October 26th, 2012

Week’s Top Stories: October 20 - 26, 2012

Posted at 10:30 AM ET

Risk Preference Function - Embedding Risk-Reward in Capital Allocation: Capital allocation decisions are among the most important decisions made by company management. Through our own research and thought leadership and our observance of best practices at clients around the world, Guy Carpenter’s Enterprise Risk Management Advisory practice has compiled a set of leading practices around capital allocation for (re)insurers.

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Baden-Baden Reinsurance Symposium Considers the Opportunities and Threats Created by Volatility: Guy Carpenter hosted “Volatility - Opportunity or Threat?” the Reinsurance Symposium held in Baden-Baden on October 21. The event examined how volatility is viewed within the insurance and reinsurance sectors, particularly from a financial perspective, and explored the potential that market turbulence can generate.

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Model Suitability Analysis (MSA)SM - Own Your View of Risk: The quantification of catastrophe risk through the use of numerical models is accepted routine in our industry. Given the large impact of catastrophe risk on (re)insurance portfolios it is no surprise that the methodologies used for such quantifications are becoming the subject of more intense scrutiny by regulators and risk managers. Whether the motivation is internal, external or both, efforts are now in full swing towards acquiring a deeper understanding and a more sophisticated use of catastrophe risk model results - the path to “own your view of risk.”

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Capital Models - What Lies Beneath: A robust capital model can be a great tool to help run a (re)insurance business. It is a given that capital models rely on a huge wealth of assumptions, and it is the quality of these assumptions that determine how useful the model is. There is an emphasis on those assumptions that are explicit, for example, catastrophe model outputs, premium rates and reserve volatility. But there is another type of assumption - that which is implicit. These assumptions can have a very material impact on the model results.

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Cold Spots Heating Up: Executive Summary: The succession of costly and global catastrophe losses over the last few years has had a wide-ranging impact on the (re)insurance sector. Since 2010, (re)insurers have been hit by powerful earthquakes in Chile, New Zealand and Japan, while devastating floods also caused widespread damage in Australia and Thailand. The exceptional cluster of global natural catastrophes in 2011 in particular emphasized increasing risk in emerging markets. The result has been unexpectedly expensive ‘cold spot’ losses in areas that were not considered as risky in the past.

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And, you may have missed…..

Terrorism: Global Terror Attacks and Hotspots: The increasingly diverse and dispersed threat has seen worldwide terrorist activity rise in recent years. The number of global terrorist attacks peaked at more than 14,400 in 2006. Although there has been a slight dip in the number of attacks over the last five years, they remain at historically high levels. Attacks increased dramatically in Afghanistan and Iraq following the deployment of coalition combat troops. Several other countries have also witnessed a big jump in terrorist activity recently, including Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

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