January 5th, 2016

GC Capital Ideas Top Stories: Fourth Quarter 2015

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

1. Microinsurance Consortium and Venture Incubator Announces New Name: The Microinsurance Consortium, led by a group of leading companies in the insurance industry, announced a new name for their microinsurance venture incubator (MVI) - Blue Marble Microinsurance. The consortium consists of American International Group, Inc., Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited, Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC together with Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., Hamilton Insurance Group, Ltd., Old Mutual plc, Transatlantic Reinsurance Company, XL Catlin, and Zurich Insurance Group.

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2. Chart: Global Property Catastrophe ROL Index 1990 to 2015: The Guy Carpenter Global Property Catastrophe Rate on Line (ROL) index is presented for 1990 through 2015.

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3. Risk Profile, Appetite, and Tolerance: Fundamental Concepts in Risk Management and Reinsurance Effectiveness: Prior to the recent turbulence in the financial markets, insurers and reinsurers were increasing their use of enterprise risk management (ERM) to make risk and capital management decisions. While this was driven in part by rating agencies and regulators, many carriers began to recognize the value of metric-based frameworks and capital models in evaluating their portfolios.

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4. Marsh & McLennan Companies Publishes Cyber Risk Handbook: Cyber risk is an escalating threat and one of the most challenging issues facing the world today. Attacks are becoming more frequent, more intense and more sophisticated. Motivations are wide-ranging - from financial gain to threatening critical infrastructure and national security - and the nature of attacks is constantly changing. With cyber risk, there is an active adversary so defenses need to be increasingly sophisticated to keep pace.

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5. Fifth Annual Insurance Risk Benchmarks Report from Guy Carpenter: Guy Carpenter & Company announced the release of the 2015 Insurance Risk Benchmarks Report titled, Risk and Opportunity In the year of ORSA: Annual Statistical Review. The report is produced annually through Guy Carpenter’s ongoing Insurance Risk Benchmarks research project, which focuses robust analytics on risk and performance in the U.S. property/casualty (P&C) insurance industry.

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6. Cyber Risks: Aggregation: Businesses and (re)insurers should be concerned by risk aggregation, given the possibility of single attacks leading to losses across a large number of firms, which can create counter-party risk for the insured and potential failure for the insurer. At the moment, a large systemic event has not materialized, but that does not mean that the risk is not present.

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7. Port of Tianjin Explosions Set to Become One of Asia’s Largest Insured Man-Made Loss Events: Potential Losses Between USD 1.6 Billion to USD 3.3 Billion: Guy Carpenter released a report on the Port of Tianjin Explosions. The report provides initial loss estimates and outlines the many variables involved in assessing the losses emanating from the two massive initial explosions that occurred at Tianjin Port on August 12 of this year.

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8. Cyber Risk: As businesses, both large and small, throughout all sectors of industry, become more and more reliant on technology to improve service efficiencies and functionalities, cyber risk has become one of the most pressing public topics addressed in corporate boardrooms and by governments across the globe. The corresponding awareness of a business’s susceptibility to a cyber-attack has grown along with a spate of high-profile attacks. Consequently, cyber risk is now an embedded feature of the global risk landscape, not only as a privacy/network liability, which is where much of the publicity has arisen, but also as a peril affecting traditional insurance lines. Therefore, preventative and post-event remediation are gaining importance as shareholders, regulators and rating agencies are increasingly focused on enterprise risk management activities for cyber risks.

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9. Reinsurance Mergers and Acquisitions Deja-vu, Buyers Beware: Since 2014, there have been four mergers and acquisitions (M&As) within the reinsurance space that are pure consolidations rather than transactions by an acquirer from outside the sector. To date, we estimate that this consolidation wave has affected some USD 11 billion of net premium income and 5 percent of the global reinsurance market. However, that is short of the USD 16 billion and 13 percent, respectively, for the mid-1990s. There is nothing unusual about M&A. It is a cyclical phenomenon and very much in tune with the broader financial market environment.

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10. Regulatory Challenges and Opportunities for (Re)insurers: (Re)insurers are being challenged as the regulatory environment becomes more complex, with regulation increasing considerably at multiple levels in numerous jurisdictions throughout the world. Insurers are facing new costs and pressures in their efforts to manage the regulatory landscape.

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