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Risk Management and Transfer: the Insurance Sector

Although much of the focus of the regulatory response in the wake of this crisis has focused on the banking sector, the insurance industry too has been swept up in the turmoil and of course had been facing changing rules regarding its own capital requirements even before this crisis hit. The insurance sector provides a critical role in financial intermediation and in the coming years will play a key role in helping manage risk and transformation on financial instruments. In the developed world, ageing populations and strained budget deficits are putting severe strains on both private and public sector balance sheets. In the emerging world, fast economic growth and relatively underdeveloped financial systems suggest both a broadening and deepening of financial systems involving not just the growth in long-tem contractual savings institutions, but also the capital markets in which such institutions necessarily invest in. Moreover, despite the latest financial crisis, the level of international capital flows, particularly between developing countries, has remained remarkably robust. Facilitating these global capital flows will be an integral role for the insurance sector to play for many years to come.

The ICFR is keen to examine the insurance sector in two distinct but related areas: the first of these is an examination of the future role of the insurance sector in the more developed markets, including what role they will play in a financial system in which banks may be constrained by regulatory capital measures and other forms of restrictions of activity. Restoring confidence to the securitisation market and helping develop other ways of redistributing risk in traditional markets will be a vital function for the insurance sector.

Secondly, the ICFR is seeking to encourage research into a range of issues relating to the broadening and deepening of insurance intermediation in the developing countries: this covers not only the growth of the sector itself, but also the necessary regulatory and supervisory framework which must necessarily accompany such growth.

To this end, the ICFR has teamed up with the EDHEC Business School to put on a joint conference on “Enterprise Risk Management and Corporate Governance for Insurance Firms” on 17 May 2011 at the brand new EDHEC Business School in Roubaix, France.  In connection with this conference a call for papers has been issued and we now invite researchers and industry thought leaders to submit papers which are relevant to the purpose and main theme of this conference.
 

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