International Co-operative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) (1997)

This document has been made available in electronic format
by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
July, 1997
(Source: ICA Review, Vol.90 No.2 - Annual Report 1996-1997, pp.49-53)

International Co-operative and Mutual Insurance Federation 
Report by Tan Kin Lian/Hans Dahlberg

Executive Committee
Chairman: 	Tan Kin Lian (Singapore) 
Vice-Chairmen: 	Enea Mazzoli  (Italy);  Koichiro Koeda (Japan); 
Dimon R. McFerson  (USA)

Members: 	Alfredo Gonzalez Moledo (Argentina); Siegfried Sellitsch (Austria);  
Terry Squire (Canada); Jurgen Förterer (Germany); 
Lakshmanan Meyyappan (Malaysia); Hakan Tidlund (Sweden); David Hollas (UK)

Ex officio:	Hans Dahlberg , Chief Executive, ICMIF; Jacques Forest,
Chairman, ACME; Julio Enrique Medrano Leon, Chairman, AAC/MIS; 
Vacant, Chairman, AFRA

A Global Reach for Local Strength
ICMIF is also known as:

*	Federation Internationale des Cooperatives et Mutuelles 
*	Kokusai Kyodokumiai Hoken Rengo
*	Internationaler Verband Genossenschaftlicher und 
Wechselseitiger 	Versicherungen

*	Federacion Internacional de Cooperativas y Mutuales de Seguros

ICMIF members also belong to four regional associations, in Europe,
the Americas, Asia and Africa.

ICMIF represents more than 160 insurers belonging to 100 member 
organizations in 61 countries, including six observers.

The ICMIF core functions are as follows:
*	Maintaining members' unique identity
*	Building membership and encouraging direct member contact
*	Facilitating and managing joint projects
*	Guiding shared intelligence
*	Providing reinsurance access and professional service
*	Extending and co-ordinating development assistance
*	Organizing conferences, seminars and other meetings
*	Enhancing internal and external communications
*	Maintaining active external relations
*	Managing a capital support facility

Over recent years, reinsurance markets have seen declining prices
and this trend continued at the 1996 renewal. There was a rush by 
bigger players, and those who wanted to get bigger, to buy smaller 
and, in some cases, not-so-small players.

The reinsurance committee's view is that the current market presents a great 
opportunity for ICMIF members to strengthen themselves individually 
and collectively through the exchange of reinsurance business. It is not only 
desirable, as a fundamental aim of reinsurance services, but also 
essential, ensuring that members help one another to achieve a 
satisfactory spread of reinsurers. It will also enable reinsurance 
services to offset the 1996 results, as the amount of reinsurance 
business exchanged -- among 57 members in 36 countries -- fell by 
9.9% to GBP 42.3 million (14.3% if adjusted for currency exchange 
rate fluctuation).

Despite the shortfall, 1996 was something of a watershed year in 
that the Meeting of Reinsurance Officials (MORO) held in Costa Rica, 
for the first time was based entirely on group activity for a reinsurance 
business simulation, attracting over 70 participants. The simulation was run 
on two further occasions in 1996, with more in 1997. A new simulation
is being prepared for the next MORO.

Following approval by the board of directors in 1995, ICMIF registered a 
new company called Reinsurance Services Limited (RS Ltd) in Guernsey at
the beginning of July 1996. It enables ICMIF to assist in placing 
members' business into the open reinsurance market when required, 
and means that ICMIF now offers a full reinsurance service to members.

At last year's reinsurance committee meeting, ICMIF presented its 
intention to develop an added-value project every two years. The 
project approved by the committee was the development of a 
computer-based model for evaluating alternative proportional treaty
structures and a model for the assessment of excess-of-loss
quotations. This is scheduled for 1998.

ICMIF helps people-oriented movements look into the feasibility of 
Meeting their insurance needs more effectively through enterprises 
they themselves may own and control. It also arranges technical assistance 
and, where practical and possible, financial assistance from appropriate 
sources for member organizations in various stages of development.

In 1996, in line with the trend more recently, assistance of the 
first kind--looking into new programmes--was in demand much less 
than facilitating problem-solving for existing member companies.

Aside from some ground-breaking in eastern and central Europe - 
chiefly Bulgaria, Latvia and Russia -- a feasibility study was carried out in 
Sri Lanka and a notable initiative towards a new programme taken in 
the biggest market in South America, Brazil -- a first for ICMIF.

Among existing members, CIS Kenya continued to require regular, 
intensive management consultation -- in the wake of a historic rescue 
package ICMIF had put together for it in 1995.

