NU Online News Service, Sept. 8, 10:19 a.m.EDT

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MONTE CARLO--The chief executive officers of 11 majorreinsurance operations announced formation here Sunday of theGlobal Reinsurance Forum, an international trade organization fortheir industry.

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The founding members of the GRF are Gen Re, Hannover Re,Lloyd's, Munich Re, Partner Re, RGA, SCOR, Swiss Re, Toa Re,Transatlantic Re and XL Capital.

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The CEOs are attending the "Rendez-Vous de Septembre" here, theannual international convention of insurers, reinsurers, brokersand reinsurance consultants.

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GRF's objective is to promote a "stable, innovative andcompetitive reinsurance market environment on a worldwide basis,"Denis Kessler, CEO of SCOR and chairman of the Global ReinsuranceForum, said at a press conference.

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He noted that the group acknowledges a number of similar tradeassociations--including the Reinsurance Association of America, theAssociation of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers, and others--and hasinformed them on the initiative. "They do a good job," he said."We'll work closely with them on reinsurance issues."

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Mr. Kessler explained that the GRF will be a charter group madeup of private companies. "An organization of CEOs--no cost, nofees, no staff. You will have a hard time to find us, but we wantto be reactive to issues."

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He added, "The announcement was made in Monte Carlo and thegroup will meet in Monte Carlo each year."

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Mr. Kessler said the forum will respect global cartelregulations and will not discuss prices, terms and conditions. Headded that the CEOs will discuss matters such as U.S. taxissues.

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Patrick Thiele, CEO of Partner Re, said the group's topics willinclude the regulatory climate and banking industry issues.

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Lloyd's Chairman Lord Peter Levene said, "This is a way ofgetting the major reinsurers together to talk together--asupplementary group."

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He added that the banking industry has "real problems, but ourindustry is in good shape--we want people to know this. Thefinancial crisis has brought this to the forefront."

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The forum said it seeks to:

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o Develop industry positions on regulatory, legal, tax andaccounting developments affecting the reinsurance industry.

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o Represent industry positions toward relevant regulatory andsupervising organizations, especially internationalorganizations.

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o Promote a worldwide, open and fair framework for thedevelopment of reinsurance markets.

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o Advance the understanding of the value of reinsurance to theeconomy.

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Mr. Kessler said in a statement that there currently is no"global representation for the reinsurance industry with the clearmandate to promote a regulatory framework that facilitates globalrisk transfer through reinsurance and other reinsurance-linkedcapital solutions.

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"GRF will also work in conjunction with local or regionalreinsurance associations on issues that have an internationaldimension."

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Other GRF representatives at the press conference were: StefanLippe, Swiss Re; Hiroshi Fukushima, Toa Re; Nikolaus Van Bomhard,Munich Re; Robert F. Orlich, Transatlantic Re; Ulrich Wallin,Hannover Re; Franklin Monhoss, Gen Re; and Mike McGavick, XL.

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