Report of the International Co-operative & Mutual Insurance Fed. (ICMIF)(1995/96

    This document has been made available in electronic format
         by the International Co-operative Alliance ICA 
                         Oct., 1996
          (Source: ICA Review, Vol.89, No.3, 1996 (Annual
          Report 1995/96), p.60-64)

                        Report of the
          International Co-operative and Mutual Insurance
                     Federation (ICMIF)

Executive Committee
Chairman:           Tan Kin Lian (Singapore) 

Vice-Chairmen:      Enea Mazzoli (Italy); Koichiro Koeda
                    (Japan); Richard McFerson (USA)

Chief Executive:    Hans Dahlberg (Sweden)

Members:            Alfredo Gonzalez Moledo (Argentina);
                    Siegfried Sellitsch (Austria); Terry
                    Squire (Canada);  Peter von Harder
                    (Germany); Lakshmanan Meyyappan
                    (Malaysia); Hakan Tidlund (Sweden); Alan
                    Sneddon (UK); Jacques Forest, Chairman,
                    ACME; Julio Enrique Medrano Leon,
                    Chairman, AAC/MIS; Vacant, Chairman, AFRA

Membership and Regional Associations
15 organisations from 14 countries have joined ICMIF over the
past year. The number of small and developing members
continues to grow. For a better balance ICMIF considers it
vital that the number of medium-to-large members increases
also. In approaching such prospective members ICMIF needs to
demonstrate its professional capacity. To this end, ICMIF has
produced a video and is revising its marketing literature.

An increase in the membership base and therefore in the
resources available to ICMIF is the key to improving services
to members.  ICMIF will work much more closely with its
regional associations to identify prospects and to make
presentations and follow-ups.
ICMIF was conceived as a Federation with separate and closely
linked regional associations. The SRG report foresaw that,
with stronger and more active regional associations, "a
possible longer-term goal" might be to move toward the overall
structure of "a Federation of regional associations
(pyramid)." That goal now seems more remote than before.  

Though the regional association in Asia (AOA) has indeed
become more active and the ones in the Americas and Europe
continue to meet their members' needs, the newly established
AFRA has no active members free of their own struggle for
survival. We now need to address issues emerging from the
evolving inter-relationships of the regional associations and
ICMIF - in particular, the duplication and rationalisation of
services against the backdrop of dual membership.

In some purposes and issues - such as contact with the
European Union - it is more effective to have representation
at the regional level. That is why members must belong to a
regional association as well as the Federation.

The rationale is that members collectively should identify and
set out priorities in each region, and each regional
association should work together with the ICMIF secretariat to
relate the regional priorities closely to the objectives of
ICMIF as a whole.

Member networks
Exchange of experience at specially organized seminars is a
valued service ICMIF provides its members. An example is the
investment network for members interested in international
markets. The third workshop of this network was held in New
York in April 1996, at which 27 participants from 13 member
organisations heard the latest World Economic Outlook
presented by an official of the International Monetary Fund
(IMF). In addition to macroeconomic trends and developments in
financial markets, the workshop discussed members' investment
strategies and a special study on volatility and returns.

The reinsurance network, MORO, is a well-established and
successful gathering. ICMIF is now establishing a new network
of IT managers who will hold their first meeting in Singapore
in September 1996.

Preparations are also under way for the 1997 ICMIF Conference
to be held in Puerto Rico 24-27 October. 

Annual Report to ICA
The third annual report of ICMIF to the ICA accounts for a
most eventful year. Members assembled in Manchester, UK, in
September for a conference that had historical significance.
As a result of the decision taken three years earlier at the
Tokyo conference in 1992, ICMIF is in the unusual, and
possibly enviable, position of being a very young organisation
which came into being with 70 years of experience already
behind it. The Manchester conference was the first meeting of
members in the new organisation and gave them the first
opportunity together to look back, take stock of the
achievements and have a presentation of the future plans.

The origin of the Federation's renewal was the strategic
review group (SRG) report that focused on 10 core functions
for the new ICMIF. It is satisfying to note that substantial
progress has been made on building a stronger organisation
with effective services in each function envisaged in 1992.
Here are developments of note over the past year.