Another significant challenge ICMIF addressed during the year was 
to help meet the long-standing need to bring about unification of 
co-operative insurance programmes in the Philippines. Endorsed by 
elected and appointed leaders of a dozen people-oriented 
organisations, an ICMIF-sponsored task force has mapped out plans
for a joint venture.

There and elsewhere, a lot remains to be done. Needs of developing 
members have been surfacing in two major categories: training and
systems employing information technology, and equity financing.

At its 1996 meeting, the ICMIF board of directors called upon the 
development and capital study committees to devise an approach for 
strengthening Allnations, the capital support facility, so it can 
assist developed as well as developing members effectively.

Work also got under way to design a tool to promote the use of 
information technology in management, but more often than not, ICMIF 
consultants have found that it is management itself which requires more 
pressing attention.

The past year has indeed been an explosive one for new membership.
Eighteen organisations have joined ICMIF, nine in 1996 and a further nine 
already this year, bringing the total membership to 100 from 61 
countries. The new countries where ICMIF is represented are Brazil, 
Curacao, Portugal, Russia, Sri Lanka, Uruguay and Venezuela. 
The new members include 14 full members, two associate members 
and two observers.

New full members are: Unimed (Brazil), Seguros Equidad Nacional 
(Costa Rica), LB Group (Denmark), Auxilio Postumo del Magisterio 
(Guatemala), Reale Re (Italy), Zenjikyo and Zenshinren (Japan), ASKA (Curaćao), 
CLIMBS (The Philippines), Euresap (Portugal), SURCO (Uruguay),
 MSI and American Agricultural Insurance Company (USA) and COOPERAR 
(Venezuela). New associate members are Volgograd Podderzhka (Russia) and 
NCC (Sri Lanka), and new observers CESAR Foundation (Italy) and 
Multiplan (USA).

There were three departures from membership. The chairman's report 
refers to one: Groupama (France). The other two were as a result of
 internal reorganisation: CUMIS of Canada as part of CUNA Mutual 
(USA) and Arcolux Luxembourg) as part of DVV (Belgium).

The regional associations are sharpening their focus on services for which 
members have a demonstrable need. Aside from seminars and workshops
which each organises regularly, development has been of major interest to the 
Americas Association while networking and know-how exchange are 
emerging as core functions of the associations in Europe and Asia.

Meetings have taken place between ICMIF and AISAM -- a similar
Association of mutual insurers -- to bring the two organisations closer together. 

Lobbying in the European Union and capital issues are among areas of 
possible collaboration.

Intelligence Unit
Guiding and enriching our shared intelligence is a core function of 

The intelligence unit achieves this through: member information - 
gathering information about members; collaborative research - 
exchanging experience, studying interesting topics, producing 
reports; and market information -- analysing market data including 
information obtained through members. 

To review the relevance of each phase and its activities, a scanning
group named the insurance intelligence network (IIN) meets twice a 
year and agrees on a work programme.

The Member Directory is published annually and provides an overview 
of the membership, comprehensive descriptions of each member 
including activities and financial results, and international
market statistics. 

A new professional network for information technology (IT) managers 
was launched in 1996. Its first workshop hosted by NTUC INCOME 
Singapore) gave members the opportunity to exchange their knowledge 
and expertise in an open, noncompetitive environment. The second was
held in Copenhagen and hosted by Alka.

The fourth annual workshop of the ICMIF investment network, held in 
Paris, gave participants the opportunity to exchange information 
about macro-economic trends and developments in financial markets.

The marketing and distribution channels project team completed a 
Report "Direct Response Distribution in Insurance," which focuses on key factors 
for success and failure in direct selling. 

The project "Healthcare insurance to fill the gaps of social security" is
of global interest and its report will be a useful tool for members. Preparations 
were made for a seminar on customer satisfaction, and we continued to 
look into the environmental commitment of the insurance industry. 

Mini-projects were started or continued in: reporting on corporate 
social responsibility; the influence of legislation in life insurance, e.g., 
genetic testing; no-fault systems for personal injury claims; and ethical investment.

The ICMIF secretariat has been connected to e-mail through the 
Internet since 1996. 

We continue to print ICMIF Network in English, Spanish and French, 
with a translation in Japanese.

Our corporate video, "A Global Reach for Good Business" debuted in
May 1996. That's when we started planning for the 1997 conference to be held in Puerto Rico in October. The conference is at the heart of our
communications effort. It is the prime networking medium of ICMIF. 
The slogan for the conference is "Together today for a better tomorrow."