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A Brilliant RIMS
Perhaps it’s hometown prejudice,
but I can’t recall an annual
meeting of the Risk and Insurance
Management Society that rivaled
the one we just had in Philadelphia.
Disclosure: Our offices are
located in Montgomery County, just
north of the city.
So maybe part of my appreciation
for this RIMS past was my
familiarity with the Philadelphia
Museum of Art, where I attended
an excellent XL Catlin event, or the
tantalizing stalls and lunch counters
of the Reading Terminal Market,
which abuts the Pennsylvania
I think that’s part of it. But there
is another, more important part.
We know that the science and art
of risk transfer is changing. This is
not your uncle’s insurance business.
This RIMS made it all the more
clear to me that the role insurance
will play going forward will be that
much more integrated with the
public and private sectors. Insurance
executive thought leadership is also
needed now more than ever.
We are encountering systemic
risks; sea rise, volatile weather;
political torsion. All of these risks
are massive, shared risks. They
outstrip the traditional insured/
insurer transactional relationship and
demand a much more engaged and
vigorous plan of action.
These risks sound dangerous, and
to many, unfortunately, they are. But
this new dynamic is exciting.
No industry is better prepared to
act as the glue between the needs of
the private sector and the decision
making of the public sector than
insurance is. No industry may be
My sense from this RIMS is
that our industry leaders know this.
They’re thinking about it and ready
to act on it.
That’s just brilliant.
IAN DAVIS TO BECOME VERMONT
DIRECTOR OF FINANCIAL SERVICES
Ian Davis, most recently Policy
Specialist for the State of Vermont’s
Agency of Commerce & Community
Development, will replace Dan
Towle as the next Director of
Financial Services. The director
works in close partnership with the
Captive Insurance Division at the
Department of Financial Regulation
and the Vermont Captive Insurance
Towle served in the position for
17 years and left to become the next
President of the Captive Insurance
Companies Association (CICA),
effective April 24, 2017.
Vermont was recently recognized
as the 2016 U.S. Captive Domicile of
the Year and Non-European Union
Domicile of the Year in 2016.
INSURERS SUE SAUDI COMPANIES
OVER 9/11 ATTACKS
More than two dozen U.S. insurers
affiliated with Travelers Cos.
have sued two Saudi banks, other
companies affiliated with Osama bin
Laden’s family, and several charities
for at least $4.2 billion in relation to
the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S.
District Court in Manhattan in an
effort to hold entities in Saudi Arabia
liable for the attacks.
The 10 defendants in the lawsuit
include Al Rajhi Bank, National
Commercial Bank, aviation contractor
Dallah Avco, the Mohamed Binladin
Co, the Muslim World League, and
They were accused in the lawsuit
of having “aided and abetted” the
President Trump moves to undo Obama-era regulations on financial institutions.
attacks through a variety of “activities
in support of al Qaeda” in the years
leading up to them.
Their lawsuit seeks at least $1.4
billion in compensatory damages, triple
damages and punitive damages.
REFORM AND OBAMACARE
TAX CREATE HEALTH PLAN
UnitedHealth Group Inc. reported
strong results for the first quarter of
2017, but said uncertainty over health
care law in the U.S. is affecting pricing
of its 2018 plans.
The 3 percent tax collected on
all health insurance plans is due to
take effect again next year under the
Affordable Care Act, after a hiatus in
2017, but the possibility of a new law
going into place has thrown a wrench
into some insurers’ plans.
As a result, U.S. health insurers are
uncertain about how to price their
plans and what benefits to include
in 2018. Those selling Obamacare
individual plans are particularly
affected by these and other regulatory
UnitedHealth, the biggest U.S.
health insurer, pulled out of the
individual insurance market created
under Obamacare this year.
RAPID FIRST QUARTER BROKER
Broker mergers and acquisitions
jumped in the U.S. and Canada in the
first quarter of 2017, up 55 percent
compared with the prior-year period,
according to Optis Partners.
There were 68 buyers in the
quarter. Included in the top five buyers
are BroadStreet Partners and Arthur J.
Gallagher — each with 10 acquisitions
— and Hub International, with eight.
Private equity-backed brokers
accounted for 93 transactions, followed
by private brokers, with 49. Public
brokers accounted for 17, while
insurance companies completed 11.
Banks accounted for seven transactions.
In February, Optis said huge
private-equity demand continues
to fuel broker acquisitions during a
seller’s market. Optis identified 449
transactions in 2016, seven fewer than
in the year before.
TRUMP ORDER TARGETS OBAMA
President Trump ordered his Treasury
secretary Steven Mnuchin to review
regulatory measures put in place by
the Obama administration in 2016
intended to curtail corporate tax
Obama’s Treasury Department
acted to limit corporate inversions
— in which American companies
merge with foreign companies to take
advantage of lower tax rates abroad.
It achieved this by adjusting existing
regulations, rather than banning
inversions outright because that would
have required Congress to overhaul
the tax code.
Critics of President Trump said
that if the reviews that he requested
became policy it would represent a
return to the freewheeling days that
led to the 2008 financial crisis. The
review is seen as part of his promise
to roll back regulations on Wall
Street. But viewed alone, undoing the
rules would appear to contradict his
campaign pledge to reduce incentives
for companies to invert.