Guy Carpenter hosted (re)insurance industry executives from the western region of the United States on March 4 for a two-day event to discuss the challenges of managing risk and capital in a precarious economic climate. The event, “Shelter from the Storm: Managing Risk and Capital in Rough Seas,” included presentations by some of Guy Carpenter’s leading thinkers on issues from the cost and availability of capital to the effectiveness of models and the advantages of implementing an Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) framework. Ultimately, all discussions pointed back to the one crucial issue that cedents and markets will face in 2009: how to protect their balance sheets from the dual risks of financial and insured losses.
Jim Bowman, Senior Vice President, one of the event’s originators, recognized during the planning stage that “we needed to address the elephant in the room, the current economic crisis.” Risk assessment, he continued, seemed to have been lost somewhere along the way, and he and the team felt that “we needed to examine the very nature of risk, the correlation of risk, and the various tools we have developed to measure risk.”
To guide attendees through these discussions, several leading thinkers were engaged early to prepare an integrated agenda to address the integrated process of risk and capital management. Guy Carpenter Managing Directors Gary Venter, Ryan Ogaard, Scott Lohman, Don Mango, Cliff Rich, Harry Oellrich and Global Chief Economist Joan Lamm-Tennant presented on their areas of expertise, sharing their views on the state of the reinsurance marketplace, the effect of the crisis on rating agency behavior, and many other topics integral to effective enterprise risk management. David Priebe, Chairman of Global Client Development, addressed the issue of capital constraints and the use of capital markets to transfer insurance risk. Andrew Marcell, CEO - Americas Broking Operations, Scott Goodell, Managing Director & Western Region Manager, Aaron Bueler and Jim Bowman served as facilitators throughout the event. Breakout sessions offered participants the opportunity to explore particular topics in greater detail.
This unique, invitation-only event offered a forum in which industry leaders could speak frankly about the factors currently shaping the market — and their implications through 2009 and into the future.