCRs) contain a number of Quantitative Reporting Templates (QRTs). They are an important source of information on a company’s financial position under Solvency II. This report by Milliman’s Joanne Buckle and Didier Serre compares and contrasts the information in selected QRTs of 13 health insurers in the United Kingdom.