With many of the meetings and events that would have happened in Baden-Baden this week now taking place online instead, the industry is focused on topics including the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, low interest rates and the hardening market, according to a survey carried out by Intelligent Insurer.
The survey highlighted a strong feeling among respondents that the opportunities to learn and forge new connections that are typically available during the Baden-Baden Reinsurance Meeting must be accessed online this year.
A central aspect of the Baden-Baden meeting is to discover and exploit new opportunities.
Asked where these lie, 64 percent of respondents said that improving the profitability of existing business is a key area of focus—an activity that highlights the importance of Baden-Baden as an opportunity to strengthen existing bonds as well as to forge new ones.
Some 59 percent of respondents said that growing their market share in existing lines was a significant area of opportunity, while 55 percent said they wanted to expand into new lines of business.
“Some 59 percent of respondents said that growing their market share in existing lines was a significant area of opportunity.”
Deals to be done
With mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity continuing to be a major trend in the industry, some 14 percent said they were considering M&A and, when asked about big issues on their agendas, 24 percent of respondents highlighted M&A and the feeling that there are deals to be made in the current economic climate.
The advent of COVID-19 has forced the re/insurance industry to conduct the majority of its meetings and transactions online, highlighting technological shortcomings and generating opportunities for rapid improvement and advancement.
Some 55 percent of respondents said they are developing and investing in their digital capabilities with external partners, while 59 percent said they are developing their own technologies in-house.
While much has been said about how re/insurers that embrace digital technology will have an edge in terms of their transactions with clients and their back-office functions, not everybody feels that rushing to embrace digital solutions is a good idea.
A minority of respondents (9 percent) said the acceleration of digital uptake is overhyped, and 28 percent said they are watching developments in the industry but have not acted yet.
Asked about other big issues on their agendas for Baden-Baden week, 48 percent of respondents said they would be focusing on new and emerging risks such as cyber and how—or whether—they play in those spaces.
“Forty-eight percent of respondents said they would be focusing on new and emerging risks such as cyber.”
The same proportion of respondents (48 percent) said they are focused on profitability—particularly given the huge uncertainties driven by the coronavirus. COVID-19 and its ongoing impact are clearly set to be an ongoing topic of conversation into 2021.
Current events and developments in the industry have highlighted the need for talent, and this was reflected in responses to the survey. Some 38 percent of respondents said that talent management—attracting and retaining people with sought-after skills—is a big issue on their agendas.
Baden-Baden, Survey, COVID-19, Insurance, Reinsurance, Europe