Atlas Magazine December 2005

The profession's hazards

Reinsurance, the insurance companies' ultimate shield against losses, is inexorably growing into a highly risky business which is accessible only to the initiated.

This role of last defender to the system is growing even harder to assume properly by the entire business. Each big catastrophe takes its toll on reinsurers who either pull out of the market or put an end to their operations.

Those who make it and manage to maintain their position are compelled to come up with solutions and design strategies in order to defend and consolidate it. Adjustment policies stand for: redeployment, shrinking portfolios, restructuring plans and staff redundancies.

Within this frame of struggle for survival, keeping quiet equals certain death. Those who stand a chance of making it are the ones with the greatest readiness to fight.

Who can still recall Mercantile & General, Victory, Skandia, Gerling, Frankona or Unione Italiana? All of them have either vanished or given up reinsurance underwriting.

In such rocky times, one has to be responsive since waiting game is over! As to purchasers, they are getting scarcer and more demanding.

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