One member's affiliation with ICMIF has proved to be
life-sustaining. As the financially strapped CIS Kenya
continued to receive substantial technical support and
management advice, the ICMIF board made a historic decision to
provide capital support as several members came forward with
large contributions.  Our capital support facility Allnations
was used in channelling the funds.

The financial strength of Allnations Inc. is important in
enabling the Federation to take additional steps, to assist
other members in need. The decision of the annual
shareholders' meeting to have up to 20,000 more common shares
issued will provide a potential USD 5 million in capital. As
more members help ICMIF achieve a broader spread in
shareholding of Allnations, a better-capitalized Allnations
could also be used to assist developed members in need of
capital for growth.

Case studies of ICMIF projects in some 15 countries were
presented at the 1995 ICMIF conference in a developing forum
examining prospects and challenges in changing markets.

The need to pass on technology and management assistance to
developing companies is increasing, and ICMIF is undertaking a
special project to look at ways of raising funds for
development from external sources.

Also in growing demand are human resources for delivering
technical assistance. Two new regional advisers were named -
one by Unipol, Italy, for Eastern and Central Europe and the
other by Zenkyoren, Japan, for Asia-Pacific.

The regional association in Asia  formally took development on
as a core function with the establishment of a dedicated
subcommittee. It is focusing initial efforts on involving more
and more member organisations in development work - a priority
for ICMIF as a whole.

Reinsurance markets underwent perceptible softening over the
past year. A significant trend in European markets was the
move towards consolidation and a smaller number of
well-capitalized reinsurers.

For ICMIF members, there was an increase in the volume of
reinsurance premiums exchanges and number of contracts placed
with fellow-members.

The ICMIF board of directors approved the formation of a
company, ICMIF Reinsurance Services Limited, to assist with
the work of reinsurance services at the secretariat. This new
company will facilitate relationships with professional
reinsurers when ICMIF is obliged to seek external capacity for
the placement of members' reinsurance business.

Following the production of the reinsurance manual at the end
of 1994, the first regional reinsurance seminar was conducted
in Africa in August 1995. Hosted by Uganda Co-operative
Insurance Limited, it attracted 13 participants form five
countries. Its objectives were to give participants a
foundation in the key principles of reinsurance and an
understanding of the technical aspects of reinsurance
accounting. A similar seminar is planned for 1996 in Eastern
and Central Europe.

The biennial Meeting of Reinsurance Officials (MORO), which
enables reinsurance managers of our members to meet and
discuss matters of common interest, was held in May 1996, in
San Jose, Costa Rica. For the first time, a specifically
commissioned reinsurance business simulation was the
centrepiece of the week-long event.

The event was such a success that members requested that the
simulation be used as a training tool at their offices and at
convenient venues in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas for
reinsurance underwriters and technicians of members in the

Communication is at the heart of everything the Federation
does.  The most visible and notable vehicle is our newsletter
ICMIF Network published in four languages. It was recognised
at the 1995 Conference for its quality, relevance and

A part of the SRG vision was to widen day-to-day communication
and interaction with members beyond English. Towards that end
the ICMIF secretariat has made great strides, with at least
one staff member able to speak and write each of nine other
languages: Danish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian,
Spanish, Swedish and Urdu.

ICMIF now has its own site on the Internet. The purpose is to
reach, and be reached by, members across time zones at the
touch of a few buttons.

Guiding and enriching our shared intelligence is a vital core
function. It involves gathering information about our members,
their business and market, and their knowledge and experience,
and setting up a database to make the information available to
members - information which as compiled cannot be obtained

The project has three basic fields and phases: member
information, collaborative research, and market information.

Tasks completed in the member information and collaborative
research phases and presented at the 1995 Conference in
Manchester included ICMIF Member Directory, and collaborative
research on Marketing and Distribution Channels and The Future
of Motor Insurance.

With the Member Directory serving as a clearinghouse of
information of a non-confidential nature, an in-depth analysis
of ICMIF members has begun as the second step. A supplementary
questionnaire is being used to identify the key management
challenges of 1996-2000. One result aimed at is to see how
ICMIF can help members meet these challenges.

Collaborative research on marketing and distribution channels
is continuing, with the focus on direct selling. New projects
in 1996 are health care as tailor-made insurance to fill the
gaps of social security, social activity of co-operatives,
customer satisfaction, and environmental and ethical issues.