RIMS Redirects Conference Focus

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At the recommendation of industry experts, the Risk andInsurance Management Society, Inc., announced that it is expandingthe scope of its annual conference to incorporate the impact of theSept. 11 terrorist attacks. The society also said it plans toexpand the reach of the conference, to draw in other professionalsthat may be involved in the risk management process.

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RIMS invited representatives from several companies andbrokerages, including Marsh, Aon, FM Global, American InternationalGroup and Tillinghast, to participate in a discussion aboutupdating the program for the next RIMS conference in light of theSept. 11 events, Jack Hampton, executive director of New York-basedRIMS, told National Underwriter.

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Mr. Hampton said the executives suggested several topics for theconference, which is set to take place on April 14-18 in NewOrleans.

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Suggestions include “market impacts as of April 2002,” he said.The executives “expect a broad range of impacts,” he said,“including capacity and alternative risk financing. Not justbusiness disruption, but all lines of insurance [are going] to beaffected,” he said.

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Jenny Emery, a principal for Tillinghast-Towers Perrin inWestogue, Conn., said she discussed her companys interest inwatching how the events of 9-11 may “potentially be a catalyst forsome real restructuring in the insurance industry,” drawing aparallel to “the capital crisis in the mid-80s and the boon it gaveto risk financing mechanisms.”

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Mr. Hampton said industry representatives foresee problems withthe insurance and reinsurance markets. They “advised us to makethis a conference that updates people from the normal way weve donebusiness in the past to [include information on] the types ofmarkets impacted and lessons learned” after the terrorist attacksof Sept. 11.

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Mike McDonald, vice president of conferences for RIMS, said theorganization traditionally strives to make its conference “asrelevant as possible.”

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“We try and maintain our flexibility in the event something doeshappen such as the tragedy that occurred on Sept. 11,” he said.

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To keep the contents relevant, Mr. McDonald said RIMS is doingseveral things. One is to devote “Hot Topics,” sessions–those helduntil last to include up-to-date subjects–to the effects of Sept.11 on the insurance industry.

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Also, “to the degree that they can,” RIMS will ask speakers “tomake their sessions more relevant to the world as it is after Sept.11,” he said.

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RIMS also plans to expand its outreach efforts to people whotraditionally might not attend a RIMS conference.

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“The tag line weve been using is now more than ever,” Mr.McDonald said. “You have smaller companies and some larger onesthat dont have risk professionals,” but do have treasurers andcertified public accountants that are often part of the riskmanagement process, he said.

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RIMS, he said, has consequently contacted the World Bank and theDepartment of Commerce, “who are going to promote our programthrough their channels, in the belief that its a global situationwere dealing with.”

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Mr. McDonald said the 2002 conference will be the 40th annualconference, and that the conference normally attracts about 10,000attendees.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Property &Casualty/Risk & Benefits Management Edition, November 5, 2001.Copyright 2001 by The National Underwriter Company in the serialpublication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as anindependent work may be held by the author.


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